The Student Art Guide is looking for dedicated students and teachers who wish to write about great high school Art projects. These articles appear in the Student Work section of our website. This is a great opportunity for students who have an interest in writing and for teachers who wish to celebrate the work of their students and Art Departments.
In addition to providing an excellent learning opportunity and source of inspiration for other students, these can provide welcome publicity for a young artist who wants to kickstart a creative career (if this is you, please also read why Art students should have their own website (and how to make one)). As an example, you might wish to view:
- Halima Akhtar’s Year 13 A Level Textiles project, which has been pinned 159,000+ times on Pinterest
- Kate Powell’s Year 13 A Level Art project, which has been pinned 82,000+ times
- Abby Skinner’s Year 13 A Level Art project, which has been pinned 31,000+ times
Featured Art projects are often written by the student who created the artwork or their Art teacher (if written by the student, they may be written in first person, using ‘I’). The intention is that the articles are helpful and informative and are written to guide students who complete a similar qualification, using everyday language that can be understood by a high school student.
Our existing Featured Art Projects are primarily Painting and Drawing projects. We are actively looking to widen this range to include Photography, Graphic Design, Textile Design, Fashion Design, Digital Media, Sculpture / 3D Design and Printmaking projects. We are also hoping to broaden our range of analytical artist studies (such as the Personal Study that is completed by A Level Art students).
Featured Art Project Guidelines
If you would like submit a Featured Art Project, please follow these guidelines:
- Feature work from a single art project, based around a single topic or theme. In other words, rather than a collection of disconnected artwork, we wish to feature pieces that were created for one particular project. This should be a substantial project, such as a year long portfolio, Coursework project or Art exam submission (rather than a week long assignment, for example).
- Contain artwork that was created by ONE high school Art student as part of a high school Art qualification. If you are a teacher with work from a range of different students that you think would be helpful as one article, this may be suitable to include as part of our ‘art lessons’ section (coming soon). Work must be completed by high school students (not university students or primary school students). High school students are typically aged between approximately 13 and 18 years and may be working in any Visual Art discipline, such as sculpture, film, graphic design. Work is welcome from any high school Art qualification, such as IGCSE, IB, AP Studio, NCEA and Higher Art.
- Portray great, creative artwork – evidence of what is possible when a student works hard. Featured Art Projects don’t necessarily have to achieve the best grades (although this is awesome too – for example, Grace Pickford’s Top in New Zealand Year 13 NCEA Painting project or Tingjian He’s Top in the World IGCSE Art exam). It is equally helpful to share and discuss work which achieved lower grades, as long as this is done with the student’s consent. It is important, however, that the artwork promotes good teaching practice and has had significant effort and love put into its creation.
- Contain high quality photographs that are focused, well-lit (without reflections or glare, for example) and larger than 728 pixels wide.
- Illustrate a range of different types of work (if appropriate), such as the student’s sketchbook pages, development work and final pieces. Photos may also include close up details of pieces and even photographs of students producing the work (particularly in the case of sculptural or digital work). Note: photos will be selected and resized to fit the website prior to publishing; it is better to submit lots of images, so that we have lots to choose from!
- Exclude images and mention of n-a-k-e-d human form or anything else that might be deemed unsuitable for a young audience 13 years +. Life drawing is an integral part of many high school Art departments and a hugely valuable learning opportunity, however many schools have computer algorithms that block any website that contains ‘inappropriate’ words or phrases (hence the dashed word above). You can read more in this Computer World article about how web filtering software inadvertently blocks many legitimate educational websites through ‘excessive heavy-handed’ censoring. Other schools follow conservative policies and would not be comfortable recommending our website to their students if it contained images that parents might object to. As unfortunate as this is (there are many tremendously beautiful high school projects that explore traditionally risqué subject matter – including many by the teachers of those who write for the Student Art Guide), we have decided to maintain a 100% ‘family friendly’ website. This is also a condition of our advertisers, without which we would not be able to operate this website and continue to provide free resources for students and teachers.
