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Our Journal

Making the most of your time at an arts university

Starting your journey into art education can be a daunting one so we've compiled our best tips and tricks so you can get the most out of your time at art college.

At Plymouth College of Art, we know that creativity doesn’t just happen in the darkroom, studio or workshop; it’s a way of life. Here you’ll find fashion designers, ceramicists, game designers, fine artists and photographers, all sharing facilities and knowledge. Embarking on your journey into art education is an exciting one, but while we’re sure you’re excited to get started, it can be daunting. With so many exciting opportunities and challenges ahead, we thought we’d give you our top tips to help you make the most of your time at art school.

One of the best ways to learn is to be curious. By experimenting, trying new things and generally being inquisitive about the world around you, you’re more likely to stumble upon new ideas and inspirations that can influence your studies. Don’t stop looking around you and keep asking questions!

We don’t mean that you should be feeling out of place or overwhelmed, definitely tell your tutors if you’re struggling, but learning is often a messy process. If you’re not pushing yourself, exploring new ideas and feeling slightly uncomfortable in the process, you’re probably not doing it right! Accept that what you create won’t be perfect the first time round, but keep trying and find what works for you.

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Every academic at the college was once a fresh-faced student. The academics, tutors and technicians are there to help you, answer your questions and encourage you in your practice. Don’t be afraid to ask what you might think is something silly or approach them about a project, they don’t bite!

One of the best aspects of going to study at an art college is that you’re surrounded by like-minded people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your peers but also, don’t be afraid to ask to collaborate with them either. You all have unique skills, ideas and passions, who knows what incredible work could come from it?

Plymouth College of Art boasts state of the art facilities offering many different creative practitioners the opportunity to develop their practical skills from blowing glass to making ceramic vases and from developing analog film to 3D printing. Workshop Wednesdays are a great way to get introduced to equipment and tools available to students throughout the college, regardless of what course you’re studying.

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One of the best bits of being part of a creative community is that you have so many artists and creatives at your fingertips. Now’s the time to network! Get your name out there, meet new people, learn about peoples’ skill sets, talk enthusiastically about your projects and passions and who knows what might happen.

PCA:SU has so much on offer for students at the college, from socials and workshops to student support and advice. Keep an eye on their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and website to keep up to date with what the SU is up to around campus.