From the minds of Hume Elementary School students to the computer screens of Selkirk College Digital Arts & New Media Program (DANM) students, a cast of eye-popping monsters have been unleashed on Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus.
Hatched at the start of the Winter Semester when students in Kim Hammerich’s Grade 3/4 class put pencil crayons to paper, the younger students let their imaginations run wild with drawings of scary, cute and unique monsters. The elementary students then provided their monster drawings—including a bio on their creature—to the DANM class who expanded on the vision. The results were unveiled at the end of the semester when both classes got together for a monster celebration party.
Hume Elementary School Grade 3 student Grace Steer (left) partnered with Selkirk College Digital Arts & New Media Program first-year student Ryan Cavicchi (right) to create a vibrant rendering of the monster Mr. Wiggles in a collaboration between the two schools.
“I thought it looked really close to what I was thinking and it’s really cute,” said Grade 3 student Grace Steer, who came up with the monster Mr. Wiggles. “When I saw what the Selkirk College student did to my drawing, I said ‘wow’ in my head.”
First-year DANM student Ryan Cavicchi worked with Steer’s original drawing, using the computer program Illustrator to create a colourful poster of Mr. Wiggles that had his elementary peer smiling bright.
“I thought her drawing was adorable and a real good starting point,” said Cavicchi. “I wanted to do my best to make it look close to her drawing because she did such a great job. I’m glad she’s happy with it.”
Collaboration Proves Magical
The partnership between elementary and post-secondary students started when DANM instructor Kerry Pagdin was told about a website that brings together kids and artists from around the world called the Monster Project. Pagdin’s son Graeme is a student in Hammerich’s class and she saw this as a perfect opportunity for collaboration between the two schools. The DAMN class project was born and it was enthusiastically embraced by the Selkirk College students.
Hume Elementary School Grade 3 student Jack Boyes (right) partnered with Selkirk College Digital Arts & New Media Program first-year student Kaily Kay (left) on a project that brought the monster drawings to a life through a computer rendering.
“The fact that children were collaborating with designers is something I liked right away,” said Pagdin, who has been a DANM instructor at Selkirk College since 1999. “When they first received the monster drawing from their partner artist, our students were really excited. They started sharing all of the details that the kids had written about their monsters and were delighted by the drawings. They thoroughly enjoyed this project.”
From an educational perspective, the Selkirk College students were required to take the original drawing and details that included the monster’s favourite food, hobbies and environment they live in, and turn it into something that the kids would want to hang on their bedroom walls.
“Learning to design work for different target markets is an important component of our program,” said Pagdin. “Aside from being a lot of fun, having the students create an illustration to give to eight and nine year olds was a terrific real world experience. Designing with different audiences in mind is a real skill they need to develop throughout their two years in the program to make them employable.”
Elementary Students Introduced to New World of Learning
For Hammerich, it was a chance to open up a fun new learning world for students at a young age.
“Any opportunity to try and link the schools more often and have our students come up here is important,” said Hammerich. “We have a lot of students who love art and this is showing them some of the outlets that they might want to pursue in their future.”
Grade 3 student Kate Woodward shows off the creation she helped bring to life with her Selkirk College partner.
The successful final result of the project could be seen on the faces of the elementary students who were presented a full colour rendering of what their post-secondary partner created and stickers to go along with it. Eight-year-old Jack Boyes was the first to see what his partner—first-year DANM student Kaily Kay—came up with and his face lit up with excitement.
“I actually thought it would be a lot different, but this is better than I thought and it’s really cool,” said Boyes. “I’m surprised she put in the ‘no school’ sign I drew because I just added that for extra detail.”
With the imaginary world of monsters bonding elementary and post-secondary together, a new partnership has been born.
“It was a joyful project for everyone involved,” said Pagdin. “The room just lit up and it made everybody happy.”