By Madison Witt, Contributing Writer —
Every day hundreds of students laugh as they pass the hilarious memes on the library whiteboards without ever knowing who creates them.
Stacy Chapman, the UTC Library Circulation Day Supervisor, is the mastermind behind the incredible illustrations and spot-on movie references.
Chapman started drawing on the library whiteboards when she first got hired in August 2015. The library was looking for a way to advertise table top whiteboards that are available for check-out. Chapman doodled a cat with “Check meowt” written on it.
Her drawings have come a long way since then – starting with her markers. At first her drawings were simple doodles that could be done with a basic expo marker. Once a fellow librarian introduced her to chalk-paint based markers, her drawings went from plain to fame.
“I feel like students rarely used their high school library,” Chapman said. “They see libraries as stuffy, boring places and I want to break that stereotype. The boards help add personality and give a fun face to the library.”
The chalk-paint markers take a bit of elbow grease to come off, but they don’t harm the boards at all. They come in a ton of different colors, making it easier to add more detail to the drawings.
She said that some ideas come to her during her work in the library and that work can get put aside for a good enough pun.
“If I could think of a new idea everyday, I would.” She said. “That’s why you see some boards up for a few weeks… its hard coming up with new puns sometimes.”
One idea that Chapman came up with in advance was the “I was told there would be parking spaces” with Milton Waddams from Office Space. Since she came up with it right after school let out and not many students were in the library, she had to wait three, long months until she could draw up her idea.
As for future ideas, Chapman said she pays close attention to current events and popular show releases. She plans to draw Game of Thrones and Stranger Things related boards when the new seasons release. Students can guarantee to see Star Wars related boards in December when the new movie is released too.
Some ideas require harder research to create. For example, one of Chapman’s most popular pieces was of RuPaul from ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ quoting the famous “You better WORK” line from the show. To perfect RuPaul’s nose contour and the fierce eye shadow she always rocks, Chapman watched ‘Drag Queen makeup tutorials’ on YouTube. She actually found the tutorials very therapeutic to watch.
The UTC library posts almost all of Chapman’s drawings on Facebook and Twitter and even she posts them from her own Twitter account. On Facebook alone, some pictures have received over 100,000 views, but very rarely do the posts on Facebook receive many likes.
For example, the UTC Library Facebook page has 1,801 followers and the picture they posted of RuPaul received one like. However, on Twitter, @thecircdesk has 1,052 followers and received 36 retweets with 86 likes on the RuPaul post.
Chapman’s work is appreciated by professors like Dr. Jennifer Stewart.
“They’re like a triple threat: always beautifully drawn, always timely and relevant, and always deliciously punny,” Stewart said. “The first board I saw was the Einstein board when I was on my new faculty tour, and I remember thinking, ‘Well, that’s just damn clever.’ At the time, I didn’t realize it was recurring; now I look forward to seeing new boards. Sometimes, they’re the light in a cruddy day, and I greatly appreciate Stacy and her work for that.”
To see more of Chapman’s work, click here.