10 Art School Survival Tips for Students

Are you considering attending an art school or already enrolled in one? Pursuing a career in the arts can be an exciting and fulfilling journey, but it’s not without challenges.

From mastering new techniques to balancing coursework with personal projects, the demands of art school can be overwhelming. But fear not! With some helpful tips and a positive mindset, you can navigate the art school experience and thrive as a student.

In this article, we’ll explore some art school survival tips to help you make the most of your education and prepare for a successful career in the arts. So grab your sketchbook, and let’s get started!

Art School Survival Tips
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1. Create a Schedule

Managing your time is critical to success in art school. Between classes, projects, and personal commitments, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose track of deadlines.

Creating and sticking to a schedule can help you stay organized and focused. Block out time for coursework, personal projects, and self-care activities. Remember, taking breaks and engaging in non-art-related activities can help prevent burnout and motivate you.

2. Master Your Techniques

Developing your skills and mastering your techniques are essential to succeeding in art school. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and practice new techniques. Feel free to take risks and experiment with new mediums or styles.

In addition, consider taking workshops or enrolling in specialized low residency MFA creative writing degree such as those offered by the New England College. These programs offer flexibility for students needing to work or attend to other obligations while providing access to valuable resources and mentorship.

3. Embrace Critiques

Critiques are an integral part of the art school experience. They provide valuable feedback and help you grow as an artist. While critiques can be intimidating, embrace them as opportunities to learn and improve your work.

Listen to feedback from your peers and instructors with an open mind, and don’t take criticism personally. Remember, critiques are meant to help you grow, not tear you down.

4. Develop a Professional Mindset

Preparing for a successful career in the arts requires more than just developing your technical skills. Developing a professional mindset is essential for building a successful career. This includes learning how to market yourself, developing a portfolio, and networking.

Take advantage of career services offered by your art school and attend industry events and exhibitions to network and gain exposure.

5. Take Advantage of Resources

Art schools offer many resources, from specialized equipment and studio space to workshops and mentorship programs. Take advantage of these resources to develop your skills and gain exposure.

Attend lectures and workshops by visiting artists and instructors, and seek mentorship opportunities with faculty members or alumni.

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6. Stay Organized

Staying organized is crucial in art school. Keep track of project deadlines, submission requirements, and feedback from critiques. Use a planner or digital calendar to stay on your schedule and keep your workspace clean and organized.

7. Learn from Failure

In art school, as in any creative field, failure is inevitable in the learning process. Not every project or idea will be successful, and that’s okay. Learning to embrace failure and use it as a tool for growth can be one of the most valuable lessons you can learn in art school.

When a project or idea fails, it’s easy to take it as a personal reflection of your abilities or worth as an artist. However, it’s important to remember that failure is a natural part of the creative process and doesn’t define you as an artist.

Consider the mistakes you made and what you could have done differently. Were there certain steps in your process that could have been improved? Did you encounter any unexpected challenges? Use this information to improve your approach next time.

8. Take Care of Yourself

Art school can be stressful, and it’s easy to neglect self-care to pursue your artistic goals.To maintain your physical and emotional health, you must take care of yourself.

Make time for relaxing, eating well, and exercising. If you’re having stress or mental health problems, don’t be afraid to get help from counselors or other resources.

9. Stay Inspired

Maintaining your inspiration and creativity is essential for succeeding in art school. Attend art exhibitions, read art-related books and magazines, and seek out new experiences and perspectives.

Take time to explore new mediums or styles, and don’t be afraid to take breaks from your work to recharge and stay inspired.

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10. Find Your Tribe

One of the most significant benefits of attending an art school is connecting with like-minded individuals who share your passion for the arts.

Building relationships with other artists can be a source of inspiration, support, and collaboration throughout your art school journey. Join clubs, attend art events, and contact fellow class students.

Companionship will allow you to be academically focused and be in the company of people with whom you can enjoy yourself. It will enable you to share your ideas and creativity with people who understand and value them. When you reach out to people with similar interests, you create friends and bonds that make you feel appreciated and supported.

Working together will give you valuable feedback, help you enhance your art, and share unique ideas. It also makes work more enjoyable and lets you create art in a motivated and inspiring environment.


Attending art school can be a fascinating chapter in your life. You get to be an institution that preaches innovation and artistic vision. At the same time, you are in the company of the most talented individuals. Such an environment enhances your skills and allows you to become more refined.

Nevertheless, art school can, at times, feel overwhelming. Therefore, to get the most out of your experience, a few practical tips can help you. For example, you should choose a program that best meets your needs. Besides that, reducing your stress with healthy habits can help you have a more joyous experience. Effectively managing your time will let you be ahead of deadlines. Lastly, being in good company will help you bring out the artist in you.

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