Friday, April 11, 2008

The Act We Act

Speaking to my daughter's class during Career Week about Graphic design.

I just finished speaking to a group of kindergarten to 2nd graders at my daughter's schools about being a "graphic artist." It was a lot of fun.

I started by explaining that graphic arts is around us everyday: at home, at school outside. Then I told them about graphics being on posters, labels, TV, newspapers, books, magazines and computers. A few hands were raised to tell me about relatives that were artists. Cool.

Then the fun began. I explained the use of symbols, color, shapes, letters, numbers, and words to 'tell a story without speaking'. I held up some examples of symbols and got a rousing reaction. I held up a heart and asked them what it was and what it meant. I held up smiley face, a house (home, comfort, safety- very good!!), and other symbols like scissors cutting and a snowflake. They seem to understand that the snowflake meant cold, yet a sun symbol meant hot. Very cool.

Now the fun really began. I explained I was going to hold up some famous symbols or logos as they shouted out the correct answer, getting them all right away (I tried to stay away from fast food, though I mentioned the McDonald's 'M' during my talk):

  • Walt Disney logo w/ castle
  • Girl Scout logo
  • PBS kids (they all knew, smarty-pants kids) logo
  • Superman logo
  • Batman logo
  • and the last one that erupted the class in cheers and chaos, the old Sabres logo!
We talked about a few in details. For example how the superman logo is just a letter 's' in a shape, but everyone know what it was.

I talked about what subjects in school helped me to be a good artist: art (obviously), math, science, history, reading, writing and more. "Pay attention in school kids," the teacher really liked that!

"Keep on drawing and save your drawings!," I exclaimed.

Then the (even more) fun part, the Q and A. Many of the kids wanted to know the easiest and hardest part of my job (easiest- getting to draw a lot, hardest part; keeping the people I work for happy), they wanted to know what was the best part of my job- and I said that was getting to learn about different people and different types of companies and jobs everyday. As a graphic artist, you often have to become an expert in something that you knew nothing about the day before!

I got a lot of rambling comments about the Lego logo, Star Wars Legos and Bionicles- they wanted to know how much I knew about those symbols... and a lot of kids told me they love to draw, which I, in turn kept exclaiming "Great! Keep it up."

I was great and I had them laughing and shouting in joy! I think they got it, they like to hear that drawing is good and to 'keep on drawing.' By keeping it brief and showing a lot of pictures, I managed to keep it from getting too rowdy, but 30 or so 5-7 year olds can get kinda nutty on a Friday afternoon at 1:00.

Hey, I often do as well.... it has been along week (as usual).


DigitalHecht said...

Way to go, Mark! It's heartwarming to see that such young kids still identify with the old skool Sabres logo. You should send the whole post to the Sabres marketing team-proving once and for all they should deep six the snail/slug along with the goat head and bring back the REAL THING (and corresponding gameplay would be nice too).

mark said...

I should, but they would make me take their old logo of my post I betcha!

edreysmusic said...

i guess the nike logo was too easy??
you mean they wouldn't have recognized the "Troop" Sneaker logo with LL Cool J on the side?
Or the Kangaroo "Roos" sneakers logo??

mark said...

You know there was a kid who had a "Fila" track jacket on, and I pointed to the "F" logo on his zipper but he didn't know what the "F" was for.