Fall 2015
Monday & Wednesday, 5:35 - 8:20 pm MK 112
A. P. Vague, Instructor
Office hours: TBD and by appointment
Email address: and
Phone: (316) 655-1890

Introduction to processes, tools, history and contemporary practice of creating artworks with and for computers and software. Includes drawing, printing, photography, video, audio, and web-based media.

Focus will be split between building skill sets required in digital media and exploration of experimental and conceptual work.

We will be using software packages such as but not limited to:
Base Software and Web-Based Platforms:
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator 
Autodesk SketchBook Express or Pro
Autodesk 123D Capture
Google Blogger
Choice of Editing and Capture Software:
Camtasia or similar
Adobe Premiere Pro
Final Cut X
Choice of Final Portfolio Authoring:
Microsoft PowerPoint
iBooks Author
Adobe inDesign

While a skill set is imperative for digital literacy, we will also be exploring past and current trends in the digital art arena, paying special attention to how digital media can be incorporated into the studio practice and the global environment of peer-to-peer learning and mass collaboration.

Critiques will be both class-lead and one on one discussions. Not only will the skill demonstrated by the student be part of the critiquing process, but also the student’s ability to impart an understanding of conceptual and critical thinking towards the end goal.  (*How did you ACHIEVE your goal? Why THIS solution?)

Course Length:  15 Weeks
Contact Hours: 96 Hours
Lecture:  48 Hours
Lab: 48 Hours
Outside: 48 Hours
Credit Value: 3 Credits

Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:
Apply principles of color theory
Apply color theory in the scanning, manipulating, and outputting of imagery
Compare and contrast additive and subtractive color theory
Identify and define which color theories apply to different input/output devices
Use and manage personal computer and computer hardware peripherals for input, output, and storage
Correlate keyboard functions with menu operations
Operate different kinds of peripheral hardware, including printers, scanners, external drives, and Wacom tablets and mobile devices
Use of image manipulation and design software
Manipulate layers, channels and paths
Use a digital camera to capture images for use in raster-based computer applications, image manipulation and video editing programs
Produce B&W and/or color illustrations
Control image characteristics (size, mode, dpi, etc.)
Prepare imagery for proofing and/or final outputting at a service bureau or other supplier
Save documents using the appropriate specialized file formats
Use of web-based channels and cloud systems
Creation and uploading of art and design work meant to live on the web
Understand and utilize the functionality of cloud systems for digital art
Understand and speak to the history and contemporary practice of digital design art
Identify intent and understand ‘home’ of created work and the context in which it speaks to the audience
Understand and speak to the conceptual and practical approaches of digital media

Course Prerequisite(s): Art Foundations 

Access to Net 
Digital camera, still and video
Wacom tablet (optional)
External hard-drive 
Mobile device (TBD)

Class time will be spent in a productive manner.
All work must be received by the set deadlines.
On-time projects may be redone with instructor approval.
No food allowed in computer labs at any time. Drinks in closeable bottles allowed in classroom.
Attendance is taken on a regular basis. Tardiness or absence is recorded in 15-minute increments.
Break times are scheduled at appropriate intervals.
No private software is to be loaded onto school computers.
No software games are allowed in lab (unless in course curriculum).
Headphones are required if listening to music in computer labs. No headphones are allowed during lecture.
No cell calls while in class, no texting during lecture. Texting during a lecture will result in dismissal from the class for the day and an automatic absence for the day. Excessive texting during class will result in dismissal for the day.
To receive special accommodations for a documented disability, the student must present their letter of accommodation to the instructor by the end of the first day of class. Any resulting class performance problems that may arise for those who do not identify their needs will not receive any special grading considerations.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking disability support must register with Disability Services in 150 Grace Wilkie Annex; considerations for support must be presented to the instructor at first opportunity so that arrangements can be made early in the course. (Support arrangements can only be provided in advance of assignments.)  If you have emotional or physical concerns during the semester you should visit Student Health Services in 209 Ahlberg Hall or make an appointment with the Counseling and Testing Center in 320 Grace Wilkie Hall. Confidentiality will be maintained and coursework arrangements will be planned with you.

