Illustration 101

Along with the new year resolution to take better care of my health, I signed up for a class, Illustration, an Introduction at the School of Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston.  I love living in a city where all sorts of colleges and universities offer continuing education classes and certificate programs!  The SMFA offers a certificate program in Illustration that I am interested in, and this introductory class seemed like the perfect way to test the waters before committing.

I love walking into an art school and knowing I belong there!  I love that this class is getting me to be creative outside of my Etsy shop realm.  My professor is a little cooky (as to be expected from an Art school prof.) but he’s gotten everyone out of a judgmental frame of mind and into creating like a child again.  It is awesome to see how many varied approaches there are to the assignments; we all start with the same information but we all come back with a wild array of responses.  If there is criticism in the classroom, it is coming from ourselves and focused on our own work.  My professor always counters that criticism with a “NO it’s cool”, or “You got it.”  Then he tells you about an artist you should look up that works in a similar way.  It is very accepting and sets a nice tone for the whole class.

There are students in the class that have never taken an art class before and others who are very experienced, so it’s a nice mix.  The homework assignments range from technique exercises to full on editorialized illustrations in mediums you might not have worked with before.  It is wonderful to be encouraged to try new things without the result being criticized.

On top of all of this, my student ID now gets me into all of Boston’s top Art Museums for free this semester!  I am looking forward to exploring the new additions at the Museum of Fine Arts as well as the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum this spring.

Now enough talking, here is some of my work for the class so far:

Copy of a Seurat Drawing Plate, pencil

Copy of a Seurat Drawing Plate, pencil

Copy of a Seurat Drawing Plate, pencil

Copy of a Seurat Drawing Plate, pencil

Loneliness, Bad Childhood Memory, cut paper

Loneliness, Bad Childhood Memory, cut paper

Disney World, Good Childhood Memory, cut paper

Disney World, Good Childhood Memory, cut paper

These are a couple of examples of both the technique exercises, and the original work assignments.  The Seurat copy plates taught us about the use of tone and background to enliven the subject.  The cut paper illustrations was an assignment to illustrate a good and a bad childhood memory in any medium we’d like.  I wanted to play off the positive and negative so I chose to work only with black and white.  Being the only one working with cut paper really got people’s attention, so I hope some of my classmates might try it out too.

We’ve only met three times so far, but I promise to share my work as the class progresses.  One of my next assignments has us working with clayboard, a medium I have never used.  It should be interesting.  In the meantime, have a good week!



5 thoughts on “Illustration 101

  1. That sounds like a really good class and your work is fantastic! I’m super jealous of the free admittance to the museums because we really have some great ones around here! I really like the MFA, though I haven’t been in ages! You’ll have to do a post on all the different museums you visit 🙂

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