Intro to Computing // Creature Cartoon

In Intro to Computing, students learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. This Spring semester, I teach one section of the class. During the Fall it is primarily students who are trying out for the graphic design program in November, but during the Spring it is mostly fine art students who are taking the class as an elective.

This is the second semester I have implemented this project as an introduction to Adobe Illustrator. For Creature Cartoon, each student pulled words out of separate bags– one for a physical trait, one for an action, and one for an emotion. The end goal is to illustrate a unique creature that accompanies all these traits successfully in Illustrator.

After receiving their words, students brainstormed and submitted a series of thumbnails of their ideas, which were then narrowed down to their top three when I visited them in class one-on-one. Those three were turned into well-drawn comps that were drawn with Sharpies and Micron pens, and critiqued by their entire class. The best drawing was scanned into Illustrator, and vector shapes were placed on top. The focus of this Illustrator project was learning the Pen Tool and conducting organized layer management.

For even MORE fun, my students will turn their illustrations into animated GIFs when we start the Photoshop segment. Stay tuned to see those later this semester!

Below are some illustrations that were turned in. All have aspects to be improved upon for their portfolio, but overall I was very pleased with their results!

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.


by Carson Brantley: anxious, fly, antlers


by Elizabeth Gammill: crawl, giggly, long tail

Monster Illustration

by Grayson Brown: mellow, shell, exercise

Basic RGB

by Jacquelyn Mullins: bored, whiskers, jumping


by Shannon Shepherd: big feet, running, sad


by Whitney White: afraid, mane, asleep

UPDATE: See GIFs created later during the semester here.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Intro to Computing // Creature Cartoon GIF | Brittany Spencer // Papermaking & Graphic Design

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