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A level Art, why the hate? Watch

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm at sixth form college, studying a levels and one of these a levels are Fine Art. I've notice the media, the government and fellow students regularly discredit it , consider it as a soft/easy subject and look down upon people like myself that study art as one of your a levels, or some of them. I just wanted to know, why is there cynicism towards the subject, when the subject allows me to be creative and imaginative, to think in more than one way, be expressive etc.
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    I also do Fine Art, along with Biology and Chemistry (planning on Biochemistry at uni) so people are often a bit like why are you doing Art?

    I think the reason people often see it as soft is that they just think if you can draw you don't really have to try hard. That's completely not true. You can be an amazing artist but only get a C or lower if you don't put the effort in. You could also be a pretty mediocre artist but work really hard and be able to get a decent B, maybe even an A.
    As you said, art also allows you to explore different topics and emotions through a medium that is a bit different to writing an essay about it. You have to be able to fully expand, develop and critically analyse your ideas over a few months to create a good project.

    Ultimately, I think the amount of dedication and effort that is needed to complete an Art A level is underestimated.



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    I plan to study architecture

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    (Original post by Graham 14)
    I plan to study architecture

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    Well then why are you worrying? A Level art is helpful (and needed?) towards your degree. But the reality is that art is not academic. If you want to study medicine or law or maths, A Level art will be look down on. People who want to think creatively and think in different ways while remaining strongly academic take English Lit. Art may be good for those who do a degree in Literature, but why do you expect it to be respected by chemical engineering admission officers? If you get one kid who has AAA in maths, chemistry and history, and one with AAA in maths art and history who is going to be more suited to such a intellectually demanding and academically rigorous degree?

    I like art, I wouldn't look down on anyone for doing A Level art, but just realise that you can't demand academic respect for it.
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    I noticed that people always dismissed art when I was doing it at alevel. My other subject used to ask if we enjoyed our holiday whenever we went on an art trip (and worked solidly the whole time). I think it's because people think its just making pretty pictures and they don't realise quite how much time and effort goes into doing the work. I always got questioned about why I chose art because it wasn't an academic subject like maths or english because you don't have to learn anything to do art apparently... :/
    Trust me though as an undergraduate architecture student it is worth it Just ignore it
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    (Original post by SophiaKeuning)
    Well then why are you worrying? A Level art is helpful (and needed?) towards your degree. But the reality is that art is not academic. If you want to study medicine or law or maths, A Level art will be look down on. People who want to think creatively and think in different ways while remaining strongly academic take English Lit. Art may be good for those who do a degree in Literature, but why do you expect it to be respected by chemical engineering admission officers? If you get one kid who has AAA in maths, chemistry and history, and one with AAA in maths art and history who is going to be more suited to such a intellectually demanding and academically rigorous degree?

    I like art, I wouldn't look down on anyone for doing A Level art, but just realise that you can't demand academic respect for it.
    I'm not demanding academic respect for it, I'm just saying it's viewed as easy when its not and your viewed as being stupid

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    (Original post by Jlrxx)
    I noticed that people always dismissed art when I was doing it at alevel. My other subject used to ask if we enjoyed our holiday whenever we went on an art trip (and worked solidly the whole time). I think it's because people think its just making pretty pictures and they don't realise quite how much time and effort goes into doing the work. I always got questioned about why I chose art because it wasn't an academic subject like maths or english because you don't have to learn anything to do art apparently... :/
    Trust me though as an undergraduate architecture student it is worth it Just ignore it
    What school of architecture do you study at and what a levels did you do?

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    (Original post by Graham 14)
    What school of architecture do you study at and what a levels did you do?

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    I'm at Sheffield. Did fine art, geography and psychology for alevel and history of art at AS. Do you know which schools you want to apply for?
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    (Original post by Jlrxx)
    I'm at Sheffield. Did fine art, geography and psychology for alevel and history of art at AS. Do you know which schools you want to apply for?
    Sheffield, Oxford Brookes, Liverpool, Newcastle and Nottingham, would Sheffield like my a levels of fine art, interior and 3d design and geography?

