AP Art of the Week

Spotlight on Artist Autumn Potter

The Elective’s digital art museum this week features a digital illustration made by Autumn Potter from Friendswood High School in Friendswood, Texas.

Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. Each week we highlight a work or series created in one of the AP Arts concentrationsAP 2-D Art and Design, 3-D Art and Design, and AP Drawing (the AP Program also offers Art History and Music Theory)—as well as a statement from the artist (and, occasionally, their teacher).

From the first cave paintings to contemporary breakthroughs in virtually reality, art, in all its forms, has been a crucial way for people to process, make sense of, comment on, and grapple with the world around them. After more than a year of life in a pandemic, AP Art students have risen to the challenge of processing and making sense of the challenges—and opportunities—that have come from this perilous time. The work they submitted in their final portfolios is explicitly of the moment. It’s often challenging and provocative, but always insightful, inspiring, and expansive.

This week we feature a digital illustration made by Autumn Potter from Friendswood High School in Friendswood, Texas.

Cartoony illustration depicting dozens of scenes of a stuffed bear going into outer space

Here’s Autumn’s statement on the work:

“‘Beary Big Dreams’ is a collection of illustrations I worked on for a published children's book. The story is about a teddy bear whose biggest dream is to go to outer space. Although they finally make it, they couldn’t have done it without their best friend. The teddy bear continues to dream big, anticipating their next adventure!

“My sustained investigation was ‘Character Development,’ where I would go through the steps of making characters and putting them into action. ‘Beary Big Dreams’ is one of those final steps, when I have created all my characters and thoroughly thought out their personalities, then they are finally incorporated into a story.

Two red sketches of illustrations in the stuffed bear cartoon, showing a rocket ship launching, on the left, and a young girl confronting a space suited astronaut, on the right

“My sustained investigation was heavily inspired by my love for cartoons. I remember around the age of 4 I was watching one of my favorite cartoons and all I could focus on was the lines that made up that character. I saw the curves that made up her head and how her eyes were almond shaped. I noticed how every line was crucial to this character's appearance. I then would transfer what I saw on TV to my coloring books. This started a trend of making my own characters and stories that I could put them into.”

And here are a few other works from Autumn’s portfolio:

Cartoony illustration of figures tumbling out of a real-life pencil box

I wanted to show a comical scene of characters being in a big world.

Cartoony illustration of a man being served in a real-life diner

I wanted to show characters interacting in a busy diner scene and interacting with each other.

Two process images, stacked on top of each other, showing how two characters were created

I sketched my characters with a low opacity brush, then created the final character design.

Cartoony illustration of a young black woman and young white woman smiling as they embrace

I blocked out shapes with a low opacity brush then outlined with thick black and colorful strokes.

Student statements are lightly edited for length and clarity.