Monday, September 15, 2014

it's a bird! it's a plane! it's a... supermundane?!

Supermundane is a way cool artist, illustrator, designer, and art director making his living over in England. His real name is Rob Lowe. A few years ago, I did a project inspired by his work with my 2nd graders and I thought it would be fun to revisit his work again with the older crowd. His work is a great example of unity in art and since that's one of our 5th grade standards, well, it's a pretty darn perfect fit together:)

We looked at a few images from his website and talked about how he often repeats line over and over (the unity part). We also noticed that he creates variety be changing up his patterns, changing colors, and changing the amount of space in between lines. Students picked up on how darker colors come forward and the lighter colors recede into the background. I mentioned that Supermundane's work can look like a very elaborate doodle that they might do in the margins of their notebooks while learning about something else.

The 5th graders were to then use his work as inspiration for an original skate deck design that focused on unity. They each created 3 band-aid size sketches of possible designs, not the whole patterning, just the basic shapes that would be used to break up the design into interesting parts. I had them share why they were going to chose one design over the other 2 with a neighbor. I emphasized that the reason couldn't just be "this design is cool". They needed to identify what made that design cool.

Students made 6 x 18" paper decks, drew their compositions lightly in pencil, and then added patterns to each part with colored sharpies. There was a ton of variety in these projects. A lot of different approaches to the same problem.

When the deck designers were done, they erased their pencil lines and completed an exit slip about the project. I'm going to pick a few of these and have the kids do their designs on real wooden decks. I've been using this as a carrot for on task, respectful behavior while making a unique design:)

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