The illustration above was created by Anabel for my Photoshop 1 class, Fall 23. The assignment involves students creating a character design. This is Anabel’s portfolio cover page for the asisgnment. I blurred her last name for privacy concerns. The students illustrate a book cover and accompanying movie artwork. She’s incredibly talented and inspiring to all of those around her. As well as being a really nice person.
My Graphic Design 2 class is in it’s second week and the students already have two projects under their belts. Well done. One of the projects was a 6 x 9 postcard for a Jazz concert. And my students know to never come with just one version.
Here are two created by Jen. During crit this first student (Jen) said that “she had never made an illustration in Adobe Illustrator before”.
I am very proud of both of these students because they both stated that they felt they had a weaknesses in a particular area and wanted to challenge themselves to push their comfort levels and try something different. The card below was created by Monica who challenged herself to explore typography. She chose a serif typeface that she felt reflected NYC Jazz clubs. I really like how she rotated the type to echo the stem of the J. She also rotated the order of the word Jazz. Did you notice? When I think of Jazz I think of music that sort of skips all over the place. So the A being in the middle makes sense to me. Two very different approaches and both successful in different ways. Well done ladies.
Another week and another talented student shout out. This work was created by a spring graduate named Mike. When he started here at the college he had never used Photoshop. I would say he progressed nicely, wouldn’t you?It’s always funny when students apologize because they don’t know the software. My reply is generally “well isn’t that why you’re here”?
The images featured in this post were created in my Photoshop 1 and 2 courses. Above we have his art history project. Students have to be inspired by a famous artist/designer from a historical standpoint. A quote attributed to Picasso states “good artists copy, great artists steal” Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, start by looking at the work of artists you admire. What or who inspired them? Why did they make certain choices? What can you learn from those who came before you? And then sketch from each of those artists and begin mashing ideas together.
Perhaps you are inspired by a favorite book or author? Mike was inspired by H. P. Lovecraft for this next assignment. All of my students in all of my courses must keep a sketchbook. With each assignment they pitch their concept to me, as if I were a client. I am not into hand puppet shows while in the classroom; I do not want to see students gesturing “the text goes here and the picture goes there”.
I want to visuals, and so do your clients. They want to know that the money they are paying you was a wise investment. Sketchbooks easily demonstrate thought processes, time and considerations to those around you. Ideas coming to life is what I see represented in the drawings above. Below is the finished work.
The image below is Mike’s interpretation of a steam punk robot. He photo bashed the background, did some color matching to create turmoil and then he started to draw. It’s also worth mentioning that I also require my students to try and use our graphic tablets.
Have you ever seen a prison movie where the guard slides a food tray under the door? Day after day… sliding the tray. Well, that’s a pretty good visual for me sliding a tablet to a student who resists trying one. I stand there smiling, making direct eye contact and I hear a sigh, sometimes see a grimace… and one day they actually ask me for one. (Love when that happens)
Honestly, if you’ve tried using a graphic tablet and don’t like it, please, please for the love of God try it again. No lies, the first day it’s usually pretty awful. We’re so used to navigating a computer with a mouse that drawing with a pen on the computer feels weird. But once you get the hang of it watch out for great things to happen. Consider all of the years experience you have holding a pen or pencil. Sure the tablet has a different surface feel, it just takes getting used to. And to our students just a reminder all of our labs have graphic tablets, ask your professor to borrow one.
Below is his digital painting created in Photoshop 1. This was his very first digital painting. Nice progression.
Well done Mike. It’s no wonder why as soon as you graduated you were snapped up by a design firm. Congratulations!
I would like to share the work of another talented student: Rachelle. Today we had our critique in Photoshop 1. The students had to create a character and side kick/ villian, etc. After they completed the artwork the students had to create a book jacket (which has to be printed and fit onto an actual book). The students measure a book they own and set up their document to fit that individual book. During crit student pass their books around the room so their classmates can appreciate the craftsmanship.
Next: the book has just gotten a movie deal. So they have to create a movie poster. And of course we know all movies advertise and have big splashy marketing campaigns. So the students also had to create no less than 2 swag pieces and a website mock up.
Rachelle painted her own face with body paint, photographed herself and then edited those photos in Photoshop.
As designers we often have to reshuffle artwork for different applications and media. Well done Rachelle.