Workbook, not a Sketchbook
- Typically, a sketchbook is filled with random sketches, drawings, paintings, etc.; meanwhile, the Visual Arts Workbook also focuses on a writing aspect. You workbook pages, no matter how creative, will not be solid if the page does not also contain writing with explanations for your drawings, brainstorming, etc. Therefore, for the amount of drawing/sketching you put into your workbook, you should have a solid amount of writing/explanation on the same page to go with it. Without writing your teacher cannot see how the page connects to your studio works. Many people have a misconception that they should fill up a page with drawings from their brainstorming, then write another page about it. This is not the case. When the viewer looks at one of your workbooks pages they want to be able to read about how your sketch(es) relate to your plan of working, inspiration, ideas, artists you are looking into, etc. Moreover, the title "investigation" connected to the workbooks plays a vital role in what you should display to the viewers as well in your workbooks. Besides your brainstorming, experimentation, sketches and drawings, they want to see that you have investigated the techniques you are using or artists you are imitating. Make sure that for every studio work you create, you have a solid amount of investigatory explanation in your workbooks.
- The purpose of the investigation workbooks is to encourage personal investigation into visual arts, which must be closely related to the studio work undertaken.
- The investigation workbooks should incorporate contextual, visual and critical investigation. They should function as working documents and support the student’s independent, informed investigation and studio practice. Investigation workbooks provide an opportunity for reflection and discovery and they play a key role in allowing ideas to take shape and grow. They should contain visual and written material that address contextual, visual and critical aspects of the investigation. They should also reflect the student’s interests and include wide-ranging first-hand investigations into issues and ideas related to visual arts. There should be a balance in the investigation between analytical and open-ended discussion, illustrating the student’s creative thinking.
Quantity and Quality
- Many students think that they can get by with minimal sketchbooks pages, as long as the quality is sufficient. This is also a misconception. When your teacher evaluates investigation workbooks, they want to be able to see more pages than just the ones you created as in-class assignments. They want to see investigations, experimentation and drawings that you looked into, even if you did not use those newly learned skills or factual information in your final studio works.
- You should be completing about 2-3 workbook pages a week. So lets do the math: if there are approximately 20 weeks in one school semester, and the Visual Arts course is one semester, and you have to complete a minimum of 50 pages, The IWB is submitted for final evaluation two weeks before exams which gives us 18 weeks. 50÷18=2.7. This is a lot, but it is doable if you stay on track!
Areas to Consider
- There are five common functions of art: Personal, Social, Spiritual, Educational and Political. Your studio works should strive to encompass more than one of these areas, but you are not required to do all of the areas.
- Five Areas:
- Personal function: to express personal feelings. Perhaps the artist wanted to remind viewers of personal family tragedy, or perhaps he just wanted to tell them to appreciate what they had, and to live each day as if it were their last.
- Social function: to reinforce and enhance the shared sense of identity of those in family, community, or civilization, for example, festive occasions, parades, dances, uniforms, important holidays or events.
- Spiritual function: to express spiritual beliefs about the destiny of life controlled by the force of a higher power.
- Educational function: symbols and signs to illustrate knowledge not given in words
- Political function: to reinforce and enhance a sense of identity and ideological connection to specific political views, parties and/or people.