Last night we had the pleasure of screen printing some posters with the Digital Connectors – a collaborative program run by the good people at LAUP and Holland Area Boys & Girls Clubs. The program aims to teach youth to use technology to enhance leadership, communication, financial and computer skills.
My main objectives were to 1) introduce students to effects and ubiquitousness of graphic design and 2) help them realize the power they had to use it to create meaning and not merely consume it. We worked with a variety of old images taken from a National Geographic book entitled Man’s Conquest for Space. Students picked an image they were they found interesting and over the course of the night we screen printed the phrase “Fear Not” on dozens of old pages of early space explorers – a graphic call to live courageously in our attempt to make both sense and beauty out of the things we inherit.
For many students it was the first time pulling a squeegee. As such, it was the perfect precursor to next week’s workshop where students will be coming to Ambrose to print their own t-shirt.
It was so fun to see all the prints laid out together. Honestly, I got a little emotional while viewing it…for some reason it brought me back to high school and the subsequent fears, regrets, anxieties and joys. I was no stranger to fear – specifically social repercussions for interests deemed unworthy. I’m probably preaching to the choir, but a healthy dose of perspective and encouragement from a caring adult goes a long way in overcoming those obstacles. That’s one of the reasons I’m so grateful for programs and mentors like the Digital Connectors.
Many thanks to the students and staff of the Digital Connectors program. We had a blast with you and can’t wait to see the tee’s you design for next week’s workshop!