FAA 5316: Special Studio 


Assignment 1: Finding Yourself


Due: September 25th (Week 5)


Purpose of Project: 


What are you inspired by? Look back through your old images and discover what interests you. What already occurs in your work that you want to repeat? For this assignment, you are each expected to choose one primary subject that inspires you, something that can be researched throughout the entire semester.  


Whether your subject matter is a story, a feeling, or you choose to simply focus on your process; the purpose of this assignment is to help you get started with your body of work. Essentially the point is to jump start your creative gears and get them turning and thinking. I am wanting this to be a personal and easy assignment that allows your individuality and voice to speak.  


         The goal of this project is to frame the entire class, by finding a subject matter that matters to you. You will be able to demonstrate throughout the class an active, self-motivated studio practice. You will learn the power of an artist’s voice shown through your original work. Finally, you will also be able to demonstrate how to fully research and document your subject matter which will help you learn to articulate your work in a manner that is precise.


Learning Outcomes: 


         Upon completion of this assignment, each of you will be able to provide research on a specific topic and base all future assignments from your research. You will also experience the power within yourself through your voice and what you are able to convey to your viewer. 



Research Subject Matter:


            Along with finding your voice, you must provide sufficient amount of research proving that your subject matter can be done throughout the semester. The research must be “arts” related: artists and their mediums, styles, periods in art history, western or non-western, modern or contemporary. This research will be done outside of class, during class and in the library. 


            Research should be done regularly as it is considered your homework for the class. Each week you should be documenting your activity and by the end of the semester your notebook and binder should be full of evidence. Be prepared to share your research and discover with the class, this is a learning environment and we all learn from each other. 


Examples of Potential Research Topics: 


  • Secret Spaces 

  • Life after Death 

  • Sexual Assault 

  • Gender Identity 

  • Free Will 

  • Problems

  • Heroic/Power

  • Memory

  • Protest

  • Boundaries

  • Personal Narratives

  • Everyday Life 

  • Mental Health 

  • Your Process as an artist 

  • Male Gaze 

  • Nudity vs Nakedness 


Key Artists to Consider:


            Julie Heffernan, Jenny Saville, Suzanne Lacy, Radcliffe Bailey, Jordan Casteel, Kehinde Wiley, Amy Sherald, and so forth. 


Assignment Description: 


            Once you have chosen your research subject, create a work that reflects your ambition, voice, form, process and material interests. There will be many elements that will inform each of you (process, object, story or etc.), whatever it is the goal is to get all aspects of art making in alignment to best serve you and your work. 


            For this assignment, you will transform your research subject into a drawing or painting, providing evidence of mark making. 


            You will do this through color, materials, invention, and compositional choices. You will  create an image that is able to say something informative about your research. 


Image Size and Format:


            While the medium you choose is open, you must work larger than 22x30”. It CANNOT be done in monochromatic. You must use color purposefully. Be sure to document your studio experimentation and research activity. This is not only due at critique but also at your final. 


Timeline for Assignment:

You have two and one half weeks to prepare this assignment for completion- Critique will be on September 25thwhich is during week 5 of the course. Remember you should be working outside of class-time. 


         Day 1 (Sept 9- Week 3): Going over Written Responses/ Introduce 1st assignment 


  • PowerPoint presentation on artists who have created work following their “voice”- providing evidence of other artists who have successfully tackled a subject matter

            Day 2 (Sept 11- Week 3): First Work Day on Assignment


  • Give a brief summary of your subject matter and plans to the class 

  • The remaining of the class is for you to get started on your project 

  • I will go around the class and have a longer discussion about your research and the research you have conducted so far 


            Day 3 (Sept 16- Week 4): Work Day 


  • Continue building and working on your piece

  • Next class period I will go around the room and do a progress check (You should be 75% into your composition) 


            Day 4 (Sept 18- Week 4): Introduce Assignment 2/ Work Day 


  • This class period and the following should be days focused on compiling your research and finishing up last minute details 


            Day 5 (Sept 23- Week 5):  Work Day 


  • Last class period to finish the assignment before critique 

  • I will do another progress check- this time looking at your documentation of your experiments and research activity 

  • Remember to prepare a written response on your process, subject matter and whatever you feel like I should know about your piece (This will be taken up during critique).


Grading Criteria for Assignment:


         Finding yourself is worth 25% of your grade- pay close attention to all requirements for this assignment. 


Assignment Expectation: 


  • Work outside of class time at least 6 hours per credit hours 

    • This will be evident in the amount of work presented during your work day’s and critique 

Criteria for Work: 


  • Purposeful and suggestive use of value/color

  • Purposeful and suggestive arrangement and composition 

  • Consideration of scale 

  • Consideration of materials 

  • Attention to detail 

  • Ambition

  • Sufficient amount of research 

  • Clear Communication 




         Craftsmanship: 5 pts

            Research: 10 pts

            Scale: 5 pts

            Participation in Class: 5 pts



Grading Sheet: 



            Special Studio:                                                            Name:


     Finding Yourself Assignment 


                        Excellent       Very Good        Good        Average        Fair          Poor





Craftsmanship (Color/Composition/Materials/detail):









Participation in Class (Prepared with all material and actively working): 



Other Comments: 

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