Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to Art School

  1. You will be writing a lot. Writing is the gatekeeper to people seeing your work in a meaningful way.
  2. at least half of the time you spend on your art practice will be doing things that aren’t making art. Things like: administrative tasks, writing submission documents for grants and shows, blogging, social media, financial planning, shopping for materials, cleaning the bits of wool out of the corners of your house ,and networking.
  3. Grants are taxable income in Canada. I haven’t been burned by this one, but I know many who have.
  4. You will apply for many things and you will not get most of them. It doesn’t mean you suck, it means there are a lot of people applying for what you’re applying for.
  5. You will be self funding for a long time (unless you are extremely well connected). Don’t quit your job just yet, I have a full time job.
  6. People who are successful were unsuccessful for a long time.
  7. Your life supports your art, not vice versa. Go outside, go to a fitness class, and eat things that don’t come from a drive through. This is especially important when you’re in art school, art is hard on your body and you need to move it in different ways. It’s not glamorous to only have art in your life, your mom will worry about you.
  8. If you don’t feel nervous showing people your work, it could be boring. Dig deeper and push yourself to make something weird or personal. People seem to relate to personal work, even though it’s panic enducing to make it.
  9. If you loathe making what you make, try something else. You’re going to make it a lot, and you likely won’t get paid for it for a while. It should be fun or meaningful for you.
  10. You will never feel like you’re doing it right. At least not for a long time…. I don’t. 

Puppet One: Wool, Linen, Wood. 2014

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