Essential Tips for Excelling in Art & Design School
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Stay Organized
  2. Practice Skills Outside Class
  3. Attend Art Exhibitions
  4. Network with Industry Professionals
  5. Use Technology to Your Advantage
  6. Seek Constructive Criticism
  7. Balance Creativity and Technical Skills
  8. Keep an Inspiration Journal
  9. Take Care of Yourself
  10. Never Stop Learning

Imagine you're standing in the hallways of your new art and design high school. The creative energy is palpable, and you can't wait to start making your own masterpieces. But how do you navigate this new world and ensure you excel? Here are ten tips you might find handy in your artistic journey.

Stay Organized

The life of an art and design student can often seem like a whirlwind of colors, materials, and ideas. It's an exciting experience, but without a bit of order, you might find yourself lost in your own creative chaos. Staying organized is more than just an advice—it's a lifeline in the world of art and design high school.

Organize Your Workspace: A cluttered workspace can hinder your creativity. Keep your materials and tools in designated spots. This way, you will know where everything is and you can focus on what truly matters—bringing your ideas to life.

Manage Your Time: Art projects can take longer than you think. Create a schedule that factors in the time you need for brainstorming, creation, and any revisions. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day; your masterpiece won't be either.

Keep Track of Assignments: Missing deadlines can affect your grades. Use an assignment tracker or a planner to stay on top of your work. A simple calendar with due dates can go a long way in ensuring you never miss a deadline.

Categorize Your Ideas: In art and design high school, you'll have a million ideas buzzing around your head. Keep a notebook to jot them down, categorize them based on themes or projects. This way, when you need inspiration, you'll know where to look.

Getting organized might feel like a chore at first, but once you start, it becomes second nature. Plus, being organized helps you spend less time searching for that elusive paintbrush or the assignment brief and more time on creating. Remember, a well-organized artist is a productive artist.

Practice Skills Outside Class

Art and design high school offers a great platform to learn new skills, but the real magic happens when you take these skills beyond the classroom. Practicing outside of class allows you to experiment, make mistakes, and grow as an artist.

Sketch Regularly: Carry a sketchbook with you. Sketching regularly can help improve your observation skills and hand-eye coordination. Plus, you never know when inspiration might strike!

Try Different Mediums: Don't limit yourself to the materials used in class. Experiment with different mediums. Try your hand at digital art, sculpture, collage, or even graffiti. Each medium offers a unique perspective and can stretch your creative muscles in new ways.

Recreate Artwork: Pick an artwork you love and try to recreate it. This exercise can provide insights into the artist's technique. Remember, it's not about making an exact replica but understanding the process and techniques involved.

Participate in Art Challenges: Art challenges can push you out of your comfort zone. They offer prompts that can spark creativity and provide a fun way to practice your skills. Plus, they're a great way to connect with other artists in the art and design high school community.

Practicing outside of class may feel like extra homework, but it's actually an opportunity. It's your chance to explore, experiment, and most importantly, enjoy the process of creating. Remember, every great artist was first an amateur who never stopped practicing.

Attend Art Exhibitions

Art is not created in a vacuum, and as an art and design high school student, you should immerse yourself in the world of art. One of the best ways to do this is by attending art exhibitions.

Exposure to Different Styles: Art exhibitions showcase a variety of styles, techniques, and themes. Observing these different styles can broaden your understanding of what art can be, and inspire you to try new techniques in your own work.

Learn Art History: Many exhibitions provide context about the artwork, including its historical and cultural significance. This knowledge can deepen your appreciation for the art and give you a richer understanding of the art world.

Connect with Artists and Art Lovers: Exhibitions are social events. They provide opportunities to meet artists, curators, and other art enthusiasts. These connections can offer valuable insights and open doors for future opportunities.

Attending art exhibitions can be a fantastic learning experience. It's like a live textbook where you can see, and sometimes even touch, the art. So, next time there's an art exhibition in town, why not check it out? You'll never know what you might discover!

