How to Start a Reflection Essay on Art
Because a reflection essay on art is your chance to go back and take an informal look at a substantial project you have completed, many people incorrectly assume that it will be the easiest part. In reality, it takes a mature perspective, a developed voice, and the ability to be simultaneously informal and articulate to write a good reflection essay on art. In this article, I assume that you are writing a reflective essay on art you have made yourself, but the instructions can be easily adapted to help you reflect on an art history unit or a report you did on an art exhibit.
1 Consult the rubric
Consult the rubric. Generally, your teacher will provide a list of points you are expected to address. Jot down a few notes on each point. Don't try to be comprehensive - keep it light and flowing at this stage. Think of the first things that come to your mind.
2 Look at your art project
Look at your art project. What does it make you think about? Do you like it? Hate it? Take a closer look at the details. Was there some part that you had to struggle to complete? Was there something that came easy or hit like a burst of inspiration? Write down as much or as little as you are inspired to.
3 Think about the project as a whole
Think about the project as a whole. Find a moment that encapsulated the whole process of creating, refining, and finishing your work of art. It could be the first moment where you really felt engaged in the project, or it could be an obstacle that nearly stopped you dead in your tracks and that you had to overcome. That is where you should start your reflective essay.
4 Use the drama
Use the drama of the moment you just thought of to begin your essay. You want your essay as a whole to tell the story of your project, and your first paragraph to tell a story within that story to draw the reader in. Use vivid descriptive to make the reader feel what you felt.
5 Leave the reader hanging
Leave the reader hanging. Don't tell the whole story of whatever moment you chose in your introductory paragraph - leave something for the ending. Then, you can keep the reader interested in the story within the story even as you lead them through the entire process.
6 Step back to tell the rest
Step back to tell the rest of the story. For example, if you start with a description of a last minute problem you had to solve in your art project, you might start the next paragraph with something like "By that point, of course, I had been working on the project for 6 weeks." This will take you right back to the beginning of the project, allowing you to reflect on each stage in order.
7 As you go through
As you go through, use the details you thought about in step 2. If there are some aspects of your work that you are especially proud of, tell the reader how they came about. If there are other aspects that you don't like, tell the reader why you don't like them. Don't just list them, but put them in at whatever stage of your project they occurred.
8 Make to hit every detail
Make sure to hit every detail on the rubric. Try to keep it in the back of your mind as you go through. Tat way, you can integrate it into the flow of your essay and make it sound more natural.
9 For your conclusion
For your conclusion, come back to the mini story and relate it to the project as a whole. If you found you had to trust your intuition to complete one aspect of your piece, explain what the project as a whole has taught you about intuition in art. If you had to scrap it all and start over at some stressful point, you might talk about what you learned about the need to plan, or the willingness to admit to yourself when you are wrong. Be humble. Show that there is something you had to learned, and that you learned it.
- Don't proofread your essay too aggressively until you are done. The important thing is to get started. You can come back and polish it later.