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Creative students bring monsters to life

Posted: 20 July 2023

Digital design students at West Nottinghamshire College have made a monstrosity of a project, which has brought smiles to pupils at a Kirkby primary school.

Pupils at Greenwood Primary School were asked to draw their idea of a monster, considering where it lived, whether it has arms or legs, what its name is, whether the monster is bad or good or maybe if it lives on another planet.

This drawing challenge began in February with L3 Art and Design: Image Making students leading the project and asking children from year groups 4, 5 and 6 to be their most creative with paints and crayons.

The ultimate final product came in June when students brought the children’s ideas to the screen following their illustration work using both traditional media and use of software to create these imaginative drawings.

Greenwood Primary’s children and their teachers were welcomed to the Derby Road campus to watch the students’ showreel of their completed designs. Students Reece Reddish and Jay Wilkinson-Standley presented to the group, explaining how they recreated the drawings using digital technology.

Greenwood pupil Ava Tuckwood drew a monster mermaid. She said: “The mermaid monster came from my imagination and her name is Lola Blood. She lives in a cave and is a bit naughty but not that scary really. April has done a really good job at bringing her to life.”

April Barlow and her colleague River Smith collaborated on the drawing. April said: “I drew the mermaid, the ghost and the cave in Adobe Illustrator and used 2D shapes but used gradients and layering to look 3D. River drew the head and both of these were edited together for the finished look.”

Meanwhile, Ciprian Kusmierczak’s blue furry monster impressed the students. Ciprian said: “I created this from my mind but it’s partly based on a game. Reece has made it look very real from my character drawing.”

Reece, who would like to become a fashion designer said: “I made it using collage the background with strips of brick, and I created images from a bunch from magazine cut-outs of hydrangeas for the blue fur. I cut up a Versace head and used that for the leg and someone drew an eye and threw it in the bin which I recycled and I then used the image of a half-moon for the robotic half of the face.”

Greenwood’s people premium champion Mrs Dixon accompanied the children to the college for the unveiling of the artwork project. She said: “The children loved the monster project and to be able to show off their artwork to the students at West Notts.

“They’ve been so excited to come back and see the work that the students have done following their drawings.  It has been good to see more college students using different types of media to create the monsters which we’ll talk about back in class. The children will also spend time feeding back this project to their peers in school.”

Visual arts and design teacher Kerry Bryant said: “The monster project allowed each student to unleash their creativity and the opportunity to explore new processes, media and materials, alternative illustration styles as well as explore vivid and bright colour palettes, due to the much younger audiences.

“Overall the project was a success and it was lovely to see the reaction of the school children to their re-imaged illustrations.”

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