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    I did GCSE art and even that put me off becaue I had to spend so many hours on it.
    A Level is probably a lot worse so I respect the people who do it.
    That being said, it's not looked upon in the same way as the sciences because you don't have to learn as many new things and deal with new, difficult concepts like with the 'hard' subjects.
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    (Original post by Graham 14)
    Hello everyone,

    I'm at sixth form college, studying a levels and one of these a levels are Fine Art. I've notice the media, the government and fellow students regularly discredit it , consider it as a soft/easy subject and look down upon people like myself that study art as one of your a levels, or some of them. I just wanted to know, why is there cynicism towards the subject, when the subject allows me to be creative and imaginative, to think in more than one way, be expressive etc.
    Firstly I think it's a bit of of the "My 7 year old could do that" effect; people think about physical skills needed to create an art piece, hence why many people tend to value realistic painting more than abstract art for example, and people don't think of art as a form of expression but as a purely aesthetic thing. Many people in our society focus mainly on knowledge, then physical skills, skills of thinking and understand often come secondary to many despite their wide application and the fact that they require higher order thinking.

    Secondly I think people de-value it because of job prospects. If you want to be an artists for a living, it's very hard to make it, because so many people want to do it! Just like becoming a famous actor/ress or musician. Of course, not everyone who studies fine art wants to do this, but people kind of rank stuff in terms of it's employment worth so thinking in this way damages their view of it. This is compared with something vocational like medicine, business, etc or with something which is mainly knowledge and hard skills focussed like maths or science.

    Well that's what I think the reasons are anyway... they pretty much fit with many people's views of most degree subjects.

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    Depends on what you want to study. A course like architecture will favour art over biology - even though the latter is admittedly harder. Likewise Medicine will require biology rather than art. Just depends on what you want to do in life. People put it down because its relatively easy and you dont need to "memorise" as much as other subjects.
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    (Original post by Graham 14)
    Sheffield, Oxford Brookes, Liverpool, Newcastle and Nottingham, would Sheffield like my a levels of fine art, interior and 3d design and geography?

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    Sheffield goes a lot by portfolios rather than subjects or grades (I've met quite a lot of people on my course who also didn't meet their offers but still got in). I got into sheffield with art and geography as 2 of my alevels and I got an offer from Nottingham so you should be fine.

    Tip for portfolio- focus on drawing rather than computer modelling as Sheffield prides itself on being one of the schools that excels in hand drawn work. Obviously you can include computer images but focus on sketches and exploring a range of different techniques
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    I suppose because it's not an do it a level, and so people don't tend to it if they want to do an academic degree. But it is hard, it just requires different skills than subjects like maths. And it is useful if you want to do a degree with a creative element.
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    Because a lot of people think that there are no jobs in art. And, in fairness, it isn't a stable industry the way teaching or medicine can be.
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    I do Math further maths physics chemistry and Art and Design, my teachers have told me that having art may detract from a science ucas application which just can't be true!

    science is creative art is creative, in different ways sure but creativity is creativity.
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    It really, truly annoys me when people put Art A level down as a micky mouse subject. I take Art, History and English literature at A2 and took Geography last year - art takes up the most amount of my time from those subjects. It's not simply about doing a couple paintings, a few sketches and getting the top grade out of it for that, it's about creating and developing a project over a number of months to form a personal response to a topic.

    At A2 on the Edexcel exam board, 60% of the final grade is a personal study; a 3000 word essay that you submit along with photographs, sketch books, final pieces or even films - it's a hugely demanding piece of coursework. It's not an easy subject to take, it requires a level of constant dedication and commitment that you don't have to have in the other subjects i'm taking.

    I think because it's not perceived to be particularly demanding or academic, it's often discounted as something to do as a soft subject, or for fun. Ironically it has the highest grade boundaries of any subject; at GCSE an A* is 97%, at A level an A* is 99%. Try getting that if you take art for fun. Those who get those kind of grades truly earn it through a huge amount of work and creative output.

    Easy? Micky mouse? No
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    I mean art is viewed, in the sense that it is easy and you dont need any skills to do it, when u certainly do, however art a level isn't appropriate for science/maths degrees , also in society, the arts contributes to it

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    yeah i agree i don't understand how so many people see art as an easy subject, I'm only on GCSE art at the moment and there's still so much work even at this level! people who don't do art don't understand that even if you're good at it, one piece can take ages to even draw let alone painting it and of course there's the writing too explaining each piece of work!
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    (Original post by Goods)
    I do Math further maths physics chemistry and Art and Design, my teachers have told me that having art may detract from a science ucas application which just can't be true!

    science is creative art is creative, in different ways sure but creativity is creativity.
    My teachers told me that too, and I now have 5 offers for Biochemistry at good universities. As long as you have good science grades they aren't bothered about having one A level that isn't related.


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