Network with Industry Professionals

Networking is a powerful tool that can help you grow as an artist. It's not just about getting your name out there, but also learning from those who have walked the path before you in the art and design field.

Gain Valuable Insights: Engaging with industry professionals gives you the chance to learn about the real-world challenges, strategies, and trends in the art and design high school field. This can give you a fresh perspective and inspire new ideas for your own work.

Create Opportunities: Building relationships with people in the industry can lead to opportunities you might not have found otherwise, like internships, collaborative projects, or even job offers.

Get Feedback: Professionals in your field can provide constructive feedback on your work, helping you to improve your craft.

Networking might seem intimidating at first, but remember, every professional was once a beginner too. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask questions. After all, the art and design community is known for its collaboration and support.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Technology has become a game changer in the art and design world. It can bring your creations to life in ways that traditional methods can't. So, how can you use it to excel in art and design high school?

Learn New Techniques: Digital platforms offer a wide range of tools and techniques that you can add to your creative arsenal. For example, 3D modeling software can help you create complex and realistic designs, while graphic design apps can help you experiment with different styles and effects.

Portfolio Building: Websites and social media platforms can be your digital gallery, showcasing your work to a global audience. This can be a great way to attract attention from potential employers or clients.

Online Learning: The internet is a treasure trove of knowledge. You can find tutorials, webinars, and online courses about almost any art and design topic you can think of. These resources can help you refine your skills and explore new areas of interest.

Remember, technology is just a tool. It doesn't replace the need for creativity and hard work. But if you learn to use it well, it can give you a big advantage in your art and design high school journey.

Seek Constructive Criticism

No one likes to hear that their work isn't perfect. But when you're at an art and design high school, constructive criticism is one of the most valuable things you can receive. It's like a mirror that shows you what you can't see for yourself. So how can you use it to improve?

Ask for Feedback: Don't wait for teachers or classmates to offer their thoughts. Be proactive. Ask them what they think about your work, and be open to their comments. You might be surprised by what you learn.

Listen with an Open Mind: When you receive criticism, try not to take it personally. Instead, consider it as a learning opportunity. Think about the points raised, and see how you can use them to improve your work.

Act on the Feedback: It's not enough to just listen to criticism. You need to put it into action. Try to incorporate the feedback into your future projects. You'll see your skills improve and your work evolve in exciting ways.

Remember, getting feedback is not about finding approval. It's about learning and growing as an artist. So, the next time someone offers you some constructive criticism, thank them. They're helping you become better at what you love to do.

Balance Creativity and Technical Skills

There's an old saying that 'art is the expression of the soul'. True, but if you're studying at an art and design high school, you'll quickly find out that art is also about technique. The trick is finding a balance between your creative instincts and your technical skills. Here's how you can do it:

Explore Different Techniques: Take advantage of the range of courses your school offers. Try your hand at everything from digital design to traditional painting. The more techniques you master, the more tools you'll have to express your creativity.

Embrace the Rules: It might sound a bit boring, but understanding the basic principles of art and design—like color theory, perspective, and composition—can actually free your creativity. Once you know the rules, you can start to play with them, bend them, or even break them.

Trust Your Instincts: While technical skills are important, don't forget to listen to your inner artist. If something feels right to you, even if it's not technically perfect, go with it. Sometimes the most compelling art comes from those unexpected, unfiltered moments of creativity.

Remember, an art and design high school isn't just about learning to draw or design. It's about finding your own unique voice as an artist and learning how to express it. So, don't be afraid to experiment, take risks, and step outside your comfort zone. After all, that's where the magic happens.

Keep an Inspiration Journal

Every artist needs a well of inspiration to draw from, and an inspiration journal can be just the bucket you need. As a student in an art and design high school, you might find that ideas come at the most random moments. A unique color combination on a poster, an interesting pattern on a floor tile, or a captivating scene in a movie; all these can spark your creativity.

