Looking for successful lessons from art class when you were a teenager.
November 23, 2008 4:30 PM Subscribe
What exercises or experiences do you remember most from art class when you were a kid? Did you ever have an "aha!" moment, and, if so, what caused it?
I teach two weekend drawing and painting classes for kids. One class is 14-15 and the other is 11-13 years old. It's been about 8 weeks so far, and I've been through the basics of life drawing, proportion, and working with different materials with both classes. The younger class is turning into an animation class, which I've done before. It's only a difference of a couple years, but the younger class is still at that point where they can have too much fun to be self-conscious.
It's the teens that I really want to work on. I feel like I've finally gotten their attention, but they're still all at that phase where they're considering everything they do against the image of who they want to be or think they should be. I'm doing fine as a glorified babysitter that teaches them basic technique, but I have two ambitions for the class:
1) I want them to learn about what they want to do with art and gain confidence and faculty with it.
2) I want to expand their ideas about art and what it means to them.
I never had an art class that did that when I was their age, so I'm looking for any stories of inspiration striking when you were a teen, or something you did in class that surprised you enough to pay attention at least for a minute. It would be best if it's something I can duplicate without great expense, but I'm interested in anything that felt like a breakthrough.
I've started splitting their time between group work on techniques and materials and individual work on personal projects. I want to be an adult in their life that takes their interests seriously and encourages them. There's:
a shy boy who likes non-fantasy manga
one girl who does fashion design
a cheery-goth girl who draws, aside from the usual goth stuff, transvestite rave DJ's
a sort-of-shy guy who's into skate/hip-hop style and graffiti
a quiet girl with a lot of natural talent but a resistance to visual contrast
a laid-back friendly guy who draws monsters
a kind of posh girl who likes drawing elves and fairies
and the rest of them just like drawing realistic drawing of people, mainly from photos.
If any of that thrilled you when you were a teen, let me know what worked/didn't work/took you to the next idea. Thanks!