Attendance Policy:
Successful completion of a course is dependent upon regular attendance in the classroom. Critical information is delivered through lecture, critique and student interaction. Missing more than 3 class periods, including accumulative missed time by arriving late or leaving early, will result in one letter grade lowered per class missed. More than 5 missed classes will result in an automatic fail in the class. No exceptions.

It is strongly recommended that any student who – for ANY reason – misses more than 3 classes worth of instructional hours meet with me for an evaluation. I reserve the right to determine the feasibility of the student potential for avoiding a failing grade and successfully demonstrating all of the gradable course competencies within the class time remaining. If I determine that the student still retains the potential to demonstrate all of the gradable course competencies then the student will be granted the option of attempting a passing grade. If an evaluation meeting has not taken place before 4 classes of absence, the student can receive a failing grade for the course.

Student Conduct Policy:
Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. Students are expected to demonstrate a respectful working relationship with each other and with the instructor. 

Academic Dishonesty:
Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty while pursuing their studies. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: plagiarism and cheating, misuse of academic resources or facilities, and misuse of computer software, data, equipment or networks.

Plagiarism is the use of another person’s ideas, words, visual images, or audio samples, presented in a manner that makes the work appear to be the student’s original creation. All work that is not the student’s original creation, or any idea or fact that is not “common knowledge,” must be documented properly to avoid even accidental infractions of the honor code.

Cheating is to gain an unfair advantage on a grade by deception, fraud, or breaking the rules set forth by myself as the instructor. Cheating may include but is not limited to: copying the work of others; using notes or other materials when unauthorized; communicating to others during an exam; and any other unfair advantage as determined by myself.

The university’s honesty policy is outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Commitment to Excellence – Reading/Writing/Comprehension:
While the principal goal of this course is the acquisition of knowledge in the subject area, students should be aware that this class will require research, and clear and effective writing will be an integral part of the learning and grading process.

Library Access and Use: 
All students will need to utilize the University Libraries for research and reference throughout the semester. The Library is a valuable source for finding design ideas that will be needed for this course, i.e.: inspiration and design fundamentals for projects; locating popular trends in design, illustration and photography; referencing past award winning designs which may be used as a guide; identifying benchmarks or referencing competent design works.

Student Artwork:
All student work, which has not already been returned during the semester, will be available for pickup no later than 5:00 pm, Monday of the first week of break. Any hardcopy work NOT picked up by that date and time will be discarded unless other arrangements have been made. Students must take responsibility for their artwork.

Suggested Course Outline:
The curriculum of this class will, to a certain extent, remain organic in the project parameters to accommodate unforeseen circumstances around access to tools or equipment. The structure and location of a lecture may also change for a project or group of projects to take advantage of a new opportunity, new concept, or dynamics of the class as we see necessary.

University definition of a credit hour:
University guidelines require a minimum of nine hours of coursework per week for a three-credit course (three work hours for each credit hour). As ARTS creative classes meet for twice a week for three hours (six hours class time), the appropriate minimum would be three hours of work outside of class per week; in ARTS 102 (2.5 hours per week in class), the minimum expectation is 6.5 hours outside of class per week. These times working outside of class are important learning opportunities where students apply the lessons learned in class and are responsible for material introduced earlier.

Course Deliverables from the Student:
3 Individual Practical Projects focusing on building the required skill set
3 Individual Conceptual Projects focusing on the artistic intent
1 Practical Group Project
1 Conceptual Group Project
2 Digital Work Portfolios  
1 Blog Process/Research Journal


Week 1
Introduction to class and expectations. Who is who introductions. What are your aspirations? What to bring to class and what to prepare for the upcoming projects. Level assessment.

