Vector Silhouettes Last Day: Artist Statements

hand-writing-vector-smallToday’s essential question: How can my artist statement add to the meaning of my artwork and ensure that it is appropriate to hang in a high school gallery?

Many of our silhouette projects tackle tough issues that people might not expect to see in a high school art show. Therefore, it is important that we write carefully crafted artist statements to explain them. We will display the artist statements next to the silhouette projects at the 11th grade show, so please pay extra attention to spelling and grammar. Ms. Lawson is willing to edit any artist statements,  but you must request editing help when you publish your artist statement.

Final Blog Post Requirements

When you are done with your project, create a final blog post with the following:

  • A PDF of your finished project (this may be 3 separate PDFs if you are creating a triptych)
  • A PNG of your finished project (so we can see the image in the blog post)
  • An artist statement (minimum 150 words) about our project. Not sure what to write? Start by answering the following questions. Make sure you turn the artist statement into paragraph form – no credit will be given for incomplete sentences.
    • What is the big idea behind your artwork?
      • What is your artwork about?
      • Who or what inspired your artwork?
      • How do you want people to feel when they view your artwork?
    • Describe your artwork
      • What does your artwork look like? (hint: everyone had to make a black and white silhouette)
      • What is the subject matter? What character(s) or story did you portray with your project?
      • How does the subject’s body language contribute to the imagery?
      • If there is a background or props, how do those items help illustrate the concept?
    • How did you create your art?
      • What media is your artwork made from? (hint: everyone had to use Adobe Illustrator)
      • Describe the process or steps you took to create your artwork.
    • Overall thoughts
      • What did you learn from creating this artwork?
      • Is the final piece what you imagined? How so?
      • What did you do well? What could you have done better?

Today we will:

  • finish our vector silhouette projects
  • create a final blog post with the following:
    • a PDF of your finished project (this may be 3 separate PDFs if you are creating a triptych)
    • a PNG of your finished project (so we can see the image in the blog post)
    • a minimum 150-word artist statement about your project in paragraph form
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Vector Silhouettes Day 6: In-Progress Feedback

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Today’s essential question: What do I need to work on today in order to finish or improve my silhouette project?

Please check your folders – Ms. Lawson has left everyone feedback on their projects and has outlined what you should work on this class. Remember, next class we will finish our projects and write our artist statements, so if you are behind, please arrange a time to catch up.

Today we will:

  • Continue tracing over our silhouette photos or sketches
  • Create a blog post with the following:
    • BOTH a PDF and a PNG of each image you have traced over
    • a few sentences describing what is going well, as well as anything you would like help with

Vector Silhouettes Day 5: Backgrounds

Today’s essential question: How can I add meaning to my silhouette project with a simple background?

When you finish outlining your silhouettes, you will combine them into one image. Your file should be 18×12″ or 14×11″ depending on the layout. This will help you determine what to add for the background. Look at Hsa’s example below. What are some things he could add to the scene to further his concept?

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Note: Not every project needs a background, but many could be improved with one. If you are not sure whether you should add any background objects, please show Ms. Lawson the current state of your project.

How do the backgrounds in the examples below add to the story?

Project Timeline: Plan to finish your project by the end of Friday’s class. If you have not yet started tracing your project in Illustrator, please see Ms. Lawson immediately to set up a time to catch up. The following people should arrange a time to catch up: Danny, Avery, Aquan, Seth, Rae’ionna, Raul

Today we will:

  • Continue tracing over our silhouette photos or sketches
  • Create a blog post with the following:
    • BOTH a PDF and a PNG of each image you have traced over
    • a few sentences describing what is going well, as well as anything you would like help with

Vector Silhouettes Day 3: Posture & Body Language

Today’s essential question: How can posture and body language illustrate the interaction between characters?

Today we will continue working on our vector silhouettes. Make sure any photos you take do not awkwardly cut off body parts. If part of a foot or hand is missing, you will have nothing to trace when you bring your image into Illustrator!

Here are some strong student examples from last year. How has each character’s posture or body language helped tell a story?

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Image Credit: Lily

mckenzie_tryptic

Image Credit: McKenzie

subash

Image Credit: Subash

Today we will:

  • Finish taking our reference photos or drawing our reference sketches
  • Finish our official project proposal blog posts. This should include:
    • written description of your concept (can be copied and pasted from previous classes’ blog posts)
    • final reference photos or sketches

Vector Silhouette Day 2: Creating Our Reference Images

Today’s essential question: How can I create strong reference images to later trace over in Illustrator?

Today we will either create our reference drawings or take our reference photos. Make sure your image uses the most powerful point of view for the concept you are trying to convey. The examples below illustrate what I am looking for.

Sample Reference Photos (you must take the photos yourself – do not use internet images created by someone else):
Same Sketch (use a Sharpie to color in the silhouette so we can make sure you have an appropriate balance of positive and negative space):
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Image Credit: Lily

Today we will:

  • Either create our reference drawings or take our reference photos
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • The reference photos/drawings created during this class
    • Written description of your concept (can copy and paste from last class’s blog post)

New Project: Conceptual Vector Silhouette Inspired by Kara Walker

Today we will introduce our next project, Conceptual Vector Silhouettes Inspired by Kara Walker.
We will use Adobe Illustrator to communicate a message about a social issue of our choice.

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Kara Walker is best known for exploring the raw intersection of race, gender, and sexuality through her iconic, silhouetted figures. Walker unleashes the traditionally proper Victorian medium of the silhouette directly onto the walls of the gallery, creating a theatrical space in which her unruly cut-paper characters inflict physical and emotional violence on one another. (PBS’s Art 21). More background information on Kara Walker is available through TheArtStory.

Read about Kara Walker’s recent statements regarding the current political climate in the NY Times and Quartz.

Here are some examples of Kara Walker’s artwork:

Project Requirements:

  • Vector black and white silhouette imagery created in Adobe Illustrator
  • 11×14, 14×11, or 12×18 (depending on desired dimensions)
  • Illustrates the complexity of a social issue of your choice
  • Balance of positive and negative space
  • Choice of one of the following:
    • One detailed scene with figures and an environment
    • Triptych (three artworks that should be displayed together) of simpler silhouettes

Today we will:

  • Brainstorm project ideas for our conceptual vector silhouette project
  • Create a new blog post with the following (this will count as a 10 point homework grade, so be sure to fulfill all requirements):
    • A written description of your concept. Not sure what to write? Start by answering these questions, but make sure your final blog post is written in paragraph form:
      • What social issue will you illustrate?
      • If this is currently a contentious issue, what side/argument of this issue will your artwork portray?
      • What imagery (figures, environment, props/accessories) will your artwork contain?
      • What will be happening in your artwork?
    • A sketch of your planned design (you will later trace over this in Illustrator, so be sure to add the appropriate amount of detail)

If you do not finish all the elements of your planning blog post this class, post what you have in order to receive a participation grade for the day.

Movie Screening Day

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Today we will screen our movies:

If you have not yet written an artist statement about your trailer, please add a 150 word artist statement to the same blog post with your finished trailer. You can talk about your concept, how you made the trailer, what you found challenging or easy, and how you solved any challenges you faced.