21 things I learnt in Art College

I am currently 1 week away from my final studio day at university and about to exhibit both here in Farnham and in London. After attending UCA: Farnham, a university that teaches only creative arts subjects, for 3 years I thought I would share a snippet of the lessons I have learnt here.

  1. Keeping your studio desk tidy is next to impossible.
  2. Comparing your work to others will only make you feel worse.
  3. You will have tutors who hate your work.
  4. But then you’ll have other tutors who love it!
  5. You’ll dread your final year dissertation.
  6. Until you actually start to write it and realise it isn’t as bad as you imagined!
  7. Spending £20 on art materials is nothing. Seriously.
  8. First years get blamed for anything that goes wrong or gets broken in the studio. Even if it’s blatantly not their fault!
  9. Always prepare before tutorials or reviews.
  10. Crying after a bad tutorial or assessment isn’t a bad thing.
  11. It’s okay, and perfectly normal, to feel homesick. I promise you, it passes.
  12. Be confident in your ideas.
  13. Being immaculately dressed with perfect makeup is completely impractical 90% of the time.
  14. When you tell people what you study, facial expressions range from delight to horror.
  15. Productivity levels in the studios decrease 50% in the spring and summer.
  16. Bring your own tea bags, otherwise you will end up paying out a fortune of your mid morning cuppa over the years.
  17. You can feel very smug when your non-arty friends are complaining about exams and revision.
  18. Never throw anything away out of anger. I learned the hard way that doesn’t make you feel any better and your tutors won’t be too pleased.
  19. You have days when you are completely incapable of doing anything. Threads break. Dyes give the wrong colour. You leave vital equipment at home.
  20. If you don’t label your equipment, people with ‘borrow’ them and not give them back.
  21. As much as it drives you crazy, you’ll never want to leave.

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