By the time this blog is posted the Fall semester will have already begun! And although I realize this semester isn’t going to be quite the same this time around, I figured that I would take the time to outline a few important tips to keep in mind for a successful semester as a painting student. Starting a new semester as any student can be a bit overwhelming, and for a discipline as involved and time consuming as painting it’s important to be ahead of the curve with your schedule in order to stay on top of all your responsibilities.
First and foremost is always going to be time management. Studio classes are always 3 hours, which seems like a long time but I assure you it is not. As you progress through the painting program your classes become mostly independent. Meaning, you no longer have to paint still-lifes everyday (REJOICE!) and instead you are allowed to develop your own style with whatever subject matter you’d like! However with this new freedom comes the illusion of time. As much as we would all love to spend all day every day in the studio there are still other classes we must attend all with their own respected responsibilities that must be met, so it is always wise to not blow these off and sacrifice an otherwise good GPA (to stay in this major your GPA is required to stay 2.00 or higher) . So always always always complete your other class work first so you can spend more time in the studio. In a normal week you have 12 hours of studio time built into your schedule but its strongly recommended that you should spend at least 16-18 hours in the studio in any given week. This means most of your free time should be spent on your paintings so GET YOUR ENGLISH HOMEWORK DONE NATE!!! Sorry, that was me yelling into my time machine!
You’re not an island! Probably the most important thing as an art student at Marywood is that you are constantly surrounded by talented people seeing this world through different eyes, translating it creatively onto canvas, digital media, sculpture and on and on and on SO MAKE FRIENDS! The inspiration is all around you, and I’m not just talking about in the trees and pigeons! but in the people, the countless artists studying along with you that you can engage with, talk to and laugh with. You’ll find out very quickly at how engaging with the other creatives around you will impact and IMPROVE your own work. This is a lesson I unfortunately have struggled with in the past. Like most of us I have the bad habit of pretending that I am not a human being and that instead I am in fact a turtle who refuses to leave his shell. Remember you are NOT a turtle, you’re a Marywood art student so get to know on another!
Finally, always be creative but open to criticism. Criticism should always be welcomed as an artist, I understand though. showing your art to the whole class during critics is a very vulnerable position. You’re literally exposing your heart for all to see in that moment and its against every instinct of self preservation to NOT allow it to be harmed. Criticism is hard, but its the only way you’ll be able to grow as an artist which is the reason we’re art students in the first place! So it must be welcomed , no one is trying to hurt you if they are critical, we’re all in the same boat and want each other to succeed. When it is time for a critique be honest and constructive in your criticism, resilient and open while on the receiving end of it. Be those things and see how far you’ll go!