|Samohi Home I Art Department I AP Art|
|Each year, current AP Art students write words of advice to new students, based on their experiences. AP Art is a self-directed, intensive art course that requires creativity, thought, ability, responsibility, concentration, and self-discipline.
Keep on loving art! In the past year in AP Art, Ive accomplished a lot. The class has helped me to make great self-improvement with my art skills and styles. Having access to a variety of media helped me to try new things and experiment with different methods. I also was able to accomplish self-improvement due to the input of the other art students in the class who are all very knowledgeable about art as well. I learned a lot about how much I can put into a piece and which art styles I prefer most.
Though I was able to get advice from other students and I had a multitude of art supplies to choose from, I still fell into slumps sometimes where I couldnt think of anything to work on. To cure this artists block, I tried doodling random things in a sketchbook or piece of paper or a hunk of wood. I would look at old art work Id done as a little kid and try and re-do it in a more developed way. Sometimes it would help me to bring in pictures of things I like and try to work off that. Even though its recommended that you dont do a lot of work from photographs, a realistic replication can help to increase your confidence in your art and give you ideas for your next piece. Also, as long as you make any work that you derive from photographs into unique pieces that differ from the original, it should be fine. (Not only did these techniques help me out of slumps, but they also inspired me in my work.)
Another thing I did was drawing pictures of kids in the class. Theyre around and if you cant think of anything else, why not? As long as there are objects in a room or people, theres no excuse to not find something to recreate artistically. Just keep on top of things and DONT PROCRASTINATE! Its a bad habit we all fall into sometimes, but try to break it. When it comes to your concentration, just try to think of things that you love, things you enjoy, or things youre good at. Also, when it comes to your slides, again, dont procrastinate. Get them ready early because waiting until the last minute will only stress you out a whole lot!
Overall, my AP Art experience was amazing. I loved it so I took it two years in a row. The class helped me to improve as an artist and gain more confidence in my skills. I loved getting input on my work and the class critiques helped everyone to make contributions to everyones art. It was a great place to make tons of friends because we all had at least one major thing in common: art!
Good luck next year! Keep on loving art! - Jessica Gerhardt
Make sure that you choose your concentration for AP submissions as early as possible. AP art this year was a drastically different experience for me, as opposed to past part classes I've taken. I accomplished a whole different style, and managed to become happier with my own work than I was at the beginning of the year, with the insight and influence of my AP art peers. However, although the course is very self determined, it still has some strict deadlines that need to be met, so make sure that you choose your concentration for AP submissions as early as possible, and stay consistent with it. I certainly learned that I need to make sure to do this next year. This doesn't mean you can't try variation, this course is for the exploration of your artistic flow. So when you feel stuck, try to think of something you've always wanted to draw or sculpt, and try it out. Or try something you would have never expected to do. By looking at some of the subjects of the art around you, you could come up with your own spin on it, and maybe end up with an original piece you're really proud of. The art I admired always ended up inspiring me, and when I was in an artistic slump, I always was able to squirm out of it this way.
I hope you're looking forward to your AP art experience, because it's definitely worth it. I was able to churn out more work than I would have if I was working without any deadlines, which in the end is much better for college, if you're planning to go to an art school, and have to submit a portfolio. I was also able to get more effective feedback than I would have from anywhere else, because those giving it were going through the same things as I was. It was liberating to have a class period where I didn't have an assigned project or report to do, considering the vigorous class schedules of AP classes in junior year. By the end of the year, I ended up with lots of high quality projects and new friends as well. If you're planning to come into this program this coming year or even the one after that, I highly suggest it. It's an introduction to an art school experience, and as long as you are ready for a more independent sort of class, you should be fine. -- Kacie Tergesen
You have to dig deep into your inspiration and get creative with it. You probably have an idea of what this class is going to be like, but I can assure you that it will be different, most likely harder and more challenging. Upon entering this class, I felt like my art was pretty solid, but my fellow peers begged to differ. I was immediately shut down, but learned that was part of the artistic process, which is a very important thing to learn. There will always be critics, and with the weekly critiques, the whole class becomes one, but you need to learn to take that criticism professionally. Don't let it get you down because it will really help you. The same thing goes with the criticism you receive at 1 on 1's. You need to embrace the criticism and see it as something helpful.
This year, thanks to the time devoted to just straight up working on art as well as the influence and help from people around me, I felt like I improved a lot. The main reason was the time we had to spend working. Every day is designated for just working, which really helps for mastery of projects as well as really good, completely finished projects. I came into the class never really completing my pieces, but now I always finish. If you have the same problem of being lazy or just never fully completing a piece, this class will be good for you. The class also helps with technical things such as color blending techniques and an important one for me, differentiating from central composition.
With having to complete a project a week all year, inspiration is very essential to your success. For me it was skateboarding and music, but there are endless influences for other people. You cannot just skim the surface, but rather have to dig deep into your inspiration and get creative with it. The biggest mistake you can do is one that I did. You MUST complete a project a week, or it will severely damage your grade. It may seem hard, but if you push your self just a little, it is very easily doable. Along with projects, there are periodic reports about artists or gallery visits, and these must be done too because they are a key component to your grade. I slacked off with these a lot, and it really hurt my grade. Do all your work, its not that hard, and you will be successful in the class. You may not think the class will be a lot of work, but it is. Do not let this phase you at first, because once you get used to not doing a project every other week or whatever, and don't do your reports, you are pretty much screwed, so do them.
To sum it all up, the class is not impossible to do well in. Do not get scared about the workload, just get used to doing it, and it will come easy. Get inspiration, come up with a project a week, do you reports, don't be lazy, and take criticism well and use it to your advantage. Good luck - Sante Bentivoglio
Keep away from lame cliches. The hardest part about AP Art is not the amount of work you must produce over the year, but keeping the ideas fresh and interesting for yourself. Keep challenging yourself with new media and subject matter, keep away from lame cliches. If someone says they don't like your work, don't shut them out, understand and become a better artist because of what they say. So many timesI've seen someone with their work on the wall destroyed by someone else saying "I don't like the way this is going", but then not even paying attention to the important advice they may give to improve. Don't think because someone does a totally different type of art than you that their advice is not valid. Talk during critiques! That's what they are for! If you don't like someone else's work, don't just say it sucks, help them to improve by giving them thoughtful and MEANINGFUL suggestions. If you are the person who people think suck, come back the next week with revisions to your work that people suggested in last week's critique, don't keep doing the same thing if it's not working. BE PRODUCTIVE! People are not born with natural talent, if you want to get as good as the person drawing next to you, draw as much as they do on a regular basis. One of the best things about AP Art is that you can bounce ideas of of people who trust you as much as your trust them. Making friends in AP Art are friends that you can really talk to on another level. -- Dean Schneider
If you're reatively blocked, look at different works in magazines, art books, films, etc. Reflecting back on my year in AP Art, I will say that I definitely enjoyed it. I was surprised at how much work I did; not all of the works are great pieces, but the experience of working constantly and finding my own style was definitely worth it. Although I didn't submit to the AP Art Board, just doing something that I liked and challenging myself with different media and subject matter was fun.
