Sunday, July 10, 2011

All Those Extra Things...

I once heard a professor speak about an elementary principal that expected her to create a custom personal Christmas card for him. Apparently the previous art teacher did this favor. She put her foot down and said "that is not my job."

But life over here is different.
And (don't hate me) I teach 12 art classes a week. One PreK, one K, and two sections each of 1st-5th grade. Each class comes to art for less than an hour. I am also required to study two hours of Chinese each week, and every other year, I teach AP Art History on top of my elementary load. (Can I call it a load? It's more like a small handful of classes...) And I'm working on my masters through Penn State's online program.

This year, being a non-AP year, I had a lot of extra prep time at school. Don't get me wrong---I love evenings without planning---but I needed a few extra tasks to keep me going throughout the day. Chaperoning field trips, assisting with in-class artsy projects, reading to students during their library time, and that whole accreditation process. (I was a focus group leader for our WASC self-study and assisted with the editing process.)

But one of my favorite things is pretending to be a graphic designer. Busting out my old school Adobe CS from 2005, praying that it will still cooperate with Vista, and creating some digital work! It is awesome to see your work in print. Flyers, posters, banners, t-shirts, medals, engraved plaques, a yearbook cover, a ceramic mug, a travel mug---the list goes on! If you haven't heard, it's pretty cheap to produce things in China, so we get a lot of customized things. And my design work, that comes even cheaper!

I've already posted about my "branding" of the elementary drama,
but I thought I'd share with you a few more images of my work. It's nothing fancy, but I thoroughly enjoy the design process. I like to be able to assist and I love seeing the finished products. Just this spring, I've designed 4 different t-shirts! So cool to see someone walking around town wearing one of the shirts I designed...

My passion for all things artsy extends to include helping select paint colors (for the school building and coworkers' apartments), then supervising the mixing process or doing color corrections, and other interior design tasks. I've designed drying racks from scratch (aiya! not fun), custom cabinetry for the ceramics studio, and now I'm working on cabinets for our new Early Childhood Center. I've only finished one traditional piece of "art" while in China (a painting), and one while I was in the states last summer, but I am constantly working as an amateur graphic designer, product designer, interior designer and party planner (decorating for formals!). It's not exactly portfolio-worthy, but it's fun and fills a need in our school community. Just another one of the services provided...

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