case study one
TEACHING ARTISt: KAWS
CLASS: CHARACTER DESIGN
Make Something Workshop, New York, NY
The objective of this class was to teach our students the foundation of character design for both animation and toys. World-famous artist Brian Donnelly (aka KAWS) brought his years of expertise in both 2D and 3D character design into our classroom of about 30 students. Discussion topics include development of a character's personality, narrative and basic construction.
CLASS INTRODUCTION – KAWS introduced the students to his work through a retrospective slideshow and brought actual examples of toys he designed into the classroom. He explained his background as a young graffiti artist and how he leveraged those skills to begin a successful career in the worlds of fine art and design. He showed step-by-step examples of his process as it applied to some of his most famous creations. He then explained the basic fundamentals of creating emotion in characters and tricks on how to achieve them.
WORK DONE – Using an interactive approach, KAWS encouraged collaboration with students working together to execute certain emotions. Students were broken into smaller groups where they brainstormed together on who their character should be. Assignments included Personality study, backstory, wardrobe and many more elements. Each student then sketched out his/her version of the character. Each group then took the best parts of each student’s sketch to create a final character.
LESSONS LEARNED – Basics of drawing, sketching and a glossary of the common iconography of character design. Working in teams inspired collaboration rather than competition, mimicking real-life scenarios in this industry.
case study two
TEACHING ARTISTS: VARIOUS
CLASS: RETAIL WINDOW DISPLAY
Make Something Workshop, Selfridges, London
This program was a five-day workshop held inside Selfridges department store in London. Selfridges staff, alongside various visiting artists and creatives, worked with students to create an actual window display. The final window was then installed in a large picture window on London’s Oxford Street and was visible for two weeks.
CLASS INTRODUCTION - Using various references pulled before the class, We began with a foundation workshop in telling visual stories in three dimensions. Visiting artists included the Selfridges design team, fashion writer, designer and documentarian Liz Goldwyn and Carrie Munden, stylist, fashion designer and visual artist.
WORK DONE – Students developed a storyline from the workshop. The theme of the window became Raised by Wolves. It was decided that rather than using mannequins, the students would create wolves to wear the clothing. Carrie Munden taught a class in creating 3D animals utilizing wire and paper-mache. Liz Goldwyn then helped students create a painted and collaged backdrop for the window utilizing images of burlesque queens fused with animals. The final two days were spent with Selfridges window team preparing and installing the actual window.
LESSONS LEARNED – Basics creating visual stories and making them manifest. The importance of working with many different creative and technical departments to achieve a final common objective. It was a true collaboration to create one piece together and showed students there is an alternative way of having art displayed.
case study three
TEACHING ARTIST A-TRAK
CLASS: MUSIC & BEATMAKING
Make Something Workshop, New York, NY
Part of a series of workshops for the Nike Basketball Festival held at Rucker Park in NYC with a variety of events including a performance by the MAKE SOMETHING students. The objective of this class was to teach the students interested in music how to create a beat that could be used as the soundtrack to the performance.
CLASS INTRODUCTION - A-TRAK began by introducing the students to his work and to the basics of beat making. He explained his background as a musician, DJ and producer, how he got started and what he did to evolve as musician. He demonstrated how he created some of his more famous work and broke down some of the hits on a beat by beat basis.
WORK DONE – The students were given drumsticks and a variety of surfaces to use and went to various spaces in the classroom to work on their own. A-TRAK put on some ambient music and the students all worked on creating their own beats. After an hour the class came together and played each other their beats and collectively picked out what worked well together. Over the course of the next two hours, the students composed and recorded a multi-layered beat track. They then had the opportunity to play their beats during the dance performance at Rucker Park in front of thousands of spectators and dozens of NBA players.
LESSONS LEARNED – Basics of beatmaking and novice production. Collaboratively creating music. Creating a piece of art that fits into a larger production.