IB Art: Pain or Passion?

Article by: Carlos Po

For most, the IB Art classroom is a world out of a myth, a wondrous place where the impossibly talented artisans of ISM practice their craft. But for its students, IB Art is just another HL class, and with HL classes come loads of deadlines to meet and pieces to complete. How do they make such a demanding class worthwhile? Where do these young artists find the inspiration to churn out work after work? Is the pleasure of a masterpiece worth the countless hours put into its creation?

What is the secret world of IB Art like?

First of all, why choose IB Art? Talent? Passion? Force? “I’ve always had a passion in art, but I chose IB Art because I thought it would take my mind away from more “academic” classes,” says Sarah Kim, a Junior and current student of IB Art. “I [would] have some time to enjoy being creative with any media I choose.” Despite the rigors of Art being an HL class, some of its students are clearly enjoying themselves.

For some, brainstorming can be the most arbitrary and dull part of any project, in any class. But for the students of IB Art, brainstorming is the utmost essential part of the creative process. “We have a chosen topic and the first thing is brainstorming,” Sarah continued. “I get my ideas from the brainstorm, improving small ideas to the next level.” Just like many others in IB Art, Sarah is constantly refining her ideas and projects, improving them bit by bit.

Senior Christina Park, a member of the IB Art community and participant in ISM’s yearly Cultural Convention, provides a more in-depth look into the course. She was asked whether she believed the course was rigidly structured to the point of creativity being dampened, or whether it a mostly independent course. While she did voice displeasure at the tight deadlines,  she went on to state that ”the IB art curriculum is fairly independent. Each student has the freedom to choose a theme, and over two years create a collection of works pertaining to this theme.” For example, Christina’s chosen theme was Coming of Age.

Finally, to compare perspectives of a Junior and Senior IB Art student, Sarah and Christina were asked what they wanted out of the course.“I hope I can create a portfolio by senior year that’s filled with works I’m proud of!” Sarah replied confidently. Christina had a similar view, and stated that she hopes it will “prepare [her] for the visual arts path that [she] will continue to pursue in university.”

So, there we have it. IB Art is no doubt a challenging course, but to those who have the passion and strength to persevere, it can be one of the most independent and rewarding IB classes out there.