Middle School Digital Art and Design 1a: Introduction

Course Overview

Units at a glance

What do you think of when you hear the words digital art? Did you think about the last photo you took? It was probably taken with a digital camera, or even your phone. How did you share the picture with your friends and family? Do you ever make changes to pictures you see or take, whether by hand or on the computer? Sometimes adding funny pictures, words, or drawings to your sibling’s or friend’s face is the best part! All of these are part of the growing field of digital art and design. Discover what it means to be a digital artist or designer — who knows, it could be your dream job!

Can you feel it? You are getting ready to become one in a long line of great artists. You are going to learn to be a photographer. Through the lens of your camera, you will capture the world around you. Click! A picture of you and your best friend. Click! A snapshot of your puppy sleeping in the sun. Click! A photo of your apartment building against a cloudless blue sky. When you shoot a picture, you capture a moment in time and preserve it for others. Studying the art of photography in this unit will teach you how to take a beautiful picture, to really make a work of art. Famous photographer Ansel Adams once said, “I hope that my work will encourage self-expression in others and stimulate the search for beauty and creative excitement in the world around us.” We hope this unit inspires the same kind of “creative excitement” in you!

Where is digital art around you? On the wrapper of the burger from your favorite take out place? Rolling across your computer screen as you search the web? In the special effects of your favorite movie? Today, digital art is everywhere. But we are not the first society to value art. That tradition dates back to the Stone Age! Both 2D and 3D art play an important role in the artistic forms of the past and present. In fact, today’s digital artists often need to know how to move back and forth between these two types of art. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways for artists to think about space in both dimensions. Are you ready to learn some of their techniques?

When you get advertisements in your mailbox, do you look at the products to see if there is something you like? The graphic artist who designed the flier certainly hopes you do! Graphic design combines the power of text and pictures to create persuasive images that communicate a specific message. It is used in advertising, entertainment, and politics. There are many ways in which art and language work together to educate and inform us. Sometimes that information provides important life-saving safety instructions, other times it is as simple as letting you know that your favorite restaurant has a new flavor of milkshake. One thing is for sure though—graphic art has a lot to say!

Course Highlights

Explore careers in digital art and design.
Put your creativity to work!
Learn techniques to change your artistic perspective.
Learn how technology impacts art.

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