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10 Truths Only Art Students Would Understand

10 Truths Only Art Students Would Understand

While some college majors earn almost universal respect, others are dismissed as undemanding and insignificant. Art, for example, is considered easier than science primarily because the latter contains more contact hours and more complex subject matter. However, this argument ignores the fact that art is interpretive and lacks the clarity of science, meaning that successful students must have a greater understanding of art and more confidence in their chosen medium.

Regardless of the circumstances, it’s indisputable that art students are all familiar with the same triumphs, struggles, and unfair misconceptions. With this in mind, here are 10 truths that only an art student would truly understand.

1. You constantly fight for the honor of your degree

Considering most people underestimate the difficulty of completing an art degree, the majority of art students feel compelled to fiercely defend their major. This can translate into defensiveness and undue aggression, although either would be understandable in the face of unsubstantiated and largely unfair criticism. Art students often get drawn into heated debates about the merit of their major, especially with those who study supposedly “serious” subjects.

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2. You appreciate that art takes many forms

From an outside perspective, there is a great deal of skepticism when it comes to appraising art. So many art mediums get labeled as unskilled or unappealing, but true students of art understand the complexity associated with these methods and learn to appreciate them over time. From celebrated multimedia artists such as Tiff McGinnis to modern-day abstract painters such as Justin Adian, art can be diverse, challenging, and thrilling regardless of its form.

3. You spend your disposable income on materials and supplies

As an art student, you will face two challenging and unavoidable obstacles: First, you will have a noticeable lack of disposable income. Second, you will spend whatever is left of your money on the materials and supplies required to bring your projects to life. As a result, you will spend every available penny on your art, subsequently forcing you to make a sizable investment in your future.

4. You appreciate the value of recycling

If you’ve ever seen a cheap painting in a thrift store and thought it might be valuable, there is every chance that you were right. After all, there are a number of artists like Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia that regularly give their work away to thrift stores in a bid to earn greater exposure and reach a wider audience. This also underscores the respect that artists have for thrift marketing and recycling, and offers students the chance to source useful materials and items without spending a fortune.

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5. You learn to make the most of your time during projects

If paint is your medium of choice (or you use it to infuse color into your project), you’re used to waiting for it to dry. This waiting period can be interminable to some, but art students use this time to reflect on their work and consider ways in which their project can be improved. Once you master this, you will start to appreciate your spare time more and use these waiting periods to your advantage.

6. You are used to ruining your clothes

Most clothes are not designed to suit the demands of art projects, in particular the damage caused by chemicals, paint, and abrasive substances such as glue. Over time, you’ll probably find that a number of your outfits are ruined from studying art, and the cost of replacing these merely becomes the price you pay for indulging your creative impulses!

7. You learn to deal with criticism that is based on opinion rather than objective reasoning

Art has always been subjective, regardless of its origin or form. While this is the source of a wide diversity of work and projects, it also generates criticism that is based purely on personal opinion rather than any form of objective reasoning. Your work will often be judged from a position of ignorance rather than insight, and as you continue to study you will you come to accept this as part of your chosen path.

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8. You are forced to listen to intense critiques that last for hours

To prepare art students for harsh criticism, tutors will hold regular sessions in which they deliver an intense and detailed critique of each individual’s work. Their deliveries will often be excessive and last for hours, with many extending beyond the initially proposed time frame. You learn quite quickly to cope with criticism and to distinguish between constructive feedback and subjective opinion.

9. You soon become a critic of others’ work

While studying art earns you an appreciation of all art mediums and opens your mind to alternative genres, it also helps you form your own preferences. This means that you soon develop a critical eye when appraising others’ work and look to deliver honest and constructive feedback to the artist. This is often an emotive process too, partially because you understand that all art is personal to the creator and an intense labor of love!

10. You understand the relationship that exists between art and technology

Some argue that technology now represents an arts-based education, although this principle could easily be reversed in 2015. More specifically, it would be fair to assert that modern art is increasingly dependent on software, which is in turn creating a closely bound relationship between art and technology. You will probably be more aware of this than ever, especially given the amount of software used to create art and the burden it will place on your computer’s processor!

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Featured photo credit: Foundry / Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

The brain is a tangled web of information. We don’t remember single facts, but instead we interlink everything by association. Anytime we experience a new event, our brains tie the sights, smells, sounds and our own impressions together into a new relationship.

