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How To Build An Alebrije - Creative Fine Arts: A snapshot of Our Journey

Mexican Folk Art Sculptures, also known as Alebrijes!

After 7 weeks, our junior artists are done with their Alebrijes. It's been a challenging but rewarding experience for them, especially in learning and mastering the skills of making these beautiful sculptures using wires, paper mache, and paint.

Come join us on our creative journey, here's what we have been up to for the past 7 weeks. This is a collection of our creations, we have worked hard to come up with something unique and different. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Week 1: Designing our own Alebrije

In week one, the students were introduced to Alebrijies and the Mexican culture. They then designed their very own alebrije through a game that we played. In this game, students were introduced to the idea of creating their own fantasy creature by combining 2 or 3 different animals from different elements: fire, water, earth, and air.

The junior artists then design their own mixed creatures through collage. Each alebrije holds a special significance to our junior artists.

Week 2: Introduction to 3D Forms, transforming our Alebrije from 2D to 3D

In the second week, our junior artists were introduced to 3D forms.

To understand the form, they first visualized their alebrije and broke it down into basic shapes. Then, with newspaper and tape, they worked on building their alebrije's basic form. They put together what is called an amateur - with wires as the "skeleton", newspapers as the "meat" and masking tape as the "skin" to hold everything together.

Our recent past projects were 2D, so our junior artists took a while to acclimate and get into the mood of 3D forms. It was a fun activity that challenged us to think in 3 dimensions!

Week 3: Building our amateur: Adding legs, tentacles, hands, ears & more!

In the third week, they continued working on their amateur. The junior artists work on forming their finer details - like their alebrije's wings, claws, tail etc. After, they combined the form together and reinforced the structure with duct tape.

Week 4 & 5: DIY Paper Mache - It's time for some pulp!

After completing the amateur, the junior artists covered their alebrije with pulp. This mixture was made from recycled egg cartons brought by the junior artists themselves. They crumbled, blended, and added glue. They covered the entire sculpture with pulp and patted it down until it had a smooth finish. After drying, the egg carton went from a squishy play dough consistency to a hard-as-nails shell.

This process took patience and the junior artists had their fun getting their hands dirty.

Week 6: Let's get colorful, bringing our Alebrije to life with color

Now, it was time to get colorful! After the pulp dried, the junior artists started painting. Bright colors are the hallmark of a true Alebrije. Using many different colored paints, Junior Artists mix the paint and create beautiful new color combinations to add unique details in their sculptures.

Week 7: Let's Celebrate! It's Showcase Week

It's showcase week!

After 7 weeks, our junior artists are done. At Artistori, we train our junior artists to not only be able to create meaningful artwork, but also have the ability to speak and share about their thought processes.

In the final week, parents were invited to our showcase session where our junior artists took center stage and gave the audience an insight into their alebrijes and creation process.

We have seen some amazing creations from the artists this week. We have also seen how they are able to speak and present themselves in front of an audience. The junior artists have shown an amazing amount of dedication, hard work, and talent. We are so proud!

This wraps up our Alebrije project. Thank you for coming on this journey with us. We can't wait to bring you onboard the next adventure.

Next up, our Junior artists are tackling the world of Manga drawing. More on that in our next blog.

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