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Thread: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

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    Magniloquent Member strawberrye's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    Introduction:
    Having completed a BOW, an achievement that could never have been possible without the support of some incredible art teachers, I hope to give some advice to current and future HSC students on how to ace their BOWs, and in turn, enjoy the journey of creating their BOWs and get good marks in it. To enjoy visual arts is important since I presume most people have chosen visual arts because they genuinely share a passion in it (considering it is a relatively low scaling subject).

    Please feel free to comment below if you have anything you would like to add that I have missed

    1) Time management

    Write a time management plan on a week by week basis for each upcoming term based on your progress in your BOWs so far. Allocate a part of your school holidays to work on your body of work further. Progressively increase the amount of time you will spend working on your body of work leading up to your practical assessments in school.

    Make sure you are using your class time efficiently (don’t give in to the temptation of bludging and gossiping with your classmates, because that wastes time-you will eventually have to make it for it using your own spare time) and don’t leave everything to the last minute, make checklists and tick off things you have done will help you manage your time more effectively.

    2) Using available resources effectively and consistently
    During this journey, your art teachers will be providing you with feedback (including praise and criticisms) to help you improve your work. You should always try to consider their criticisms and make corresponding conceptual or structural adjustments to your work, this is especially important if they are also past HSC markers. If you are struggling, don’t wait until the teacher comes around to help you, ask for help immediately. Don’t be shy-it won’t get you anywhere.

    If your school has retained past HSC BOWs-ask the teacher if you can have a look-you might get inspired by ideas, go to the Art-express exhibition, borrow or look through past art-express catalogues and description online or in your libraries. Ask your teachers whether there are any good artists to research upon based on your idea. Ask classmates what do they think of your BOW-i.e. any other ideas you can do-and likewise, you can help them out as well. By using available resources and actively seeking more throughout the year-you will maximise your chance of success and your enjoyment of this process as well.

    3) Choose a passionate/intriguing subject matter and use mediums/techniques that shows off your technical/conceptual capabilities.

    Sometimes abstraction and postmodern appropriation can interest your markers a lot more than realism. Don’t have a fixed idea of what your final BOW will be like at the start of the year, it will restrict the risks you take and eliminate other possible, and often, much more effective ways of exploring your ideas. This also goes with selecting subject matter-make sure it is a subject that you can explore extensively-not too broad or too narrow in scope, and that you will be willing to work with it for the entire year.

    Try not to use completely new mediums you haven’t used before without sufficient experimentation, use materials that shows off your technical capacities and moreover, use mediums to enhance your ideas-whether in its aesthetic impact or adding to its conceptual meaning through the distinct texture or behaviour of that certain medium.

    4) Work consistently hard throughout the year and establish goal(s) that you would like to achieve

    For many HSC visual arts students, the ultimate goal at the end of the year would likely to be having their BOWs nominated and selected for the ArtExpress exhibition. However, bear in mind that although this is an excellent goal to pursue, if at the end of the year, you fail to achieve a nomination/selection, don’t be disheartened by it-as long as you have tried your absolute best, then you have nothing to regret and nothing you should be disheartened by.

    Don’t burn out-put in the consistent effort throughout the year. Working on your BOW will often be a love/hate relationship, sometimes everything works out brilliantly, maybe even better than what you have imagined, and other times things don’t turn out the way you wanted it to-and it is easy to want to give up and even drop this time-consuming, low-scaling subject. However, try not to give up-remember why you have selected this subject in the first place-because you are passionate about it and you think you are going to do well in it.

    Keep putting in the hard yards, and establish goals-whether in marks, in ranks, or by some other measure to work towards. One very important point is don’t try to finish your artwork weeks before a practical assessment is due-because when you are rushed, when you think you will save time for other subjects, your quality of work will not be well thought out. Yes, it is stressful to work on something every single week, however, go with the journey of revising and enjoy the exhilaration as you complete the final details of your BOW.

    5) Finally, don’t neglect your Visual Arts Diary!

    Remember that for many of the practical assessments you will encounter in Visual Arts in your school, it is likely at least one will require you to submit your diary as part of your assessment. Work on your diary consistently along with your body of work, if you have experiment with any materials or explore or research any ideas or influences, make clear headings in your diary and stick everything in, try to not have too much loose material in your diary if you are using a tangible form of documentation, i.e. a diary made of paper.

