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Art Project Ideas: A Guide to Subject Matter Selection

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Looking for art project ideas? A theme for high school art boards? Whether specialising in Painting, Graphic Design, Photography, textiles or Sculpture, most senior high school Art students begin by selecting a topic for their portfolio, coursework or examination project. It is a decision that many find difficult, whether due to a lack of inspiration, an inability to discern between two or more possible ideas or a general misunderstanding about the type of topic that is appropriate. Below is a step-by-step guide that IGCSE, GCSE, A Level Art students (and those from many other high school Art qualifications) may use to help brainstorm, evaluate and select an outstanding subject, topic or theme for their high school Art project.

Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas

  • Write down all subjects, themes, places, things, activities or issues that are personally relevant and that matter to you (even random, unexpected things, such as a the art room sink, or heirloom knives and forks in your kitchen drawer). The purpose of any artwork is to communicate a message: to comment or scream or sing about the world in which we find ourselves in. If there is no emotion behind the work, there is no driving force – nothing to direct and shape your decision making. Write down the things that you care about; that move you.Include topics that are unusual, challenging, controversial, gritty or inspiring: those that fill you with passion. Students who select substantial, heartfelt issues that they really believe in are more likely to achieve great results than those who choose aesthetically pleasing but superficial subjects.

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