- Video footage may also be submitted. This can be a helpful way of showing sketchbooks with many pages. Please submit this as raw footage, which will we format and share via YouTube (along the lines of this IGCSE Art video), as well as embed within the article. Short and sweet videos are ideal – and the video can be taken using a smartphone or simple video camera (with work well lit using daylight if possible).
Guidelines for writing the article:
- Write a minimum of 1,000 words (including captions). A long article is helpful for our audience and is more likely to rank highly in Google search results. You may write much more than this. As an example, our most visited galleries above are 3,400 words, 2,000 words and 2,500 respectively.
- Provide an introductory paragraph that contains details of the examination board (i.e. NCEA / CIE / AQA / Edexcel), qualification, component name (if relevant – i.e. Coursework or Exam project), year examined and final percentage / grade. (Work must be graded prior to submission). This should also include the name of the student, name of the school and the school website. It may also include a link to the student’s personal website (see how to make your own artist website) or most popular social media platform – for example, the student’s Tumblr (as long as this is school appropriate).
- Writing must be comprehensive and well edited. It should discuss some or all of the following:
- Themes / ideas / subject matter
- Use of media / materials / techniques, especially about any unusual, unique or new techniques
- Decisions relating to composition (reasons for choices of colour, shapes, textures etc)
- Artists studied and/or referenced (artists must be mentioned if work closely resembles an artist piece) along with links to the artist website
- Areas of strength / reasons for success / things that helped the student do well (you may also include areas of weakness or mistakes made and things that could have been done differently)
- Any other tips or advice (for example, in terms of time management, motivation etc). Imagine that the article is being read by someone who is about to embark upon the same qualification and contains all the things that you wish that you or your students had known from the beginning.
- Anything else that is relevant – especially anything that is different, innovative or unusual.
- Include captions for images
- Avoid stating hard and fast rules for a particular qualification, unless you know for sure that this is the case. For example, rather than stating something along the lines of: “Having lots of written notes in my sketchbook was essential to gain high grades”, it is better to write: “Having lots of written notes in my sketchbook made my pages appear comprehensive and allowed me to think through ideas and communicate concepts to the examiner”. The first statement implies that the act of writing many notes is guaranteed to deliver high grades (a statement which is incorrect in many cases and may mislead the audience), whereas the latter explains some of the benefits of doing so, without promising that something absolutely will result in high grades.
- Do not write with the sole purpose of promoting something. Articles that are overly promotional will not be accepted. The Student Art Guide is an educational site; we publish articles that will benefit our readers. Although we include links to schools and artist websites, articles must be in-depth and informative, not superficial teasers, aimed to direct traffic elsewhere. This is not usually the case with articles written by students or teachers, but this guideline has been included in an effort to discourage the internet marketers who continue to send in thin promotional articles disguised as quality content!
- Articles must be original: Once accepted for publishing, we retain the rights to publish the article and images indefinitely and the author must agree not to publish the text elsewhere. This is to ensure that our site contains valuable, original content and remains a high quality destination for our audience. Copyright of the images, of course, remains with the artist. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.
- Articles may be accepted with editing. In many cases we make small changes or publish your article with an introduction written by the Student Art Guide. If we make changes to your submission, we will gain your permission prior to publication. All articles are proofed by an experienced Art teacher.
How to submit a Featured Art Project
Please use our contact form to submit your article as a word document, with images within it. If your submission to selected for publication, we will email you requesting larger image files.
Alternatively, you may email the document and files to our editor amiria[at]studentartguide.com or share via Dropbox or Google Drive.
Please note that we are frequently approached by students and artists who wish us to promote their work and by websites who wish us to link to their content. We only select submissions that will offer something new to our readers and thus only a small number are published.
Thank you for your interest in the Student Art Guide. We look forward to receiving your submission!