Starting IB visual arts pieces during summer. Need advice :)

I was just wondering what exactly do you have to do in IB visual arts HL? I want to start the pieces during summer so I wont be too stressed (like in igcse). These are some questions I have:

1) I heard you have to do 11 pieces max. Do all 11 pieces have to be based on the same theme? If not how many pieces should you do for one theme?

2) Do all 11 pieces have to be paintings or can they be sculptures too? 

3) How many themes do you roughly have?

4) Also since I'm going to start doing the pieces during summer, is there any other things I should know if I want to start it first? 

It would be so much appreciated if you could answer these because I remember in igcse I used to stay up all night trying to complete the art pieces and I just want to get a head start :)) thanks so much!!!!!!

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heya, i'm a may 2017 student and haven't received my results yet, but i can answer your questions!

1) your pieces should be coherent/under the same theme, but of course you can branch off into different aspects of the same theme. for example, if your theme is memories, you could explore childhood memories, memories of other people, your family's memories (grandparents etc) or some more "deep" things, such as what is a memory or what makes memories special. i often saw the theme as a tree. you should be coherent, but branch off and explore different things, as long as it's under the same umbrella.

2) the 11 pieces can be any form of visual arts media, so paintings or sculptures or whatever you want. however, there are criteria your practical work should fulfill. 

according to the IB:

HL students should, as a minimum, experience working with at least three art-making forms, selected from a minimum of two columns of the table below:

Two-dimensional forms Three-dimensional forms Lens-based, electronic and screen-based forms
  • Drawing: such as charcoal, pencil, ink
  • Painting: such as acrylic, oil, watercolour
  • Printmaking: such as relief, intaglio, planographic, chine collé
  • Graphics: such as illustration and design
  • Sculpture: such as ceramics, found objects, wood, assemblage
  • Designed objects: such as fashion, architectural, vessels
  • Site specific/ephemeral: such as land art, installation, mural
  • Textiles: such as fibre, weaving, printed fabric
  • Time-based and sequential art: such as animation, graphic novel, storyboard
  • Lens media: such as still, moving, montage
  • Digital/screen based: such as vector graphics, software generated

definitely do not forget to fulfill this! otherwise, you could be in big trouble. 

3) as said above, i branched into a lot of different things and kinda went with the flow. at some point, my pieces 'spoke to me' and i just used them to segway from one focus to another, if that makes sense. there is no set amount of 'themes' you need to work with. coherence is a criteria for grading the pieces, though, so bear that in mind.

4) firstly, definitely read through any guide/criteria filled IB document you can find. also, when planning the pieces and researching ideas, keep track of sources and start to create pages for your portfolio. planning and such should be included in the portfolio anyways, so if you do that now, you'll save yourself a lot of work later on. 

also, it might be useful to (if possible) check in with your teacher while planning. it would suck if you put in a lot of work now and when you show up to class find out that you have to do it all again. 


good luck, and hmu if you have any other questions!

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