Richard Torrey

Class Subject:

Cartooning & Anime Classes for Young Artists and Teens

Richard Torrey Author PhotRichard Torrey was born in Los Angeles, CA. where he began doodling as soon as he could hold a crayon.
In third grade, Richard showed a picture of a horse he had drawn to the legendary comic strip creator, Charles Schulz. Schulz drew Snoopy on the back of the picture, inspiring Richard to follow a similar career path.

After graduating from Allegheny College with a BA in Psychology, Torrey created the first of two successful syndicated comic strips; Hartland (King Features), followed with a sports strip, PETE and CLETE (Creators Syndicate), both of which appeared in hundreds of newspapers around the world.

Since then, Richard has been an author, illustrator, and editorial cartoonist. His list of clients includes Highlights Magazine, KidCity (a Sesame Street publication), The National, and Inside Sports. For the better part of two decades, he has been the creator of a top-selling line of greeting cards for Recycled Paper
Greetings Inc.

More recently, Richard’s interests have turned to children’s books. He has written and illustrated seven books, including the popular BEANS BAKER series for Random House, and the three book series: ALMOST, WHY?, and BECAUSE, for HarperCollins Publishers. He has also illustrated dozens of books for Simon & Schuster, Golden Books, McGraw-Hill, and Scholastic.

Richard is on the faculty and has taught classes at the Art League of Long Island for the past two decades. He teaches cartooning, children's book and Anime/Manga classes.

The son of the late Hockey Hall-of-Famer, Bill Torrey, Richard lives in Long Island, New York, with his wife and two children. His preferred medium is Peanut butter and Jelly and failing that, Watercolor/Pen and ink and acrylic.

Teaching Statement:

If memory serves me right, I taught my first class in 1989, which makes it 29 years! Hard to believe.
Teaching is a great learning experience.
Over the nearly three decades, I have learned more by teaching students then I have ever taught them.

What I have learned in commanding a classroom has served me well in the hundreds of Arts In Ed assemblies I have now done throughout the North East.
I would never have attempted to speak to an auditorium of 400 elementary students if it was not for teaching at the Art League.
And my interaction with young students helps to keep me in tune with the target audience of the books I write and illustrate.

But I started out very green.
The only thing I had ever taught prior to the Art League was running the NY Islanders Hockey school for four years. When I kid acts up on the ice, you blow a whistle and make them skate…or do pushups.

My preparation for the first cartoon class I ever taught consisted of sharpening some pencils, grabbing an empty pad, and walking into the classroom. No forethought whatsoever. I was going to draw cartoons for an hour and a half with a bunch of kids-what could possibly go wrong? They ate me alive! I suddenly realized that teaching hockey school and teaching a cartooning class were very different!

That’s all it took for me to understand that, if the class is an hour and a half, you have to prepare to teach three hours.
I have practiced that ever since.

Whether it is my basic cartooning classes, or the anime/manga classes, or any of the other classes I have taught in the past, (children’s book illustration, superheroes, cartoon animals, comic strip drawing, etc.)
my basic goal is the same…to get the students to draw things they have trouble drawing as well as things they have never drawn before-while making it fun at the same time.
I force them to make mistakes and then get over it-to show that it’s just part of the process.
I inject every class with energy and enthusiasm, as it’s the only way to infuse that in the students.
I want them leaving each class excited to draw and excited to come back.



 August 2017 Barnes & Noble Book Signing & Display of Richard's Book "Allysaurus and the Very Bossy Monster