Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spies, Kings, and Assassins

Michelle LaNasa, a student teacher in northeastern Ohio, has been using the methods described in Imaginative Realism as a textbook in her art classes.

She writes:
“I was inspired by your method of photographing friends and neighbors to create characters, and I passed around copies of Dinotopia and Imaginative Realism. We focused on creating a character through body language, being observant of fabric folds, and using pastels.

Above: “S's Time-Jumping Matador”

“I brought costumes to school and had each student dress up. They assumed the body language of a character that they had made up, and I photographed them. There were dancers and spies, kings and assassins, and even a deranged scientist intent on stealing breakfast cereal.

Above: “Z’s Aqua Girloo”

“I printed their photos so the students could use themselves as a reference. They lightly sketched out the drawing, adding imaginative details to further define their character, then fleshed it out with pastels. At the end, they wrote brief background stories of who they had drawn, what they were doing, and how they had gotten into their (sometimes wonderfully strange) situations.”

If you’re a teacher, and you’ve been using Imaginative Realism in your school class, send me photos and a description of your project, and I’ll try to post about it. You can reach me at


Unknown said...

That is a great idea!

Unknown said...

What a great idea, art for me at school was a static dusty affair with the teacher inhibiting any flair. The teacher had no artistic training and was a metal work teacher.

I used to collect cuttings off football players, tennis players and basketball players from newspapers and magazines when they are jumping or leaping, falling.

These ended up in my comic art.

If only my teacher had the same sense of fun


Sam G said...

How cool! Wish my art teacher way back in Junior High was this creative. Looks like the students really got into it.