Animated illustration work by my graduate and undergraduate students at SCAD

I am very proud to have been the first Professor at SCAD to implement the very first Animated Illustration course from start to finish. Within recent years, there have been a small group of illustrators who continually and habitually incorporate subtle motion-based components into their works. I’ve spoken with a few who claim they do it to showcase a sense of camaraderie with their new and old clients and to further roll the ball forward on what it means to be a modern day illustrator. Motion based imagery was at one point, exclusively at the hands of an animator or motion media artist. However, like many other avenues and disciplines of art, things have a tendency to evolve. I see this course as a small gateway to the future for our young and emerging static-based illustrators to tackle a process that was once completely unexpected of them. 

Goosebumps Cover Illustrations composed by graduate and undergraduate students

As an Illustration professor, I’m fortunate enough to teach various illustration courses that merge traditional (analog) and digital media. In these courses, students are exposed to the various ways in which they can use acrylic, oil, charcoal, watercolor, gouache, Photoshop CC, iMovie, After Effects, and Garageband. In each of my courses, students are introduced to various strategies for visual problem solving and idea generation while becoming familiar with the many avenues of the illustration industry. The mock Goosebumps cover is an intro to cover-based Illustration and provides students with an opportunity to exercise their skills in composition, design, color picking, portraiture, file saving formats, template construction, and storytelling.  

The VHS Packaging Project

The ‘Modern Day VHS project’ was an attempt at allowing my students to navigate away from the traditional book jacket assignment while still maintaining the essential design principles that a book jacket possesses. Inspired by @iamsteelberg, students designed and illustrated packages for their favorite modern day films, TV shows, and Youtube videos while having them appear to have been used, recycled, bent, distressed, and scraped; almost as if they came right out of the year, 1992. This project allowed for students to become interested in researching various tape-based layouts throughout VHS history for inspiration, and allowed them to utilize all of the Photoshop content learned in class throughout the quarter in one project. This project is a tremendously effective final project for my Digital Illustration and Advanced Studio Techniques classes to pursue at the end of their time with me. 

NES Cartridge Illustration and Design

The Nintendo cartridge project provides students with exposure to all of the common cover-based Illustration essentials and procedures that one would encounter in a product that possesses a rigid, uncommon, and precise template. The Photoshop essentials, overall arrangement, digital painting techniques, and lettering learned throughout this process will play a large and useful role in their future classes and careers as artists.

The Blu-Ray Packaging Project

This project was an attempt at allowing my students to pursue a similar set of principles that the VHS project provides along with an added element; file prep for laser cutting. It’s crucial that our illustration students understand what it means to create effective and marketable illustration, along with understanding the many aspects of file prepping and basic operations of heavy machinery, like the laser cutter used here to create the near perfect circle-based cuts through the DVD discs.

Illustrated Collage

A digitally composed collage is an effective way to compose the nuts and bolts of a finished illustration. Often times, illustrators can draw a complete blank within their ideation process and the collage alongside an image limitation can be a great exercise in spontaneity and compositional development. In this exercise, students are exposed to a variety of ideation methods for activating spaces. The main goal for the collage project is to complete a finished illustration from start to finish while using basic Photoshop tools. For some, this exercise serves as a gateway for completing a brand new illustration with the collage serving as reference.  

Introduction to Art Licensing & Dimensional art

The pattern-based pillow and sneaker projects are basic projects that have proven fruitful at the undergraduate levels of our Illustration department for 3 reasons. First and foremost, students who are not familiar with digital media are introduced to various tools within the context of Photoshop to create their preliminary works and final pieces. Students are exposed to layer organization, grouping, color application, and appropriate file saving formats. Second, students are exposed to the merger of traditional (analog) and digital media. At the intro level, we have students who are typically strong in either digital or traditional media. This project serves as a great icebreaker when it comes to pushing students outside of their media comfort zones. Lastly, students are able to actually hold their final pieces and see the value dimensional art has within the context of the illustration industry.