5 Practical Tips for Thriving in Art School: Lessons from Art Schooled
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


Tip 1: Embrace Your Creative Process

Tip 2: Build a Strong Network

Tip 3: Master Time Management

Tip 4: Invest in Quality Art Supplies

Tip 5: Seek Professional Development Opportunities

Art school can be an exciting and enriching experience, especially when you're well-prepared and ready to make the most of it. In this blog, we'll share five practical tips to help you thrive in art school and get the most out of your time as an aspiring artist. These lessons come from those who've been art schooled themselves, and are now passing on their wisdom to you.

Tip 1: Embrace Your Creative Process

Every artist has their own unique creative process, and it's important to recognize and embrace yours as you navigate through art school. Let's explore some key aspects of developing and maintaining a strong creative process.

Finding Inspiration

Discovering what inspires you is essential for staying motivated and excited about your work. Inspiration can come from various sources, such as:

  • Observing nature and everyday life
  • Studying the work of other artists, both in and outside of your field
  • Engaging with different forms of media, like books, films, or music

Keep a sketchbook or journal to record ideas and experiences that inspire you—this way, you'll always have a wellspring of inspiration to draw from when you need it.

Developing a Unique Art Style

Having a distinctive art style can help set you apart from other artists and make your work more memorable. To develop your own style, try:

  • Experimenting with different techniques and mediums
  • Refining your artistic voice by focusing on themes and subjects that resonate with you
  • Studying the work of artists you admire and identifying elements you can incorporate into your own style

Remember, it's okay for your style to evolve over time as you grow and learn as an artist.

Overcoming Creative Blocks

Even the most art schooled individuals can face creative blocks from time to time. When you're feeling stuck, some strategies to overcome these blocks include:

  • Taking breaks and engaging in activities unrelated to your art, like going for a walk or spending time with friends
  • Setting small, achievable goals to regain momentum and motivation
  • Seeking feedback from peers, instructors, or mentors to gain new perspectives and insights on your work

Remember, creative blocks are a natural part of the artistic process, and overcoming them can lead to valuable growth and learning experiences.

Tip 2: Build a Strong Network

Building a strong network is essential for any artist, as it can open doors to new opportunities and provide valuable support throughout your art school journey. Here are some tips for cultivating meaningful connections with fellow artists and professionals in the art world.

Connecting with Classmates

Your classmates are not only your peers but also potential collaborators and future professional connections. To build strong relationships with them, you can:

  • Participate in group projects and contribute positively to the team dynamic
  • Attend social events, like exhibition openings and art school gatherings, to mingle with your peers
  • Offer constructive feedback on others' work and be open to receiving feedback on your own

By connecting with classmates, you'll develop a network of like-minded artists who can support and inspire one another throughout your art schooled lives.

Joining Artist Communities

Beyond your classmates, there are many artist communities you can join to expand your network. Consider:

  • Becoming a member of local or online art organizations and participating in their events
  • Volunteering at galleries, museums, or community art projects to meet other artists and art professionals
  • Following and engaging with artists and art-related accounts on social media to stay connected and informed

Joining these communities can provide you with valuable resources, knowledge, and connections that can help you grow as an artist.

Collaborating on Projects

Working with other artists on collaborative projects can lead to exciting and unexpected creative results. Collaboration can also strengthen your network and expose you to new ideas and techniques. To find collaboration opportunities, you can:

  • Propose joint projects to classmates or artists you admire
  • Participate in group exhibitions or collaborative workshops
  • Join online platforms that connect artists for collaborative projects

By collaborating with others, you'll not only expand your artistic horizons but also build lasting relationships with fellow artists who can help you thrive in your art schooled journey.

Tip 3: Master Time Management

Time management is a crucial skill to develop in art school, as it can directly impact your productivity, creativity, and overall success. Here are some strategies to help you make the most of your time and stay on top of your art schooled responsibilities.

Setting Priorities

With numerous projects, assignments, and events to juggle, it's essential to prioritize your tasks. To do this effectively, you can:

  • Make a list of tasks and rank them according to their importance and deadlines
  • Focus on one task at a time, completing the most critical or time-sensitive tasks first
  • Regularly review and adjust your priorities as new tasks arise or deadlines change

By setting clear priorities, you can ensure that you allocate your time and energy to the tasks that matter most.

