Students' Custom Creations: Toys in School

I received a $500 grant from the Roseville Area Schools Foundation to purchase art supplies and work with students in Roseville Area Schools' out-of-school-time programming. The goal of the grant was to allow students a chance to work with fine art supplies they have never tried before and keep the supplies in top condition by only being available to out-of-school-time students.

Working with the teaching staff, we narrowed down student interest and focused on creating custom vinyl toys. Munnys are customizable vinyl toys inspired by Japanese culture. They have a Manga aesthetic and come in a blank white color ready for creativity.

I started out working with middle school students. The students started by listing their favorite things, researching, and sketching out their ideas on a template. Many students found taking a flat image to a 3D item a really unique challenge. It wasn't as easy as they thought it would be!

 Researching design ideas.

Researching design ideas.

 This is an example of the blank template they used for sketching.

This is an example of the blank template they used for sketching.

 Sketching ideas out for their Munny characters.

Sketching ideas out for their Munny characters.

 Sketching ideas out on to the template.

Sketching ideas out on to the template.

 Turning sketches into reality.

Turning sketches into reality.

The students got to work with all kinds of fine art materials. They mainly embellished the Munny toys with acrylic markers but they also used paper, gems, fabric, and more. The final projects really brought their sketches to life! The final creations took on a life of their own!

 PINK by Victoria's Secret inspired design!

PINK by Victoria's Secret inspired design!

 From sketch to reality.

From sketch to reality.

 Each one of these has a personality of their own!

Each one of these has a personality of their own!

I then took creating custom vinyl toys to Harambee Elementary School's out-of-school-time program. The students participating were kindergarten-6th grade. We had the students fill out a worksheet of their favorite things, draw their design on the template, and then create their characters all in one day. I was so impressed with how sharp their final projects turned out!

 Ninja in development!

Ninja in development!

 Pretty in pink!

Pretty in pink!

 Work in progress.

Work in progress.

 They are in the zone.

They are in the zone.

 Some students created a larger Munny by registering for the class in advance. But they all turned out awesome!

Some students created a larger Munny by registering for the class in advance. But they all turned out awesome!

 Look how her sketch came to life! Very cool project completed by a 1st grade student!

Look how her sketch came to life! Very cool project completed by a 1st grade student!

 Penguin Joe is my favorite!

Penguin Joe is my favorite!

I am so glad I applied for this grant. I hope I have inspired a future professional artist to envision how products are made and how they can make that process happen. Maybe one of them will become a toy designer or industrial designer because they got to try this creative process. By going step-by-step students were able to come up with planned-out creations that truly exceeded their expectations!