OMG, Arts?! Insider's Guide

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OMG, Arts?! An MFA Graphic Design Thesis Book of Nicole Ryan for Academy of Art University

Transcript of OMG, Arts?! Insider's Guide

  • A GRAPHIC DESIGN THESIS BY NICOLE RACQUEL RYAN

    INSIDER'S GUIDE

  • 2OMG, ARTS?! | INSIDER'S GUIDE

    OMG, ARTS?! INSIDER'S GUIDE

    Written and Designed by

    Nicole Racquel Ryan

    omg, arts?! Advocating the Arts in High Schools

    For more information visit us at: www.omg-arts .org

    A MFA Graphic Design Thesis Project

    Academy of Art University

    79 New Montgomery Street

    5th Floor

    San Francisco, CA 94108

    Copyright 2013 Nicole Racquel Ryan.

    All rights reserved. No portion of this product can be reproduced,

    electronically, copied, reprinted, recorded or any other form with the

    intent to resell , repurpose or any other purpose without written per-

    mission of Nicole Racquel Ryan.

    Designer: Nicole Racquel Ryan

    Photographer: Nicole Racquel Ryan

    Illustrator: Nicole Racquel Ryan

    Advisors: Phil Hamlett, Carolina de Bartolo & Gaston Yagmourian

    Printed in the United States of America

    Notice of Liability.

    The intent of the information and contents herein are to be used as

    resources only. All information is distributed on an "as is" basis without

    warranty. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of

    this book, the author shall not have any liability to any person or entity

    with respect to any liability, loss or damage caused or alleged to be

    caused directly or indirectly by the instructions contained in this book

    or by the digital versions described herein.

    Disclaimer.

    All product names and services identif ied throughout this book are

    used in an editorial fashion only and are for the benefit of such compa-

    nies with no intention of infringement on trademarks or copyrights. No

    such use, or the use of any trade name, is intended to convey endorse-

    ment or affiliation within this book.

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    HOW I ARRIVED HERE

    Over the course of the last year and a half, I have been asked what

    exactly a thesis in graphic design is. The simple answer is that we are

    challenged with the task of defining a problem that can be addressed

    with graphic design. When committing a substantial amount of time to

    one project, it has to be a topic you're excited and passionate about. I

    started my venture on a mission to incorporate the things I love most

    music and artinto a worthwhile and meaningful project. At first this

    seemed daunting and unfocused. The question became, how can graphic

    design benefit a topic that so many people already love and appreciate?

    I eventually came to realize that what I needed to communicate was in

    front of me daily.

    My mother has been an art teacher most my life so the arts have had a

    profound influence on my personal life and experiences. It has also natu-

    rally steered me toward photography and design.

    After a substantial amount of research, deliberation and more research,

    I found that the common denominator in my topic was the significance

    that exposure to the arts can have on people, particularly teenagers in

    school. Arts exposure doesn't only make artists, it is also an outlet for

    self-expression and creative thinking that boosts confidence and creates

    community. So started the challenge of how graphic design could help

    contribute to this idea.

    A GRAPHIC DESIGN THESIS DEFINED

  • 4OMG, ARTS?! | INSIDER'S GUIDE

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    MFA THESIS | NICOLE RACQUEL RYAN THE BIG PICTURE

  • 6OMG, ARTS?! | INSIDER'S GUIDE

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    MFA THESIS | NICOLE RACQUEL RYAN THE BIG PICTURE

    As a nationwe celebrate the arts for the value they add to learning and to life, [yet the] study of the arts is quietly disappearing from our schools. sandra s. ruppert author of "Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement"

  • 8OMG, ARTS?! | INSIDER'S GUIDE

  • 10 THE BIG PICTURE

    What is OMG, Arts?!

    The Arts Take Many Forms

    Thinking with the Right Brain

    18 FRAME OF REFERENCE

    The Current Problem

    A Clear Decline

    The Benefits of an Arts Education

    Improving a Wide Range of Skills

    The Current Landscape

    What Teachers Have to Say

    The Student Questionnaire

    42 A SOUND APPROACH

    Distilling the Opportunity

    The Mission

    The Visual Voice

    100 Moving Forward From Here

    104 Thank You

    CONTENTS

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    OMG, ARTS?! | INSIDER'S GUIDE

    THE BIG PICTURE

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    MFA THESIS | NICOLE RACQUEL RYAN THE BIG PICTURE

    A THINK TANK ORGANIZATION

    This project focuses on the role the arts play in education. Love and

    appreciation for the arts in some capacity is unanimous among the peo-

    ple I know and interact with. People love the arts, even if they personally

    feel they lack the skills, because all forms of art can entertain, entice

    conversation, challenge ideas, alter our mood, and teach us something

    about ourselves and our culture.