    Try to keep your writing legible, and remember that this is not English, so don’t write endless paragraphs (like I have in this post), but rather it will be more effective to stick photographs of your progress, experiments and label everything. In visual arts, the notion that a picture speaks a thousand words resonates better than any other subjects. Make sure you also put dates on every page of your diary work-so that the teacher can see you’ve worked consistently throughout the term/year and you haven’t left everything to the last minute. Use your visual art diary to help you develop your ideas; don’t see it as a chore to work on it-use this tool to your advantage. Often, your teacher will get a better idea on how to help you if you can show them a visual art diary that is neat, that contains logical, well-researched information and ideas, and that shows your various thought processes.

    If you think of anything about exploring your artwork further, write it down in your diary. Make sure you store your diary in a safe place and keep it in good condition, after all, you will be using it for an entire year and you don’t want to lose all that evidence of your hard work

    Conclusion:
    Finally, remember to remain sane. Working on your BOW can be an emotionally and physically draining process, remember to step back from it from time to time and if it gets too tiring, to stop working on it and come back at a later time when you feel inspired. Remember, you are never alone-there will be thousands of Visual Arts students working, like you, on their BOWs, sharing similar feelings as you. Remember consistency, perseverance and passion are the keys to success in VA-Best wishes for current and future HSC visual arts student to ace their BOWs
    Last edited by strawberrye; 2 Jan 2015 at 7:33 AM.

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    Magniloquent Member strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    If you have any questions on VA Body of Work that hasn't been answered in this post, feel free to reply below and I will answer your question as quickly as I can, and if you have any general comments about this thread-i.e. whether it is helpful, whether you would like be to elaborate on a particular aspect or clarify anything I have said, feel free to reply to this post so I can ensure this thread remains helpful to current and future HSC VA students
    "DEFINE your own results, don't let your results DEFINE you"
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    Hi! I'm a year 10 student who's taken and taking VA this year and next year and I find your post extremely helpful.

    I was just wondering on one aspect of the BOW. I've heard my teacher mention that the BOW's concept is based on concepts that you've explored throughout year 7-12 through assessments or generally just an idea that you know in and out. I was just wondering - is that actually true? Do you in your BOW simply piece or locate a concept that incorporates concepts explored throughout your study of VA in school?

    Another question I have is, if BOWs have been chosen for Art Express, what does that mean? XD I know I've been to a few excursions to the hornsby gallery and the gallery of NSW which are ArtExpress Exhibitions and they are fantastic works. I've been told by some people that artworks that are on display in Artexpress are basically the top works done by HSC participants in VA. On the other hand, my teacher has told me that for 2013, we have 2 state rankers in VA (3rd and 4th) The girl who's coming 4th, her work isn't being displayed in artexpress...? Also to my understanding, each exhibition has a different theme? How does that work?

    Thank you so much in advance<3

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    Magniloquent Member strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    I've heard my teacher mention that the BOW's concept is based on concepts that you've explored throughout year 7-12 through assessments or generally just an idea that you know in and out. I was just wondering - is that actually true? Do you in your BOW simply piece or locate a concept that incorporates concepts explored throughout your study of VA in school?

    No, what your teacher has said is not true, in all my six years of studying visual arts in high school, I haven't heard any of my visual arts teacher said that. The problem with coming up a concept based on the concepts you have explored from previous years is that you will likely to have a fixed idea of what the work will look like, and the more fixed you are about your idea and your work at the start of the year, the less likely you will be willing to experiment and explore the idea further-because you have explored it in your previous assessments, the less risk you are going to take, which essentially means you are showing less skills in manipulating mediums in complex, and CREATIVE ways. I suggest that you don't worry too much about what you want to do for your BOW in Year 12, you will have about one term of year 12 to come up and experiment with a concept and work on it for the rest of the year-so don't worry about it yet. To succeed in visual arts, you really need to be prepared to go along with the journey-of succeeding and failing, the less risk you take, the less brilliant your work will turn out to be(CREATIVITY wise), and so the less marks you will get.

    There is no rule in the syllabus that says you should incorporate concepts studied in VA in school. Although it is possible you have been so inspired by a certain topic you have done in the past, you should come up with new ideas. For everyone I knew who did VA, they developed their concept in year 12.

    Another question I have is, if BOWs have been chosen for Art Express, what does that mean?

