CMA Stories

Meet Media Lab Teaching Artist Akiko Maruyama

Akiko Maruyama is a Media Lab teaching artist who has been teaching animation to visitors at CMA for a little over two years. During winter break, Akiko will be teaching four animation art colony camps that explore everything from claymation to special effects! We asked Akiko to tell us about what to expect in one of her classes as well as a bit about her artistic practice. Check out what she had to say:

What do you enjoy most about working at CMA?

I enjoy meeting different kids, everyone is unique. There are many personalities and interests, and each kid approaches art differently. That is something I’m always fascinated in learning about.

What is your favorite thing about teaching art colony?

Compared to after school or a public workshop, we get to know the kids more because we spend so much more time together. I get to talk with them about their specific interests, their family, and hobbies. I think they end up feeling more comfortable with the teachers and the artistic environment.

Tell about the camps you will be teaching during winter break.

I am teaching different types of animation techniques over the week, hand-drawn animation, rotoscope, special effects, and stop-motion.

I usually start the day with an exercise to get to know each other, such as naming your favorite movie, or favorite sport, or favorite food. That helps warm up the class and helps those who might be a little shy. Then we cover basic techniques and dive into learning about storytelling and how to capture it on film.

What is your favorite animation technique to teach in art colony class?

I enjoy claymation the most. I think that is one of the most popular. I always get the best reaction from kids with claymation, so I get excited too. It is so much fun, and you can do a lot with it!

What is your favorite memory of making art as a child?

When I was little I didn’t get to do new media art, we mostly focused on drawings and sculpture. I remember in the fall we had a harvest festival, so we made fruits and vegetables out of cardboard or paper and pretended we had a store. We invited the parents and sold them fake foods we made. I just remember how fun that was!

Tell us about your own artistic practice.

I do mostly moving image works. I work with digital filmmaking, live action, and animation filmmaking… a little bit of everything.

Register for one of Akiko’s classes here.

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