F.E.Sillanpää Upper Secondary School in Hämeenkyrö!

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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Diploma in visual arts

Besides taking the matriculation examination in the academic subjects, skilled students can also earn a diploma in drama, sports, music and visual arts.  However, it is not a very common thing for our students to do as it requires a lot of work on top of all the studying.  So it was very great news to hear that Emmi Turppa (3B) just earned a diploma in visual arts, and with flying colours.  She got the very best grade for her work of art.  Emmi wrote a story about heroism and illustrated it in the form of a cartoon.  She then had it printed.


I wanted to ask Emmi a couple of questions about her project:

1.  When did you decide to start doing this project?                                                                            
-  When I applied to this school, it was clear to me that I would do this because both of my brothers had also earned this diploma.  On the other hand, I don’t honestly know what kind of reason that is for doing something that requires such a huge amount of work.

2.  So it must have been really hard to find time for creative work while studying for all the other subjects.  How long did it take?                                                                                                            
-  I worked four months on it, little by little. I was awfully busy in the autumn as we always got loads of homework in mathematics. Towards the end, I started to feel bored but, after all, it was great to notice my own progress as time went on and I created more and more pages.

3.  You had six topics to choose from.  Why did you want to draw a cartoon on heroism?
-  I have been interested in the Japanese cartoon culture for a long time.  So that task attracted me more than the others, and I was quite lucky to be able to choose a topic that I was already interested in.  This topic also made it possible for me to deal with the Christian Faith which plays a very big role in my own life.

4. Have you drawn cartoons earlier?                                                                                                      
-  No, this was my very first cartoon.  I usually like to concentrate on one picture for a longer time, so I draw and paint separate pictures and convey opinions and feelings without any text.

5. Was it difficult to create the story?  How did you get the idea for it?                                            
   - At first it was difficult as I didn’t know how to approach such a large concept.  I got the idea one day when I was walking my dog as usual, pondering my more or less profound thoughts.  I just started to look at the sky and interpret it in a symbolic way.  At first I looked at it in the same way as you do in the beginning of my book but then I realized something and you can find this final interpretation in the end of my cartoon.  I noticed that this was a good starting point for the cartoon, and these thoughts formed the frame work for the story.  After this basic plot, the rest of the story came quite easily, e.g. bullying which has been a very actual topic for a long time.  (Even though in Zenith’s case it was more about discrimination than about active bullying by calling names etc.)

                                                     The first page of the story.

6. The name of your cartoon is Zeniitti (the Zenith).  What does is it mean?
The zenith is the highest point in the sky, directly above you. The term is used in astronomy, so with it I was able to combine science with my art.

7.  Are you going to apply to study visual arts, will you become an artist?   
- No, I’m not.  I don’t think that’s the way to help other people, especially now that Finland is full of talented artists. But I will go on drawing and painting on my own.

8.  To whom would you recommend this kind of project? 
 - To all students who are interested in visual arts, ready to work hard and develop.  When you work for this diploma, you have a great possibility to learn everything, from different visual techniques to drawing the human anatomy in the correct way – whatever you want to learn.

9.  Any other
  -  The aim of my cartoon is to make the readers think about heroism themselves to find out who their own heroes are. My own opinion is very strong but the readers may and are allowed to disagree.

So if you want to have a closer look at Emmi's book, you can find it in the school library.

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