Real Life and Real Artwork

Real Life and Real Artwork

Megan Swanson, Daniel Ennis, Emma Krasemann, Nick Maggi, and Hunter Tran


As we read Brandon Taylor’s “Real Life” and explored the complexities and challenges that Wallace endures, we were inspired to create. Below you will find a culmination of the most important moments from the text in a visual format that is easy to digest and understand. 

I have always wanted to do abstract art because I am not the best artist. I took this project as an opportunity to explore this style of art by using different shapes and colors. I really like the colors I used as well. The quote I wrote above the art is my favorite quote in the novel because it emphasizes the importance of letting go. 

Emma Katherine Krasemann

This work shows how Wallace is conflicted with his own identity as well as how outsiders think of him. Wallace struggles with confining to societal standards while he suppresses his true feelings and expressions. Outsiders just see his shell and never see the true genius Wallace has inside him.

Nick Maggi

A small, simple, expressive graphic of the mistreatment of Wallace by Dana exemplifies the marginalization and dehumanization that Wallace constantly needs to fight against as a gay black man. It’s a simple cartoon that captures a very powerful moment of conflict between Dana who uses her identity as a frequently-marginalized woman to marginalize Wallace.

Daniel Ennis

 I am nominating my Real Life drawing to become the new cover for Real Life. This idea came to me because life is full of scribbles which are all different colors and go all sorts of directions. Nothing is ever extremely clear, especially when you are growing in a new environment. We need to highlight our own path in this world and differentiate ourselves from the chaos. ​

Emma Katherine Krasemann

Ultimately, we were very excited to read and create this artwork to exemplify and portray our largest takeaways from the novel, exploring conflicts of identity, intersectionality, and complicated discrimination. This beautifully written novel was a fantastic read and we recommend it to everyone.

This entry was posted in #BrandonTaylor, #PBL #StudentCentered, 2020 Booker Short List novels, Place-Based Learning and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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