Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Art with Teresa (the art of giving back)

Upon my return home from New York I have started volunteering weekly in my mom's 1st grade class. I love it! I go in every Friday and teach art for one hour and it is SO much fun, the kids are so cute!
Anyways, this weekly lesson has somehow gotten the official name "ARt with Teresa."
The other week the kids wrote a poem about our lessons and surprised me with it...

I can't even say what an amazing surprise it was.. it feels so great to be giving these kids an experience they might not have had otherwise. I myself always sketch in pen.. there is something about overcoming the fear of messing up and not having an eraser.. so I have passed this along to the kids. In my lessons they are allowed to use whatever drawing tool they want... as long as it's not a pencil (hence the markers part of the poem).
I was so excited that the next part of the poem was "we think." I honestly could not believe one of the kids had put that in there... that is exactly what I have been hoping to teach them. My goal is to teach them how artists think and how drawing doesn't need to be intimidating if you know how to think and observe. I'm teaching them to break things down into shapes. Drawing is like anything else, in that the more you practice, the better you are. For some reason or another, however, we are told somewhere early on that some people can draw and some can't... so those who can't and need to practice don't even try, because they are worried about how it will turn out. Everybody has 5,000 (or whatever it is) bad drawings inside of them and the faster you get them out the better! I want to teach these kids not to be afraid to make mistakes... not to be afraid of a blank page. I scribble in the corner of a page if I think I'm afraid to mess up, so that way it's already messed up and I won't worry about it. If a drawing turns out poorly and not how I planned, oh well, it was one of the 5,000 bad ones and the next one will be better.

Anyways, the first week I went I decided to stick with just teaching them how to draw Ice Age characters to get them excited. We drew Scrat and Sid and they turned out soo soo cute... I wish I would've taken my digital camera.. but I wasn't thinking. I taught them that even famous movie characters are made out of basic shapes and I challenged them to design their own character. They were all given the assignment of designing the Easter bunny being as it was Easter weekend. Some rabbits had round heads while others were more realistic.. some had clothes, while others had fur, jewelry, and uni brows. It was entirely up to them and they turned out brilliant! (lol, I never liked the coloring dittos in school where we colored in a bunny holding a basket and eggs.. it's so much cooler to design your own).

(oh, I do have a couple of Sid and Scrat pic's because of this darling little girl who went out and bought a sketch book after I showed them mine and she practices in it constantly. She was so excited to show me it the next week and I was able to snag a few pic's of some of the pages)

Week 2- I sort of jumped into the deep end for week 2. The lesson was extremely challenging and I could definitely tell it was a stretch for the kids. I started off making them draw hands.. one of the most feared subjects of many artists.. and not just draw hands... I had them draw their hands as a blind contour drawing. They were not allowed to look at their paper or worry about how it came out.. Blind contour drawing is one of the best ways to force yourself to really really concentrate and observe what you're drawing instead of drawing what you think you see. It was a struggle for a number of the kids. Some were just not okay with drawing a drawing of their hand and not having it look like a hand. Many peaked and just drew 5 or 8 little generic fingers and didn't want to try again. Somehow by the early age of 6 or 7 the notion that some people can't draw has already been implanted in them. I was impressed to see some of the kids truly going completely blind and drawing detailed scribbles of their hands over and over again.. one on top of the other. I was so excited that I held them up and showed them what a cool design it made when it covered the whole paper and how some artists do this just to create an interesting background. Showing this example seemed to help some of the kids who were struggling. The reward for this tough lesson was another movie character, Manny, the woolly mammoth.. granted not the easiest character to draw in the world, but yet again they turned out adorable. (I brought my camera this week, but the batteries were dead and I unfortunately don't have any pictures)

Week 3- Was super successful. I started off yet again by telling them that artists look for shapes when they draw. I also touched on how we see in 3 dimensions.. but paper is flat.. so artist need to find a way to draw shapes that have dimension. We drew a couple cubes and cylinders for practice. I then asked them how many people thought drawing people was hard (almost all the hands shot up, not surprisingly)... I then asked how many people in the room could draw stick figures...
I told them that lots of the time artists just start out with a stick figure, because it's fast, easy, and you can get all the information you need before the person moves. I then continued to show them how it was easy to draw people if we broke it down into simple shapes (I had my little wooden art model with me). The results were amazing! I was so proud of all of them! (pic at the top)
Oh, and lastly.. we ended the lesson with movie characters (again) that were made up of extremely simple shapes.. and this time I had my camera ;)

