Student design a self-portrait photograph considering pose, costume/clothing, setting, and props or artifacts and write a blog post on their electronic portfolio.  They respond to these prompts:

1. Explain you portrait and all of its elements.
2. The project this year that you feel was the ost successful was... and why?
3. The project this year the you feel best demonstrates your creativity was....
4. Describe your  experience creating artwork this year, where you feel you started, surprises, disappointments, or revelations.

Students worked through several exercises to help them define their identity - personality assessments, creativity problem solving style and a worksheet about personal attributes.

Here is an example by one of ISA's exchange students, Pimlada. 


Self-Portrait of An Artist

By Pimlada (Edit)

Special Thank: Marcella S. – Photo


Title: Part(s) of me

Medium: MIxed Media

Date: May 2012


The end of the school year is coming up, our final exam, though, seems to guide us back through the steam of time to the very beginning of it all – ourselves.

This one of the very last project of us is the combination of virtually and emotionally reflections. We look at ourselves from the distance and present who we are, who we think we are or who we want people to think we are through lens and layers in Self-Portrait. In the statementthat goes with it, though, is the reflection of us and Global Art projects we did throughout the year and, in addition to also being an artist statement for the portrait, this statement will also be an introduction of ourselves for the first time.

I was born as an only child in the land of far east, Thailand (where China is on the North of us and Vietnam is on the East and we border neither of them). I got a chance to be here in the United States as an exchange student for a year. My name is Pimlada Chandaeng. It does have a meaning, if you are wondering. I am 17 years old and busy myself with books, music, Art (apparently), adorable animals and even, sometimes, robotics. I also find that having a conversation with international people or having an international-topic conversation is very interesting and enjoyable and by ‘international’, American topics do fall into the category. And that is why I must say that being a junior in the International School of the Americas is an exceptional experience.



Going back to Art class, the project this year that I feel was the most successful was Mandala. It is true that the piece was submitted into the VASE art competition and passed into the State level competition, but it was not the reason why I chose this project as the most successful one. Looking back to all of the projects, I realized that mandala is the only project that successfully went as planned. I did spend a decisive amount of time researching. I did spend a great amount of time putting all pieces of information I got into the design and even though that was what I did in every project, the time I spent in this one is one of the most – or the only one – that was spent efficiently. And by ‘efficiently’, I mean it was reasonable when considering the outcomes and the challenges of the work. The final piece is not different from my original idea – it went as planned. So, I guess I could also say my plan for Mandala was more thought through than the rest.

Comic Proportion

Comic Proportion

The project this year that I feel best demonstrates my creativity was Comic Proportion. Although, if consider only the idea of the project itself, I would say Mandala and Illuminated Paper Sculptures are the projects that allow you to use your creativity the most. However, to me, I feel like I had used more of my creativity in Comic Proportion than any other projects as I needed to draw something out ofnothing. We only know we needed to have ourselves in there, but since the way we will appear was not fixed, it did not count. And for the guideline, I guess everybody were heading the same way, to draw something that connected to environmental issue, part of it was to have something to start with and also, for those extra points. At least that was my case. So I needed to create this piece, using a lot of creativity to come up with style, proportion, layouts, props, cloths, point of view and the message with only two words to start with, me and environment. Yeah, I definitely used a lot of creativity in this project.

Creating artworks this year was truly new and memorable. It was to let your heart speaks through the right brain while you make sure everything is on time, on plan and on the right track with your left brain. That was really different. My past artistic self always had only 2 methods. Let all flow with emotions or plan it all inflexibly. Here, I must tell you, did not turn out pretty so often. So art this year has been one of my ‘unmovable feasts’ as it has opened a new path that will continue to be written on my personal map towards the destination ‘art’.

So, that was all about background information. It might clarify the connection of me and my portrait but I doubt it. To avoid all those confusions, I will make sure the portrait got introduced properly here. There are two simple parts – lens and layers. Lens is simply means the photo taken of me. I was in my daily life, no special dress-up or planned costume but I was me. And that was all I wanted people to think of me, was what I think I am and, of course, is what I am. Simple, down-to-earth, ordinary person. And then it comes to layers. The project, the portrait was encouraged to be manipulated. I was having this impressive James Blunt-album idea earlier where the little pictures, tens or hundreds of them were put together to form a shape of him. Not enough time to do it, though. I was not into stylish idea, like when you put different poses of you next to each other, a 4-shot kind of picture, either. So I ended up doing what I did. No special reasons but I just had an idea of dyeing my photo into different colors and put each of them next to the picture, where I made it look a little playful from the original photo, to represent different me. So that was why in each part of me, it was manipulated with different styles. However, I found that if I am going to convey different me, why don’t convey it through different parts to added different aspects of me instead? And so I did. For the background, though, I was thinking of white but it looked so awawardly empty. I was tempted to look up the pictures to put in the background, but all my English lessons abot copyright kicked in and I realized that I want nothing alien in my own portrait, so I ended up making it myself. And that is what you can see up above. :)


  • pvalen says:

    What a wonderful conclusion to your carefully written and beautiful Global Art portfolio! It has been my privilege to work with your this year. Not only were all of your project exemplary, but also your artist statements. I continue to marvel at your expression in a second (or third!) language. Please keep in touch in the future. There are great things ahead for you and I would like to observe what they are. Thailand should be very proud to have you return and will benefit from your abilities, your intellect, and your heart. Thank you for being a part of the Global Art class this year.