Artist Sydney Patterson contributed his drawings to the cover of this fall's issue of The Storyline.As a high school junior, Sydney Patterson won a $1,000 scholarship to pursue his passion for comics through a mentorship program that paired library staff mentors with Oak Park and River Forest High School students.

Now a recent grad, Patterson creates Big Syd Comics, featuring himself as a cartoon character placed in humorous situations. And he’s contributed his art to the cover of this fall's issue of The Storyline.

Here, Patterson shares some thoughts with us:

Q. What motivates you to make art?

A. Art has always been a passion for me. I make my comics based on the random events of my life. I try to create my own style of (clean) humor through my cartoon character (which is me). I also got a lot of inspiration from reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the Big Nate books. The Peanuts comics also play a huge factor in my inspiration.

Q. What and who influence you?

A. I really try to take a stand for what I believe in, and my church pastor has really helped me out. I really look forward to talking to him and he gives me godly advice.

Q. What are you up to now? What are your plans for the future?

A. I’m currently a summer intern at the Illinois Housing Development Authority. When I come home, I’m usually on my computer designing something using the program Serif X6. I also love to doodle random drawings on notebook paper or sketch in my sketchbooks. I plan to major in graphic design as I prepare for college at Concordia University Chicago.  

Panel from Patterson's Big Syd Comics

Students in grades 6–12:
Get creative with comics in library programs

Feeling inspired? Join the library for two programs this fall to work on your own comics.

Make Your Own Comics

October 24, 4–5:30 pm, Main Library Small Meeting Room. Love to draw or write stories? Learn some fundamentals of creating comics, and then make your own mini-comic. No previous skill necessary.

Self-Publishing Comics

November 8, 4–5:30 pm, Main Library Small Meeting Room. Take your comics or notebooks full of characters to the next level. Get your work publication-ready and learn what it takes to sell at a con or a store. All attendees will be invited to sell at Pocket Con, a comic book convention for youth held Saturday, December 16 at the Chicago Cultural Center, that celebrates people of color in the comic world.