5 Tips to Help You Succeed in And After Art School

If you’ve always loved the blend of creativity and skill required to turn a bunch of materials into a work of art, then perhaps you’ve decided that art school will help you to enter a field that plays to your talents and appeals to your sensibilities. But like any career path, you need to do all you can to ensure good grades in school and plan for a successful and profitable future. In other words, you need to take steps to get what you can from your time in college and make the inroads necessary to get a job following graduation.

Here are just a few tips that will help you to achieve success during your time in art school – and beyond.

Take a variety of courses.

You might be good at drawing or sculpture, but it’s a good idea to use your time in college to explore multiple avenues of artistic expression. Taking a variety of courses will not only help you to understand what you’re good at and what you enjoy, but it could also open doors to career opportunities you might not expect. College provides you with the time you need to try new things and figure out how you want to progress along an academic and professional path. So don’t limit yourself by sticking only to what you already know.

Enter competitions.

It’s great to get accolades from teachers and fellow students, but gaining acclaim through success in artistic competitions both within and outside of your art school could help you to build your resume before you even graduate. This can only increase your chances of getting jobs after the fact.

Apply for internships.

Like any type of higher education, the end goal is to learn everything you can in order to get a job at some point. So you should definitely apply for internships during your time in school. You probably won’t be paid (although some internships do pay a pittance), but you will almost certainly receive a credit that can help you to progress through your program. And you’ll also get to learn about the industry you’re interested in, as well as meet people who could help you get a job after graduation.

Build your portfolio.

Although choosing to attend art school and earn a degree can certainly help you get a foot in the door when applying for related jobs, the portfolio of work you build during your time in college will show what you can do, giving you the edge you need to get hired over other candidates.


Whether you attend the Art Institute or College of Art, you have the opportunity to build up a network of colleagues that could help you to find job opportunities down the road. And you’ll likely return the favor at some point. Sometimes who you know is as important as what you know, so nurture relationships during your time in art school and keep up with your contemporaries after graduation if you want the best chances for success.


Post Author: Ronald L. Turner