    Unsurprisingly, conversing with people about the importance of the arts

    has not been met with controversy. Research has also supported the

    same trend. The perplexing question then becomes, why has it been

    devalued in our public school system? Over the last two decades, support

    for the arts has declined, yet the need for creative thinking is on the rise.

    This book is a curation of supporting information (both from my own

    field research and from published professionals and educators), case

    studies and potential methods for arts integration in and outside of the

    classroom. Educators, parents and advocates can utilize these resources

    as inspiration and as a starting point for projects of their own.

    WHAT IS OMG, ARTS?!

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    OMG, ARTS?! | INSIDER'S GUIDE

    THE ARTS TAKE MANY FORMS

    5 DIFFERENT SUBJECTS

    When people hear "the arts," many automatically think of visual arts.

    But the arts can be any activity that allows people to use creativity and

    self-expression. All art forms are important and can be beneficial in

    different ways. The materials provided for this project only scratch the

    surface of the possibilities.

    VISUAL ARTS

    DANCE

    MUSIC

    THEATRE

    CREATIVE WRITING

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    MFA THESIS | NICOLE RACQUEL RYAN THE BIG PICTURE

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    OMG, ARTS?! | INSIDER'S GUIDE

    CREATIVE JOBS ARE ON THE RISE

    It is not uncommon to hear someone use the phrase "left-brain thinker"

    or "right-brain thinker" when describing a way of learning or thinking.

    And although we often use the contrast of how our cerebral hemispheres

    operate as a metaphor for how we choose our paths, a happy healthy life

    depends on the use of both sides of our brain.

    AGRICULTURAL AGE INDUSTRIAL AGE

    19th century18th century

    THINKING WITH THE RIGHT BRAIN

    While schools have focused most of their attention on left-brained

    subjects, Daniel H. Pink claims that we are entering into a conceptual

    age that is reshaping how we think. Pink states that "a form of thinking

    and attitude to life that is characteristic of the right side of our brain

    (R-Directed Thinking)so often disdained and dismissedartistry,

    empathy, taking the long view, pursuing the transcendentwill increas-

    ingly determine who soars and who stumbles."

    Pink claims that three forces are tilting the scales in favor of R-Directed

    Thinking. The abundance of material goods have satisfied the needs

    of millions and has boosted the significance of beauty, emotion and

    accelerating individuals' search for meaning. Outsourcing white-collar

    left-brained work is forcing knowledge workers in the advanced world to

    master skills that can't be shipped overseas. And lastly, white collar work-

    ers are now facing the same challenges that the blue collar workers of

    the last generation faced, challenging left-brain professionals to master

    abilities that a computer can't do better.

    We have progressed from a society of farmers to factory workers to

    knowledge workers to now, a society of creator and empathizers, of

    pattern recognizers and meaning makers. Creative jobs, from designers

    to performing arts to videogames, have doubled in the U.S. workforce

    since 1980.

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    MFA THESIS | NICOLE RACQUEL RYAN THE BIG PICTURE

    MODES OF THINKING

    Sequential reasoning

    Analyzes the details,

    not the big picture

    Understanding language

    and words

    Specializes in text

    Simultaneous, holistic reasoning

    Synthesizes the big picture

    and pattern recognition

    Interpreting emotions and non-

    verbal expression

    Specializes in context

    20th century 21st century

    INFORMATION AGE CONCEPTUAL AGE

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    OMG, ARTS?! | INSIDER'S GUIDE

    AN OPPORTUNITY GAP

    With so many great resources out there that encourage participation in

    the arts, it was interesting to me that so many of them were not remark-

    ably visual. In fact, the booksalthough rich in informationwere more

    often than not presented in a dry and inaccessible fashion. They were

    not the engaging vehicles of information that they should be. If no one

    reads these important facts and findings, how do we expect things to