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Art: How do you keep doing your major work for a whole year?

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Art: How do you keep doing your major work for a whole year?

Pro tip: you don’t want to rush it in the last few weeks, so make the most of the time you’ve been given.

If you’re used to sketching away at a lot of different things or slapping together ready-made sculptures that only take 30 minutes, it can be difficult to figure out how you’re meant to spend a whole year on ONE artwork. Won’t you get bored with it? Thankfully, we’re here with four motivators for you.

Aim for ARTEXPRESS (or your state’s equivalent)

NSW students have a built-in goal to aim for – making an artwork so interesting and amazing that it appears in ARTEXPRESS. There’s probably a version wherever you are – an end-of-year show where all the best pieces from Year 12 are displayed in a proper gallery. Set yourself the goal of appearing, and you’ll never lack motivation. Between researching the kinds of artworks that get picked and annoying your teacher for insider goss, you’ll already be acting like a professional artist!

Experiment and build up your skills

Okay, so your actual major work might not take very long to put together. Great! That means you can spend every minute of class time learning how to do different things. Explore the work of artists you’ve never heard of. Play with all sorts of materials. Create stuff that’s awful. Fail and learn from those failures. The whole time, you’ll be learning what works for you and what doesn’t. Then, at the end of the year, you can put all that learning into your 30-minute ready-made.

Stress relief from your other studies

Unless you’re very lucky, there won’t be many times in your life when it’s legitimate to play with different paints, textures or concepts and be able to call it work. When your other subjects are stressing you out and it feels like there’s mountains to do, these Art periods can be a huge relief. Not because they’re a bludge, but because you’re using a different part of your brain and being a creative genius.

Build up a body of work

Consider your major work one instalment in a series that will continue beyond school. This means everything you do in the lead-up is a chance to get your ideas and techniques locked in. Your first “drafts” will make that major work a lot better, and they’ll also give you a road map when it comes to creating art that isn’t there to be marked. Plus, if you make a few different pieces, you’ll have a portfolio to show off.

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