SchoolArts Magazine

JAN 2019

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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26 JANUARY 2019 SchoolArts W hen I was a kid, I taught myself to draw by copying favorite cartoons from tele- vision and comic books. My peers did the same. Today, my stu- dents do it, too. Between classes, they show me studies they've drawn of Big Nate, Captain Underpants, Iron Man, Pokémon, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, anime characters, and more. I rec- ognize this practice as an important part of their art education. Early in my career, I harnessed that passion for cartoons by making it part of my curriculum. I collected binders full of characters for my students to copy directly or incorporate into their work. After a couple of years though, I got tired of seeing copy after copy of other artists' work. My students' skills were clearly growing, but what about their creativity, their other interests, their own unique points of view? There had to be a better way to use those car - toon studies towards the development of more personal student work. Artist Jack Kirby In 2017, the world celebrated the 100th birthday of Jack Kirby, the art- ist who co-created some of the most famous comic book characters in the world. In honor of his centennial, DC and Marvel hired contemporary comic book artists to draw their own versions of classic Kirby comics. That project sparked an idea. I challenged students to pick a favorite comic book and adapt its cover to create their own original work of art. Kirby's birthday was an inspiration. Jean-Michel Basquiat, Rama Hughes Previous page: Top-left: Yocheved Levy, comic book cover. Top-right: Chaya Kohanbash, Secret Cat. Bottom-left: JJ Stark, The Indispensible Calvin and Batman. Above: Aiden Pollak, Donut Man. Eliyah Levy, The Lev irls. The project took twice as long because so man tudents were invested in making their comic book covers as excellent as the could be.

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