Statement of Intent

Self guided education

Academies vs. Contemporary (Interdisciplinary) Schools

Academies are discipline based.

Focused on certain types of media (drawing and painting)

Generally focused on certain subject matter (the figure)

3 figures


“How then might the art school better reflect the conditions of contemporary art? How can art school curriculum apply the interdisciplinary, process‐based and collaborative logic of much contemporary art practice? One alternative to the discipline‐based model is that of the ‘open studio’ practiced . The open studio marks a significant departure from the structure of the conventional art school in a number of ways.   Firstly, the open studio is non‐disciplinary in its approach to art‐making: students are not streamed according to medium or discipline. In preference to notions of medium, students are encouraged to engage with the more urgent issue of practice – that is, the way in which subjectivity and process unfold as a continuum of enquiry in the art studio. That is, students are immersed from the outset in a studio framework that prioritises the essential problem of developing and sustaining an art practice. The tendency of most discipline‐based courses is to introduce independent practice. Independent practice is treated as an advanced competency that develops out of the sound grounding in a specific medium.


What media do you want to work with?


What techniques do you wish to mimic/build upon?


Who are other artists working with similar media?





Suggestions of Components for an SOI

Section One:

(i) Working title of theme of Final Major Project

(ii) What you will work towards producing.

Section Two:

(iii) Influences, starting points, contextual references.

(iv) Early ideas, research and sources (it is recommended that you include a short list of research sources and bibliography).

Section Three:

(v) Intended techniques, media, processes. (vi) Timescales (an action plan would be beneficial).

Section Four:

(vii) Proposed method of evaluations (how you will critically review and analyse your FMP) – remember that for unit 9 you are required to produce a supporting statement which can be used as the focus of your evaluation. You are advised that the bibliography and time scale may be attached to the Statement as an appendix. Your Statement of Intent must be no less than 300 words and no more than 500 words.


Examples of documentation

Examples of SOIs

What do artists do all day?

Making it in the little leagues of Graphic Design with Aaron Draplin

Overview of week 1

– Monday: General introduction to Final Major Project, assignment given and state whether you are a intending to do Experimental Media or Graphic Design. Jeremiah will introduce you to what is meant by an Statement of Intent.

– Tuesday: Instead of your 12.50 class you will be expected to go to the Visiting Artist & Lecturer Series. The artist’s name is Jesus Palomino and the location is Room 001 in Blanicka at 5pm which is after your first EMD class with Franco. Check the noticeboard for further details…

– Wednesday: Everyone must have at least 2 potential ideas ready to discuss for your Final Major Project, along with some initial research to help explain your ideas. Groups are then announced.

– Friday: Everyone will meet for further discussion of your ideas along with further research with Sean in relation to writing a formal Statement of Intent (SOI) One idea will be selected from the two. Groups are then announced.

This week Students will firstly be expected to suggest at least 2 potential ideas for a Final Major Project (FMP) on Wednesday during Sean’s session. They must then do some further initial research about both ideas to explain and justify their 2 concepts and have this ready for their class with Sean on Friday.

It is important to come up with ideas that have a strong concept or theme and a depth of thought so that a number of pieces or a very in-depth and involved single piece of work can be produced. Remember this piece of work is also ultimately about achieving merits and distinctions.

During your classes with either Sean or Jeremiah you should agree with your lecturer which of your 2 concepts will be the final version to work up into a proper SOI (statement of intent) and you should bring a first typed draft of this to your next class. You will also be expected to produce your own realistic working timeline of how you envisage your work progressing.

When you prepare your final SOI you must also create a planner for the whole semester. This must be submitted with your final SOI and its creation must be taken seriously


What’s a statement of Intent?


“The statement of intent: a reflective, concise piece of writing which details, evaluates, and contextualises each student’s self- authored project designed to identify and build upon personal aptitudes and strengths and articulate ideas clearly. An essential and transferable skill required for career progression as an artist practitioner.

You must create a plan, which can be managed, reviewed, and evaluated, and this will show how your own development will be articulated. You must choose proper resources to inform your work, create a way of collecting all of your information (via a blog or a sketchbook) and DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT all of your process. Did I mention you need to DOCUMENT your process? Yeah. Because if you don’t you’ll fail. 

Reflect on what drives you as an artist. Whether you are driven by the beauty of nature or rebelling against government oppression, search your past for any defining moments that may have shaped your perspective. Write these memories down on scrap paper as a reference source while writing your statement of purpose.

Research the artistic benefits of study in each studio art program you wish to apply to. Review the artwork of the instructors and read their personal biographies. This information should be available on the program website. Be certain to note how each program has the potential to enhance your artwork. Identify anything about your art or your personal character that may be an asset to these programs.

Open your statement of purpose with a compelling statement in three sentences that sums up your passion, your direction and your motivation for being an artist.

Explain your artwork and your experience as an artist in one to two paragraphs. Discuss any important courses taken in college that helped to shape your art, including any professors who influenced you.


Here’s a link with a couple hundred examples of blogs which focus on certain genres and fields relating to art and design. However, you’ll also be combining your research, with your own documentation of your work.