View Full Version : Graduation Blues

04-24-2007, 11:08 AM
Hi everyone,

Hope you're well. I'm just wondering if there is anyone else out there who found in their final year of an art degree course that they just couldn't find any interest in their work or in art in general; and how they either coped, or broke the block?

I've done nearly five years of what is called in the UK a BA (Hons) Design (Ceramics). I still have 7 weeks till graduation; and I'm just sick of the whole thing. I used to be able to draw, paint, and write. Can't paint, write, eat, read, settle... only just started sleeping again. I should feel proud of myself for coming this far on a long-held dream. I only want it to be over.

Any advice gratefully received!

Many thanks in advance & with all best wishes,

Rose Queen
04-24-2007, 01:26 PM
It might just be fear, y'know? You're at the end of a long, hard program and now you have to make your way in the cold, cruel world. All this talk about how you can't make a living with your art that's so endemic to art talk would frighten me, that's for sure! But you know you have the goods, you've put in the time and the work, and you will paint again. You just have to get over this hump till graduation. I didn't study art in college, but I remember the feeling of just wanting it to be over very well, so you are not alone. Talk to your classmates; I bet many of them are feeling the same way and it will help you to talk it out with others who feel the same way.

June is the month when a graduate goes out to set the world on fire. July is when he starts to wonder if his matches are wet. ~ Danzil Feinberg.

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04-25-2007, 04:00 AM
Thank you for your input, Rose Queen, really, really appreciated!

04-25-2007, 04:44 PM
I went through something like this in high school, and I actually wrote my college essay on it. I got over it by trying things other than art and then I returned to art because I liked it better.

04-27-2007, 12:21 PM
Many thanks for taking the time to reply, zarroc... very much appreciated. I think I'm going to do the same as you, try other things for a while once I graduate. Cheers and take care!

Keith Russell
05-15-2007, 03:35 PM
I started the BFA program at the Kansas City Art Institute in the fall of '04, fully expecting that I'd be graduating this coming weekend. After last semester, I realized that I needed a few more credits to graduate, so I have one more semester after this, and I'll graduate in December.

I've been feeling a bit down on my own work, as well. I haven't drawn nearly as much as I should have, I haven't painted very much at all (I've mostly been sculpting, lately), and it's very difficult to get excited about making art.

As I see it, I've spent the last three and a half years listening to other people tell me what they think is good, and why. To a very real extent, I may have 'lost touch' with my own preferences and interests--and those are the things that make us keep making art.

Always, always, always take time to just look at art, and find what you enjoy. Surround yourself with stuff you like, pin it to the walls of your studio, fill your bookshelves with it (and buy some of it if you can afford it!)

All the theory in the world won't help you, if you can't recall what you like, and why...

05-16-2007, 11:47 AM
I know how you're feeling. I went to Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI for 5 years and graduated in May 06 with a BFA in Illustration: Digital Media....I am just getting my drive back. Right after I graduated I was so burnt out and exhausted. I had a 2 month bout of extreme insomnia and still can only sleep with prescription meds.

I used to be melded to my sketchbook. I would fill pages a day, draw anything....I am just now getting back into it after months of no desire to even touch it. It does come back...just have to remember why you started art school in the first place, because you have a desire/urge to create and it's part of you. After being forced to do projects you didn't have much interest in for years...it's easy to forget your passion...but it will come back...at least mine did :) I am happy now and drawing and painting and designing.....that part of me has returned.

05-16-2007, 02:16 PM
I hit that block in my second year and had to fight through it - it's horrible I know.

I think the suggestion that it's fear is partly right - you've done it, you are virtually there and now you will be out on your own - scary!

Make sure you keep in touch with good friends, join some art organisations with challenges and feedback wherever you plan to live - you'll miss the input and need to replace it.

Also , give yourself a break before starting again - but maybe limit it so you have a definite date to start working again? Then sketch, nothing heavy, just think through ideas - look through old sketchbooks and see what great ideas you had that you never had time to develop and go with them?

good luck :)