Silencing Your Inner Critic During a Creative Master’s
06 Jan 22
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Professor George E Holmes DL | President & Vice Chancellor
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Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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Studying art and design? Here’s some advice on how to become an outstanding art student!
Art and design courses offer a great deal of freedom, allowing students to explore a range of mediums and creative concepts. But art students have their own battles while studying their degrees. When you’re a postgraduate student, your work will be more autonomous, and that means to an extent you’ll have to learn to manage yourself.
Here are some tips on how to make it as an art student, and how to enjoy success in your career.
Your inner voice is important because it helps you have drive and passion, and even helps you form ideas and opinions. But what happens when that voice is too loud? Confidence is key, but you will learn much faster if you don’t have an ego.
Be open to other people’s thoughts and suggestions, and try not to become an ‘art snob’. You never know what might lead you down a new path of discovery.
When you’re a creative, it makes sense to draw, paint and create what you feel (and when you feel like it). That’s the joy of art, as it can be spontaneous, sporadic and sometimes unexpected. But discipline is important too.
Having structure helps you get hands-on practice while giving you the tools to stick to schedules, and get work handed in on time. And even if you don’t feel like being creative, doing it anyway can be great for getting those creative juices flowing.
While discipline and structure are vital to your degree, slaving away in the studio or the same workspace may not be healthy. This can be a common problem for students doing their art master’s, and it’s easy to get carried away when working on a big masterpiece.
But remember, inspiration comes from having a life, and other interests. Go to the theatre, visit an art gallery, attend music gigs, hang out with friends and have meaningful conversations. Or if you’re bored of painting or designing indoors, take your work outside and enjoy a different view.
All art is subjective because it relies upon the opinions of its viewers. That being said, objectivity in art can be applied and this is why it’s important to listen to the feedback of your course leader. He or she will apply judgement to your work, so don’t dismiss their comments as simply a matter of opinion.
You should also garner the feedback of others to get a bigger picture of how your work is being received. Whatever the outcome, always take other people’s comments on board gracefully.
When you create something, you’re pouring your heart and soul into it. In a way, you’re left vulnerable and this can lead to problems if your work is not well-received. Although it’s important to be deeply connected with your art, you must be able to detach yourself to some extent and review with fresh eyes.
Don’t get too bogged down with why something has failed, and don’t take things too personally. Find a way to move on and transfer those emotions and passion into a new project instead.
Are you interested in doing your art master’s at the University of Bolton? Established for over 150 years, Bolton School of the Arts is a great place to launch a successful and rewarding career in the creative sector. We are a socially inclusive and diverse university, with small class sizes and expert lecturers in the field. Plus the City of Manchester is only a short bus or train ride away. Come and experience #UniAsItShouldBe
To find out more about applying in 2021/22, see our art and design or fine art courses.