Some things to keep in mind are to make sure you stay on top of your work. Even if you don't finish a project each week, at least get a new one started.
Some things that helped me when I was creatively blocked was look at different works in magazines, art books, films, etc... that was sometimes inspiring.
Another thing to remember that will not only help you in this class, but for life in general: Don't be afraid to try something new. Perhaps you may not be stellar at something now, but with practice you can always improve.
This will be a very good experience for all of you. It is quite a bit of work, but the class is relatively laid back and independent. If you like to work independently and frequently, then you will enjoy this class as I did. Have a good year! -- Esther Zeilig
Stay on task, work hard during class, and enjoy your time in AP Art. AP Art was a joy to have as a course this year. I accomplished many things this year as an artist. I was always used to copying pictures, which does not work if you are in this class. You can change the picture up a bit, but it is always best to use your imagination or look at things in real perspective. I learned many new styles of my own, things I never thought I would be able to do. The weekly critiques really made me a better artist. They showed you what you need to work on and how to do it. I also learned how to use acrylics, which I have never used before.
During the times when I had no clue what to do, I would try to come up with ideas, even if they were totally random. Sometimes I would see something and start drawing it. If you come up with ideas, always write them down so you don't forget them. That is what would usually happened to me and I wish I had written things down. Look around the class room for supplies and start using the utensils you have. This way you are bound to come up with something new. Don't be afraid to use the supplies in the class. They are everywhere.
Student's artwork would sometimes inspire me. Or, when I would be sitting with my friends I would want to draw them quickly in that position they were in. But don't rely on friends if you want them to pose for you because they usually end up moving. Make sure you have someone totally committed to the job. Some of my drawings of people would always be unproportioned and I would end up with something unable to use. Now and then you could come up with a piece that isn't proportioned well that does work.
My experience in this class was fantastic and I can't wait to be back next year. There are so many things I want to do differently for the future and I'm glad I have another year to do so. I learned a lot from this class. How to make a picture more complete, creativity, thinking outside the box, not being afraid to step out of the boundaries, new techniques, and many more.
One more thing I want to say is make sure you do your artist reports and gallery reports. That are worth a lot and have a big impact on your grade. Don't leave them at the last minute because you will have a lot of catching up to do in the end. So make sure you stay on task, work hard during class, and enjoy your time in AP Art. -- Lisa Cahn
Make sure you do work during the summer to have a good easy start. I remember when I first came into the class and heard about having to make a peace a week and incorporate breadth concentration and quality works for the overall projects. It may seem as if this is overwhelming yet if you use your time in class effectively and plan out what you want to do in advance then everything will move along smoothly. Also make sure you do work during the summer to have a good easy start.
Throughout this year I have experimented with a lot of different genres and I have come to realize my weaknesses and my strong points and what to do to become a stronger artist. This was made possible by having the freedom of doing whatever came to mind and just having the time to do it, in the class there are many interesting supplies within the classroom that have inspired me. When I was in a slump I would go to a gallery look at other artists works and just get inspired. With inspiration things became a lot easier and more interesting to work with.
The overall art experience was very self productive and free. This definitely made a more responsible person and I have also become more organized. Before the school year starts again I suggest thinking about what interests you the most and what you would like to draw/paint/make during the rest of the year. If there is not a clear answer do not panic because you have the rest of the summer to discover that. In order to do that you would need to create art pieces so that is what you should be working on during the summer. -- Angela Myakinina
All you have to know for next year is to avoid procrastination and don't be afraid to talk during the critiques. All you have to know for next year is to avoid procrastination and don't be afraid to talk during the critiques. When you dont know what to do, just do something fun, dont come to class and say "i was busy" or "i wasn't feeling creative." Just do something. Don't be afraid to suggest new activities or new ways of approaching assignments.
Projects like gallery reports and artist reports are meant to inspire you and expose you to new things. Ms. Bouse would probably be happy to hear any reasonable ideas for improving the class.
Make the class exciting. Put effort into the work that you do.
Last year i read these letters and i thought no sweat, it'll be easy to stay on top of things. It wasn't. You really have to stay focused. A lot of socializing goes on in the class. I would recommend coming up with activities that combine this socializing with art so that you are getting things accomplished at the same time and not waste valuable class time. Good luck. -- August Lipp
It was most inspiring for me to mesh with the other artists and share ideas and HARSH HONEST CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Welcome to AP Art. With some hard work, a lot of creativity, and just a little luck, this coming year will prove itself to be a year of enormous growth and self discovery. I myself accomplished so much in my first year of AP Art; the amount of work that i put out was astounding, and i created some of my favorite pieces because of the focus and the fast paced schedule of this class.
During a slump, what helped me the most was looking through the modern art books in the room, observing other people, or making collages out of magazine pictures in order to develop a theme.
It was most inspiring for me to mesh with the other artists and share ideas and HARSH HONEST CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. The shallow compliments, though flattering, ended up not helping at all, so I encourage you to participate and openly share your opinion. You get what you give.
Ultimately AP Art will be an incredible learning experience, so take full advange of it. You will be great! -- Bianca Costanzo
Experiment, be flexible and be daring with your art-making. Congratulations on being accepted into AP studio art! AP art is an amazing class for young, aspiring artists. When I first created my portfolio for this class, I did not know if I was experienced or talented enough to get in. But now, after having completed a years worth of art, I realize how equally diverse this class is. Each and every artist has an extremely different style, and everyones art is much appreciated. This class in non-competitive and the students work exceptionally well together.