HW: Set up blogger account along with any other hosting/sharing services you wish to use (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Flickr, etc) Include a brief description of your goals and/or interests regarding digital art & design. Provide examples if desired.

Due: Blogger account set up and populated with journal entry.

Individual project 1a - Photoshop collage
Introduction to PS part 1. Opening, Importing, Layers, Tools, Image Transformation, Organization. Color Theory and Additive vs. Subtractive color systems. In-class demo and practice collage with found web images.

HW: Photograph 20 separate images over the weekend related to your color scheme chosen from class to bring on Monday. No web found images allowed.

Journal: Find 5 collages of any media that appeal to your sense of design and aesthetics and post to blog with correct credit parameters and links. Add brief discussions why each piece was chosen.

Week 2
In-class studio time and open discussion.

Individual project 1b - Photoshop textures
Introduction to PS part 2. Continued demo from previous weeks; tool sets, including lasso, marquee, magic wand, histograms, and color correction. Q & A around project and tools explored.

Document your thinking process and strategy while preparing your images for your final collage. Prepare to upload blurb to blog along with color corrected images from your photography search.

Be sure to ask for help if you are having issues related to PS.

Due: Photoshop collage uploaded to blog before midnight for instructor review and feedback. Brief in-class group critique and Q&A.

Details and parameters of the Textures project explained.

In-class studio time and open discussion.

Week 3
Due: Photoshop textures uploaded to class blog before midnight for instructor review and feedback. (All uploaded work to class blog for grading is time stamped. We will know what is late and what is not.) Brief in-class group critique and Q&A.

Journal: Comment on two other classmate’s journal entries.

Due: Journal entries from previous class.
Individual project 2 - Design
Introduction to Adobe Illustrator and vector-based art. Define parameters of digital art that can be evergreen and ever larger without losing resolution. Simple vector line art based on selected object found in previous project photographic images you took with your camera.

HW: Photograph 10 graphic images or objects found around town, which demonstrate popular culture in Wichita.  

Journal: Document 5 artists who work with digital media for a brief comparison.

Week 4
9/7 - Labor Day, no class

Due: Journal from previous class.
Due: Design project should be uploaded to Class Blog before midnight for instructor review and feedback. First half of class for group critique.

Discussion of outsider art and the digital arena. Quick intro and discussion around artists found by class for journal work.

Week 5 
Individual project 3 - Video
Introduction to video editing programs. Overview of basic editing tools, such as import, cut, trim, time, tracks, and color correction.

HW: Record on video a simple action you repeat often. Document the minute details of that action.

Journal: Watch 2 films from the list discussed in class and document how color and light played a crucial role scene setup. Provide scene grabs.

Due: Journal from previous class.

Continued introduction to video editing programs. Introduction to exporting definitions.  Introduction and lecture around video based art and artists.  Parameters around project outlined and discussed.

Progress/grades discussed with instructor one-on-one.

Journal: Comment on two other classmate’s journal entries.

Assistance with video project. In-class studio time, Q&A, and open discussion.

Journal: Document your strategy and process with this project. Briefly describe your intent, along with a few screen grabs of your work in progress.

Week 6
Due: Journal from previous class.
Due: Video project. Project is due for showing and critique. Have work uploaded on class blog before midnight for instructor review and feedback. First half of class for group critique.

Group project 1 - Public art
Lecture on public art and the collaborative process. Discussion around the corporate environment, the artist environment, and the objectives of the two when working towards a shared end goal. Introduction to corporate green parameters and objectives.

Break into determined groups and sub-groups. Begin the formulation process around project parameters, and use time for research. Outline first draft approach to “sell” to class groups. 

Create a Google Hang-Out (or other teleconferencing system approved in class) with your fellow team members and set up 3 regular meeting times to discuss project online. Document and record the hang out meetings and videoconferences. Record everything, keep everything. This is not optional. We will cover parameters and privacy considerations in class.

