previous arrownext arrowBack to top arrow
Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Linkedin
2-D Design
Emily Guardado Reyes​
Plainfield High School - Central Campus​|Plainfield, Illinois​
Emily Guardado Las Mujeres de la Mañana_1.jpg
Las mujeres de la mañana|8.58 x 8.44​ in. Idea(s): Moved by the hardwork of women who work early in the morning in order to care and feed their family​ Material(s): Wacom tablet, Wacom pen, Clip Studio Paint​ Process(es): Start with sketch, move to line art, add base colors and background, shade and define, add lighting
Curatorial Note: Strong work addressing Mexican cultural issues.
“I initially started with the surface-level cultural aspects of Mexico. I started to slowly transition into diving deeper into Mexican culture and experimenting with a new art style. With each art piece, I experimented with a new style to attempt to get closer to a style that captures an understanding of the culture, along with having more meaningful pieces of work.”​


Coming up with original ideas for my sustained investigation was hard. My art teacher advised me that I should follow a prompt I’m familiar and comfortable with, which is how I came up with the idea to make it about my Mexican culture, though what worried me was the countless other students that could be doing the same thing as me. I overcame those worries and decided I couldn’t go wrong with my own culture as my topic but what I came to realize in that process was how differently America viewed Mexico and its culture, almost as if it was embarrassing or shameful.

My work, “Las Mujeres de la Mañana,” is a piece of art that puts Mexico and its people through a new lens. I knew that I could not leave the American media in charge of how they are going to represent me and my culture. I focused on referencing everyday people and their routines in Mexico. It was crucial to accurately convert what I was seeing with my eyes onto a digital tablet and program. At first, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Will I be able to express the same emotions a traditional artist can when connecting their brush to a real canvas? Digital art already has a weird stigma about not being real art. However, the same brush, lighting, and anatomy techniques should still apply in digital. It wasn't the computer that generated the forms and emotions, it was me. I wanted to emphasize texture in my piece, I used brushes that had bumps and ridges and that were not consistent. The texture made the piece feel alive instead of smooth and clean; it made the women exist in their own space. The light shining down guides the eye toward these women and follows them to a new day of work. This is the beauty of hardworking women taking care of the household and caring for the family, it is the passion that we carry in our blood. There is no embarrassment, only pride, and joy for my culture. This is the feeling I carried with me through my portfolio.
Emily Guardado Reyes
And to other AP Art and Design students, do not look at your portfolio as an exam. Do not compare your work to others when they have different educations and experiences. Do not put a rating on your art, take a break from being your harshest critic. It is difficult not to want to erase and redo, we all want to show our best, however, allow yourself to fail and allow yourself to learn and grow. Draw for yourself, draw what you want, what you believe, because this talent, no, this effort and hard work, is something no one can take from you.
Material(s): Wacom tablet, Wacom pen, Clip Studio Paint​ Process(es): Initial idea sketch straight to lineart ​
Leer en español
Proponer ideas originales para mi investigación sostenida fue difícil. Mi maestra de arte me aconsejó que debería seguir un tema con el que estoy familiarizada y me sienta cómoda, y así fue como se me ocurrió la idea de hacerlo sobre mi cultura mexicana, aunque lo que me preocupaba eran los innumerables estudiantes que podrían estar haciendo lo mismo que yo. Superé esas preocupaciones y decidí que no podía equivocarme con mi propia cultura como mi tema, pero de lo que me di cuenta en ese proceso fue la manera diferente que Estados Unidos veía a México y su cultura, como si fuera algo vergonzoso o indigno.

Teacher Statement

Lindsay Brown
For my students, AP Art and Design is the first class they take where I am not spoon-feeding them content and techniques, like their beginner and intermediate Art Classes. So I take a lot of time at the beginning of the year going through good and bad examples. The bad examples are the most helpful so they can see what could have been done to make it better. AP Art and Design is also where my students really start to encounter writing about every one of their pieces. We start small, with self-critiques, and over time start bundling 3-4 projects at a time to write about and, most importantly, looking at the works as a unified whole. I teach all 3 portfolios in one class, so I cannot necessarily teach new techniques when I have one student making sculptures and the other photography. But in their sketchbooks every week, they are encouraged to look at other artists and experiment with different techniques and media. The way I structure my class we start with a week of sketching, practicing, and researching a single project. Week 2 is for progress and evaluation, week 3 is when the final project is due. I encourage all my students throughout the year to go back and redo a project that is already finished to experiment and revise it. Their final projects, due every 3 weeks, are their formative assessments accompanied by a self-critique. In May, they receive a summative grade for completing and submitting their final portfolio.
What I learned from working with Emily is keeping things simple and connecting to what is important to you/your life ends up being the most successful and engaging artwork. When you put a little of yourself into your artwork, people notice and admire it. As a junior, Emily has done amazing work. I am so proud of her and excited to see what she will accomplish this year and in years to come.
Material(s): Wacom tablet, Wacom pen, Clip Studio Paint​ Process(es): Initial idea sketch straight to lineart ​
At our school, we are lucky to have a principal who is an advocate of the Art program, and he does a great job of supporting us financially and publicly with announcements, social media posts, etc. He also loves to visit our classroom to witness the amazing work being done.
The mistake I made in my first few years of being an AP Art and Design teacher was not being constructive enough, I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But in the end, learning to give criticism was needed to have them start producing quality work. Routine and structure are also your friends to help you meet your deadlines.
Emily Guardado Reyes​