My best advice for incoming students is to experiment, be flexible and be daring with your art-making. At times, artists follow a certain theme or series, which can be advantageous and intriguing, but it is also important to go out of your comfort zone, incorporate new techniques into your art, and vary your style. Some of my favorite pieces originated from random and unpredictable experimentation. And when you are unsure of what to do or lacking ideas, doodle, paint, browse magazines or books or do anything art related. Breaks from art can often be useful and sometimes, necessary.
Because this class is so independent, it truly helps to be organized. Structure in art is significant and this class allowed me to pace myself and learn of my own unique timing habits. Make sure to be aware of upcoming dates and deadlines; the calendar clearly outlines the deadlines, so I suggest not losing it. A vital component of the class is to explore and uncover your strengths and weaknesses as an artist, and timing is one component that you will most likely familiarize yourself with next year.
Without AP art, I may not have had the time or motivation to produce such successful pieces. If you work hard, but also enjoy, this class truly is an ideal outlet for creativity and expression which may be smothered elsewhere, particularly in some other academic classes. I hope that you all reap as many benefits from the class as I did and I look forward to seeing you next year. -- Samantha Sachs
Use all the opportunities that this class brings to the fullest. I was only in AP art for one year and I wish it was longer. During the year I spent in AP Art I really got to experience art on a whole different level. Not only did my art progress and improve dramatically, I got to go to art exhibits and meet many artists at openings all over. Normally, I would have never gone to an art show because I was never connected to art in that way until this year. Its all I think about now that I have proudly become an art addict. I would highly recommend that all inspiring artists and or artists that are skeptical about art classestake this class. Im not saying it was all fun and games, Ms. Bouse doesnt mess around, but I will definitely say that all my hard work in this class and all the friends and people I met really outweighed any of the stress that I felt throughout the year. I think that the stress that I felt from either having to turn in a piece every week or having one-on-ones with Bouse believe made me a better artist and I am so grateful for that.
To all the upcoming AP Art students, this class is one that should not be taken for granted, but to use all the opportunities that this class brings to a high school student to the fullest. I couldnt be more excited about graduating, but I am going to miss my 5th period art class above everything. I leave feeling much more confident about my work and about other artists work and I know that its because of this class and Ms.Bouse. So good luck to all upcoming TRAPA students and a word to the wise: READ THE CALENDERS! -- Lili Said
You'll quickly find it's not what you accomplish that matters, it's what you learn from the accomplishment itself. I distinctly remember how I felt, walking into 4th Period AP Art. Nervous, because I would have to meet new people; worried, because people would be looking at my art and criticizing it; and hungry, because I didnt have a lunch.
Now its easy for me to look back and say that each of the feelings were mostly unfounded, even the hunger. I can tell you, new students, if youre reading this, then youve probably reached the hardest part setting your pace. Its not really that difficult to do at least a piece a week, and once youve grown accustomed to the learning environment that is the Bouse House, new ideas and concepts will just come to you.
Youll quickly find its not what you accomplish that matters, its what you learn from the accomplishment itself. Like one of those epic stories where "its not the destination, its the journey", youll gain insight on your work from your peers and from yourself. If youre hyper-critical like myself, youll be able to criticize your own work, and build on the experience. Try to better your work every time you sit down to do something; be it that epic painting, the most detailed drawing you can think of, a life drawing, or a doodle on that important slip of paper. Youll start to notice all the errors in your own work, and then youll either reach critical masse and explode, or youll try to fix them.
Dont give anybody that "Im in a slump" garbage. Everyone has been in a slump, and its easy to get out of it. Just think of it as your art going through PMS. Sometimes its better to try and force the art out of yourself, by reading "arty" material, looking up new styles of art, different artists, etc. OR, sometimes the slump works itself out! in this case, bum around; listen to music, read a book, play a video game. These things are also works of art, and I can guarantee if you can justify it as an art form, its usually beneficial.
My own personal inspiration came from a lot of different things. Childhood memories, old photos, the aforementioned video games, books, old cartoons things of this ilk are bound to get you doing something. Unfortunately, inspiration doesnt always come and then BAM ZAP - theres a beautiful piece of work sitting right there. Sometimes you really have to sit back and reflect on stuff that could be inspirational fodder.
My overall art experience was very good. I learned so much, and the only thing that I regret is that I wont be able to do it again next year, being an old senior. I got a lot of insight into my own works - stuff I wouldnt be able to figure out, and a lot of nice criticism, not just on my own work, but the opportunity to crit other peoples work. In general a lot of good experiences. Therell be times when youre really pressed for time, and then youll figure out what really matters to you. A good example is that Ive often let other grades suffer, or at least, not get the attention they needed, in order to work on a piece, because I wasnt going to turn in something I didnt like.
A good nugget of advice is to listen to people. Its not just noise coming out of a hole it actually means something, and is on occasion useful. I hope to see your guys stuff in TRAPA next year. Good luck! -- Kendle Burton
If you take the class seriously and put in good energy and work into the class you will most likely take out some or even more of the same. The first and most important advice I can give to all of you can be summed up in one word: ORGANIZATION! If you stay organized throughout the year and with your artwork you will really not have many problems. It becomes stressful when you start to do things last minute and half-ass them. It will make you and Ms. Bouse much happier if everything stays organized and well-done. Use your time in class. It is important to start projects and work outside of class but it is just as important to use the time you are given in class and realize that it can be very helpful with everyone else working around you but also very distracting. If you can stay focused it is good to work around others to be able to get their opinions and see their work.
