Sunday, July 16, 2017

More Classy Graphics

I can't blog about anything else because I can't think about anything else right now.

My mom is an artist. It was a single-parent household, and we didn't have a lot. But there were always art supplies. Mom was thrilled if either my brother or I showed any interest in her latest medium of choice. I learned how to make linoleum block prints, carving away from the body so as not to gouge myself. I learned to cut coloured glass and silk screen a tee shirt, and draw with hot wax on silk fabric that would later be dyed for a Batik design.  Mom showed me how to throw and fire a clay pot. She tried to teach me to paint, but that was an utter failure. I ran crying from the studio at the first mistake. Miss instant gratification, miss perfectionist. I didn't have the patience to try and try again.

Mom envied me my drawing ability. She would come to me and ask me to sketch the dove for that year's embossed holiday cards. She claims to this day that the cartoon strips I created were imaginative, original, the characters so expressive! She mailed me a batch of them recently; all I could do was wonder where that Kelly went--the one with an original bone in her body.

I've never--in my adult memory--been able to come up with original ideas or artwork. I trace. So while Mom is the artist in the family, winning prizes with her watercolours, I've always been drawn more to graphic design and illustration. But I've never taken a class, never answered that soft little voice that pipes up whenever I see a well designed bill board or handsome window display with a limited palette and crisp, clean lines. The voice says, "You want to do that."

And now, about to turn 54, I've finally signed up for a class. I'm only halfway through the six-week online course and already I feel as if there's nothing I cannot whip out in an afternoon or two. Graphic design has taken over my brain. I dream about it, can't drive down the street without deconstructing every billboard and restaurant awning.

I'm very glad that John Sivell has reached out to me to propose that we do a webinar this coming winter on Tutela because it has given me the drive and motivation to learn to use and apply each tool that Tony Vincent teaches us to use in Google Drawing.

Here are some things I've made while playing around today and yesterday:

pictogram for "good attendance"
reach your goal icon
could not find a Google Drawing icon - made my own

One of the best aspects of the class is getting to see what each of my classmates comes up with. We leave each other comments, constructive suggestions, kudos.

I can't wait to see what weeks four, five and six have in store.

Update: I forgot to say that one important driving motivator behind my signing up for this class was my wish to know how to present an online class using Google Classroom. I'm keen to know how we teachers can give workshops to each other without the need to be hosted by one of our universities or professional associations. So far it looks very promising!


  1. I don't know where you find the time, even with summer vacation, but thanks, as always, for sharing. I am hoping to use Google Classroom this year and may poke around with Google Drawing. PBLA means I always need to weigh the time I put into such endeavors against what students and I will both get out of them but I am hopeful that these applications will maximize learning and save me time. I'll watch for the Tutela webinar, too :-).

    1. Elizabeth,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Sometimes I don't find the time! I'm currently recovering from major abdominal surgery and require a lot of naps, especially if I try to run errands. Getting ready for the webinar, for example, is taking me twice to three times as long as it normally would. My mental alertness just doesn't come running like a puppy every time I call.
      I'm very aware that we who are expected to implement PBLA have to be very judicious with our time. With that in mind, I believe that the activities and accompanying graphic organizers John and I will share in the webinar have the potential to drastically reduce the amount of time a teacher spends on prep without sacrificing quality of the learning experience for the students. It will be great to have you there. --K

  2. As always you are awesome, Kelly. I think it's a great idea to share your knowledge and skills on Tutela, as well as other platforms where you could showcase your talents. I would like to see some of your early drawings. I think you need a new affirmation: "My name is Kelly Morrissey and I am creative." Don't try to deny it! I hope I have time to take your webinar! P.S. I heard that chair massage releases stress and gets your creative energy flowing. Miss you!

    1. Maria,
      It's so good to hear from you! I miss you, too. That's funny what you said about my affirmation. Once during an AVP ( intensive weekend, we were each asked to come up with a name that others would use for us during the whole retreat utilizing one positive adjective that was alliterative with our given name. I called myself Creative Kelly. I am creative, but I rely A LOT on other works for inspiration. I could create my own stuff if I devoted time to sketching daily. One day! In the meantime, I do indeed plan to share a lot just as soon as I get up to speed on Google Classroom. I do not want to be chained to certain platforms or schedules. Google Classroom also has the advantage that you don't have to sit down and watch the presenter(s) live. You can still be part of the participant community and interact with presenter and other attendees without all being online at the same time.
      Keep us posted on your new venture! --K <3

  3. Hi Kelly, I followed you here from Classy Graphics! So glad I did because I just assumed you were very artistic from your assignment output, and now I find you are tracing like me! Well, not exactly tracing like me - even my tracing isn't really classy. I am loving the course too and it has certainly opened doors and windows in my mind.

    1. Susan,
      It's so cool that you found my blog. Yes, I love tracing because it's a quick and dirty way to get the proportions right on a figure or face or even the perspective of a room. I suppose I COULD do it by hand if I practiced more, but I really do like tracing and then filling in the colour. It's meditative, like adult colouring books. Can I reciprocate and visit your blog? Do you have one? Or a website?