Thursday, March 19, 2015

Manga Me!

What do we know about middle school kids? They don't usually like to be the center of attention, or to focus on themselves, or to embarrass themselves - especially in front of their friends!

Knowing this, how could I expect them to draw self-portraits? What if it doesn't come out right? What if it looks silly or dumb? What if everyone hates it? OMG! Embarrassing!!!            I pictured in my mind wads of "artwork" filling the trash can. Definitely not a good art experience.

So I asked myself - what do these kids like? What would make creating self-portraits exciting and fun? After a quick bit of research, I found the answer - Manga art!  Kids love Manga, and the idea of creating their own Manga avatars was a hit! I printed out a few instructional worksheets  and made a set for each student. Note: We drew heads only at this point; however you can get instructions for whole body Manga art as well. I showed them some avatar samples, and then I let them go to work.

They loved it! Drawing themselves Manga style seemed to take away the seriousness of self-portrait drawing. It was more like a cartoon of themselves - and popular Mangas at that - with detailed instructions to follow for each facial feature. These could then be tweaked and colored to resembled their own individual features.


Manga self-portraits were really a hit, even with youth leaders Sierra and Mel. Their avatars look just like them, don't you think?

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