It is also important not only important to be organized and stay on top of your art work, but it is equally as important to be doing and keeping up to date with the assignments (artist/gallery reports) as they are given to you. The more you do on time, the better they will be and the less you will have to worry. Overall, if you take the class seriously and put in good energy and work into the class you will most likely take out some or even more of the same. Especially with critiques and 1 on 1's what you put in is more often than not what you will get out, so make sure to put your best foot forward. And STAY ORGANIZED! Oh yeah, and have an amazing amount of fun! -- Henry Garf
You definitely need to keep up with all of the weekly critiques and do the side work that is assigned. i think that the AP art program has been really successful in the past year, i definitely think that everyones style improved with all the advice we got from peers. AP art was a great experience as you're surrounded by other young artists who can help improve your work while you work off each other. you learn from looking at other peoples work, you see new styles, new ideas that you may want to try. i think that in order to keep your grade up though, you'd definitely need to keep up with all of the weekly critiques and definitely do the side work that is assigned. also, some people don't like it but it's good to give other people a lot of feedback so that you learn to observe artwork better. but other than that, good luck! -- Yael Shina
Keep up with your responsibilities!! the MOST IMPORTANT thing you have to remember....DONT PROCASTINATE!! The main thing I have accomplished this year was working with different medias (ie: water color, acrylic, pastel, etc) which is all found inside Ms. Bouse's room. So there's no reason to be wandering around. I've also broken out of my shell thanks to the great people in the class. During a slump I sometimes looked at other's work for inspiration. Mostly I would seclude myself from all the commotion and just meditate. My most recent inspiration comes from adverse moments in my life as well as good one's. Really close friends of mine, who are artists as well also serve as inspiration. Usually if you look at it to long you'll tend to "bite" it... so DON'T PROCRASTINATE!
Art AP was the MOST kick butt class in all my four years of high school. The people are great and some are extremely talented. The level of responsibility is almost as if you were living on your own. Just remember... keep up with your responsibilities!! The MOST IMPORTANT thing you have to remember....DONT PROCASTINATE!! DO YOUR WRITTEN WORK because it is worth a lot of points and could eventually screw you over. -- Luis Romo
Though the amount and speed of the work can be overwhelming, always take things one piece at a time. Im sure you are wondering what this art year will be like for you. Yes, AP Art is difficult, but it can be accomplished. I put in tons of work this year and the results were very gratifying. Though I had a rough start I soon found that AP Art is really not that different from any other class. The more work I put in, the better the results were. It sounds obvious, but stick to your goals and believe in yourself. Ms. Bouse will try to motivate you but the only way you will really succeed is if you want to.
Though the amount and speed of the work can be overwhelming, always take things one piece at a time. I think a very important thing to remember is to do what you want with your work. Good results will only come when you are enthusiastic about your work. It is always a good idea to choose pieces that you really want to do and that will keep you interested for a week.
Always focus on your own work and dont pay attention to any conceited classmates. Take criticism politely (you will get a lot), but remember that you are your best judge. I think a very important thing for me this year was keeping focused. If you are submitting to the College Board, you must mentally prepare yourself at the beginning of the year for the intense process ahead. It sounds cliché but you must always keep your eye on the prize. Be prepared to be extremely involved in the AP until about mid-May. Always keep your project record up to date and be sure to do a project every week. Ms. Bouse will tell you how important time management is in this class.
When the workload gets you down, just remember that you are in the most advanced art class at the school for a reason. It is very important to remember that you are a good artist and deserve to be in this class. If you let yourself, you will have fun. Good luck in AP Art! -- Arthur Four
Pay attention during your one-on-ones. How do I start off? A.P. Art is an intense, independent but incredibly enjoyable class. You have to create a new piece each week and reflect on what youre creating. Stay on task, choose a concentration early on and stay on top of the paperwork. Do the slides early you pay much less. Pay attention to your calendar, there is a reason Ms. Bouse hands them out, although I came to appreciate their use rather late.
Take advantage of all the opportunities that this class and teacher offer. Branch out a little. If youve never painted, give it try. But dont go and buy tubes and tubes of it before you decide on it. Its probably also a good idea to get a "card" to an art material store such as Blick or just join a mailing list to find out when they are having sales or even ask about student discounts.
In terms of subject matter, I completely understand that each artist has preferences (believe me if students were asked to describe my art the first thing theyd probably say is that I draw a lot of women in a certain light) but try and represent your subject matter in a new way every time.
The class is very independent, so if you are ever stuck in a slump then you always have the opportunity to just sit back and flip through art books, magazines or surf the Internet to come up with new ideas. Sometimes its also just a good idea to take a break.
Pay attention during your one-on-ones, Ms. Bouse is very insightful and always offers some suggestions or references. I owe a lot not only to Ms. Bouse but also my fellow art students. Their suggestions and their comments have been of great use. They also inspired me in many ways to the point were when you would sit down as a group youd find elements of each others art in your own. You learn a lot from each other. So much so that Ive decided not to return to A.P. Art next year and give Photography a try.
You also become very close with your fellow students, almost like a small unit. I know everyones shy in the beginning but just talk to them, youll find you have more in common then you realize. Dont be afraid to ask questions, especially to the people that have already been through this process. Its hard dont get me wrong but with the right attitude everything becomes easier. Have fun and enjoy it, -- Gabi Chydzik
Your art will never progress if you always stay in the boundaries you start with. I think AP art is one of the best/most worthwhile classes we have at Samo; but it is up to you to make it that. My focus throughout this year was primarily based on 3-dimensional dream dolls, and trust me making those little guys is even more fun than the title already sounds. When i finally finished that class i felt like i had a better understanding of my strong points, my weaknesses, and my true laziness. From my experience in this class one regret i felt is that i didn't take advantage of using my time wisely. If you are to take any advice from this letter let it be this; AP art was a class created for students who take art seriously and feel more independent. This class was created to give artists more freedom, not a free HW period, so act like you deserve being in this class, and your hard work really will pay off. There are the occasions that artists fall in a slump, i have had my good plenty, and all i can say is keep looking for new fresh ideas and always try new things. Your art will never progress if you always stay in the boundaries you start with. The focus i chose actually was never an idea that i ever planned on carring out, i started this class thinking i was going to focus on sketches and cartoons. It wasn't until my very first critique that the class convinced/inspired me to try some more dolls like one of my summer pieces. And since then art has taken a new face in my life. I think one of the most helpful things in that class is the group critiques, if you take your work seriously then everyone else will as well. All i can say to you incoming artists is take advantage of this incredible opportunity that you are being given. -- Regan Baumgarten
You can't sit thought next year saying "wow, that person is so good" crying and wishing you were them. I spent the last year trying to produce more work and find my own place within the AP kids. I truly got so much accomplished , both for myself and within my artwork. I really had to focus on what I wanted to see myself produce and what reactions i wanted back on my art from those who were going to see it.In times of artistic drought, you have to think about what or who really inspires you. Maybe its other artists, events in your life, or maybe something that you read in a book. When i had the "artist's block" i liked to illustrate what was happening in my life. So maybe others could get a view in from the outside. And .. i really enjoy drawing people on the bus. (really if you think about it, the bus shuttles a pretty eclectic group of people. homeless men and old grandmas are always fun).
