Oh, art school. Before I came to SCAD, I knew I would be taking a drawing class. I knew I would be taking a design class. I knew the obvious things that art school particularly entails. But I didn’t know what going to art school meant beyond the obvious distinctions. Well, some of you may be reading this and think, “betch, you’ve only been there a week you don’t have it all figured out” & you are SO fackin’ right dude. I don’t (and that scares me cus I am so in for it). But after this week, I firmly believe I’ve learned a thing or two about what comes with being an art student. SO READ ALONG IF IT SO PLEASES YOU. IT WILL PLEASE ME, TOO. SO DO IT.
Lesson #1: Coffee is to an art student, as water is to a normal human being.
Now you may be at a state school and be reading this thinking “dude, that applies to every college student not just you art kids.” And that is probably true; however, coffee here is taken to a whole other extent. It is literally more accessible to us than water is. In the city of Savannah, if you stood on a street corner and looked to your left, right, forward, and back you would probably make eye contact with a sign for a coffee shop. I wake up have coffee, get breakfast & more coffee, go to class and literally are given coffee breaks, come home workout, drink more coffee, get dinner, get coffee, & do homework… with coffee sitting on my desk just so I can freakin’ smell it. It’s wicked and it is your lifeline. Specific to SCAD, classes are 2 and a half hours long. 2 AND A HALF HOURS. If we aren’t going into the hall to draw or called up individually by the teacher to look at our homework, our asses are in those chairs for 2 AND A HALF HOURS. Coffee becomes the very reason ours eyes stay open through it.
Lesson #2: Socializing and putting yourself out there is the only way to make friends.
Let me make this a little clearer; what I mean is that if you aren’t an open person, friendly, or able to have a conversation with literally anyone in any situation, you probably won’t make friends. From the second you leave your dorm you could be approached by someone on your floor leaving at the same time & you will have to talk to them. You walk into the dining hall & you will most likely see someone you met for 5 seconds during orientation & you will have to talk to them. You ride the bus to class and will be sitting directly across from someone so your eyes meet every 2 seconds, & you will have to talk to them. Trust me, you’ll want to too, cause otherwise it’s awkward and weird and you just have to, okay? You can literally be peeing in the bathroom at the building your class is in and if that person starts having a conversation with you mid-piss, you will have a conversation with them back. You get the point. But what I’m saying is everyone at art school (any college I would think) is so busy; they won’t approach you if you don’t approach them. So, if you keep to yourself you will most likely never make friends. I used to make fun of my boyfriend for always getting into conversations with random strangers, but it is a skill that will get you far & I believe that everyone should hone it. And learning how to always be open to a conversation will come quickly because it will have to (even if you have to fake it, you will).
Lesson #3: What happened to the universal understanding that college students are BROKE?
For some reason, professors, faculty, everyone who creates the “required materials” lists on syllabi have forgotten that college students have zero money. And if you didn’t already know, you will soon find out (like me) that art supplies cost money, an arm, both your legs, and your first born child. Okay, maybe not your first born child, but they’re expensive I’ll tell ya that. And before you tell me, “your not broke, your parents will buy the supplies for you.” Yes, you are correct they do, but that doesn’t change the fact that 1) they are stupid expensive & 2) that it’s inconvenient when their miles away to stop what their doing and transfer money to me so I can buy them. And also, not everyone’s parents can buy their supplies making it even less convenient. First Year Art Kits, that only some of your teachers require you to get, are literally $100. And that doesn’t include the other material & textbooks that you are required to get either. My advice to you: do not buy your art supplies until after your first class. Your professors will always go over the syllabi and tell you what out of the required materials section is really required. So wait and save yourself the money.
Lesson #4: Do not compare yourself to others (in art school, in friendships, in life!!!!!)
We’ve all heard the saying, “there’s always going to be someone better than you.” Well, it’s true. HATE TO BREAK IT TO YA. Especially at art school. Some people, like me, come to art school because they’ve always been more right brain than left brain and want to learn the skills on how to make great art; but on the other hand, some people come to art school because they have the skills, the talent, and already know how to make great art. Coming into art school, there will always be people who have the natural talent or have already learned skills you haven’t, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get to their level and even beyond. The only person you should compare your work to is your past self’s. That is the only way you will improve. And if you’re intimidated by all the amazing art students you have classes with, always know there’s also always someone less skilled than you, too.
Lesson #5: Try
The old college try, ay. Lol. I know it sounds obvious & stupid, but sometimes just being reminded to try your best is what people need. I needed it. You come to art school, not having taken a single (real) art class in high school, and are surrounded by people who know what their doing… it’s intimidating to say the least! You never want to try and fail, but I feel like the only way you’ll fail is if you don’t try. If you keep the mindset each and every time you start a project that you are going to try your best, soon enough your work will start to improve and you will succeed. Giving up is the only way you won’t. And 99.9% of the time, your teachers know some people have never taken an art class and are there to help. They aren’t expecting you to come into their class and be a master at everything because otherwise, why would you be taking their class? Literally all their asking you to do is to try. To show up, to listen, and to try.
Now I know it’s only been a week, but these are really things that I’ve noticed and learned in the short amount of time that I’ve been here.
I’m sure I know that I’ll learn so much more along the way and I’m excited to come back and write a sort of sequel to this post when that happens, lol. In the meantime, I hope this not only made you laugh, but helped if you’re at art school or college for the first time, in general. Leave a comment below if you could relate to me and the things I’ve learned & until next time…⭐️