Emily Andrews. Overwhelming Books. Grade 12, Age 17. 2011 Silver Medal, Photography Portfolio.

Linda Asked:

You wrote and published your first book when you were a teen. Would you say it was easier in that time vs today for teen writers/everyone to sell, or is the (book) recession only a figment of our creative imaginations?

Ned Answered:

My mother used to tell me, “Every business is a hard business.” If you meet a writer, the writer will often say, “Writing is really hard. It’s impossible to make a living. Books are dead.”

But if you meet a model, the model will often say, “Modeling is really hard. You really have to hustle. And once you turn twenty, you’re done!”

It doesn’t do you any good to listen to these lines of argument. Of course writing is hard. It’s supposed to be. It’s a job.

Now, there are scary statistics. Read More

Nicole Valmana. Smile for the Rhino. Grade 8, Age 14. 2012 Silver Medal, Drawing.

There is a lot of confusion about image resolution — what is DPI? What is PPI? How do you calculate them and why do they matter?

Here’s a case-study:
Let’s say you want to print a digital image to a size 4×6 inches. What should be the dimensions for your digital image?

The first thing to know is that 300 DPI (dots-per-inch), is the standard “print-quality” resolution: let’s work backwards from there. Read More

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, created in 1935

Guest post by Katie Babick, Senior Editor of Scholastic Art Magazine

Although I am not an architect, I love to look at the buildings around me – and living in New York City, there are plenty to look at! Architecture is as much about the time and place it was built as the people who use it every day. Architecture can be about order like the classical buildings of Rome, about utility like the cold, sleek buildings of the Bauhaus, about fitting carefully into the landscape like Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic Fallingwater, or countless other styles.

How to Begin
Unlike drawing or painting, architecture can be a daunting medium. It seems like you need a lot more than a pencil or paintbrush to create a building that is interesting to look at and structurally sound. Luckily, you can begin to learn about architecture just by looking around you. The best way to develop your own style as an architect is to look at the buildings you see around you, then build on what you like (pun intended!). Read More

Megan Schmunk. Discomfort. Grade 12, Age 17. 2012 Gold Medal, Printmaking.

Guest post by Alliance staffer Courtney Buckland, Project Coordinator

While he was in high school, my brother made so many beautiful woodblock prints. I was always envious that he experimented with so many different mediums, and I stuck to the safe route with my pens, pencils and paintbrushes. He created such detailed, intricate images. They were truly incredible works of art, and thinking of them now, I would love to have them framed and hanging on my walls.

Engraving goes back to cave art, created by using stones, bones, and cave walls. In elementary school we experimented with printmaking by carving designs into apples, dipping them in ink, and then stamping them onto paper. Even a rubber stamp could be considered a printmaking tool. Pablo Picasso made more than 1,000 prints including etchings, engravings, drypoints, woodcuts, lithographs and linocuts. In 2012, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards received almost 800 printmaking submissions! Read More

Christine Catlin. Kitty. Grade 10, Age 15. 2012 Gold Medal, Comic Art.

Post by Miryam Coppersmith, Scholastic Awards Alum & 2012 Scholastic/Alliance Fellow

Who doesn’t love to make an argument? We form arguments whenever we review movies, discuss politics or talk to our parents (that last part is a joke—humor can be an essential part of an argument!) Forming an argument is an invaluable skill in college and any career you might pursue. It does not just take skill either; a successful argument requires a lot of creativity. Reading through this past year’s Scholastic Award-winning Persuasive Writing in the Alliance’s online galleries, I was struck by how personal all of the pieces were. Even in a category where you might not use the word “I” in your entire piece, your personal voice shines through. Here are some tips to make your argument the most convincing and eloquent it can be.
Read More

Guest post by Alliance staffer Monica Johnson, Manager of Art & Exhibitions

I’m creating my very first web comic right now and it’s hard. But, I’ve learned a few things that might inspire all the current and future comic artists out there.

Make your own font! Traditionally, I’ve always kept my writing and my drawing separate, just like my peas and mashed potatoes. At first it was really challenging to figure out how to create and edit a comic in the most efficient and fluid way. I would write the dialogue, then storyboard the comic. Finally I inked the comic, scanned, and formatted it. But then I would want to edit the text, and that created a problem because to change the text meant redrawing, re-scanning, and re-formatting. Argh! Too much work if you ask me.

Then I made my own font! It’s the best thing that ever happened to my web comic. It’s my own handwriting and I can edit it in any writing or design program on my computer. Visit YourFonts.com to make your own! Read More