Here are some student pieces from the Digital Studio class. It took them approximately three weeks to do fundamental "skill-building" tutorials (hacked and then authored mostly by me from things I found around and about the web intended to teach the basics of the program) in Adobe Illustrator in order to get to a point where they could do a simple but mostly self-directed project like this.
I gave them a hacked/adapted tutorial to make a cartoon sun to help steer them but told them they could use it to inform some of their creative process/design decisions and instead make an illustration of a planet (of their choosing) in personified form. Here are some of the best of the bunch. I think overall they did a really great job!
I REALLY enjoyed steering the students through this project and it worked out beautifully to be their first "big" self-directed pieces since it allowed for them to not only explore some of the more interesting functions of Illustrator and REALLY flex their imaginations but it also required them to apply some of the basic skills they had built for themselves thus far - working with gradients, closing paths, manipulating shapes, layering paths and shapes (with the pathfinder).
I also really liked how drawing in the idea of what it takes to personify an inanimate allowed for great class discussions to better inform their creative processes and decision making that toed subject matters outside of the visual art realm. (I LOVE when I can bridge the gaps into cross-curricular arenas!!)