You can't sit thought next year saying "wow, that person is so good" crying and wishing you were them, that is sad, and because obviously you have talent. Youre in freaking AP, shut up. You can look at them as inspirational however. Maybe its how dedicated they are or that they can use chalk pastel really well. You have to look at your peers and famous artists and local artists as inspiration. So go to galleries and Do the artists reports and read books. Become knowledgeable on art and find Inspiration and look at it as what you are capable of, and add your own twist to it. i hope that makes sense.
My last two years in AP have been amazing. I have had my most memorable experiences in A103 and made all new friends. There is such an amazing group of kids who come together to make that class what it is. Some scream and laugh alot and some don't talk at all. and some listen to maroon 5 and some listen to slayer. But everyone brings something wonderful and new to the class. I got so much out of the last two years, art knowledge and life knowledge. Ive learned alot about myself and about how my personality shows through my art.
ANYWAYS, youre going to love next year. don't take advantage of the class's relaxed atmosphere. SHUT UP AND LISTEN! because thats a skill for life, not just for art class. don't ask the same question 100 times. because you going to look so wonderfully stupid. BOUSE KNOWS THINGS! YOU SHOULD LISTEN! i promise. and if you think i'm wrong you can come see me about it. A piece a week is easy, if you think you dont have time, put down your Xbox and draw something. don't cry, you can do it. also... CONTRIBUTE! and be determined! and don't be
afraid to be truthful! Concentration, Blah-centration. HAVE FUN. thats basically it. Enjoy it. its wonderful... I love you. go be creative. -- Lindsay Sochar
Stay on top of all of the critiques, one-on-ones, gallery reports, and artists reports. Congrats on making it into AP Art! This class will benefit you in more ways than one. First off, you will find that within a year if you work really hard your artistic skills will truly progress. My only words of advice would be to stay on top of everything. All of the critiques, one on ones, gallery reports, artists reports and other handouts you receive are not to benefit Ms. Bouse, they are to help you have a successful year. Also, Ms. Bouse is an amazing person and she will help you out if you ever feel uninspired or stuck. She is like the "encyclopedia of art", so don't be afraid to ask questions, you will learn a lot from her. I hope you all have an amazing time in AP Art as I did and take as much from your experience as I have. Good Luck! All the Best -- Mackenzie Brown
Experiment, often. get inspired by culture, your friends, people, the school, anything! ap art is an experience like none else. from this wonderful program, you will learn hard work, patience, commitment, and make many new friends. if not, come talk to me, and i will be your new friend. by entering the "ap art world," you are devoting your time to consciously putting effort into your art and the work that you do.although it is hard getting started, don't let that bring you down. a couple words of advice:
- pick your concentration early!
- the calendar and bouse's emails are your friends... best friends.
- stay on top of your projects and assignments.
- experiment, often. get inspired by culture, your friends, people, the school, anything! i started out painting/drawing, than moved into 3d fashion design, and ended with photography. there is nothing wrong with trying new things.
- your classmates are in this program because their art is equally as awesome as yours. look at their work and appreciate them. then tell them you appreciate them.
- use your time in class to work and budget your time at home to get more work done.
- it is a class that focuses on working independently, so try your best to stay focused. bring headphones and some music and let that guide you on your art.
- if you are ever lost or stuck or need any help, the people around you can help you. your peers (especially returning ap artists) have a lot of advice for you so don't be afraid to ask! ms. bouse, above all, is here for you. as long as you don't throw all your questions at her at once, she can assist you in nearly everything in life (specifically art, though).
- the gallery and artists reports, among other assignments that we do, are not just an opportunity to discover new artists, but an opportunity for inspiration.
- if you are very stuck, draw/paint your frustration! Devon Blitz
Work, work, work all day all night! I'm writing this letter to help you better understand what the real situation is and the responsibilities that come with being in this class. I have spent years in this class with Bouse, and have been working for a very long time. I've had my ups and downs, but with all the hard work I put in to my art, the payoffs have been bigger and better than before.This past year I've begun my gallery series that I'm having at the end of '08, began the base for my shoe and clothing line, developed a concept design for a video game, got a scholarship to Art Center Pasadena, built and run my own private studio office/opening another one in L.A., and have built my tattoo clientele that has had me booked for weeks ahead of time, and being able to work with the best artists in the business, along with many, many other projects I have accomplished. I made this possible because I'm serious, I 'm dedicated and I'm willing to sacrifice everything in my life to my art. My downs have been so hard that there were points in time where I realize I shouldn't be walking this earth, and if it wasn't for my focus towards art that would have been true. Because I know first hand what that rock bottom feels like, what it feels like to lose EVERYTHING, I know what has driven me to the place I'm at now. And all it is is HARD WORK, FOCUS and HUNGER. AP has been another time for me to push my work, and Bouse had dedicated her life into helping kids so I have tried to give her my best. All you need to know to be successful in AP class, or in what you want to do in your life is know yourself, before you make a commitment, know if ART is for you. Be serious, work hard, and constantly try and grow and build yourself, and be willing to sacrifice in order to gain more. Don't waste Bouse's time, Art's time, other artist's time, and most of all your time. Work, work, work all day all night! Good Luck! -- Jun Cha
The most important thing is probably to just have fun, and make friends. So where to start, basically art has become one of the most important things in my life. Mostly because of my experiences in AP and being in an environment with other people who love art the same if not more than me. It's really scary at first entering what seems like an intimidating environment where you believe you aren't good enough to be in. But seriously its not intimidating at all, everyone is supportive of everyone else's art. I couldn't say there was ever a time where I felt as though I was being judged. Even if you put up the worst piece of your life for a critique no one cares, everyone is helpful and caring. I think in AP and in the art room in general is the place I felt most comfortable in, in my whole high school experience.
I didn't really take art all that serious when I started in painting 1, and even in the beginning of my 1st year of AP. Once we had college visits from big-time art schools from around the country something in my mind clicked; that I wanted to go to art school. I would never have come to that realization unless I had joined this art class, and I'm so happy that I did. So that summer and in the beginning of senior year I tried my hardest to produce portfolio-ready pieces, and I found that I loved art more than I could've ever imagined. It just becomes a part of you I suppose, and considering I still like it after dealing with the APs I must love it.
