Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back to School Tips for Artists

       Art College costs a lot of money! What else is new... We can't change that. What we can change is how to make the most out of it. And guess what is also tough, being a successful artist! Lots of wasted energy can go into your freshman year or any year for that matter. So here are a bunch of tips I read from an article a while ago I thought would be helpful to share. Hopefully it will help out some people! Its hard being a Freshman so read these tips and maybe write a few down ;) Good luck! 

If you can, double major. Do one that is practical and likely to get you a job! Seriously, putting your eggs all in one basket being an animator or a painter.. Don't do it! Its a huge risk! Thank me later. 

Sit in on your intended major’s upper-level classes. If they bore you, change your major. (For animator's with their eyes set on big studios TAKE A CG CLASS YOUR FIRST SEMESTER) 

Ask upperclassmen which professor challenged them and helped them understand the most important concepts to their major. Take the class from the professor that comes up the most. 

When you pick a major, find out if people usually take more schooling after graduating in that major. Sad story is, that most freshmen don't know that their art B.A. wont do anything for them in many fields.  

It’s never too early for internships. Or you will have regrets. Many people wait till their senior or junior year which is a big mistake. You can always return back to school, you can't always ask for that opportunity to internship once it passes.  Don’t let one of those big regrets be lack of experience because you started looking for internships after you graduated and need a job. 


If you don't like a class or you think you are being over worked. Drop a class! Or if you don gel with a teachers teaching style, switch! 

Do all your hard classes first. Or you WILL burn out.
Not every professor is great. Not every course is great. Sometimes you have to take the bad ones. The trick is not to let your good classes suffer because the bad ones caused you to burn out early. Prioritize your time ;) C's and D's get degrees!! (I heard that term from a friend in Berkeley haha)

If you’re in a major that has a lot of writing, take a class that teaches you how to write — not one of those waste-of-time freshman seminars that have a topic and tell you to write about it, but one that actually teaches rhetorical styles and how to think about writing. If you learn to write well and fast, A’s from all-nighters come easy, especially in upper-level classes that only have you submit a paper. Not so much related to art students but the concept is. You have a major that has a lot of drawing, LEARN HOW TO DRAW well. Don't take a walk in life drawing class, take one where the instructor actually cares and instructs. 

Ask your teachers questions often.

Ask your advisory what classes are required and fill fast? take those early. If not you might be in a situation where you have to graduate an extra semester later bc you couldn't get into a required class. 


If you don't exercise, try doing it the summer before you start school and try to keep it going through classes. You will be sitting and going through a lot of stress. Get your body ready and weather the storm as best you can!

SLEEP! 10 minute power naps will save your life. There comes a point where you will become unproductive, learn to recognize that and just go to sleep. wake up with energy and get back to the grind!

Ask for help if you are drowning. An adviser, a teacher, fellow students. You are not alone and we're all trying to get you to succeed.
NEWS FLASH! It’s O.K. to skip a class here and there. It’s O.K. to go to class in pajamas. It’s O.K. to go to class with a runny nose. Don’t worry about that one class you tried hard in but still earned only a D. It won’t matter in the long run. 


Get to know the people around you, even if you dont think you'll like them. everybody knows something you do not, find out what that is, and in the process you might learn to like them. Make your wolf pack squad that will get your back when you're sick and forward you your class assignments. Socialize with your professors and classmates, you never know when they'll come in handy.

LEARN HOW TO DO SMALL TALK FOR CHRIST SAKE! I don't care if it's awkward, practice it!! Its a basic skill that will cripple you if you don't have it when looking for a job.

Enjoy college, go PARTY, project X style! Go make friends, make mistakes, go to sporting events, get into trouble once in a while! Dont let life pass you by.

Do try to go to class. your professors are people too. Be kind and respectful. They are trying to teach you some good stuff.


I hope this helps you out, share it with fiends and remember to not under estimate college! Good luck to all you starting the school year.  If you want to read a better written version of these tips click here! James Yang wrote a much better article than  me :)