Last year at the after-school art program for middle schoolers, I taught a unit on cartooning and caricatures. If EVER there was a perfect age group for caricaturing, it's middle schoolers. Caricatures are all about "picking out notable elements of a person's physical appearance" then "exaggerating them for grotesque or comic effect". Since middle schoolers do this all the time with their classmates and are told NOT TO, and anti-bullying groups are formed to PREVENT "exaggerating physical appearance for grotesque or comic effect", this is the perfect opportunity to take them off their leashes and let them have at.
I had a variety of photo references for the kids (celebrities, sports figures, politicians), held them in my hands in Pick-a-Card-Any-Card fashion and let them select. The Justin Bieber photo reference resulted in wild pandemonium between two teenaged girls: squealing and tug-of-war and running around the room. I had to put them both in "step" (how this school handles transgressions), and cautioned them with a drily-delivered, "Maybe next time a little less hysteria?"
Another photo reference that was much loved and much caricatured was that of RedFoo, who is, if you don't know: a singer, dancer, rapper, DJ, and part of the group LMFAO.
Here at the old folks' home we get excited about such things as when the cast for the new season of Dancing With the Stars is announced. I was especially happy to see that RedFoo was going to be one of the stars this season, because he's just such a good time: energetic and funny and watchable.
I love those kid-and-adult art projects seen on the internet -- be they drawings or toys -- and I always think, "I wish I had kids so I could do that." Then it dawned on me that while I don't have kids in the traditional sense, I do have access to their drawings and artwork. So I colored one of the RedFoo caricatures, drawn by an 8th grade boy, because I was nutty about how good it was. I used colored pencils.
Have you collaborated with your kids on an art project? Or used their artwork to inspire your own? Please tell me your stories in the comment section!