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    Hey guys,

    I'm currently doing AS Fine Art and I'm really struggling, I just feel at a complete dead end.

    For the first half of the course we were firstly given a starting point and had to do an illustrated essay, I did mine on Da Silva, Cezanne and Cubism. Then we had to begin our own work from the essay. I was really confident in what I was doing and at the beginning of the year I was confident Art was my strongest subject etc. I spent hours and hours on the work before it had to be handed in, doing like a seven page evaluation and really in depth annotations and everything.

    Then our work was marked for the first half of the course (before we got the title for our final exam) and my teacher spoke to me and said they had given me a high B.

    I know it seems silly to be disappointed, but I put so many hours of work into what I was doing, worked through lunches and I had quite a few people always complimenting me on my work, including the teachers. I just don't know where I went wrong.

    I did loads of experimenting with different materials and in different ways, I worked big, small, tried different techniques, made sure everything I did had a meaning and so on. Now I'm doing my final exam "Coloured Light" and I feel at a complete dead end because now I feel the way I was doing things before wasn't good enough.

    I got predicted an A at the beginning of the year and I felt confident that I was able to get an A.. then we got our grade sheets back a few days ago and my art teacher actually crossed the A off and put a B instead saying "I'm just gonna cross this off because this is different to what we actually gave you" and it made me feel like utter s***t.

    I went to my teacher the other day and spoke to her about how it's knocked my confidence and stuff and she said I really didn't need to worry because my work is "fantastic" and "sophisticated" and I'm "more than capable of getting an A".. so what I don't understand is, why haven't I? When I got my grade back my teacher said about how I should have worked bigger to get the extra marks, but I did work big, I did A1 paintings throughout the work and that wasn't even for the final. And I didn't work any smaller than people who did get As? So has anyone done AS art who can give me some advice? I would really really appreciate it! I'm stalling in my final exam now, I haven't done much work at all and my exam is in a few weeks, so at this rate I'll probably end up getting a C or something

    Thanks xxx

    I've just been offered places to study art at good universities and I'm on track for a good grade in a-level. The problem with the A-level course is that it doesn't matter whether or not you're good at it, but there is a specific formula you have to follow (i did follow it in AS and got an A but I'm now getting a little bored of it). Basically don't let it knock your confidence, keep striding through your work, but just because it looks good doesn't mean you'll get the grade. What they're looking for is problem solving and understanding. You should have shown some of the understanding in your essay but keep doing that though your work. Every time you encounter a problem work through it and develop from it. You might not always end up doing what you want, but at the same time, you'll be doing what you need to do to improve. A-level is all about improvement and showing and understanding of what you're trying to do, but you cant show that you're trying unless you show what's going wrong. So when you do something badly, show it, explain the problem, and then show the work you do to fix it in the next piece.
    At the end of the day though, getting a B isn't bad, and if you want to pursue art further then universities don't care about art grades, only whether the art you show them is actually promising.
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Updated: April 4, 2011

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