Creating a Study Schedule

A study schedule can help you organize your time and establish a routine that supports your art schooled goals. To create an effective study schedule, you can:

  • Block out time for classes, assignments, studio work, and other art-related activities
  • Include breaks and leisure time to prevent burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance
  • Review and adjust your schedule regularly to accommodate changes in your workload or commitments

With a well-structured study schedule, you'll be better equipped to manage your time and stay on track toward your artistic aspirations.

Avoiding Procrastination

Procrastination can be a major obstacle in art school, but with the right strategies, you can overcome it and stay productive. Here are some tips to help you avoid procrastination:

  • Break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps
  • Set specific, achievable goals for each work session
  • Eliminate distractions, like turning off your phone or finding a quiet workspace
  • Reward yourself for completing tasks or reaching milestones

By implementing these strategies, you'll develop a proactive mindset and make steady progress in your art schooled journey.

Tip 4: Invest in Quality Art Supplies

Investing in quality art supplies is essential for any artist, especially when you're in art school. High-quality supplies can enhance your work, make your creative process smoother, and ultimately contribute to your success. Here's what you need to know about selecting and caring for your art supplies:

Choosing the Right Brands

With so many brands on the market, it can be challenging to determine which ones are the best fit for your needs. Keep the following tips in mind when selecting your art supplies:

  • Research and compare different brands to find ones known for their quality and reliability
  • Ask for recommendations from your art schooled peers or instructors
  • Start with a few key products from a brand and test them out before committing to a more extensive collection

By choosing the right brands, you'll be better equipped to create your best work and make a lasting impression in art school.

Caring for Your Supplies

Proper care and maintenance of your art supplies can extend their lifespan and ensure that they perform at their best. Follow these guidelines to keep your supplies in top condition:

  • Store your materials in a clean, organized space to prevent damage or loss
  • Clean brushes, palettes, and other tools thoroughly after each use
  • Replace supplies as needed to maintain the quality of your work and avoid frustration

Taking good care of your art supplies will not only save you money in the long run, but it will also help you stay focused and productive in your art schooled endeavors.

Finding Affordable Options

Quality art supplies can be pricey, but there are ways to find affordable options without sacrificing performance. Consider these tips for finding budget-friendly supplies:

  • Shop during sales or take advantage of discounts offered by art supply stores
  • Buy in bulk to save on cost-per-item, especially for frequently used materials
  • Look for student discounts or join art supply store loyalty programs for additional savings

By exploring affordable options, you can ensure that you have access to the supplies you need while staying within your art schooled budget.

Tip 5: Seek Professional Development Opportunities

As an art school student, it's essential to seek professional development opportunities that can help you grow as an artist and prepare for a successful career. In this section, we'll discuss some practical ways to enhance your skills and expand your horizons.

Attending Workshops and Conferences

Workshops and conferences are excellent ways to learn new techniques, gain insights from industry experts, and network with other artists. To get the most out of these events, try the following:

  • Research events relevant to your artistic interests and make a plan to attend them
  • Participate actively in workshops and engage with presenters and fellow attendees
  • Take notes during presentations and apply what you've learned to your work in art school

By attending workshops and conferences, you'll stay informed about the latest trends and developments in your field, making you a more well-rounded and knowledgeable artist.

Participating in Artist Residencies

Artist residencies offer a unique opportunity to focus on your work, gain new perspectives, and collaborate with fellow artists. To make the most of your time in a residency, consider these tips:

  • Research and apply to residencies that align with your artistic goals and interests
  • Set specific objectives for your residency, such as completing a project or developing a new technique
  • Network with other artists in the residency program to foster collaboration and exchange ideas

By participating in artist residencies, you'll not only enhance your art school experience but also build a strong foundation for your future career in the arts.

Building a Portfolio and Online Presence

An impressive portfolio and a strong online presence are essential for showcasing your work and connecting with potential clients, collaborators, and employers. Follow these guidelines to build a compelling portfolio and establish your online presence:

  • Select your best work to include in your portfolio, demonstrating your versatility and unique style
  • Create a professional website to display your portfolio and provide contact information
  • Utilize social media platforms to share your work, engage with other artists, and stay updated on industry news

By building a solid portfolio and online presence, you'll increase your visibility in the art world and set yourself up for success beyond your art schooled years.

If you're interested in learning more about the pros and cons of attending art school, check out the workshop called 'Was it Worth it? The Pros and Cons of Art School' by Faira. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and advice on how to make the most of your art school experience.