View Full Version : What is the most important thing about....

12-10-2006, 02:00 PM
......being a practicing artist???

I am approaching the end of my first semester of my art degree and have to sat that I feel I have made a thousand miles worth of progress in my approach to creating and how I think about my practice (in relation to context, meaning, reflection and self critique). However as a slightly older student (31), I dont just want to graduate with a good degree and simply be happy with that. I want to take as much as I possibly can from my time at college and emerge as a more rounded, informed, forward thinking and altogether better artist than I am right now.

I was hoping that there may be some of you out there that might have some words of guidence for someone in my position who is looking to really push their development as an artist, both theoretically and practically.


12-11-2006, 03:47 AM
As a former student, I would say one of the most important things to do is to ask your studio art teachers questions; engage them in one on one conversation. This should not be limited to topics relating to your works. Discuss art history, theory, craft, and so on. Teachers are of course people, and like many people, will respond to someone who takes a genuine interest in their knowledge. Your time in art school will be tiny in comparison to the time you will spend working and developing on your own afterwards. Take advantage of the experienced people while you are there.

Regarding your age, I was given two numbers by former teachers: no one takes you seriously as an artist until you are at least 32, and the first 1000 paintings are only practice. Subjective numbers of course, but an indication of the time and effort it will take.

12-11-2006, 11:57 AM
Right now I'm finding that the most important thing for me is networking. Meeting other artists both at similar stages in their career as me, and more experienced artists to gain advice from, prospective clients, galleries - all those important people that will make art happen. I think school right now is a good oppertunity for you to make these connections, to get your work out there and be seen. You can be the most awesome artist, but perhaps won't get very far unless you promote yourself.

These connections also give you oppertunities to come across new experiences, ideas, and chances to brainstorm on topics you perhaps haven't thought of.

Art can be such a lonely endevour. I think now's your chance to get out there and make it happen.

12-11-2006, 12:49 PM
I have to agree with both replies and thank you for taking the time to post. I am absolutely loving my time at college, even being told today to pretty much rework a finished design! But the best thing about such issues is that I was pretty sure that the concept was not one of my strongest works. Plus, I really feel like I am learning more and more from week to week.

I think what Axl said about networking is very true, and bottleman's comments about engaging with the tutors is one that I think is a great way to proceed.

I have applied to take part in a residential weekend after Xmas but have had to submit a proposal of what I planned to do with the time and where I would take the project after I returned, fingers crossed I get picked. Plus, I have recently had confirmation that at Easter 07, I am going to study in Rome for a short period, how excited am I!!!??!!?!!! I'm sure I will take so much for that. I really just want to be the best artist that I can possibly be.


12-11-2006, 02:40 PM
WOW that sounds really really cool!!! Rome will be AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You gotta come back and tell us how it goes once you've been there!!