Our brain remembers things by repetition, association, visual imagery, and all five senses. By knowing a bit about how the brain works, we can become better learners, absorbing new information faster than ever.

Here are some study tips to help get you started:

1. Use Flashcards

Our brains create engrained memories through repetition. The more times we hear, see, or repeat something to ourselves, the more likely we are to remember it.

Flashcards can help you learn new subjects quickly and efficiently. Flashcards allow you to study anywhere at any time. Their portable nature lends them to quick study sessions on the bus, in traffic, at lunch, or in the doctor’s office. You can always whip out your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

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To create effective flashcards, you need to put one point on each flashcard. Don’t load up the entire card with information. That’s just overload. Instead, you should dedicate one concept to each card.

One of the best ways to make flashcards is to put 1 question on the front and one answer on the back. This way, you can repeatedly quiz yourself into you have mastered any topic of your choice.

Commit to reading through your flash cards at least 3 times a day and you will be amazed at how quickly you pick up new information.

As Tony Robbins says,

“Repetition is the mother of skill”.

2. Create the Right Environment

Often times, where you study can be just as important as how you study. For an optimum learning environment, you’ll want to find a nice spot that is fairly peaceful. Some people can’t stand a deafening silence, but you certainly don’t want to study near constant distractions.

Find a spot that you can call your own, with plenty of room to spread out your stuff. Go there each time you study and you will find yourself adapting to a productive study schedule. When you study in the same place each time, you become more productive in that spot because you associate it with studying.

3. Use Acronyms to Remember Information

In your quest for knowledge, you may have once heard of an odd term called “mnemonics”. However, even if you haven’t heard of this word, you have certainly heard of its many applications. One of the most popular mnemonic examples is “Every Good Boy Does Fine”. This is an acronym used to help musicians and students to remember the notes on a treble clef stave.

An acronym is simply an abbreviation formed using the intial letters of a word. These types of memory aids can help you to learn large quantities of information in a short period of time.

4. Listen to Music

Research has long shown that certain types of music help you to recall information. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be remembered simply by “playing” the songs mentally in your head.

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5. Rewrite Your Notes

This can be done by hand or on the computer. However, you should keep in mind that writing by hand can often stimulate more neural activity than when writing on the computer.

Everyone should study their notes at home but often times, simply re-reading them is too passive. Re-reading your notes can cause you to become disengaged and distracted.

To get the most out of your study time, make sure that it is active. Rewriting your notes turns a passive study time into an active and engaging learning tool. You can begin using this technique by buying two notebooks for each of your classes. Dedicate one of the notebooks for making notes during each class. Dedicate the other notebook to rewriting your notes outside of class.

6. Engage Your Emotions

Emotions play a very important part in your memory. Think about it. The last time you went to a party, which people did you remember? The lady who made you laugh, the man who hurt your feelings, and the kid who went screaming through the halls are the ones you will remember. They are the ones who had an emotional impact.

Fortunately, you can use the power of emotion in your own study sessions. Enhance your memory by using your five senses. Don’t just memorize facts. Don’t just see and hear the words in your mind. Create a vivid visual picture of what you are trying to learn.

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For example, if you are trying to learn the many parts of a human cell, begin physically rotating the cell in your minds eye. Imagine what each part might feel like. Begin to take the cell apart piece by piece and then reconstruct it. Paint the human cell with vivid colors. Enlarge the cell in your mind’s eye so that it is now six feet tall and putting on your own personal comedy show. This visual and emotional mind play will help deeply encode information into your memory.

7. Make Associations

One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what you want to learn with something you already know. This is known as association, and it is the mental glue that drives your brain.

Have you ever listened to a song and been flooded by memories that were connected to it? Have you ever seen an old friend that triggered memories from childhood? This is the power of association.

To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly be looking for ways to relate new information with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar with.

You can do this with the use of mindmapping. A mind map is used to diagram words, pictures, thoughts, and ideas into a an interconnected web of information. This simple practice will help you to connect everything you learn into a global network of knowledge that can be pulled from at any moment.

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Learn more about mindmapping here: How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Featured photo credit: Alissa De Leva via unsplash.com

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