But the worst is dealing with those days when you don't want to do anything, I just started little sketch books and wrote and doodled whatever I wanted when I felt that way. It just is a low-pressure medium where you don't have to take all your supplies out and deal with the time. It's like keeping a visual journal, and sometimes I actually produced some of my favorite pieces from it.
I would just suggest if you don't come to class, go to class on Fridays because those are critique days. Turn in your artist reports and gallery reports, they are annoying, but I guess in some ways they are important. The most important thing is probably to just have fun, and make friends. If you are shy, get over it and talk to everyone. You can make some of the best friends ever in the art room. I'm telling you, if you don't make friends in art you'll regret it or feel like an outcast the whole year. Everyone is nice, I promise.
So now I'm going to School Museum of the Fine Arts- Boston and Tufts University for my bachelors in fine arts/ bachelors in business finance which I am so excited about. I would've never expected my life to turn out this way, but I honestly wouldn't change it for anything else. And cliché or not, it's because of AP art and Ms. Bouse that my future took this path. So follow my advice, because it'll just make your life and experience in art so much more enjoyable. Good luck and best wishes! -- Ariel Oki
Stay on top of stuff. Bring something in every week. I am writing to you to give you assistance on things for the upcoming year. First off congrats on getting into AP Art!!!!! YAY ok. So I think that first off the whole concentration thing is could be important, but not really. If you want to submit you should definitely pay attention to it, but if not, don't worry about it. 1 thing I must say though, is that the concentration gives you a jumping point. If you know your concentration, you know what kind of art to produce, and you are less likely to get stuck. But honestly, don't kill yourself trying to think one up. My next bit of advice is to stay on top of stuff. Bring something in every week, and sit down and do all the artist reports and gallery reports. If you can't think of an artist, ask Bouse she knows a lot, and you would be stupid not to take advantage of it. There really isn't much more you should know, other than if you like art and making it, this is the class for you, but if art is only a pastime for you, you might want to consider dropping. I know that is a bit harsh, but I think it is the truth. Good luck!!!!! -- Rachel Robinson
Do work that you're proud of over the summer. Though AP art is a very fun class, you have to be self-motivated and be able to work well independently. The class is helpful because you have other great artists around you to give you advice and new opinions.
I grew a lot this year in art just by doing a lot of work (one piece a week), and getting feedback on my work.
Make sure you do the artists reports and gallery reports because you end up getting a lot from them.
Write down the names of the cool artists Ms. Bouse tells you about because those will help with artists reports and be prepared for 1/1's.
Do work that you're proud of over summer because you're going to have to present it to the class when you come back.
Good Luck. -- Jamie Morton
Advice to you: DON'T BE INTIMIDATED! I can almost imagine the amazement on your faces during your first AP Art critique. That feeling of "everyone is better than me" lingers the entire time, and even follows you to the next few critiques. It is a hard transition from a regular art class to AP Art, I know, I've been through that. It is hard to accept that you're no longer the best one in the class anymore, and you begin to see many classmates as potential enemies who might destroy you in the art world later on. You see imagination and creativity beyond your level, and even though you're good, you tend to believe that you're not good enough. But as time goes on, and your perspective widens. You begin to see what is truly there. The inspirations that you will get from your fellow classmates are priceless; and the bonds you establish with that person next you, or the doodlers/computer whiz/illustrators next to the cabinets, or even the group of graffiti artists in the corner are truly heart warming.
I remember when I was one of the newbies last September; it was a terrifying experience sitting between two senior artists with their black sketchbooks. Was I supposed to doodle all the time? Was I supposed have a sketchbooks just like that? Advice to you: DON'T BE INTIMIDATED! Just because they like to doodle, doesn't mean you have to do it too. Unlike most people in AP Art, I wasn't exactly on top of things. For example, I never finished my summer assignments, and I even skipped the first assignment of the year. It's okay to feel out of synch and miss a few assignments here and there. But be careful, laziness tends to spread, and before you know it, you might be trading your "A" for a "C". You might also be shocked to hear that you need to produce a piece every week. For me, and for some of you, that is not enough time to produce a high quality piece. Well, they don't need to be high quality pieces. Friday critiques are designed so that the class can see your progress, and give you valuable advices. So, don't be stressed when you don't have a completed piece by Friday and guess what, you're not alone, most people wouldn't have completed pieces either. It takes time for ideas to develop and transfer to paper. Show people what you have and ask questions that will help you improve your piece.
What I love about AP Art is the variety of artists we have. We had potters, painters, illustrators, fashion designers, doodlers, Goth chicks, graffiti dudes, graphic designers, and even a tattoo artist! AP Art is truly a merge of different artistic styles and ideas. Take some time to observe others and see how their ideas develop. Sometimes watching other people can be more rewarding than you think. As for me, watching others work inspired me to experiment new styles. Though the new styles that I had tried were not particularly successful, it was a fun experience to venture out of my circle and discover the rest of the world. Because there are no art restrictions in AP Art, let your creativity slide and try out new things once in a while. Who knows, it might become your new trademark.
For me, and I'm sure it will be for many of you, AP Art is about exploring, creating new opportunities, and discovering my own voice. Congratulations, you're now in a class that is challenging, inspiring, and VERY fun. ----Ran Zhang
Try not to sit with people who you talk to a lot because then you won't get any work done. You might think this class will be easy, because you just have to draw. Well you are wrong! Sorry if I am scaring you. But it's not just about drawing. It's about meaning too. You have to put meaning into your pictures. The best way to draw or paint is from real life. When I first started AP Art I drew from pictures. I like to do that. But why did I draw it? Because I wanted to. But I guess that is not a good enough reason. If you change the picture and make it your own then that is good.
This class is not very strict. I thought it would be. You can do whatever you want with your time, but I suggest you use your time wisely. I also suggest that you try not to sit with people who you talk to a lot because then you won't get any work done. Also don't forget to bring your art supplies! But it's ok if you forget because there are many art supplies that are in the classroom. I never knew where anything was but I soon started looking around. Or ask someone to help you. You will have big buddies that can help. Not only do you paint/draw/take pictures, you have other assignments too.
