I was honored to spend 9 years with the amazing young people at The Chicago High School for the Arts.

Below is a selection of student work from projects developed for the 9th-grade visual artists in my Drawing By Design course.

Project: Make Remake
Essential Understanding: Artists and Designers play with form, material, and ideas. 

This project was focused on formal experimentation, mark-making, and generating ideas by responding with the body – letting intuition and expression lead us – and responding with the mind – creating a logic or concept to follow. After analyzing the work and approaches of many artists who work in non-objective imagery, we embodied these approaches in two contrasting drawings. Students then disassembled their drawings and reassembled them to “remake” into a new unified whole, adding color and value lines.

Materials: pen and ink, bamboo brush, pencil, graphic pen, rulers, colored pencils

(earlier versions of this project worked with a grid)

Project: “Tell Me a Story” Cut Paper Illustration

Rooted in oral history, this project asked students to collect true stories by interviewing a family/community member, friend (or even themselves!) to reflect on life experiences. Based on one of these stories, they developed a narrative illustration. Drawing from source material to design imagery that is both specific and semi-abstract, students worked to conceptually express their story while considering the interplay of figure and ground (positive and negative shape) with papercutting.

Materials: x-acto knife, black paper, watercolor wash

Project: Everyday Remix Album Cover Design
Essential Understanding: Problem-solving within limits can yield unexpected results.
Anything can be used as source material for art, AND context and ethical use matters.

As a DJ mixes samples to work together into one cohesive song, we combined and visually manipulated borrowed (appropriated) elements from the world around us to mix together (recontextualize) into a dynamic composition that expresses the mood or sound of a song. Students worked to manipulate spatial depth, emphasis, and visual unity, and developed a color palette inspired by their song choice. The format is the size of an LP cover. The last few years, we set up a Spotify playlist to accompany the display of our work in the halls, so viewers to listen while they view.

Materials: pencil, colored pencils, graphic pen, ink

I love the variety of results!

A few of my favorites:

I taught for 7 years in the School of Design at a technical college for students seeking undergraduate degrees in Graphic Design and Animation, teaching courses: Drawing and Perspective, Life Drawing, Fundamentals of Design, Color Theory, Typography, Intro to Animation, Motion Graphics, and Advertising Concepts. Below is a selection of student work from various courses.

Foundational drawing and design:

Excerpts from student branding guides applying typography, color theory, and layout:

Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress

Motion graphics student work:

In addition to being Teacher Assistant for Drawing II, I got to co-develop and teach a course for undergrads at the Memphis College of Art. The only interdisciplinary course offered at the time, we called it Scenarious in Time, Ritual, and Identity. Here are two student solutions to our material challenges: