|Animated Self-Portrait Currency (2012) © Dusty Kriegel|
Above Teaching is so unbelievably difficult. I suppose it doesn't have to be, if you only pretend to do it (an ever present temptation), if you don't put your heart into it. If you do, there is nothing quite as devastating emotionally (when it fails) nor any greater source of joy (when it succeeds). This semester, I've been working with two groups of especially wonderful students in a beginning course in graphic design in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa. When the semester started in late August, many of them had little or no experience with Adobe Photoshop or other bewildering software (increasingly bewildering with each, more frequent, update). There were some who could only do email. Now they are soaring at perilous heights that I can barely imagine at times. Most recently, for example, I asked them to design the front and back of a hypothetical banknote (paper money). To complicate the problem, I told them that it had to be "self-portrait currency." I also threw in a subsequent stage: Having designed the banknote as such, they were then required to animate the face side of it (which they did in Photoshop, using the gif animation technique). We critiqued the initial results yesterday, and a number of their pieces were utterly amazing. I was especially taken aback by this extraordinary solution (above) by Dusty Kreigel. Delights like this restore my faith in a world that I find so disturbing, in education—and in a baffling human race.