It all started with a camera.
|Mini photos are the best!|
Not just any camera. For Christmas, my mom and dad got me one of those new Polaroid digital, instant cameras. This was probably the coolest gift I got this year. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is amazing. It’s even visually attractive, kinda resembling the Instagram logo. It’s a real camera, but it also prints tiny picture stickers. It got me excited about all the possibilities of taking instant pictures. Example: how cool would it be to use those tiny photo stickers in a visual journal?!?!
Obviously, I received this camera during our holiday break. While taking tons of photos of my kids, my dog, and my food, my mind wandered towards my job. I knew when I got back to school I was going to replace all of the bulletin boards. Good bye, cute holiday scene! I needed something fresh, something rocking, for the New Year. I try to update my hallway displays at least every two months. I hadn’t changed it since October, so I was waaaay overdue.
Excited about my new camera and the whole Instagram-inspired thing, a seed was planted in my brain. I started browsing Pinterest for an Instagram themed bulletin board idea. I saw a few, but most of them were ideas where you posted pictures of students working. Not exactly what I had in mind.
|That's a big icon.|
Well, after brainstorming for a bit, I had the great idea to put a quote next to a giant Instagram logo. This year in my art room, I have been stressing the idea that anyone can make art. Who cares if you can’t draw well/ paint well/ collage well? Everyone can make art. A good part of my students get so paralyzed over the idea “I can’t draw,” that they don’t even try. So what I did was put up the saying “Art isn’t Instagram. Art is more than pretty pictures.” Under that, I wrote out the following hashtags--- #your ideas #yourlife #nothingsperfect #whocares #makeart. I was pretty proud of how the entire thing turned out.
|Back in my day, # was a number sign.|
|#nothingsperfect Like my paint stained bulletin board.|
|One of my advanced students added a hand! I was so impressed.|
As luck would have it, the week we came back to school not only did students have a half day for staff development, the next day we also had a two hour delay due to cold weather. That was two days in a row where we had 20 minute classes. Yuck. I don’t know about how your class runs, but by the time my students get their materials out, it would be almost time to clean up. So instead, I found a cutout of an iPhone on the Internet and assigned my classes to draw an Instagram photo inside of it. So simple, yet they really enjoyed it. I was preheating their brains after a long vacation.
Big trucks are a giant inspiration to my students.
|Thinking there was a deep personal story behind this, I asked my student if there was anything wrong. His reply?|
"I can't draw eyes."
|The blog is called "cultured cows."|
Here’s where the story gets exciting. After I had everything hung in the hallway, I snapped a quick picture and posted it to the art teacher’s facebook page. I just wanted to show off my crafty art teacher skills. I also wanted to tell an amusing tale between me and a 6th grader when I was constructing the darn thing.
I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
People started commenting. Some people got what I was trying to say, but some people didn’t. Nobody was cruel, like telling me my board was crap, but people were wondering if I hated Instgram and/or photography. The art teachers' FB page is a wonderful place for feedback, and they gave me something to think about that I hadn't thought of. Is Instagram art? 181 likes and 54 comments later, I believe I explained myself the best I could. Or people just got bored with the thread and moved on to a new topic. Either way, I really listened to everyone on the thread. A few people made the suggestion to add the word “just,” to the bulletin board. I agreed with them, but everything was already glued down, so I did the next best thing: a door decoration. Ta Da!
So here is my completed work. I also found this article on the Internet, which connects to the entire discussion. What do you think? Is Instagram art? Is it a tool? Should I requisition a ton of instant film for next year’s art classes? Let me know in the comments below!