It's September, the summer holidays are over and a new term is looming for university and art school. Whether you're a fresher this year or returning to art college as a wise second or third year, there are certain things all art students need to do before they turn up to their studios for the first time.
With our 5 bits of advice and essential art student supplies, settling into the September term will be easier than ever, even if the long lie-ins and summer parties feel like a dim and distant memory.
1. Stock up on some new college student art supplies
Your toolbox might be looking a little worse for wear after a summer of little use. Perhaps you forgot to wash your paintbrushes and now they're rock hard, or you're out of pages in your many sketchbooks and want to make a fresh start. You're bound to have run out of black and white paint and your painting mediums have somehow leaked everywhere over your pencils and fine liners. Whatever it is, we've been there and we feel your pain.
Thankfully replenishing your art supplies and buying some shiny, brand new materials is all part of the fun of art school. Treat yourself to some new sketchbooks, blank canvases and brand new brushes so you're equipped with the best tools to get your started at college or university.
2. Reflect on your college artwork from last year
Take some time to sit and think about the things you made last year, whether that was at A Level, Art Foundation or your first year at art school. What did you learn about your practice? What did you like about it and what do you want to develop or leave behind? One of the exciting things about art school is that things are constantly changing; you might be a painter when you arrive but an installation artist when you leave, and you should keep open-minded about your practice.
Reflecting on what you made last year is a great way to take the first steps for the new college or university term. Figure out how you feel about your work and try to think about what direction you want to take this year. It will probably change along the way, but it's good to have a starting point for September.
3. Get organised
It's easy to fall back into last year's lazy habits, turning up late for tutorials, missing your art history lectures and spending little time in the studio. But this year is going to be different! Invest in a notebook or diary so you can make regular notes of dates, times and your To Do lists.
Keep some pens or pigment liners loose in your bag at all times, so if ever you need to scribble something down you'll have yourself to thank. Or if you're more digitally inclined and you like to make notes and set reminders on your phone, never be without charge again - invest in a Mayhem Connector Pen so you can charge your phone on any nearby laptop or computer.
4. Vist some art exhibitions
Get out and about and see some art show to unclog the standstill of the summer holidays. The proactive ones among you may have used the holidays to see a variety of exhibitions and fuel yourself with inspiration for the coming year, but it might be more likely that you've been sitting in the sun, catching up with friends and avoiding your all-round arty thoughts. If so, we salute you - sometimes you need a break from creativity to keep things fresh.
Just before you head back to art college, though, it's probably a good idea to spark some inspiration and inform yourself about what's going on in the art world. If anything, it'll give you something to talk about in your first tutorial when you're back at university.
5. Choose a new studio space
It's a new year and a new you - which means a totally new studio space! Make sure you choose a space that you're happy to work in for the year, because once you've claimed that space at the start of the year, it's unlikely you'll be moving. Choose somewhere that fits your practice - do you need a lot of natural light because you're painter? Or do you want to be near the workshop with all the power tools and outside spaces? These things are important to consider and will affect how much time you want to spend in the studio for the coming year.
(Our top tip - spend as much time there as possible - you'll miss the space and freedom of art school when you leave!)
Shop our essential Art College Student Supplies to stock up on canvas, paint, paintbrushes and sketchbooks for the new term.
Lead Image: Boston College