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Tips for Students Pursuing Art Courses

Dec 19, 2013

Those students who seek to attend arts schools tend to have a creative bend of mind. They take admission to arts courses to pursue a formal education in what they love doing. However, contrary to popular belief, they have to work extremely hard and do more than just drawing and painting. Some social circles may still hold a stigma that students pursuing art courses may not be receiving the same serious education as those students studying traditional courses like medical or engineering. Such perceptions are inaccurate as arts students devote a lot of time and effort in not only abiding by strict teachers and following the curriculum, but also working on practical projects and creating their portfolio. Certain applicants may join the program thinking it to be plain fun and face tough competition, leading to a struggle. Here are a few tips that will help you succeed in and after art school.

Leave your ego at home

Most students walk into art colleges with a swagger as they have the skill, creativity and have managed to outdo peers in high school. But students must not be overconfident and should come with a clean slate to learn more. Every other student in your new class will be highly talented, which is why they are here. Don’t expect every single piece of work you present to fetch you top marks as you may be up against some serious competition. If you keep your expectations very high, you may end up getting disappointed and losing hope, leading to sloppy work without your best touches. The only way you can avoid being hurt is focusing on your own expertise and being humble. Put aside your ego and try to imbibe as much as you can. This is the only way you can grow and become a better artist.

It is good to keep all options open, but choosing a major is vital

Arts can be a vast domain, which is why art schools offer several different art programs and majors in different fields. Some art institutes may allow you to opt for a major after taking a few classes; others may even require you to choose a major before you take admission. So make sure you have a clear idea of what major you would like to pursue in the future. For instance, if you are good at sketching and are always upbeat about latest trends, you can choose fashion designing.

Remember that your first year is for finding out your interests and determining inclinations, so explore all options to figure out your true calling in life. You will realize there is a plethora of career options after art courses so find an aim and then choose a subject that will help you achieve it. Specializing in a core subject (be it fine arts, visual arts, performing arts, painting, sculpture, graphic design or photography) will help you hone your skill and also get noticed by potential employers, providing an excellent head start to your career as an artist.

Find yourself a mentor

You will find that your institute is full of knowledgeable teachers who hold expertise and experience in a particular field. These teachers can assist you in many other ways, apart from passing on information during lectures. They can even serve as useful resources to help you land a good internship or even a job!

Your professors are professionals who have been practicing art and craft and are in touch with some industry people who can get you placed. To tap these resources, students must first recognize their teachers as more than just instructors. So choose a teacher from your field who is apt for becoming your mentor. He/she will be the gatekeeper to the professional world. They can put in a word of recommendation and become your support system.
Your portfolio is the ticket to success

This one is the most crucial step. Your portfolio is like your resume, so you must take it very seriously. There are some students who do not give enough attention to their portfolios and just go on adding to it without giving it a thought. Do not make this blunder. Opt for quality over quantity and add only the significant work of professional development. Don’t include minuscule projects made in class.

This is the culmination of all of your formal years at the art school and is an official declaration of you being an artist, thus it must contain the best of your work to reveal your professional best in front of employers.

Hope the above tips will help you survive through your student days in an art university. You must also use these precious years to build as many connections as possible as your current classmates will go on to become industry allies someday and the larger your network, the better are the possibilities of a brighter career.

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