Student Work #007 – Book Covers with Christopher Barzak

Christopher Barzak, Crawford Award-winning YA author and Professor of Creative Writing at Youngstown State University, provided two unpublished short stories to my EMAC classes last Spring, and after the success of our vector-based "book cover" design project, I decided to give the project to my current Fall 2016 students as their final vector project. I think the results speak for themselves. Once again, I just want to offer my personal thanks to Chris for making his work available for this project.

Click on the gallery below for selected project submissions.

Student Work #005 - Illustration Creation

On the second day of instruction in vector and Adobe Illustrator, students were directed during a class exercise to find an image on the internet and, using it as a reference, illustrate it by hand using the software. For homework, students were instructed to seek out and incorporate a second image into the first, either interacting with or incorporating it into the original illustration.

Student Work #004 – Vector Portraits

Students were directed to choose a selfie as a reference and create a vector self portrait in Adobe Illustrator using individually-created shapes filled with sampled colors. These images were created without the use of filters or automated tools during the third day of instruction in the software.

Loss of a Friend

I have only this to say about John Waters, my friend: As a SCAD grad student and aspiring educator in Lacoste, France, in 2008, I watched John work with a student in the computer lab for five minutes, guiding him on an assignment, offering criticism and encouragement with an ease and authority unlike any I had ever seen, and those five minutes became the very foundation of my teaching principles. I learned more about being an educator during that interaction than anything I learned about it before or since. I owe him my eternal gratitude for inspiring in me the love of my profession. I never told him that, and I will never get the chance, but in telling all of you, it is my sincerest hope that you will glean the significance of his loss not only to me, but to anyone who was honored with the privilege of knowing him.

 Enjoying moules-frites in Nimes, France, May 5, 2008.

Enjoying moules-frites in Nimes, France, May 5, 2008.

Pennsylvania Power

I am thrilled to finally present some work from the ongoing project Pennsylvania Power, a landscape series of co-operative power lines throughout rural Pennsylvania commissioned by the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association. This project has had me driving on the back roads and through the small towns of Pennsylvania for more than a year, and it has given me a real appreciation for this beautiful state. I look forward to continuing this project over the next few months.

Click the image below to visit the gallery.

Student Work #003 – Book Covers with Christopher Barzak

Students in my Spring 2016 sections of Electronic Media & Culture at MICA were treated to a special project to conclude our section on vector illustration.

Christopher Barzak, Crawford Award-winning YA author and Professor of Creative Writing at Youngstown State University, sent along two unpublished short stories—The Blue Egg and The Flood—and I directed my students to choose one story and create a “book cover” for that story. It's always a great pleasure to work with colleagues across academic institutions, and more importantly, to have students engaging with professional makers outside of the MICA bubble. I want to thank Chris for participating in this project and for giving my EMAC students this opportunity.

Click on the gallery below for selected project submissions.