Graphic Design Class Participates in ‘Chewbacca Mom’ Instagram Contest [Updated]

Colleen Starkey, Editor-in-Chief

Graphic design students are participating in the “Chewbacca Mom” Instagram Challenge this week in Lindsay Kelly’s design classes. Kelly assigned the challenge as a way for students to learn to use Photoshop in different ways in her class. Candace Payne, better known as “Chewbacca Mom” after a 2015 viral video, started the challenge on Instagram where people could take a photo she provided and Photoshop her into interesting scenes.

“I showed [my students] the Chewbacca Mom video so they would be introduced to how she got her start,” Kelly said. “Then, we talked about branding, and we talked about brand identity. We talked about if we were designing for her, what elements we would use. Of course with her personality the kids came up with fun, bold and bright colors, funky fonts and nothing that looks too serious or too buttoned up. It needed to be whimsical and fun.”

Later Kelly sent some of the students’ work to Payne through Instagram. Payne later shared some of her favorites on her Instagram story.

“It was neat that our student’s artwork was able to be shown in such a positive light and reach so many people through her Instagram,” Kelly said. “Making learning fun is what helps it to stick, and so is being able to introduce the project with a funny video of her. The kids having a real-world assignment is a fun opportunity for them to fall in love with learning Photoshop and having fun while doing it.”

The students’ work includes a variety of creative scenes, including  Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller,’ a taco stand, and the ‘Lion King.” The contest winner will receive some sort of a prize, although Payne has not announced what that prize will be.

“I thought it was a pretty fun assignment,” freshman Landon Parker said. “[It is] the best one we’ve done so far in this class.”


Update on October 4, 2019: Kelly’s students won the competition. Payne drove in from her Dallas-metroplex home Friday to congratulate them and to give the students some small prizes.

“I’m really just wowed by her desire to put aside her busy schedule and just come surprise us,” Kelly said. “We just did the challenge for fun for the assignment, and the fact that she would take time out of her day to drive all the way over here just to make us smile – that was her only intention. [She’s] a great example to my kids to never get too big to think about just brightening up someone’s day.”