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Valeriia's Perfect Score
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What does it mean to get a perfect score on an advanced placement exam? And how do you do it? Find out more by reading about our second perfect score Husky in the past two years!


Exceptional Achievement

Valeriia Li Receives Perfect Score in AP Art

Written by Tayshidordzhf "Taishi" Ogawa

In a remarkable display of artistic prowess, Valeriia Li from the class of 2023 has received a perfect score on the AP Art exam! This achievement reflects both Valeriia’s skill and commitment to her craft. Valeriia’s achievement stands as an example for other advanced art students at HIS who may want to face a new direction with art. Many who had classes with her last year know her for how passionate she is about art, with her stating...

“The only reason I took the course was that it was the only opportunity to have time during art classes to work on my portfolio.”

AP Art is a course that tasks artists to find a theme within their art and build a portfolio that will be submitted at the end of the academic school year. Students not only have to make 8 artworks but also write in 100 words or less their thought processes and inspirations. Valeriia Li in an interview stated how she has been drawing people since 12, prior to that she stated how she tried so hard to avoid drawing people, instead choosing to draw animals, which is one of the reasons for most of her subjects having animalistic features.

“If we talk about what are my inspirations, it’s mythology. I am a mythology nerd, especially when I was younger. In a way, my works can be described as myths since none of them really depict realistic subjects.”

Valeriia’s cool and calm demeanor along with her unique art style brought fresh air to the art scene last year, in essence carving a new path forward for other AP students by being a role model, and showing that AP Art does not have to constrain or be something traditional. This not only demonstrates this year’s theme of pivot, (in the way of her carving a new path forward for others) but also a sense of community and camaraderie, as she would stay after school often, encouraging others to also work on their art projects, often helping them with techniques and visual composition. Not only that, but she truly was open-minded. Open and eager to hear other AP Art students’ thoughts on her work, she took their suggestions in hand as she improvised her art work along the way. 

To Valeriia, making art was joy. She never stressed about the actual artwork itself. Doing art was more of a passion than a requirement; however, she did say how challenging it was to write descriptions. It seems that the College Board has the same high expectations for the written descriptions as they do for the art pieces themselves, causing Valeriia to spend more hours evolving her words to fit her art.

Her major success can also be attributed to how she approached the whole AP submission process. When Valeriia received the news of her score, she said “I did not expect anything… The only reason I took the course was that it was the only opportunity to have time during art classes to work on my portfolio.” Hearing that, some might see this perfect score as a happy accident, but this writer would disagree. While it is important to be diligent and strive hard for a good score, many other students can learn from Valeriia’s example of stressless calm perfection, as AP Art is a form of individual expression, and an art piece can always be appreciated more when one knows that it comes from the artist’s emotions, rather than the artist doing it because the artist thinks that would get them a perfect score.

For students who are interested in or are already taking AP Art, Valeriia has given some practical advice on her artistic process. 

First, anyone who glances at her work notices her bold choice of colors. 

“I value the use of color and tone as one of the most difficult technical parts of art”, and stating how the students should not be afraid to step foot in a direction no matter what others think. “If I wish for the sky to be pink, it will be pink”.

Second, composition is important. Rather than getting drawn into the art-making process, and being super fixated on tiny things, it is important to be able to stand back first and see how that subject or object flows with the rest of the painting. This would not only help to make the art more appealing but could also help with proportions.

Lastly, although she did not personally give this advice, it is important for current and future artists to realize how much effort Valeriia puts into each piece she makes. Never rushing through, Valeriia has taken as long as six months to complete one painting!

“Perfection comes through stressless, calm patient, hard work!”

We congratulate Valeriia for her outstanding artistic work and perfect score, and I would also like to thank you personally, Valeriia, for the motivation you have given future students of all passions.

For more information on Valeriia's perfect score (2023), Sari's perfect score (2022), and the excellence displayed by so many other AP Huskies, check out "AP Huskies Shock the World!"

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