Students Inspire each other!
The first course in our Digital Drawing and Painting track, Digital Manga 101, provides templates that the students remix and hack, in the creative sense, into their own creations as they learn new and sophisticated skills. In our Video Game Design track students drag and drop objects from huge digital libraries containing hundreds of images, animations, and sounds as they construct their first video games. The templates and libraries allow students to learn digital art skills without having to create all of their own original art. This is the educational scaffolding upon which students build their digital art skills.
Students post their works in our Student Forums as they work through their class projects following the teacher’s screen and voice, step by step. Their posted works serve as their digital portfolios which can be printed at the end of each course. All students can see each others works, learning from each others creativity, and inspiring each other. In the DM101 Student Gallery, on our home page, you can see the class project and how each student adds their own creativity to “Manga Boy” transforming him into “Taro,” “Tara” and hundreds of variations on the theme. Manga is only a theme as the students learn vector graphics which can be used for any art or illustration work.
At the beginning of the DM101 Student Gallery you will see some students went beyond the provided templates to draw freehand or to use the tools and techniques they learned to create original works for their digital portfolios. You can also see in the Student National Mentor Galleries how our SNMs have launched into professional level art while having fun and exploring their chosen art forms. They are even pushing the boundaries of what the digital art software can do. Our SNMs are just regular kids who are passionate about their chosen art and love creating.
Our Student National Mentors also help other students by answering questions in our Student Forums and serve as models for effective, positive, communication skills. Our Student National Mentorship program is free! Our youngest Video Game Design SNM was 9! He answered student questions up to high school and the high schoolers never knew how old Jason was, nor did they care, they needed help and he was happy to assist.
Advanced students and SNMs work on their projects, research, and collaborations in our Cyber Studios. The works they dream up as they explore their art forms amaze even professional artists. And when the professionals learn how young they are, they are astounded. Jenova Chen, one of the greatest young video game developers, said he wished he had Youth Digital Arts when he was a kid! The following work is by Luke, who just graduated from Student National Mentor to Student National Fellow. It is an innovative exploration integrating photographic realism with 2.5D drawing to create a seemingly realistic image of a girl and her favorite character sitting on her shoulder. Luke was commissioned to create this highly innovative work.
We host our unique Cyber Jams for all interested students, parents, and teachers, where our advanced students, Student National Mentors, and Student National Fellows have fun jamming on their projects. The passion and energy is infectious and the inspiration from one art form to another is unpredictable. For example students focusing on 3D modelling spend a lot of time getting their lighting, shading, and texturing just right for their models and animated scenes. It’s amazing how our 2D artists are influenced by what they see and learn watching the 3D focused students. Their 2D lighting, shading and texturing, takes on depth, and a pseudo 3D realism like Jade’s work below.
This work is actually Jade’s fan art of John’s emerging web comic “Scratch.”
Our students draw prolifically because they love drawing and creating. The Dean of the Digital Animation Department at CSU Fullerton recently told us there is a saying in the animation industry that it takes every animator 10,000 drawings before they get good. He loves that our students are prolifically creating and experimenting beginning in 3rd grade while they just love art and are fully exploring their strengths and interests. It’s very difficult when students arrive in a University digital arts program without previously having years of exploration and experimentation to know what they love, what their strengths are, and what they want to focus on. Having to cram their experimentation, exploration, and 10,000 drawings into highly stressful college years is a broken model.
Our students are of course also excited and inspired by movies, comics, manga, anime, cartoons, books, graphic novels, and professional artists. They love to jam and share their excitement in our Cyber Studios and during our Cyber Jams.