Each term (3 months) our Lead Artists select new "inspirations" (artists, genres, films, comics, TV series, etc.) that will appeal to young artists. Students gain perspective on the real work of being an artist as they look in depth at how those inspirations illustrate the skills they are practicing in class.
Students acquire a vocabulary of art and experience satisfaction as they learn how to replicate art they admire. Students are also encouraged to explore their own variations on that inspiration art by creating original characters and stories in similar styles.
Skills cover drawing human (hands, face, proportion, action, etc.) and non-human (animals, machines, aliens, etc.) forms and backgrounds with a variety of mediums. A full range of basic art materials are available at the studio. Lead Artists typically select a core set of ideas, techniques and materials for their classes to work with each term. Lessons focus on increasingly sophisticated perspective and composition, from simple concepts like size-position-&-horizon to font design and targeting specific audiences.
Classes emphasize skill development rather than producing products. JLI artists do lots of practice work, quick sketches and variations as they gain confidence with various tools (pencil, scissors, ruler, various brushes, Photoshop & Flash, etc.), mediums (pastels, acrylics, watercolor, ink, digital, sculpy, etc.) and techniques (action lines, isometric perspective, proportion, rotations, animation, etc.). All of these are applicable to any art project the student wishes to undertake, and to general learning abilities in academic subjects as well.
All art communicates, hence JLI’s approach to learning is all about visual storytelling. From thumb-nailing simple joke panels to designing multi-layer video games, drawing out each artist’s ideas is at the heart of all instruction at the Academy.
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