What election issue impacts you the most? Create a poster to illustrate your stance using digital art or traditional art formats.
Share your poster on Instagram and Twitter: #MediaMakePoliticalArt and #2NextPrez
What is Political Art?
Political artists use their work to spread messages about important issues. Eye-catching artworks can help start a dialogue about social justice, as well as raise awareness for political candidates, activists, and others who see room for improvement in their community and beyond.
This video from KQED Art School details a formula for making political art in five easy steps by offering examples of successful projects from high-profile artists Banksy, Corita Kent, Emory Douglas, Ai Wei Wei, Shepard Fairey and Barbara Kruger. Boldness, accessibility, visibility and reproducibility are just a few of the qualities that help make political art stand out and reach new audiences. Follow these five steps to create your own political art, and let your work shout a message from the rooftops!
How to Make Your Own Political Art
Step 1: USE ICONIC IMAGERY
Consider what image or symbols might best represent your issue. Tap into universally recognized logos, symbols and images.
- What kind of recognizable imagery did the artists use in the public art shown in the video?
- What elements of visual culture are representative of our time?
Step 2: DEVELOP A FINE-TUNED TECHNIQUE
- Do bold lines and bright colors represent your issue best?
- Which elements of art will make your image visually impactful?
- If you like working with text, practice lettering that will stand out and communicate a message quickly, or find a font that conveys the mood of your message.
- If you want to represent figures, decide whether photos, stencils, collage or digital art will be your best approach.
Step 3: TAP INTO THE TOPICAL
In every presidential election, polarizing issues rise to the top of many conversations, such as abortion rights, foreign policy, and the environment.
- The use of text is powerful but should be concise and easy to read in a split second. Combine an image with text, but simplify the words as much as possible.
Step 4: MAKE YOUR ART APPROACHABLE
After sketching or playing with different ideas, edit your composition to make it direct.
- Eliminate distracting or unnecessary elements.
- Share it with other students on HackPad to test if your message is communicated clearly. Invite feedback and make changes to the work if necessary.
- Also consider a wider audience online. Will your message be universally understood?
Step 5: GET YOUR ART OUT THERE
Snap a photo or screenshot of your artwork and share it on Instagram or Twitter using #MediaMakePoliticalArt and #2NextPrez.
Take it a step further—make copies of your poster to distribute widely and spread your message to a wider audience. Use your artwork to start dialogues about the issues that matter most to you.
Capture and Share
Take a photograph or screenshot of your poster and share it on Instagram or Twitter using #MediaMakePoliticalArt and #2NextPrez.
What You Need To Know Before Submitting Your Art
All solutions shared via the Media Make are subject to KQED.org’s Terms of Service.
Please take special note that:
- If you are aged 13 to 17 you’ll need to have permission from your parent or a legal guardian before you submit a photo for this Media Make.
- Your artwork must be your original work, or if elements are borrowed (for ex. you include a photo you did not take yourself or text), you are responsible for making sure you have permission to use the element. If anyone aside from yourself appears in a photo you submit, you must have their permission to send in the photo before you send it.
- When you submit your photo you are giving KQED permission to share it with many others.
- The Terms of Service were revised fairly recently. Please make sure you, your parents, and teachers are familiar with the new set of terms.
- Your submission will also need to comply with Instagram and Twitter’s rules. Your solution will be seen by many people. Make sure it does not include any personal information you do not want to share and that it is respectful of others.
If any of this sounds confusing to you, be sure to discuss it with your parents or teacher.
RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS:
KQED Art School’s The 7 Elements of Art E-Book
KQED Art School’s The 7 Elements of Art E-Book explains how aspects of art such as line, shape and color affect the impact of an image and includes digital art project ideas.
Printmaking with Favianna Rodriguez
Favianna Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary visual artist and community organizer who merges her artistic practice with political activism.
Making Stencils with Mike Shine
For a hands-on art project, turn your political art message into a stencil that is easy to replicate and share widely. Artist Mike Shine shows you how on KQED Art School.
Art + Activism with Sanaz Mazinani
Sanaz Mazinani is an artist with a background in political activism who uses art to inspire dialogue about perceptions of cultural identity.
PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs Curriculum
The PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program supports teachers and young people to report on important issues in their community, creating impactful video reports for the national NewsHour audience.
Helping Students Become Better Online Researchers
In a Pew survey, a majority of teachers said that their students lacked patience and determination when doing online research. A majority of teachers also said that their students didn’t know how to use multiple sources to support an argument. This article presents some of the best websites for teaching digital literacy.