I cannot stress enough the power and pain of working in groups. Communicate and stay flexible. Leave the ego at the door.

By the end of class each group must have a strategy in place.

Week 7

Quick show and tell with instructor feedback on each project scope and strategy.
Work with group to define how you will use what digital material to complete your objective. Define how this project might also manifest itself as a physical entity to achieve your end goal.

Research the upswing in green technology and materials as a source of invention and messaging. 

In-class studio time.
Document the experience of working with a group on a shared objective. Document the process. Finalize and clean up your work for final presentations. Update your blog journal.

Week 8
Due: Public art project
Class critique of group projects 1.

Finalize your mid-term portfolio.

Due: Public art project
Class critique of group projects 2. 
Due: Mid-term portfolio.
Class critique of mid-term portfolio.

Progress/grades discussed with instructor one-on-one.

Video screening optional if time permits. Have suggestions prepared.

Fall break

Week 9
10/12 - no class

Conceptual project 1 - Interior/landscape/portrait

Introduction to advanced PS tools, including puppet warp, liquefy, brushes, customizing brushes, drawing and painting layers. Introduction to interior landscape project.

Practice run with tools on images supplied. Exercise around project parameters to further define the student’s interior landscape.

HW: Photograph yourself in a portrait style setting. Have ready for next class.  

Journal: Short blurb investigating interior, landscape, and/or portraiture. Outline a strategy and begin preliminary “sketches” in any media.

Week 10
Due: Journal and sketches from previous week.

Short lecture and open discussion around current and past portraiture painting, photographers, and high and low art.  

HW: Begin final interior/landscape/portrait project.

Journal: Link to 3 contemporary artists who work with the human form, interiors, and/or exteriors and provide your short analysis of the work.

Due: Interior landscape portrait
Assistance with finalizing projects. Second half of class for class critique.

Be sure to speak to me if you are falling behind in class or having issues with the software apps.

Project is due for showing and critique. Make sure your journal work from previous week is live. Have work uploaded on Class Blog before midnight for instructor review and feedback.

Week 11
Conceptual project 2 - Interactivity

Short lecture and introduction to artists who create interactive work. What does interactivity mean in the digital world now and how might it be compared to physical interaction? Introduction to You, me and it project parameters and guidelines.  

HW: Find 3 interactive web-based works and link within your journal. Offer brief but insightful commentary on your blog around the work.   

In-class studio time, Q&A, and open discussion. Assistance with interactive project. Projects will be installed following week. Make sure you are ready.

Week 12
Due: Interactive project.
Document your work and post process to journal. Respond to others work, at least 2, in thoughtful and insightful way.

Have work uploaded on class blog before midnight for instructor review and feedback.

Conceptual project 3 - Information
What does artwork look like when it is created by many? What does artwork based on analytics look like and how might information be utilized in the artistic intent? Class discussion around statistics and analytics, and personal privacy. Introduction to project parameters.

HW: Find 2 relevant articles around information gathering and link in your blog. Find and post 2 artists or designers who use information as a source of inspiration or as material for creation that you respond to for whatever reason.

Week 13
Due: Information-based project.
Project is due for showing and critique. Have work uploaded on class blog before midnight for instructor review and feedback

Group project 2 - Research and technology
Open discussion on the concepts of utopian ideals and mass consumption. What is need and what is want? Introduction to the last group project parameters and guidelines.

Break into assigned groups and begin the vetting process of your project.

Assistance with research and technology project.

Week 14
In-class research time. Open Q&A and discussion.

Due: Research project
Class discussion of group research projects

Week 15
In-class studio time. Open Q&A and discussion.

11/25 - Thanksgiving break, no class

Week 16
Due: Final project
Class critique of group projects
Final portfolio submissions due at midnight.

Due: Final project
Class critique of group projects

Final portfolio submissions due at midnight.

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