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Artist provides comic relief

"Whenever I want a new DC comic book, my dad calls someone up and we get it," said Jack Deporter, whose prideful smile never left his face during his father's presentation, which frequently left the class in stitches.

When asked if he could draw characters in special costumes, the effervescent elder Deporter proceeded to draw the cranky SpongeBob character Squidward in full Western regalia, adding a fu-manchu mustache and 10-gallon hat to his usually plain facial features. This brought the loudest round of raucous laughter from the classroom.

Deporter may well have been the class clown in his own adolescence. He fondly recalls honing his skills as an illustrator while doodling in his childhood classrooms.

He said he was often scolded by his teachers, who said he was wasting his time. Still, he persisted in following his dream.

By the time he was 13, he practiced his drawing for four hours a day, and by the time he was 18, he was being paid for his art.

"Now it takes me about a day or half a day to learn to draw a character," said Deporter, who works from his home in Clifton Park. "It's not something you can simply do, you have to learn to do it."

When it came time for Pavlick's students to try their hand at sketching a SpongeBob character, several students proved Deporter's point that drawing can be acquired with instruction and practice.

Arielle Duncan sketched a near-perfect SpongeBob. She said she hopes to one day become a professional artist.

"I draw all the time," said Duncan. "I draw SpongeBob and people I know all over my bedroom wall at home."

Arielle said that Deporter's lesson taught her an important new trick about the placement of SpongeBob's iconic spongy body.

"Now I know where to place the holes in the sponge," she said.

Arielle's teacher Pavlick said that Deporter's dedication to his occupation could serve a valuable lesson, applicable to any chosen career path.

"You want a job that when you get up in the morning you say, wow, this is so cool," said Pavlick.

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