Monsters in motion

Caroline Sudbeck, Staff Writer

This fall, LHS graphic design students turned Elementary school student’s monsters into living creatures.

Graphic design teacher Jacqueline Beilke has taught the class, among other art style classes, for a number of years at LHS. However, this year there was a slight change in the course of the semester-long graphic design schedule. Beilke has had a mission for a couple of years now to successfully connect her animation curriculum with one of the Sioux Falls elementary schools. This year she presented her students with the task of giving life-like characteristics to pieces of artwork that elementary school students created.

There are businesses that will turn your child’s drawing into a stuffed animal, bring you child’s animations to life, that kind of thing, and I wanted my graphics students to have pleased a client,” said Beilke. “I really wanted them to have that experience.”

The LHS graphic design class was successful in pleasing their second grade clients. While the high schoolers worked on their portion of the assignment the second graders had been previously tasked with the project of generating a monster that would eventually be animated. The class of second graders at the Eugene Field A+ Elementary school were full of excitement upon receiving their animated monsters in the mail. You can watch their reactions in a video attached here.

“There is nothing better than making a little kid smile, that’s the best,” said Beilke. “It ties in with our curriculum too, we have to do animation. It is something that my students are going to be able to do with their own kids’ artwork someday. This is a skill that is going to carry on and it’s just something fun. It’s something different.”

Although learning how to create the visual animations was a fun challenge for most, the reward and satisfaction came at the end when LHS students got to see the reactions of the students whose monsters they had animated. Beilke plans to keep this project in the class schedule and is thinking about reaching out to other elementary schools in the future.

Already one of the graphic teachers from another school is planning to steal my idea, this is definitely something I want to keep going,” said Beilke.

The students at Eugene are thinking about taking the work of the graphic design students one step further. They want to use the animations created by dropping them into a movie and combining various aspects of art from the different departments of the school. For instance, if the second graders at Eugene create this movie, they plan to add music into the short film.

“I like that art has so many possibilities and it ties in with every subject and it ties in with real life,” said Beilke. “It’s critical thinking skills. Every student has to think outside of the box. They’re thinking creatively. They are using problem solving skills, and even if they are not artists, hopefully these experiences make them better thinkers and approach problems in different ways and appreciate the arts in everything.”