The following is a general syllabus for both Fall and Spring semesters. A more detailed version for each semester will also be handed out the first day of class each semester.
Course Title: Soph Illustration Concepts
Instructor: Les Kanturek, my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
You should have the address of another student in class. When e-mailing me please include “concepts” and your name in the subject line.
This class meets once a week for 15 weeks. The goal of this course is to help students connect the world of concepts and ideas to image making. This begins with the evolution of developing a personal style while tailoring work to specific assignments. All projects emphasize the process of illustration/design from concept to completion. There are a multitude of solutions to any given assignment/problem so exploration and experimentation with different materials and styles is encouraged. Course work reflects the range of job possibilities illustrators/designers receive. Emphasis will be on meeting deadlines/ professional standards, evoking appropriate mood and realizing a concept that solves the problems presented.
Class time will be comprised of:
- Discussing and critiquing projects,
- Slide lectures/presentations of artist’s work
- In class exercises
- Demos of different techniques/media
- Discussions of various facets of being an illustrator and issues pertinent to the field such as: the business side of illustration, promotion, portfolios, copyrights etc.
- Guest speakers and interaction with professionals in the field
- Field trips when possible
During the course we will also be exploring some of the following Trigger Mechanisms or concepts (among others) in depth. Point of View, Analogies, Visual Paradoxes/surrealism, Myth, symbols and parody. These concepts and other ways of thinking that will lead to more creative, visual problem solving.
Your participation at crits and in class is expected (It’s part of your grade). It is unfair to the whole class for a student to expect comments about his/her work while remaining silent about your classmate’s work. At times you will be asked to write (either in response to a show or trip and or your opinions concerning a crit). . Each student will develop their verbal skills by explaining and discussing their choice of ideas and solutions. This is an extremely important part of being an illustrator/artist. Class participation is defined as follows:
- Asking pertinent questions during presentations, guest lectures, and crits.
- Being prepared by bringing in materials requested, sketches, your sketchbook.
- Paying attention, taking notes.
- Interactions/speaking to me during, and outside of class. responding to my e-mails
- Attendance-being on time
- How much initiative you show on class assignments.
Readings and Resources:
Xeroxes will be given out in each class. There is no required text to buy for this course.
Materials and Supplies:
You are required to bring a sketchbook to each class to use for in class assignments and to take notes. Most in class drawing will utilize supplies I’m sure you already have. I assume you have access to a camera. Being able to shoot your own reference/research is important. During the semester we will be going on a trip and I will ask you to bring a camera.
Course Outline-class by class breakdown will be handed out as a xerox in class.
There are approximately 4 assignments given as homework that are critiqued in class, various class projects and 1 final/individual project of your choosing. Assignments will be handed out on a separate Xerox at each class. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to contact another student, and get the assignment. Professional presentation & look counts!
You have two weeks after an assignment is due to make it up.
I will talk about your assignment if it’s up on the wall at a crit. If you did it …put it up.
I expect you to hand in at least 5 sketches on separate sheets of paper (not in your sketchbook), numbered, labeled and with explanations.
Evaluations and Grading (What your grade is based on):
- Assignments (both at home and in class), craftsmanship/execution, the effort involved
- Meeting deadlines/submitting work on time and finished. When you turn in an assignment late it will effect your grade for that assignment. This goes for finishes and sketches. Incomplete and late work may result in lowered grades or failure of the course.
- Attendance and being prepared
- Your participation in class
- Individual progress
Class elements-percentage of your grade
- 20% (each)-3 homework assignments. This includes; Sketches, being on time, presentation etc.
- 30%-Final project. This includes; your written proposal, Sketches, progress. being prepared at meetings.
- 10%-Activities during class time/ class assignments.
- Attendance and participation are a mandatory part of your grade.
Undergraduate Grade Descriptions
Grades may be checked online
A Work of exceptional quality, which often goes beyond the stated goals of the course.
A- Work of very high quality
B+ Work of high quality that indicates substantially higher than average abilities.
B Very good work that satisfies the goals of the course.
B- Good work
C+ Above average work
C Average work that indicates an understanding of the course material; passable.
Satisfactory completion of a course is considered to be a grade C or higher.
C- Passing work but below Good Academic Standing.
D Below average work that indicates a student does not fully understand the assignments. Probation level though passing for credit.
