HOW is Art made + WHY is Art made


The first step in IB is to be VERY familiar with quite a few artists.  You want to look at a range of artists  – choose a few up and coming (unknowns), a few good contemporary and some masters.  Every project you do should be inspired by (at least) 2-3 artists.

To help you get started, first familiarize yourself with what IB requires of you.

What is IB Art?

Then, start looking around you.  Visit art galleries. Take photos.  Browse the internet, instagram, you tube and start thinking about yourself as an artist.

To get started… begin considering……What is important to you?  How can you use Art to express your ideas and identity?  What do we  mean by truth and reality in Art?  What are the moral obligations of an artist?  What do we expect from Art?  How do your ideas relate to world issues?  How do you use art in response to world cultures and issues? 


“Art is something we do, a verb. Art is an expression of our thoughts, emotions, intuitions, and desires, but it is even more personal than that: it’s about sharing the way we experience the world, which for many is an extension of personality.” 

Georgia O’Keeffe


Your workbook should be a comprehensive document that illustrates your artistic development and research. The purpose of the workbook is to encourage and record personally driven research and discovery that function interactively with independent art work.

What is your Journal for?

The current IB curriculum requests a digital submission with screens – which can be confusing on how to approach the Visual Arts Journal.  In my IB class, I suggest that at the very least, students use the Visual Art Journal as a sketchbook to collect brainstorming, idea development and compositional studies.  Documentation of Process, Art analysis and reflections can be added more easily (and with more space and depth) digitally. 

Make your Journal epic.


The Comparative Study is an independent critical and contextual investigation that explores artworks, objects and artifacts from differing cultural contexts.  It constitutes 20% of the final mark.  It is basically a comparative, analytic investigation that strikes a balance between visual and written with no prescribed format.

Start Early, Start Well

The CS must examine and compare at least 3 artworks.  At least 2 of the artworks need to be by different artists from different cultures.  The work for comparison should come from contrasting contexts (local, national, international and/or intercultural).

Step by Step Guide to your CS

In my class, we begin our CS during year one. We choose our artists and develop our investigation screens (formal analysis, function and purpose, culture and conceptual, similarities and differences.) We choose artists/artworks that inspire us, so during our second year, when we focus more strongly on making art, we are able to use our artworks to reflect on the artist’s inspirations in all facets of our artmaking (creating our HL reflective screens)

Get Access to all Examples of 7

For a one time fee, I will send you the password to access all of my examples of 7. Email me for more information.


Examples of 7 2018

Examples of 7 2019


The Process Portfolio is your documentation of your Art Making.    This should work hand in hand with your Visual Arts Journal.  The focus of your PP is to highlight YOUR process of brainstorming, development, art process and reflective practice.  The PP is worth 40% of your mark and is externally assessed.

Start Early, Start Well

Students are to submit carefully selected materials which evidence their experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of visual arts activities during the two year course.

Step by Step Guide to your PP

In my class, students work with sketchbooks and digital notes in tandem. I also constantly remind students to take photos of their process as they go. We are a MAC school, so we use keynote. Screens are due at the end of each unit, so students get in the habit of developing screens.

Get Access to all Examples of 7

For a one time fee, I will send you the password to access all of my examples of 7. Email me for more information.


Examples of 7 2018

Examples of 7 2019


The FINAL EXHIBITION is the culmination of your IB Art experience. It is where you can showcase a coherent collection of works which fulfill stated artistic intentions and communicate clear thematic or stylistic relationships across individual pieces. You will select and present your best artworks in the form of a curated final show and defend and articulate your purpose and intention in a written form through the Curatorial Rationale.

Step by Step Guide to your Exhibition.

Your Final Exhibition is submitted digitally,  so good photos and strict adherence to word count is necessary.  The Exhibition constitutes 40% of your mark. It is internally assessed and then externally moderated.

Get Access to all Examples of 7

For a one time fee, I will send you the password to access all of my examples of 7. Email me for more information.




International Mindedness

IB is an International Baccalaureate literally.  So there is much interest is developing international learners and fostering the idea of approaching art on an international scale.  Lucky for you, you probably go to an International School – so you have some idea of how to relate to your ‘international world’.

International-mindedness goes beyond simply knowing about visual arts from around the world. It is about developing internationally minded artists and learners. 

In your art works/journal/thoughts,  give some thought to how your art affects or is effected/affected by internationalism.


Extended Essay

The Extended Essay (EE) in Visual Arts will give you opportunity to undertake research in an area of the visual arts of particular interest to you. It’s can actually be very rewarding – and art students that choose to write the EE in ART find that it supplements their art studies (especially the CS) to their advantage.

The visual arts are here broadly defined also to include architecture, design and contemporary forms of visual culture. 


The outcome of the research should be a coherent and structured piece of writing, with well-integrated and appropriate illustrations, and which effectively addresses a particular research question appropriate to the visual arts. 

The research may be generated or inspired by the student’s direct experiences of creating visual artworks, or by their interest in the work of a particular artist, style or period. This might be related to the student’s own cultural context or another cultural context. 

Personal contact with artists, curators and other active participants in the visual arts is encouraged, as is the use of local and primary sources. 


NOTE: An EE in visual arts is not an extension of the internal assessment (IA) task. Students must ensure that they understand the differences between the two. 


Supervisors play an important role here in guiding students on these distinctions. Students risk their diploma if academic misconduct is detected. 



Need a resource?

If you have looked over my site and my student’s examples and still feel that you need help – or want a second opinion on your ideas and works – I tutor Art students online. I also help Art Teachers develop their Art Curriculum and implement a successful IB DP Art Programme.

We can talk over Skype or you can email me your documents and I can edit and/or email suggestions back.

My prices are $60 USD per Skype session (max 1 hour) and/or $60 USD per hour of my time reading/editing and giving suggestions on your work. I am also happy to come and visit your school and work with your Art Department. Follow me on Instagram (sis_missA_artclass) to learn more about workshops I will be giving. Contact me if you want to develop one in your area!

The earlier you contact me the more help I can give – since I am an IB DP VA teacher too and it gets hectic in March!!