SchoolArts Magazine

December 2015

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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Graphic Design & Digital Illustration Are Fundamental tion. For example, Kim suggests that students might create their own fonts for book covers or article titles. They could explore different styles of type, depending on the content of the text. An Artist Resource Graphic design and digital illustra- tion allow for an amazing incor- poration and contextualization of any manner of traditional art form. Dave McKean, an artist of many disciplines, is known for designing covers for graphic novels, books, and albums. He may combine sculpture, painting, found objects, and digital graphics all into one image. McKean's work demonstrates the fluidity of concept and content in terms of both material and idea when translated through a digital medium. T wo months ago, I began a series of articles about the criti- cal necessity of a media arts component in any K–12 arts curriculum. Perhaps the most prolific and influential forms of media art we see today are graphic design and digi- tal illustration. My wife, Kim Sajan, is a former graphic designer and has taught graphic design at the Shanghai Ameri- can School and the Manhattan Center for Science and Math. My friend and colleague, Valerie Rioux, is also a former graphic designer and currently teaches at the Shanghai American School. I sat down with Kim and Val- erie to get their input on why graphic design and digital illustration are both so fundamental to a K–12 arts curriculum. This article is a synthesis of our shared conversations. Digital and Traditional Integration Both graphic design and digital illus- tration often begin with a sketch. Many times an idea will be composed first on paper, then scanned into a computer. The idea can be revised digitally, with tablets in particular allowing for further work to be done and drawing skills to develop in new directions. Another way traditional art forms are integrated with graphic design is through the handcrafting of indi- vidual elements for a digital composi- Min Ji Cynthia Park, grade eleven. Perhaps the most prolific and influential forms of media art we see toda re graphic design and digital illustration. Skill Transfer The inclusion of graphic design into a more traditional art curriculum allows for skill transfer in both direc- tions. For example, Adobe Photoshop makes it easier to play with composi- tion. After students have sketched out the various components of their final drawing, they can import them individually into their own layers in Photoshop. Here, they can play with issues of composition, such as scale, balance, repetition, and emphasis. This allows them the freedom to quickly arrange and rearrange their ideas so that they are actively learn- ing about the most effective ways to communicate their ideas. This simple and quick exercise can help students build compositional skills that will be relevant to both their traditional media work, as well as their under- standing of digital design. David Gran teaches high school art and film classes at the Shanghai American School in China and is the author of The Carrot Revolution, a blog about twenty- first century art education. carrotrevolu- tion.blogspot.com, dsgran@yahoo.com 22 DECEMBER 2015 SchoolArts David Gran M E D I A @ r + s

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