We have artist reports and gallery reports monthly! And other little assignments too. So don't forget to do them and turn them in on time! Every week a piece is due and then critiqued by the class that Friday. I hope you enjoy your first year as an AP Art student! -- Jenna Cahn
Trying something once will rarely kill you, but if you do not try something, it will haunt you forever. Basically, this class was a huge expansionary moment in my art creating life. I expanded my horizons, developed a more honed technique and a better understanding of art in general. The people in my class were undoubtedly my best resource. I could ask them whether something in a piece looked off or needed tweaking and they usually would give me good solid advice on how to make improvements on
During slumps, I would just accept the fact hat it was happening and just do doodles in my sketchbooks (which everyone should have) until a groundbreaking idea popped into my head and poof a series of pieces to follow. It is ok to get frustrated, not everyone can produce award winnings every Friday but a good old college try never hurt anyone and you could pick up a valuable skill in the process.
Basically I am a person who can take inspiration from a little of everything. I don't like to restrict myself to one subject or one media surface, or other factor. Instead, if I see a piece of wood and an engraver and want to draw a horse head I would go for it. I never cared how good the first of anything would come out as long as I tried it to see if I liked it.
AP was one of the most memorable high school classes I will have ever taken. The people ideas and chaos is just awesome. It was the class where I could shut down the left side of my brain, turn on the right and just go at it. I was about to just decompress after periods of teachers lecturing and it was awesome. Don't get me wrong you have to produce pieces and good work sooner or later but you can always do work at home or what not so you have a little kickback time in class.
Trying something once will rarely kill you, but if you do not try something, it will haunt you forever. Go on fieldtrips, bring and share snacks with your fellow artists and talk up in critiques. When your piece is up you don't want to here crickets, trust me. So give it a whirl have fun with it and make sure you complete all 29 pieces! O ya, GET YOUR SLIDES IN ON TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good Luck. -- Jackie Kay
I suggest for a concentration, it be something you are not going to get tired of, and something you love. This was my second year in AP art. I turned in a portfolio my first year, so this year was a more free art time for me. I accomplished painting on larger scales which I was not able to do last year. I had more time to experiment and try different surfaces such as wood, cardboard, and thicker paper. I learned that even though I did not have to do a concentration, keeping up on my assignments are just as important.
During slumps I would focus on photographs I have taken. Most of them are from New Orleans and that greatly influenced my work this year. This was beneficial for me, so some advice would be to look at photos youve taken of places or people you care for. It will most likely spark an interesting project for you, even if its not concentration related.
New Orleans has inspired so much of my art work. Whether it be the culture, the architecture, the people, or just the sense of community, I have been trying to capture that sense into my pieces. I suggest for a concentration, it be something you are not going to get tired of, and something you love. That way, it will be much easier to figure out your pieces and you will enjoy making them. If you intend to do more art outside the class, or are going to be in the class the following year, be warned, your concentration follows you. My concentration was shadows, and in a lot of my pieces from this year, non-concentration pieces, shadows have had a prominent presence.
Take the class seriously, you may be sitting next to your friends, but that doesnt mean you cant work while talking to them. Have fun, but also realize where you are with your art and how much time you have before you have to turn it into to AP board. -- Samantha Foster
Creative freedom does not mean free time... What up homies. First off... congratulations on getting in to AP Art program. You've worked hard to prepare a dank portfolio, and now it's time to get some serious work done....
AP Art is THE best art class at SAMOHI. No other art class allows you as much freedom to creatively experiment as AP Art does. In what other class can you stencil canvases, sew AstroTurf, tattoo gang members, and practice plastic surgery on neglected toys, all the while receiving art credits and building a portfolio? The sky is the limit... take advantage of it!
Another thing... creative freedom does not mean free time... This was kind of a problem last year and I'll admit I was a part of it at times. You'll find it hard to work on projects when you're just not "feelin it". It happened to me and it probably will happen to you too. If you find yourself in this situation, theres a few things you can do to help you get out of it:
1. Browse through an art book. Ms. Bouse has a pretty serious library of art books that can easily inspire you to get some work flowing. If you're having trouble just ask Ms. Bouse and she'll probably have some awesome new book to recommend to you.
2. Invent new drawing games. Get some other students with "artist's block" together and lay down some rules. One good one is the "you draw some random lines on a page and I'll turn those lines into a picture" game. I also enjoy blind contour drawing battles, in which you partner up with someone, sit across from one another and draw your opponent's face without looking at your paper. The person who comes out the most disfigured, out of proportion, or wack, wins! Though this won't lead to masterpieces, it can help you wake your brain up.
3. Listen to music and just doodle. Whatever comes out... who cares. If it's a lame doodle... you can trash it. Doodling is a huge part of my steelos and most of my favorite pieces originated from doodles. If you doodle in other classes, go back and review what went down... you can find some tasty ideas in what seems to be bored scribblings.
4. Eat some food. I've you're feeling out of it... you probably don't have any energy. Food helps your body make energy, and energy helps your body make art.
5. Dance. I'd recommend a pimp walk or a thizzle wiggle... but it's up to you.
You can still socialize while you're busting pieces. Games are a great way to do both. Just have some fun and try to stay focused. Only use the methods mentioned above under dire circumstances. Most of the time you'll probably just be in a lazy slump in between AP This and Honors That.... in that case you just gotta learn how to snap out of it. It's an AP Class and there's definitely work to be done...
I'll stop by every once in a while to keep my pimp hand strong (directed towards dean)... CHUTCH! Enjoy yourselves. -- Tiimo "07" Schulze
Find your own original style and find out what you really want to present in your artworks. Welcome to AP Art! This will be a really fun and exciting year! You will be amazed by how many quality art works you are going to produce, and you will be really proud of yourself by the end of the year
I loved to copy cartoon pictures at the beginning of the year, my own art creation was somehow limited and unawake. After seeing everyone elses art work, I realize how important it is to have my own original style and find out what I really want to present in my art works. I started out trying to draw without reference pictures, but they turned out really bad. That was when I started to look at the books in the classroom. They are extremely helpful. I learned to use watercolor, and learned how to fix perspective from those books. I strongly recommend you to read them, especially on an "uninspired" day.
