Graphic design is a very creative content area, and as such we employ the use of software that encourages creativity. Although it’s not a software readily available to all teachers, the Adobe CREATIVE Suite is a great software application for turning creative ideas into reality. I have to be careful that I don’t simply teach a software package, but rather encourage the software to be used as a tool to accomplish a goal.

The software may be expensive, but since it’s industry standard, there really isn’t anything students can’t do. If they can dream it up, they can make it. In fact, there’s often times that students want to accomplish something outside of what I’ve taught, and I find my self showing them new techniques within the software to accomplish their vision. It’s very rewarding to see their eyes light up with excitement when they see that they can actually do what they had in mind all along.

As I’ve mentioned before, my assignments are left somewhat open ended in terms of how student approach them. By doing this, I’m trying to encourage them to use their creativity, and most do. However, creativity can sometimes be the downfall of an assignment. I have students who really don’t approach assignments creatively either out of a lack of interest, or a general lack of desire to think outside of the box. These students would rather have specific, concrete criteria for their assignments. I’m not really sure how you can balance an assignment out so that it caters to both the students striving to be creative as well as those who have little to no desire to be creative.

Here’s an example piece done by one of my students this fall. In this particular project, students had to take a scenic background image, find 5 pictures, and bring them in to creative a “surreal scene.” This project utilized Adobe Photoshop and had students incorporating colorization, image resizing, feathering, and blend modes. I feel that this was one of the more creative projects I’ve seen from my students this year.

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