Defining Your Concentration
Developing a long term series > Concentration Studio Activities
Be able to develop a long-term self-assignment concentration series.
Access Prior Knowledge:
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh
Developing a Long-term Concentration Series
Your concentration is a commitment to the thoughtful investigation of a specific visual idea. To document your process, you will present 12 conceptually related artworks that show growth and discovery. Critical thinking is useful at many points in a Concentration Series.
The following strategies will keep your art focused on your concentration idea.
View > One Brick at a Time > http://goo.gl/XjNHNh
Step 1: The Proposal
Move from Personal to Universal
Autobiography is a particularly rich source for images and ideas. The authenticity of personal experience is extremely powerful. However, if you focus too tightly on your own family, friends, and experiences, the viewer must know you personally in order to appreciate your design. Try expanding your field of vision. For example, use a story about your high school graduation to say something about all rites of passage from childhood to adulthood.
Determine Essential Concept
As a project evolves, experience and interests also evolve. Your initial idea may expand or shift during the translation from the mind to the hand to the piece and then from piece to piece. Pausing to reconsider your central concept and refine your image can bring great clarity and purpose to the series.
What is the concentration really about?
You communicate more forcefully when you know what you want to say.
1. Clearly and simply state the central idea of your concentration.
A strategy to strengthen an idea is to present the exact opposite.
To illustrate the joy a political prisoner feels on being released from jail, consider illustrating the despair she felt before her release. (now you have two art works!)
To increase the dynamism in a design, add some emphatically static elements.
The contrast created by polarities can clarify definitions and communications.
2. List polarities or opposing views of your concentration idea.
Move from General to Specific
Be Specific! Vague generalities weaken your designs.
Details are important. “A bird watched people move down the street” does not have the impact or visual that “Two vultures hovered over University Avenue, hungrily watching the two hapless students stagger from the commons.”
3. Specify the types of characters, the exact setting and fully developed plot.
Edit Out Non-essentials
If your design is overloaded with secondary visual elements, the result will be cluttered and impact will be lost. Look carefully at the visual relationships in your compositions and seek elements to emphasize.
4. What are the extra shapes, colors or values that can be deleted?
After #4, strengthen the essential information. Understand the principle of emphasis to increase your compositional power. Try ‘going too far,’ wildly exaggerating the size, color, or texture of an important visual element. The only way to get an extraordinary image is to make extraordinary compositional choices.
5. What elements draw attention, bring focus and solidify meaning.
Step 2: The Essential Questions:
Formulate provocative questions that make us think within a greater context.
How do I communicate the (natural/metaphoric)nature of….
How do I connect each...
How will _________________ affect the viewer…
How can I best use…
Develop Group Alternatives
By helping someone else solve a problem, we can often solve our own problem. Organize a team of four or five classmates. Working individually, design 5 to 10 possible solutions to a visual problem using 2 x 3 in. thumbnail sketches. Then, have one person present his or her ideas verbally and visually. Each team member must then propose an alternative way to solve the problem. This can be done verbally; however, once you get going, it is more effective and stimulating if everyone (including the artist) draws alternative solutions. This process helps the artist see the unrealized potential in his or her idea. And, because of the number of alternatives presented, the artist rarely adopts any single suggestion. Instead, the exercise simply becomes a means of demonstrating ways to clarify, expand, and strengthen intentions already formed.
Step 3: Time Management Plan.
The first thing I will do will be...
At Critique X,Y & Z I will have accomplished…
To best show the development of my series I will…
- Clearly and simply state the central idea of your concentration. (500 character maximum)
- Explain how the work in your concentration demonstrates your intent and the sustained investigation of your idea. You may refer to specific images as examples. (1350 character maximum)
Concentration Documents from AP
Read > Studio Art Course Description > http://goo.gl/WJIhft
Read > AP Studio Art Portfolio Requirements Brochure 2014 > http://goo.gl/cDV6Jd
Read > Plan Your AP Portfolio Worksheet > http://goo.gl/PShXni
Read > Concentration Requirements > http://goo.gl/E8W7Vh
Read > AP Concentration Planner Worksheet > https://goo.gl/mBlYo0
Know > SIII Concentration Playbook- 2D Design > https://goo.gl/9HZYpj
Know > SIII Concentration Playbook- 3D Design > https://goo.gl/1YAXUS
Know > SIII Concentration Playbook- Drawing > https://goo.gl/DRLLW7
Read > Aesthetics and the Concentration > https://goo.gl/bQ2XjY
Read > Concentration SMART Goal > https://goo.gl/051OFu
Read > Designing a Long-term Series > https://goo.gl/NeSiUq
Read > Qualities of a Successful Concentration > https://goo.gl/ZYqgyT
Apply Knowledge and Skills:
- Prepare for future experiences
View and Write > Westosha Concentration Topic here > https://goo.gl/izVDBS
- Essay Typer > http://www.essaytyper.com/
Generalize, Publish and Reflect:
“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.” ~ Calvin and Hobbes
“Art is not a thing, it is a way.” ~Elbert Hubbard
“Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be meaningful.” ~Duane Hanson
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” ~Edgar Degas
- Identify similarities and differences