Private Project

Chris Ware: Someone I'm Not

From his home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois, artist Chris Ware shares motivations and challenges for telling stories from the perspectives of others in his work. “I distinctly remember being told by my teachers, if you draw women, you’re colonizing them with your eyes,” Ware recalls of art school. “Do you not draw women and then maintain an allegiance to some sort of experience that only you have had? Or do you try to expand your understanding and your empathy for other human beings?”

Though it might be uncomfortable, Ware strives to write from a place of empathy, expanding his stories to feature characters whose experiences differ from his own. Among these characters is African-American school teacher Joanne Cole, who appears in Ware’s continuing comic series Rusty Brown. “I have to try to somehow push my limits and my understanding of how I feel through other people in what I’m doing,” says the artist. “You risk falling on your face doing so, but that’s a risk you have to take.”

  • Ian Forster
  • Morgan Riles
  • Chris Ware
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 47 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 4, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

Ian Forster is a Producer at Art21 -- a Peabody Award-winning documentary and arts organization -- directing for the PBS broadcast series "Art in the Twenty-First Century" and the documentary shorts projects "Extended Play" and "Artist to Artist."

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