Question: “DO I NEED TO HAVE A THEME?”

Answer: Aaargh!  NO! This is one of the most common questions that visual arts students ask and is also one that many DP art teachers get wrong. The simple answer is NO – there is absolutely no need for students to have a theme and when they do have a theme students sometimes fail because their approach to their theme is too restricted and blinkered. In effect the theme prevents them from doing very well. The more complicated answer is still no, but ...

The Theme: why is it not a requirement?

It's one thing that almost all visual arts teachers 'know' about the IBDP visual arts course: students follow a theme. Its generally assumed that the theme is a thread that runs through the work that students create once the teacher has stepped back from giving 'teacher-inspired' assignments, it gives coherence and focus to the final exhibition, etc But the theme is not a course requirement, and as far as I can remember, it has never been a requirement. "Well why not?" you ...