username4314452
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I’m in Year 11 and I’m currently doing photography GCSE. I’m planning on going to my high school’s sixth form and they don’t offer a photography a level. I spoke with my photography teacher and one of the art teachers in my school and they both said that I would need to offer a portfolio before I can apply for the art a level because I didn’t do the art GCSE but they did say that I can do photography within the art a level as I was planning on picking photography. Problem is the only art I like to do is digital art and I don’t even know if they would accept it. I also have some friends that do art GCSE and they complain how they don’t have the freedom of doing their own art - would the art a level be the same? I would love to get some advice I’m really confused.
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DubDub2017
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I'm not sure what to suggest. Your question title is rather different from your question. Worth it in terms of what?

My sister and I recently went to a college open day for her, and we went to the art department and listened to what the department had to say. We asked about their teaching methods and whether there was any real freedom, and they explained it well. They actually teach you to draw, which you may be surprised by, but many places don't. They just make you draw lots and eventually you get good at it. At the college they would teach shading and more concepts that I forgot about because I didn't care, it was for her after all.

I did Art Graphics at GCSE and can see where your peers are coming from. You're forced to take a particular approach. But you can very easily bend that to your own approach. You see, art is very much based on inspiration, from the real world normally, and hence it's a part of the course. You need someone to take inspiration from to make what you're making. Hence you start by doing research into a particular artist and creating a portfolio and then trying to mimic their style. Because of this, it feels like your copying, and hence the freedom of art is gone.

This is where your peers are mistaken however, as it's 'inspiration', not 'copying', you do not have to copy it perfectly, along as you can make your work be similar to theirs. Say you like taking pictures of horror shots, nothing too extreme, but the occasional person with an axe in their head or something. You then find someone who takes pictures that are to do with horror and you like. You say 'they inspired you' and then start making your own horror pictures, perhaps using a similar approach to a way they'd do it.

You could do yourself some favours by figuring out what exam board you would be using at your school, and visiting their website. For example, if you were doing OCR's course, you can check it out here: https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualification...600-from-2015/
That way you'd know what you've got to produce, and if you don't like the sound of it then don't bother.

One thing I can assure you of is that digital art is art, and it's very unlikely you wouldn't be able to pursue it at A-level. The reason being is that most of the Art A-level courses are flexible, and a lot apply to eachother. For example, a lady in my class who also did Art Graphics really went to town on her fine art. She was constantly drawing, scanning her picture in and then using tools like photoshop to enhance her art. That was an example of someone who put a drawing spin on art graphics. You can do the same, putting a digital art approach on fine art. Maybe doing half the picture on a computer, and half the picture on paper, overlapping them and creating some really cool stuff. Make it your style to turn the standard fine art approach with a digital spin and you're sure to do well.

Occasionally some teachers will discourage you from this. If you watch any art channels on youtube, you'll find a lot of them were actually discouraged from following their art style by their former teachers, but anyone who cares about art wont do this.

Hopefully this puts you at ease about art at A-level, I seriously suggest you do some research into whether or not your sixth form will teach it properly though, it unfortunately isn't worth much academic value and if you're not getting many actual skills from it, why are you doing it? 'Because it's experience!', well then you can do it at home, my sister does it all the time.
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billie mercury
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I would recommend finding a college or sixth form that does photography a level. Art GCSE was quite controlled in terms of what you could do. I mean I tried to be really creative with my photoshop designs and I ended up getting a 6 (ah the disappointment) however art A level is slightly more flexible but only in the area of fine art. If you took art a level, you'd be improving your fine art but not really anything digital as that usually doesn't get the marks (check with exam boards tho). If you don't like fine art you are gonna hate having to constantly do it for art a level. Even if you like fine art, it is likely art a level with suck the fun out of it. It definitely happened with me and art gcse.
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CinnamonSmol
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Hi, I did art at gcse and now take graphic design at alevel (year 13) and from what you're saying I feel as though you would be much more suited to doing Graphic Design if possible as you can make photography and the manipulation of the photos as a key area of your work. I took art at gcse and I honestly hated it due to the fact that we were to produce pieces that my teacher wanted us to do rather than explore our own style. Graphic design is so much better imo, because I can now create digital fine art paintings and really experiment on what I want to do rather than conform to a certain style. Art at alevel is so much more harder to do well in, as it is VERY subjective, whilst graphic design is too, theres a written element and process behind it which you can discuss that will boost your marks whereas in art its much more about the visual aspect. Also, taking an art based subject takes up A LOT of time so you should choose something you know that you'll definitely love. Whilst it may vary, some colleges may feel iffy towards digital art, especially since fine art is such a traditional subject. I have loads of friends who take fine art and graphics at alevel and every single one of them (regardless of their ability) absolutely adore graphics and art...not so much. Hope this helps!
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