Creating the picture perfect portfolio

Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art is a class in which students create a portfolio, which includes artwork they have completed throughout the year, to submit to the College Board to evaluate in May. The class is offered to sophomores, juniors and seniors. The Hoofprint interviewed students about their experiences in the class.

Senior Madison Lee


Q: What do you do in AP Studio Art?

A: We do our own pieces. We have a lot of freedom when it comes to doing our own pieces. We can do whatever we want and whatever art we want. It’s about making your portfolio for the end of the AP Studio Art year which is required for the AP test.

Q: What is the process of going through projects? 

A: First, you start with the idea, then it goes on to a simple sketch, which is also known as a thumbnail, and then you go into actually drawing the picture — whether you do multiple drafts of the picture or not, it is your choice. It goes from there to coloring.

Q: What is the hardest part about the class?

A: Staying on top of your projects because we have two weeks to work on our projects, which is quite a long time, so pushing it back is my biggest issue because I’m like, ‘I can do it later. I have so much time, but I really don’t because it takes a long time to do the projects.

Q: What is the most interesting thing about the class?

A: The relationships I’ve made in the class. I’ve made a lot of new friends because of our similarities to art. It’s not so much about what I learn in the class. It’s the relationship I have with the teachers and the other students that I’ve met in the class.

Senior Matthew Lassalle 

Matt Lass

Q: What do you do in AP Studio Art?

A: AP Studio Art is another level of study for art. In specifically AP Studio Art, the students are working toward building a portfolio for the College Board. Over the course, students work on their piece, and usually, the [topics] of art they have to make are several pieces of a certain problem or worry or concern in the world in their portfolio. They also put other creative pieces in the portfolio.

Q: What is the process of going through projects?

A: The process is not exactly like a class where there is a lesson everyday. We get several weeks to work on one project, and on Fridays, Mrs. O’Shields checks on the students’ work and critiques it. That way the artists can work on their art and take the critique to develop their skills for the portfolio.

Q: What is the hardest part about the class? 

Lassalle: The hardest part of the class is developing your own artistic abilities and thoughts. You have a lot of time to work on your own project.

Q: What are some projects that you’ve done?

A: When I was doing my portfolio, the topic I chose was social media addiction. It talked about how social media brought different benefits and also bad effects in kids. I made physical pieces on that topic.

Q: What makes art stand out to you?

A: Art stands out to me because it’s a way that I cope with my emotions, and putting that into physical art helps relay your ideas. Having people looking at it makes me feel good because they will understand my different thoughts.

Senior Raechel Yokoyama


Q: What stands out about AP Studio Art?

A: Every week we have a critique session. There, we help each other figure out what we can change about our pieces.

Q: How has being in this class helped you?

A: You’re surrounded by other people and you make connections with them. They can help you work on your college portfolio.

Q: What is your favorite part about the class?

A: It helps you get ready to make portfolios for projects. So, when you apply for colleges, you already have pieces to put in.

Q: What are some hardships you have encountered?

A: Time management is a problem. I always wait [until] the last minute to work on projects, and that is what I need to work on.

Senior Nathan Chen


Q: What is AP Studio Art?

A: AP Studio Art is a class where we are allowed freedom to work on whatever we want. Normally, Mrs. O’Shields has a schedule where we turn in work every two weeks. At the end of the school year, we turn in a portfolio for AP, and it revolves around a concentration where all of our works throughout the year have to involve a certain theme.

Q: What is the most interesting part of the class?

A: The most interesting part is how much freedom we have. It’s not like any other class Walnut provides. We get to do whatever we want. We are allowed freedom as long as it’s art-related. It’s a different community.

Q: What are some projects that you have done?

A: Two years ago, I worked on my concentration about destiny, what your heart desires and how that’s not always attainable. I was exploring the gray area about doing what you want to do. Last semester, I worked on projects that led to the next piece.

Q: What makes art stand out to you?

A: There’s no right or wrong in art. It’s not like math or English where everything is objective and you need to follow certain rules. Art is really free. It’s your expression and how you communicate that — it’s not comparable to other subjects.

By Sajjan Sandhu, Staff writer
Photos by Daniela Marquez and Mia Nam