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Unit 2

2.4 Developing Student Voice

2 min readโ€ขoctober 28, 2020

Sherry Ross


AP Art & Designย ๐ŸŽจ

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What Is "Student Voice" and How Do I Develop It?

Student Voice is a huge thing with the College Board. The easiest way to explain it is through an exercise.
Think about an artist whose work you enjoy. Picture in your mind (or Google) their work. As you think about it, notice what you respond to. There might be a theme running throughout the work. It might be a particular color palette that draws you in. It might be the way they use materials. Whatever it is, that commonality throughout the work, is what you respond to. That is the Artist's Voice and should be visible across all of their work.
It works the same way in your work. The College Board wants to see you make the work only you can make. They want to see you express yourself as you try to visually communicate your ideas. You might think of this as your "style" or your "aesthetic" but it's more than just that, it's the way you put things together so that work becomes unmistakably yours.

Ok.... that kinda makes sense, but can you show me an example?

Sure! Let's look at some bowls of fruit, a pretty common thing in painting.
As you look at each of those, you can really see how each artist took a similar subject matter and made it uniquely their own. That's what you need to strive for.... creating work that is yours.

Inspiration or Copying?

I talk about this concept in another post and it is an important thing to consider. When you see artwork that inspires you, it might encourage you to create work in response to it, but that is not a direct copy. Imagine a Cubist work. Perhaps you really like the way forms are abstracted and flattened, or perhaps it is the linear divisions in the composition. You take that idea and play with it and interpret it in your own style, how you incorporated those ideas into your work is being inspired.
Now, imagine that same work, and you count how many segments are in the the piece. You try to put them in the same places and make them the same length. You try to match the colors because "you really like them and they look so good." That is copying. There is no YOU in it, you are trying to replicate the work of others. This is not what we want to see, you aren'tย Jeff Koonsย after all. (A little APAH humor, seriously, take that class, it's a game changer)
Be yourself. You are the only one that can be you, so do it fabulously and unapologetically. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ ๐Ÿ’ฏ

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