So for those who are not familiar with the AP system AP Studio stands for Advanced Placement Studio. Like all AP classes it's ultimately graded on a scale of one to five, you can receive a six but it's rare and you have to wow the AP graders, and is a college level course. Unlike other AP classes you spend your entire year preparing twenty four works, of which you will ultimately send off five for an in person grading, as opposed to taking a true final exam.
I do not write this as an expert in any way, shape, or form. I write this because when I was in AP studio I was constantly stressed out about pleasing the AP graders and I was confused at the start as to what I as actually supposed to be doing and just...all manner of things. So I write this trying to help whoever should take this class.
AP portfolios come in three forms: Drawing, 2-D. 3-D. I did a 2-D portfolio as did many in my class. My best friend did a 3-D. It was quite amazing. Since 2-D is what I did it's what I'm going to talk about.
Drawing is a portfolio that focuses more on fine art skills. 2-D portfolios tend to have a ton of abstract art. 3_D portfolios are always sculptural.
All Portfolios are divided into three sections: Quality, Concentration, Breadth.
Quality is five pieces of work that you send in by mail at the end of the year. They can come from both your breadth and concentration, for just breadth, from just concentration, or can be entirely new works. Some students are really rapid workers and have time to make more than twenty four works in year so there is no overlap. I was not. Somehow I ended up with twenty five in my gallery but obviously you can only submit twenty four. This section is just as it's name suggests, quality. These works are what you think to be your best because they show off your imagination, creativity, and technical skills. Show that you can follow the rules and break them at the same time.
Concentration is also just like it sounds. For twelve pieces the Artist chooses something that they want to focus on and finds a way to tie it into every one of these pieces. Some people choose to tell a story, the girl I painted a portrait of and shared my other studio wall with did this, while many choose objects or concepts that they want to look at. Your concentration can develop over time, in fact it's encouraged to do so because when you have to submit your portfolio at the end they ask you two questions: What is your concentration, how did your concentration grow?
Breadth is where you can just go crazy. Nothing has to link these pieces and you can just...do anything you want in any medium you want any way you want. Just make sure that if you're doing a Drawing or 2-D portfolio you don't stray into sculpture and vise versa. You wouldn't think I'd have to give that warning but I do.
Having said all of that let me introduce you to my portfolio and my studio experience. For me...the class started off as this gloriously high achievement that meant I had actually succeeded at being good at art to some degree. But as the year went on it became more of a learning experience. Because in AP Studio you're meant to function for yourself with minimal help from your teacher, well....I don't work well that way. But my fellow students became my teachers and I learned a lot from them that has done more to teach me to break boundaries than my actual teacher taught me. And none more than the stunning woman who I'm allowed to call my best friend, ~Elephantsface.
Quality: For my quality section I'm going to show you two sets because we were supposed to all create our quality section over the summer when we were relaxed and didn't have the pressure of school, which I did, but as the year went on...I made better stuff. So it changed. I don't know why I choose the pieces that I did other than the fact that I liked them and they were some of my better works in my opinion.
1st Set: Works completed over the summer
2nd Set: Final works that were sent to the College Board
Breadth: Not much to say about this. Some of these works came from past classes. Some of them came from classes I did the year I took the class. Most of them were created just for studio. It's important to know that you can pull works of your own from anywhere just so long as they are yours and have never been submitted to the College Board.
Concentration: Now here I could say a thousand things for each image. My concentration was grids. I love geometry in art and....it was what I was good at. It was something I could easily obsess over and develop over the year. So it was my concentration. I definitely explained this better in my statement to the AP board. Disregard the numbers because I failed to upload and number them in the same order as I did for the final, just uploading the statement to give an idea of how to explain concentration and a better explanation of my personal concentration.
"The images I've produced for my concentration show my focus on grids and how grids can develop. Since a grid is any system of lines that can be used to map something I began with simple grids of squares as shown in images 3 and 4. But from there I expanded, experimenting with how empty space could affect the grid and image as a whole, as in images 6 and 7. Then, experimenting further, I changed the shape of the grid as seen with images 9 and 10 to make the compositions more dynamic and interesting. Finally I simply experimented with how a grid could be constructed from real life objects such as the Polaroid shaped drawings in image 11 and how it could be incorporated into any everyday scene such as image 12."
So. Having written all of this I will probably come back and update it later but for now it can stay like this. I hope I helped. I hope you learned something.
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