That's why you should keep an inspiration journal. It's a place where you can jot down ideas, paste in pictures, sketch rough designs, and record thoughts or feelings that you want to express in your art. It will be your personal treasure trove of inspiration.

To make the most out of your journal, here are few tips:

Carry It Everywhere: You never know when inspiration will strike, so keep your journal within reach at all times. This way, you can record your thoughts and ideas as soon as they come to mind.

Make It Visually Appealing: Who said a journal has to be boring? Feel free to decorate the cover, use colorful pens, or stick in photos and cut-outs. The more visually appealing it is, the more you'll want to use it.

Review It Regularly: Make it a habit to flip through your journal regularly. It can help you connect the dots between different ideas, and you'll be surprised at what you can come up with.

Remember, your inspiration journal is a reflection of you and your creative journey. So, make it as unique and personal as your art. It will not only help you create better designs, but also track your growth as an artist throughout your art and design high school journey.

Take Care of Yourself

Art and design high school can be a thrilling and exciting journey. However, along with the joy of creating and exploring your artistic talents, it can also bring long hours of work, tight deadlines, and a fair amount of stress. That's why it's just as important to take care of yourself as it is to work on your art.

Here's a fact: creativity flows best when you are physically and mentally well. So, make sure you're eating right, sleeping enough, and taking breaks when you need them. Don't let the pressure of projects and deadlines push you to neglect your well-being. Remember, your health is your wealth, especially when it comes to creating art.

Here are a few practical tips:

Stay Active: Regular physical activity can boost your mood, reduce stress levels and increase your creativity. It could be a simple walk in the park, a quick yoga session, or even a dance class. Find an activity you enjoy and make it a part of your routine.

Eat Right: Your diet plays a significant role in your overall well-being. Instead of surviving on caffeine and fast food, try to incorporate fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods into your meals. They will provide the energy and nutrients you need to keep creating amazing art.

Rest Well: Sleep is when your body recharges, and your mind processes and organizes information. Make sure you're getting enough sleep each night. If you're pulling an all-nighter to finish a project, remember to catch up on sleep afterwards.

By taking care of yourself, you'll not only be a healthier artist but also a more productive one. Don't forget, you're not just an art student; you're a human too. Your art and design high school journey will be much more enjoyable if you're healthy and happy.

Never Stop Learning

Art and design high school is undoubtedly a significant stepping stone on your journey as an artist. Yet, it's crucial to remember that learning doesn't stop once you've graduated. In fact, the most successful artists are those who never stop learning.

Art is dynamic, and design trends are continually evolving. New tools, techniques, and concepts are emerging all the time. Staying updated and learning these new skills can give you an edge in your art and design journey.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate continuous learning into your routine:

Read Widely: Reading not only broadens your knowledge but also exposes you to different styles and perspectives. This could include art history books, design magazines, or even blogs and articles online. Who knows, you might find inspiration in the most unexpected places!

Attend Workshops: Workshops can be a valuable source of new skills and knowledge. Plus, they often offer hands-on experience, which is a great way to learn. Check out workshops at your school or in your local community.

Explore Online Courses: Today, there is an abundance of online platforms offering courses on every imaginable art and design topic. Sites like Coursera or Skillshare can be a great resource for learning at your own pace.

Experiment with New Techniques: Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Experimenting with new techniques can lead to amazing discoveries and can push your art to new heights.

Remember, every artist was first an amateur. By keeping an open mind and a hunger for knowledge, you can continue to grow and evolve as an artist even beyond your art and design high school years.

If you're eager to excel in art and design school, consider checking out the workshop 'The Insane Potential of AI-Generated Art and Design' by Aunia Kahn. This workshop will introduce you to the innovative world of AI-generated art and design, giving you an edge in your studies and creative pursuits. Stay ahead of the curve and explore the exciting possibilities that AI technology brings to the art and design world.