Anyways.. I really can't wait to continue teaching them all these things I think everyone should be taught at a young age. I don't remember being taught how to draw people when I was in elementary school.. All the art projects were always geared toward having a pretty result to take home to mom and dad (cut and paste, make it pretty, color inside the lines)All of the stuff that makes drawing seem intimidating later on, because you're so worried about the final product. You just have to turn part of your brain off in a way and not worry about how it turns out. That is how you truly learn.. by making mistakes and loads and loads of bad drawings!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Final Trailer

I'm so ExCitEd for this movie!!! Honestly! I really can't wait!
I was so upset when they pushed back the release date from last November to July...
Oy.. it really looks amazing!
I just re-read book 6 last week.. and it was just as good as the first time.
I have grown up with the Harry Potter books and love them so much! I received the first one on my 11th birthday from my mom, because the boy in the book was 11, lol. Didn't even know they were going to become popular!

There's a slew of movies coming out soon that are on my list of must sees for the Spring:
The Soloist
Ice Age 3 :)
and HP6!!!!

How awesome is that? I can't remember a time I've been so excited about so many movies coming out so close together!

BTW- I have no clue why my blog is so skinny that the youtube clip hangs off the side.. frustrating, but oh well :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Waiting Game

Alright, so one thing I've always been horrible at is waiting patiently for a package to arrive in the mail.. but what I've discovered I'm even worse at is... getting overly excited when applying to animation jobs/internships!!!

I'm pretty sure I'm driving my parents crazy! Every couple minutes I get this sparkle in my eye and blurt out "wouldn't it be cool... if this works out. Do you know how awesome that would be? I can't imagine! ... Somebody has to get it... but I know the odds are huge.. I shouldn't get my hopes up, but wouldn't that be cool" :)
and then I stare off into space with a glazed look as I daydream.

I've been getting as much sleep as a little kid the night before Christmas, seriously .. but every single night!!! I just can't stop daydreaming about how awesome it will be if any of these job opportunities work out... but I know that I won't hear anything back for weeks and weeks.. if at all...

lol, how do I clam down and not get so ahead of myself? lol :) help!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Back Home

I just realized I never posted a picture of my puppet or the last Lost Boyz episode! Here it is even though it's late :)

Warning: language as always...

I had a WONDERFUL last 2 months!
I learned so so so so so so so so so so so so so so SO much!
The team at Blue Sky is super amazing and talented.
I can't even begin to tell ya how thankful I am for the experience.
lol, it was by far the most challenging and overwhelming thing I've ever done, but definitely the most rewarding.
I made so many friends and just had a wonderful time!
I really really can't wait to see the movie on the big screen!

Anyways, I spent one week in New York with my mom and dad before I came home.I absolutely love Broadway shows and we saw two amazing productions!
The first one we went to was a Broadway Play that won 4 Tony Awards and named August: Osage County.

It was incredibly well acted and so intense. I've honestly never ever seen such an intense play as this.... Oh, and the set was amazing! I found a picture of it online via good ole google images :)

We also visited the Natural History Museum where I was able to pay my last respects to Manny and Ellie....

I thought it was pretty interesting that most of the dinosaurs were dug up in Montana.. I didn't know that...

Oh, and we also sat in a box seat at Carnegie Hall which was super fun! It was such a great place to sketch... here are a few scribbles I did...

The second Broadway show we saw was the musical Billy Elliot, which had the most amazing dancing in it!!! (more pics found on google)

Oh, and on our last day we rented a car and drove up to Connecticut to see Mark Twain's house. It was super interesting! I guess back when he built it the average annual income of a working man was $300 and he spent $40,000 on this house!!!
(yet again more google pics)

This is the room where he wrote most of the books he's famous for like Huckleberry Finn.

Anyways, everything feels like such a whirlwind since graduation in January... I still can't believe all that has happened.
For now though I'm back home where I plan to continue animating and continue applying for summer internships and the sort :)
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