I always refer back to high school, but I suppose that's because the art teachers were the best and so welcoming. They embraced and encouraged creativity, even though they knew I was going into science. One of my art teachers was there for only two years, but I had her for both. She was, compared to me, on the very left end of the creativity scale if you know what I mean. She had us doing things that no art teacher had ever tried.
I recall a unit where she had us drawing on plexiglass sheets with marker and making monoprints with them. It was messy, barely controllable, and almost drove me nuts. But then again, my favorite medium is colored pencil, which for me allows a great deal of control. The monoprint exercise ended up being a point for me where I could experiment more freely without worrying about the final outcome. Although, I must admit that it was fun!
One of the classes I had her for was AP studio art. For that class, the AP exam was "due" in May like the other AP exams but required a large portfolio. We had to come up with a topic or theme or idea and work with it to create 12 pieces. We also had to submit 12 additional pieces not related to that topic, and send in 5 actual works for a technical skill assessment. Let's just say that I was very busy that year. My topic was marching band. Sounds lame, but it was tricky. The high school I went to, West Genesee, was a powerhouse for marching band. The school had won the last 31 out of 35 state championships, including a winning streak 16 years in the making. In my junior year, the streak was broken and it was horrible. I didn't mind losing, but the whole spirit was ruined and the people who hated the bandies found another reason to scorn us. Anywho, my art was an attempt to capture that feeling, and the change required to bring the band back.
Here are some examples of what I have done, including a few related to the band topic.