Summer ’21 – Week 1

Hello, everyone!

Welcome to the 1st of our 12 weeks of Artful Summer!

Art Idea #1 – Art is a great way to express yourself during a global pandemic!

New Normal

You might have noticed that we’re no longer living in the reality you knew back in January 2020. When will we return to that world? Probably never. First, we’re not going back like flipping a light switch to “on”. Instead, it will be more of a dimmer switch that slowly fades in. Even then, when will you feel comfortable hugging a stranger you meet? Large companies like Amazon will have prospered and grown even larger as smaller companies go under or get bought. And at least some of the digital tools and habits we’ve grabbed to get by in this emergency will become part of our new normal.

Online Class

One great thing about an online class like Summer Art 110 is that you can stay in SoCal, or go home to Stockholm, or Hong Kong, or Fresno, and still work on your degree. Most students I’ve talked to love this. But they miss the F2F-fulness of a traditional class. They miss meeting their peers. And if you think about it, meeting your peers is an essential part of the college experience.

As F2F college gets more and more expensive, will more students turn to fully online colleges? If they do, the knowledge they develop there might be comparable to F2F knowledge, but there will be less peer network building. We could be looking at a future where F2F college, and the career peer networks it builds, are a luxury available only to the wealthy.

Being Yourself, online

Whether it’s a global pandemic, or just a regular old online class, one great way to share yourself with others is by vlogging. Vlogging is a great way to share your persona with other people. Vlogging is a great way to share your place, your city and your home, with others. Vlogging is a great way to say hello to 29 Art 110 classmates you might not have a chance to meet F2F.


Beyond Art 110, being able to express yourself on video is a powerful career skill. Whether it’s to argue an idea, or to share detailed information, if you can communicate with video, you’ve taken a significant step toward building a career.

Week 1 – Art Activity #1 – Vlogging

Take your phone or laptop (or real camera if you happen to have one) and point it at yourself. Say “hello” to your Summer Art 110 classmates. Introduce yourself. Talk about anything you like. You might talk about your progress in school. Or your major. Or your career plans. You might talk about the pandemic and how you’re getting by in school and life under this new normal. You might, if you choose to, talk about your emotional state. Has pandemic isolation been depressing? Has it been a chance to rethink your goals in life?

Tech Stuff

  1. Drop by our Roster page and leave your Name & the URL of your blog there so I can see your stuff. After Week 1, you won’t have to “turn in” your Weekly Art Activity or Artist Essay, you’ll just post them on your blog and I’ll go visit it each week and give you points for your work
  2. Drop by YouTube (or Vimeo) and make your video. You could record on phone/laptop/camera first and upload to YouTube, or go live to YouTube. It’s your choice how fancy to make your video. Just 1 straight take is fine. Or you can edit. Or you can add music. Titles. After Effects. Or not. Your video is yours.
  3. Once your video is on YouTube, grab the URL for that, go to your blog, make a new post, and paste your video there.
  4. Name your post: Week 1 – Activity – Vlogging
  5. Almost every week in addition to photos or video of your Art Activity, you will also need to write something about your project. This week you only have to post your video.
  6. You’re done with this week’s Art Activity.

Artist of the Week

This week we have 2 living artists to think about. Elora Jean and Emma Chamberlain. Compared to most of us, Elora Jean has a huge YouTube following: about 46 thousand people. That’s a lot of people! Elora Jean has about the same number of followers as there are students at USC! About 20% more followers than there are students at UCLA or LBSU. And she has almost 3 times the followers as there are students at Stanford! But compared to Emma Chamberlain’s 10.2 million followers, Elora Jean is a pretty small vlogger. This gives us a chance to look at one vlogger who does consistent and solid work, and another who has become a global celebrity.

  1. Watch some Elora Jean videos
  2. Watch some Emma Chamberlain videos
  3. Make a new blog post analyzing these two artists
  4. Name your post: Week 1 – Artist – Elora Jean & Emma Chamberlain
  5. Compare and contrast – discuss how each artist works. What is their content? What are their goals? How do you perceive them? What do their YouTube channels have in common? How are they different? How do you experience them? Do they seem authentic? Do you feel like you know them? Do their videos seem performative? If you were going to start a YouTube channel, would either of them be a model for you? How would your channel be similar or different from theirs? What would your focus be? What would your goals be?
Emma Chamberlain


Comments? Questions? What great art did you see, make, or experience today?

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