Second semester brings me a whole batch of new classes and Digital Studio is one of them. It is the advanced class (based in Illustrator) that follows Graphic Design (that is based in Photoshop). At this point all of the students I end up with with Digital Studio are ones I had in Graphic Design so I'm always excited to do this class since I know each of them are prepared in very specific ways that lend themselves to very fun endeavors in the way of Illustrator.
The class always starts with what I call heavy "skill building" which is basically a series of half a dozen simple tutorials (that I adapted from various free instructionals online) that help to instruct you upon some of the most basic understandings of what the Illustrator program can do and how to do it. It's kind of a "test the waters" time for most of the students where they have a lot of space and time to make mistakes galore that will eventually serve as teachable moments for them.
Last week the last set of skill-building items was introduced as well as their first major project guided by a tutorial. In previous years we have done cartoon sun illustrations - that I have never shown here on the blog since the tutorial originated from another tutorial I found online and I forgot where so I feel bad about showing work with no link back. Overall the illustrations were the same with slight stylized tweaks since each student artist DID inject their own personal twists without intending to - something that is inevitable within the body of any artist's work.
This year in Digital Studio I changed things up by offering them the tutorial to make a cartoon sun but told them to take lots of creative liberties with it. The ways the tutorial instructed were malleable enough that it was possible for them to use the basics of the steps in order to do something different that went more in the way of creating cartoons of any planet in our solar system over just doing a sun. This is why this project is called MVEMJSNUP. (In case you didn't pick up on it, it's an acronym and mnemonic device use to remember all of the planets and their order of the solar system.) (Fun fact: Also, it's something that was in the show Saved by the Bell and was the winning answer that Zach gave in order to win the academic tournament that Screech was somehow not involved in. *HA!* I am a serious Saved by the Bell fan if you didn't know.)
Anyway, I'm delighted to report that this project is going very well overall. The students have been very motivated to work on their pieces and have also done things like looking up satellite images of specific planets they are trying to create so they get coloring and visual texture correct. I've also actively pushed ongoing conversation about how to visually depict different types of personalities and/or moods with regard to how facial features might look. I've also talked about what it means to personify something - which is essentially to what we are doing - and like so much of the other things I have brought up in class for them to consider for their projects, it really draws in cross-curricular connections - something I try to do as much as possible.
I estimate it should take them at least another week or so to complete their pieces but here are some snaps of them hard at work. See if you can guess the planets/part of the solar system they are aiming to create!