“Scapes” & Cubed Characters


In my classroom, I often feel like I’m the guy in those insurance commercials, the ones where he asks a few children a question and they give the most unexpected responses…except I’m sitting down at a long table with a group of young artist having concentrated conversations…with that being said, I love the way my students think! (I should be recording them!)

We had fun today! Two groups. Two different projects.

The first, cityscapes and landscapes and boy did I receive a very well articulated art history lesson about them both! Four students re-enlightened me as well as their other nine peers with accurate usage of vocabulary, description and comparison.

So now they’re set to start and you could feel the artistic energy fill the room! Idea atop idea here are a few of the “scapes” that they created:


The second group entered my classroom with questions in cue! Commence Q&A…”What are we doing today?” “Can we do…?” “Are we doing cartooning again?!, Please?!” (Of the three, the third touched a certain place in my pen!)

So, I instructed them do a “cubed cartoon” project…what that means is that they’d have to illustrate their characters from four different views…

1. Front
2. Right
3. Back
4. Left

20130801-190222.jpg Here’s one that was completed…

20130801-190734.jpg Try it with your children, see what they come up with!

Well, I’m off until the next art class!
Be creative, you may surprise yourself!


Standing Cartoons

It was early (8:15) on Monday morning. I arrived at the center ahead of schedule with chai and croissant in hand. My headphones were belting out some CFreedom, Maimouna Yussef, Nakia Henry, Rona and Teisha Marie tunes. (All very talented vocal artists, look them up!)

Contemplating on which cartooning project to have the young artist do (out of the many I have to choose from) I decided to instruct the two groups of active art campers to create a character, creature, tree or building… “Whatever you make, make sure it’s tall!” I said, megaphone like.

After sketching, coloring, inking and cutting out their work…they were given the task of making their creation stand and this is how it went:



20130731-103655.jpg I was surprisingly impressed that all 27 of them completed their pieces and it appeared as though they enjoyed themselves!

Until next class…keep creating!

Immortalized once more…

She’s 13 or so and her manga skills are strong! I gifted her-her first set of illustrator’s pen and a twenty minute tutorial after class was through…now I ask, when is class REALLY ever through? Anyway, she gifted me a piece of art..a portrait of me.


I also gave it a go by attempting to capture her likeness…


Overall, each of the more than twenty young artist left me with a piece of themselves and I with them…art works wonders!

Now, go create something!

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Educator vs Teacher

Preface: I’m not a blogger. Ok now that that’s out of the way…

I do not consider myself a “teacher” I prefer to be called an educator. An educator provides information and the student teaches themselves by using that information.

With that being said, I love my students! They are all very unique extensions of me…and I of them.

Last week, we had an open discussion about…wait for it…HUMPTY DUMPTY! Through reciting his tale, we discovered that the entire story was only three/four sentences! So, I gave them the challenge of creating a picture book using one keyword, a minimum of four sentences and an illustration for each one. Let’s just say that I didn’t know how receptive the two groups would be to the project but, the week proved to be very successful! Each of them presented their completed projects to their peers and parents!!! Laughter lingered into dismissal.

Now, if you know anything about me, this isn’t the first time I’ve had a group (or two) complete comics and/or children’s books. What makes this past week special is that they only had three days to write, sketch, storyboard, illustrate, ink, outline and finalize their books…I’m elated that I was able to, not only witness their achievements but, I actually completed my own eight page book along with them!

This week, I’m collaborating with two other educators by having the youth team up to create two scenes for the clay puppets that they’re making. They’re using tempera paint (primary colors only) in two ways…1) using the bold colors and their mixed secondaries as usual. 2) water the tempera paints so that they’re comparable to watercolor. I’m looking forward to seeing their stories and clay puppets come to fruition.