Through a grant from the Berkeley Education Foundation (California USA), Drawing on Earth was again able and honored to visit Oxford Elementary School. This year we were able to chalk draw with the entire school. Last year we draw a phoenix which is the school’s animal totem. Over this last year the school painted permanent playground graphics for the kids to play on.
Looking closely at the photo and wondering what to draw this year I had the idea of playing with dimensions. The original photo was taken from the upper deck of the playground. I saw that if I drew perspective lines that all originated at the point where the viewer stands then everything goes 3D and looks really cool.
I started with an assembly of slides and previous works which is always fun. I start out using Google Earth and from outer space I zoom in and eventually end up in the school’s playground – which is so cool, the kids love it and it’s a great geography lesson and use of technology. Each class would come out and I’d give a chalk drawing demo and then let to kids go wild with the guidelines that the images that they were going to draw were to be their own, not something from TV or the movies, and no words – words are too easy and live in another world than images. We wanted the imagery to come from within them, their imagination, their ideas.
It’s such an interesting journey and the process. Kids get stuck “I hate my drawing” when they just got started, so I get to work with them. I get down and we unravel the great creative mystery together, and most of the time it works, something sticks and a break-through occurs and the world is again a good place to live in.
When we don’t think we are creative or when something stops us (our inner criticism) in our tracks before we are even given a chance, then nothing is right, the world has failed us, all our teachers, our parents, the society, everything we were or weren’t told about how we could do anything. This where the teachers and mentors step in, we take a chance and see if we can retell the story, tell it in a way that our youth can see it again, were creativity is a noble challenge, it’s something you have to, and get to, and need to fight for. You fight anything and everything that says, “you can’t do that!”
“Oh yeah, watch us!”
Digitally enhanced photo (photoshop)
“Creativity is a Renewable Energy Resource”