5 Lessons I Have Learnt At Art School

I can't quite believe that I have now started work on my Final Major Project, which means it's the beginning of the end of my first year at art school and of my foundation course. It's all gone by so quickly, it really doesn't seem like more that a couple of months ago that I was walking though the doors of this big scary building on my first day not knowing what to expect, how to dress, what to do and what I was even interested in. I feel like I have come such a long way in knowing what my direction might be in art and design as well as developing my artistic skills. I have learnt such a great deal in a relatively short amount of time and today I thought I'd share 5 of the valuable lessons I have learnt over the past academic year.

1. Breaking Up Projects Is Key

As it happens, my final major project is really the only project on my foundation course which will last longer than a few weeks. The projects up until this point have been very quick, which I have become quite fond of because it stops things going stale. However, even shorter projects can be broken down with quick one day or even one morning projects. I've found that I have created some of my best work under the time pressure of 24 hours, work which can easily stand up next to the final result of longer projects in my portfolio. Breaking things down into small projects just forces you to stop THINKING and start DOING and can really help you make the most of the time available.

2. You Can Achieve A Lot In A Day

As I have said, quick one day projects have been a key part of my art foundation experience. But even day-to-day, it really is amazing what you can achieve in just 24 hours if you set your mind to it. Make a to do list, set an ambitious goal and stick to it, tell your peers what you will have done by the end of the working day so you are held accountable. Everyday has the potential for you to create your best piece of work.

3. Sharing Your Work Is A Good Thing

Before I came to art school, I was very reserved about my own artwork. I didn't like to share it with others and I kept my projects very private. But I was swiftly thrown in at the deep end and encouraged to come out of my shell and share my work, thoughts and ideas with others. Now I'm a convert and a completely changed person! I love to show my work to other people, collaborate and bounce off each other. I even share photos of my work on this blog, Instagram and Facebook which is something I wouldn't dream of doing not long ago. Collaboration is key to creativity, there's nothing more inspiring than learning off of each other.

4. There Are People Out There Just Like Me

Nobody else in my family has ever been particularly creative, and I've never really been around people that 'get' my love of art. So it was a very new and refreshing experience to be around people every single day who are just like me, and share the same traits of collecting *hoarding* everything, taking photographs at every given opportunity and just being generally more creatively minded. I firmly believe that you just cannot use up your creativity, the more of it you use, the more of it you gain, and so being around people that inspire you on a daily basis is key to unlocking your creative potential.

5. Graphic Design Is Far More Than Just Posters

By far my biggest discovery since starting at art school is my love of graphics. I hold my hands up and admit that I had previously written off graphic design as a boring monotonous job for ‘MAC monkeys’, and not something where I could express myself freely in any way that I wanted. Oh how much I had to learn. I now specialise in graphic design and will continuing it onto degree level in September. Never once have I been held back or told I can’t do something because it doesn’t fit into the umbrella of graphic design. That is why a foundation course is so valuable - it challenges all of the rules drilled into you during your a-level.

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