There are three main objectives of this course:
1. To increase and expand your creativity in visual thinking.
- Students leaving this course should demonstrate an understanding of and proficiency in utilizing Point of View, Analogies and Visual Paradoxes as concepts.
2. Discuss the field of illustration.
- Students will have knowledge of how illustrators get hired. What are professional illustration portfolio requirements, and a general knowledge of Professional practices and standards.
Demonstrate an understand and knowledge of the 4 step process in creating an illustration:
- Research /gathering information, experimentation
- Sketch stage /proposal and presentation
- Further, more refined research and information gathering
- Presentation of the finished piece
3. Increase your verbal skills and your ability to critically discuss and analyze art.
- Students will be able to further critique and analyze work of art based on:
- Composition –identifying focal points, and by creating small composition studies.
- Students will possess a frame of reference for artists/illustrators/art movements and styles covered during slide/media presentations during the semester.
School, Department and Class Policies:
Attendance and Lateness:
Students are expected to attend classes regularly and promptly. Faculty members are expected to fail any student who is absent for a significant portion of class time. A significant portion of class time is defined as three absences for classes that meet once per week. The Illustration Department has a very clear policy regarding late arrivals to class and absences. Three absences can result in the automatic failure of this class. Two late arrivals to class will count as an absence.
If for some reason I have not arrived by the time class is scheduled to start, you must wait a minimum of 30 minutes for my arrival. If I am absent from class I’ll have the office post a sign on the door.
Plagiarism: when students claim work of another as their own. Plagiarism is one of the most serious infractions possible within the academic community, and its commission can result in failing this course and/or expulsion from Parsons.
This Class in a Nutshell
- Intuitive Vs. analytical -acting intuitively is good, until there is a problem. Then you have to step back. If you rely only on your intuition than when you step back and look at your work all you know is that “it’s either wrong, or right”, You don’t know why. Analytical skills give you a method and recourse to realize what the problem is and the clues as to how you can fix it. In this class we talk, discuss, observe and analyze what you do and how you do it.
- Think beyond what’s expected. Approach things with an open mind and no matter what the task is react to it creatively.
- Participate, make comments in class, ask questions. What do you feel passionate about? What are you interested in. Bring in something you’ve done that you think is cool. Share. Tell me something about your subject that I don’t know.
- This class is collaboration between you and I. Art is what we are both passionate about. You should enjoy creating something (sometimes with a little frustration thrown in). We should have fun, it should also be hard work, possibly the hardest if you’re doing it right, but it should be a good experience, it’s art school, the subject that you feel the strongest about. Ultimately you should be proud of what you create, with no excuses. Have integrity in your work. Take the initiative.
- I expect a lot from you, you should expect a lot from me. If you don’t know why we’re doing something, or I haven’t explained it adequately, ask, I’ll go further into it.
- Come on time, treat deadlines seriously, I do, and It’s part of your grade.
Amy Hausmann-Asst. Director of MTA Arts in Transit
Gareth Hinds-Graphic Novelist/Illustrator/Game designer
Gretchen Van Lente-Creative Director Drama of Works
Ben Marra- Illustrator/Designer/Mammal Magazine
Tom Forget Illustrator/Designer/Mammal Magazine
Jim Cooke-Illustrator/Designer/Mammal Magazine
Matt Dorfman -Illustrator/Designer/Mammal Magazine
Dan Meth- Animator/ Illustrator/Mammal Magazine
Teen Liu- Paper engineer
Devin Clark-Illustrator/Designer/Mammal Magazine
Alexander Isley-Creative Director / Alexander Isley Inc.
Mirko Ilic- Illustrator /Designer/Author, Mirko Ilic Corp.
Peter de Seve –illustrator/Animation
Paul O. Zelinsky- Illustrator, Caldecott Medal winner
Mel Odem- Illustrator, Creator of “Gene”
Keven Kobasic-Comic book artist
Leigh Wells- Designer/illustrator
Steve Brodner-Illustrator, visual journalist
Josh Gosfield—Illustrator, photographer, art director
Deborah Ross -wildlife illustrator
Michicko Sterenberger— Illustrator
Matt Faulkner-Children’s book Illustrator
R. Gregory Christie-Children’s book Illustrator
Manny Vega- Mosaic Artist