I am not a really creative artist. I usually dont have blueprints for my works in my head. Looking at other peoples works inspires me a lot. You get to see how things work out in their pieces and what kind of new materials you would like to get experienced with. Also, there are tons of magazines in the classroom. Take some reference pictures, try to put them together. And lastly, add something of your own style into it.
There were times when I dont feel like producing works at all. I would waste the whole week and still dont know what to do on Thursday night. In those cases, I often pull out my sketch books or my old unfinished works, and try to finish or fix them, maybe even, restart them
My overall AP Art experience is that I feel like I am growing. I couldnt describe to you how happy I am when I see my current art works comparing to the ones I had at the beginning of the year. Most people in the class are talented, but none is perfect. Everyone is improving at some point and we all like to see those improvements. And also, I learned a lot of art techniques form others, I think thats part of my great experience here too. The most important thing I learned from this class is the processing of art work. People start their work with a rough draft or sketch, and they all turn them into amazing art works eventually. I think this is what AP Art is for, you start a piece, you work on it, you receive feed backs, and you keep adding things until it becomes perfect.
I hope you will enjoy this year and become a really productive artist. Dont waste anytime in class, and keep track of everything! The most important thing, put lots of efforts and loves into your art works! -- Meng Xu
Take AP Art as an opportunity to explore styles that you never previously considered experimenting with. I began this class as one who only drew. I focused solely on intricate graphite drawings. I had found my niche and had no intention of leaving my comfort zone. The wonderful thing about AP Art was that by the end, I took the class as an opportunity to explore different mediums and different sizes of work. I only wish that I had decided to explore and experiment much earlier in the year, and so comes my advice to you. Take AP Art as an opportunity to explore styles that you never previously considered experimenting with. Paint if you enjoy drawing, draw if you enjoy sculpture and create something three dimensional if you've never done that before. You will rarely get another opportunity like this that provides such artistic freedom. Also, make sure that you stay on top of the calendar. Get your pieces done in time, make sure you keep up with the slides, reports and critiques. -- Sarah Deremer
Be responsible for yourself! Don't mess up like I did. Do all the work that she gives you, it's not hard. It's really easy to get lazy in this class cause it's so lax. Be responsible for yourself! You're in high school! It could be an easy A (or B) if you only put some effort into it. You can do
it! And don't be afraid of your classmates, they don't bite.... *cough* Anyway, just enjoy yourself and be inspired. -- Myria Kellowan
Make sure that you have your stuff together. Things you need to know about AP Art:
-Don't drive Bouse crazy because she'll start growling and i will be mad at you for making her growl.
-AP Art is a very independent class and everything is YOUR responsibity. GROWL. Avoid a lot of unnecessary poop time by making sure that you have your stuff together re: knowing when your 1/1s are, turning in gallery reports, artist reports, reality checks, etc.
-Even though artist reports and gallery reports seem tedious they're necessary for your brain to grow and flourish so do them! Paper vegetables for your eyes!
-Slides are a pain in the butt but the pain can be easily avoided! Get them over with and process them early.
-It's a lot of fun. Okay! YAY! AP art was my favorite thing about high school. YAY YAY YAY YAY! -- Darya Farhoodi
Take the class seriously even if you are not planning on pursuing a career in art. My 2 years of experience in AP art has been wonderful. I loved the atmosphere, because I could always create without stress, which facilitated the whole creative process. Most people in AP art are very inspiring; a lot of my ideas are actually from my friends. So dont be afraid of getting to know the people in class. Those people are going to support you and advise you through out the year. The best recommendation I could give is to be honest with your peers, because constructive criticisms are really going to help you develop your work. Participate in the weekly discussions because for the most of the time, commenting on other peoples work gets you thinking, and in turn you bring those ideas into your own work as well. Make sure you make good uses of the resources in the classroom. I got to know so many tools and techniques that Ive never heard of. They helped me improve my creations. Another good resource is Ms. Bouses e-mails because you cant get the information like that anywhere else! (There is a reason why she is an art teacher!!) Since you got in AP art, you must have showed the teachers you have commitments. So make sure you keep those commitments. Ive seen people who are very devoted in the beginning, but lose sight of their goals and end up in a not so happy place by the end of the school year. It is a fun class, and you can get carried away in conversations easily. You must remember it is an art class, and you have all those projects to send out in the end. Sometimes you one might get stuck, but dont give up. Just remember no pain no gain. Take the class seriously even if you are not planning on pursuing a career in art. Thats the best thing you can do when you want to show respect to Ms. Bouse. Overall, the class has helped me grow. Not only in terms of showing me another form to view art and its many forms, but als0 in terms life. Art is something you have to discover on your own, and the best place for that is in AP art. -- Alyssa Fu
Being around other artists allows you to learn about new media and techniques. Over this past semester, I was able to experiment with new techniques. I improved my skills with pen and my shattering technique. I learned how to grow from previous pieces by adapting those skills to create new pieces. I was able to do all of this because I allowed myself time, which I set aside just for art. During a slump, I would make a design and eventually make something of it, such as a paper covered in one design or I would turn the design into something. If you ever feel that you cannot think of anything to do, try doodling and see where it takes you. You could also just do something that you are used to doing, which for me is making designs. Another option that is always around is to redo an old piece, but with a new perspective. There is also a list online of ideas for when your mind is idealess.
I am inspired by every day life. I create pieces after things that I see and that I enjoy looking at. My suggestion for finding inspiration is to just think about what you like. If you really love kites, then do a piece about a kite or how it makes you feel. Since you know yourself the best and what you like, just feed off of that.
My overall AP Art experience was my growth as an artist. Being around other artists allows you to learn about new media and techniques. What I have accomplished most from being in this class is the amazing number of pieces that I leave with at the end of the year. It is interesting to look at all of the pieces you have made at the end of the year; each of which has improved your skills as an artist. You will feel more accomplished if you actually put effort into your pieces every week. Many people fall into the laziness of making a piece the night before, which they just turn in for a grade. I strongly recommend getting a head start over the summer. Do a few extra pieces so you are prepared when you encounter that week where you just dont have enough time to do a piece. Anytime you have free time, you should do some art. If you are about to take this class, art is probably youre hobby, so itll be fun to do art in your spare time anyways. Also, figuring out your concentration early is extremely beneficial. Just put some time into thinking about a concentration every so often. You dont want to figure one out two weeks before the AP. Lastly, have fun! -- Anonymous AP Art Student
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