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2-D Design
Augustin Donaldson-Gaul
Arlington High School|Arlington, Massachusetts
Augustin Donaldson-Gaul2_we three.jpg
Untitled|12 x 12 in. Material(s): Adobe Illustrator Process(es): After creating a paper draft, I used Adobe Illustrator to create the final designs. Curatorial Note: Strong example of abstraction.
“I was mostly interested in "soul boss" designs, something one may find on record designs from the '50s. I have grown up in a house full of music—and so, many of the records around my house don't necessarily have just the artist on it, but instead have an image (typically fun and colorful) that encapsulates the idea of the record itself.”
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Before I got to create it, I was slowly but surely gaining an idea of what my sustained investigation would target. I’ve always loved music - especially the “old” or “vinyl” variety- so I figured I should celebrate that. Yet I still needed an actual form of art, which is where I found contemporary yet jazz-age cubism. It was a form of art you didn't see much, but I personally felt like it fit perfectly with what I was going for. It was something I felt like you’d see on a record album or two (a few years back, that is). Simple yet sophisticated, so to speak. And as you may see, the pieces below (going left to right), titled Track V1, Track V2, The Stereo Three have clear indications that I followed this set of rules. Not too many colors in one image, keep the image centralized yet all over the place, so and so forth. None of these first images really “symbolized” something; they were more of a celebration of something I enjoyed.
At a certain point, I had a single slot left to fill in my sustained investigation. All of my previous images had a draft and a final, so this one was going to be a “one-and-done”, if you will. However, I felt like this one needed to mean something. As previously mentioned, all of my other images were an homage to music - and nothing more. I recalled that I struggled with isolation and independence in portions of high school, so I chose to create something out of that. In We Three, there is a collection of (you guessed it) three forms and three faces. I went after that saying “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” at the beginning as a muse of sorts. While this is more of an anti-bystander phrase - I used it as I recalled myself being extremely reserved for a good chunk of high school, as if I was completely lacking all my social senses (sight, speech, hearing). So yes, you’ll see these faces sort of separate and converge, and blot out their senses. Yet, at the same time, I wanted to completely ignore my “color” rule as a reference to the fact that it was my creative juices that kept me going during parts of the last 4 years. In other words, art and music - which is what made my art what it is in the first place.
Augustin Headshot.jpg
Augustin Donaldson-Gaul
To any future AP Art/Design students, I say this: This class gives you a large amount of leeway, so do what you want to do, and have fun with it. But at the same time, try doing something so random, so new to you, so crazy that people don’t know how to feel. After all, I came to this class interested in sculpture.
Material(s): Sketchbook, Graphite Pencil, Ruler Process(es): With ruler, I started with a square format, and continued with graphite pencil into the first draft.

Teacher Statement

David Moore
Gus is a hard-working student who spent every free time devoted to his AP Portfolio Design portfolio to create a personal interpretation of Cubism, Art Deco, and Retro Music album covers. He began with a mind-mapping process to establish his guiding question that guided his in-depth research, revisions, and practice. While the concept of abstraction is particularly challenging for many students, he was able to delve deeply into the possibilities of his inquiry through drawing studies and graphic design creations. He explored his personal interests in music album covers through research about Jazz’s influence in the works of Stuart Davis. Gus revised and refined his goals daily, and as his skills in drawing kept improving, they became a basis to transform the works into dynamic graphic designs using Adobe Illustrator. As the designs became more complex and engaging, he discovered even more opportunities in his project. We discussed the importance of discovering one's “personal voice,” and Gus truly understood it.
David Moore Headshot.webp
Augustin Donaldson-Gaul3.webp
Untitled12 x 12 in. Material(s): Adobe Illustrator
Process(es): Used Adobe Illustrator pen to make the form, then used color tools to finalize the image.
When the final images were printed, he continued to edit until his final submission for the AP Exam, and later for the high school exhibition for AP Art and Design. I feel so fortunate to have had such a diligent and perceptive student that understood the possibilities of abstraction and personal voice. I encourage all AP Art & Design teacher to go beyond the obvious and unlock each student’s unique personal voice.
Congratulations to Gus and thanks to the AP Readers for selecting his work for this wonderful honor.
Augustin Donaldson-Gaul3_Process.webp
Material(s): Sketchbook, Graphite Pencil. Process(es): Began as a light sketch with graphite pencil, afterwords I darkened the lines and shaded it in.
Untitled12 x 12 in. Material(s): Adobe Illustrator
Process(es): After creating a paper draft, I used the tools within Adobe Illustrator to create the final design.
Augustin Donaldson-Gaul