    Go to this link: http://artexpress.artsunit.nsw.edu.au/HowAEhappens.html
    It will give you more information about the intricacies of the Art Express. But essentially, BOWs will be marked by a team of markers either going to your school or at a marking centre, and they decide on the best works to be 'nominated' for Art Express. Then the curators from each gallery comes into a room and 'select' a series of artworks from those 'nominated' according to the thematic relevance they have in mind. To my understanding, each exhibition does have a different thematic concern, and if your artwork happens to be nominated and selected, then it will be on display at one or more Art galleries/venues affiliated with the Art Express program.

    Getting a very high mark in VA does not necessary mean you will definitely get into Art Express. Sometimes if the art work does not fit into the theme of the exhibition, then it will not be selected. There are also a lot of considerations including they want a balance of display of artworks from female and male art students, from private/metropolitan/religious schools, from different regions, so all I can say is try your best to get into Art Express, but it is not the end of the world if you don't make it in-as long as you've given it your best shot.

    One final tip to succeed in VA is to work on your artworks consistently, don't try to rush your artworks, unlike other subjects, don't study art before hand, just study it as it comes, then, if you adhere to the time frame, you will be able to refine your artwork's conceptual meaning and strengths and it will maximise your marks. Hope this helps, I wish you all the best in enjoying the next two years-it will be a beautiful, fun, albeit sometimes slightly stressful adventure-and any more questions on VA, feel free to ask
    "DEFINE your own results, don't let your results DEFINE you"
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    not dead iJimmy's Avatar
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    Tyvm

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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    Quote Originally Posted by iJimmy View Post
    Tyvm
    LOL

    //shot
    Thank you so much strawberrye That really clarified a lot up for me
    lol I kinda do VA whenever I feel particularly inspired or just bored. Can I ask about statements of intents? This year, I've been struggling with my statements of intents. Apparently according to my teacher, statement of intents are meant to be short and concise, except I've been rambling off with a concept throughout my most recent BOW (year 10 still life painting). I can understand why she's saying it (since I've been also suddenly having the same problem with history) andihavenenglishtoblame//shot
    Anyways, statement of intents are (according to my teacher) meant to only be around 3-4 sentences long. 2-3 for people who write really long sentences lol xD The thing is that I've been on a few excursions to art express where I've seen like legit HUGE blocks of writing for varying individual's BOW and I'm wondering how true what my teacher has said is. Would you be able to clarify things for me and also if possible, give hints on writing that accursed statement? Thanks

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    Magniloquent Member strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    Quote Originally Posted by Erinaceous View Post
    LOL

    //shot
    Thank you so much strawberrye That really clarified a lot up for me
    lol I kinda do VA whenever I feel particularly inspired or just bored. Can I ask about statements of intents? This year, I've been struggling with my statements of intents. Apparently according to my teacher, statement of intents are meant to be short and concise, except I've been rambling off with a concept throughout my most recent BOW (year 10 still life painting). I can understand why she's saying it (since I've been also suddenly having the same problem with history) andihavenenglishtoblame//shot
    Anyways, statement of intents are (according to my teacher) meant to only be around 3-4 sentences long. 2-3 for people who write really long sentences lol xD The thing is that I've been on a few excursions to art express where I've seen like legit HUGE blocks of writing for varying individual's BOW and I'm wondering how true what my teacher has said is. Would you be able to clarify things for me and also if possible, give hints on writing that accursed statement? Thanks
    Really? I didn't felt the art express statements of intents were very huge blocks or writing-I've been to past Art Express as well as view the artworks online-usually it is just one short paragraph. To be honest, I didn't have to do a statement of intent in a summarised form, it was like more detailed explanation as a part of our diary work and documentation. You shouldn't really worry about statements of intent-I don't think it is likely you will be marked on it-but some general tips:

    1)Make sure you state your subject matter, list out main artist influences and the thematic concerns of your artwork
    2)Having a meaningful name for your artwork will make writing your statement of intent easier-because you can use one sentence to explain how the title of the artwork relates to your conceptual ideas
    3)Possibly comment on how the distinctive characteristic of the materials/techniques you have chosen-essentially why you have used a combination of materials/techniques in enhancing your exploration of an idea
    4)OPTIONAL-you may want to insert a quote at the start of your statement of intent by an artist that you are inspired by, and link that quote with all the other things you are talking about.

