Teach Your Children Well

Nicole An, Art Center 2009

I teach Communication Design 1 at Art Center. This is a first term class that teaches students about images and their meaning, ideation, and iconography. The final project changes each term. Last term, the assignment was to design a poster for an AIGA Conference with the theme of Obsession. The assignment should communicate the students’ own obsession, hopefully an embarrassing one. This sounds easy. I would simply lie, and do a poster on something disturbing, like furries. But I don't let them do that. Why? Because I'm the teacher. Call me Professor Sir Mr. Adams.

The students need to delve into their own psyche and determine what drives them, what are they passionate about, what do they think about all the time? It’s difficult for many of them to be willing to expose anything personal. But I don’t believe the solution will have any connection if it is not authentic. Of course, there are solutions that will not go beyond safe and benign obsessions like kittens (although kitten obsession is kind of creepy). The most successful solutions come from an honest solution with excellent form. What is amazing to me is the high level of skill exhibited by students in their first year. They’re certainly braver than I was at 18.

Trevor Freel, Art Center 2009
Trevor Freel, Art Center 2009

Jeffrey Chang, Art Center 2009

Joshua Fuller, Art Center 2009