How to prepare yourself to study visual arts in college
I interviewed a current senior who attends the UCLA Design|Media Arts program. I asked him for his thoughts on what he wishes he had known 4 years ago when he was applying to college. Here are his comments: • I wish I had known what types of digital art and media exist and are accessible to undergrads. • I looked at what different professors teach, but I wish I investigated what they do when they aren’t in the classroom. That information tells you a lot about what you will be able to learn from them. • I wish I had more experience showing my work. It is really important to get involved with other artists and designers. Look at their work, collaborate and maybe even experiment a bit. This will get you in the right mindset for collaboration as a college student. • There is a vast amount of information to be considered. Use all of the online resources that you can. Look for destinations where you can explore artists, studios and collections. This will help you to articulate what your point of view is. The more you can synthesize your own artistic voice, the more you will be able to participate and contribute at college. • It is really important to study other things besides art. Think about your interests and look for schools that support your exploration.
I hope his thoughts encourage you to think beyond the gossip about what is the best school. Remember the true value of pursuing a major in the visual arts as an undergraduate; to learn how to communicate visually, to explore new career options and to be inspired by those who teach and study right along with you.
I was a guest blogger on the site The College Solution. Check out my 6 admissions tips for Visual Arts majors.