    Practice writing several possible ones and try to find a most concise version Hope this helps and any more questions-feel free to ask
    "DEFINE your own results, don't let your results DEFINE you"
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    Cadet Erinaceous's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrye View Post
    Really? I didn't felt the art express statements of intents were very huge blocks or writing-I've been to past Art Express as well as view the artworks online-usually it is just one short paragraph. To be honest, I didn't have to do a statement of intent in a summarised form, it was like more detailed explanation as a part of our diary work and documentation. You shouldn't really worry about statements of intent-I don't think it is likely you will be marked on it-but some general tips:

    1)Make sure you state your subject matter, list out main artist influences and the thematic concerns of your artwork
    2)Having a meaningful name for your artwork will make writing your statement of intent easier-because you can use one sentence to explain how the title of the artwork relates to your conceptual ideas
    3)Possibly comment on how the distinctive characteristic of the materials/techniques you have chosen-essentially why you have used a combination of materials/techniques in enhancing your exploration of an idea
    4)OPTIONAL-you may want to insert a quote at the start of your statement of intent by an artist that you are inspired by, and link that quote with all the other things you are talking about.

    Practice writing several possible ones and try to find a most concise version Hope this helps and any more questions-feel free to ask
    Thanks you lol honestly it's more like I'm worried about my teacher and her reaction to my Statement of intent as opposed to the markers... she's scary//shot

    Thank you so much Would you also happen to know of any art based EC out there? Like do you have in mind any specific competitions or contests that young people usually participate in? Thankies and sorry for the amount of questions XD

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    Magniloquent Member strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    Quote Originally Posted by Erinaceous View Post
    Thanks you lol honestly it's more like I'm worried about my teacher and her reaction to my Statement of intent as opposed to the markers... she's scary//shot

    Thank you so much Would you also happen to know of any art based EC out there? Like do you have in mind any specific competitions or contests that young people usually participate in? Thankies and sorry for the amount of questions XD
    Don't worry, I don't mind, there are a lot of art based EC, however, a lot of the ones I know is mostly regional or local rather than state wide or national, I think the best thing to enter art EC is to actually ask your art teachers as well as see what art EC your school promotes-in terms of clubs, competition wise-I think these opportunities are usually the best ones for you to start. Maybe a google search might be helpful as well
    "DEFINE your own results, don't let your results DEFINE you"
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    Magniloquent Member strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    Quote Originally Posted by tacorrito View Post
    BoW aced
    Congrats If there is anything you think I have missed in this guide or if there is anything you could like to add, please feel free to do so

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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    is it alright to have an artwork with the dimension of 4m x 0.4m? on the guidelines page, it says that your artwork shouldn't exceed the area of 2m^2 and it gives examples of the allowed dimensions, but it doesn't say anything about having your artwork too long.... help plz

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    Magniloquent Member strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    Quote Originally Posted by sm_moon View Post
    is it alright to have an artwork with the dimension of 4m x 0.4m? on the guidelines page, it says that your artwork shouldn't exceed the area of 2m^2 and it gives examples of the allowed dimensions, but it doesn't say anything about having your artwork too long.... help plz
    I think the best person to ask would be your visual arts teacher.

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    Magniloquent Member strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    bump

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    Senior Member Fiction's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    Hello~
    This might not be the best place to ask, but I was wondering approximately how many hours did you put into your BOW. I know hours don't define a work's quality, but well, curiosity killed the cat :P (especially when you seem to be a high achiever haha)
    Thanks~

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    Magniloquent Member strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiction View Post
    Hello~
    This might not be the best place to ask, but I was wondering approximately how many hours did you put into your BOW. I know hours don't define a work's quality, but well, curiosity killed the cat :P (especially when you seem to be a high achiever haha)
    Thanks~
    Hi Fiction,
    Sorry for the incredibly delayed reply-I never really calculated, but I certainly dedicated a lot of time in my body of work-so much so that I often lost track of time-I would say it would be around 100-150 hours minimum, probably more. I am an alright achiever lol Hope your body of work is going well so far

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    Magniloquent Member strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    BUMP

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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    hey im doing my bow now and i am completely stuck please help

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    The pessimistic optimist. BLIT2014's Avatar
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    Re: Advice from a graduated HSC VA student on how to ace your BOWs:)

    Quote Originally Posted by nash03 View Post
    hey im doing my bow now and i am completely stuck please help
    Any particular area that you are stuck on?
    l’appel du vide


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