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Tips and tricks for studying a creative degree

MA Painting and BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking graduate Marcus Nodwell gives his best advice for a new student starting their creative education journey!

Creativity doesn’t just happen in the studio, workshop or dark room, it’s a way of life and treating it as such is a great way to get the most out of creative education. From studying BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking to going on to study MA Painting at Plymouth College of Art, I thought I’d share some tips that I found really helpful during my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

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MA Painting and BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking graduate Marcus Nodwell

By researching and keeping up-to-date with artists that have an active practice within the contemporary art world, you will gain a better understanding of how an artist lives, works and produces art within today's climate. This allows you to view your own place within the creative industry and will also enrich your own creative practice.

I found that throughout my time studying a creative degree, sticking to these three components helped me have a fully rounded art practice, understand the connection between theory, research and methodology and gave me the opportunity to truly enjoy my time as a Plymouth College of Art student.

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Experimenting with new processes, techniques and materials is a key aspect of any artist, whether you are a student or a working professional. This is how you find what works and what doesn’t work within your practice. For me, this was the most exciting part of each module I took within my studies. It allowed me to broaden my knowledge about materials and the subject matter, giving me a better understanding of the module as a whole.

Throughout your studies, you will create some of your most favourite pieces, but those successful pieces of art will come with some unsuccessful ones. You may feel like you want to give up on a certain idea or stop using a particular technique or process and it's okay to feel that way!. By taking your focus away from the end result and diving deep into the actual process of creating a piece of art, you get to learn from your mistakes. Remember, without making mistakes and creating unsuccessful work, there is no growth. Enjoy every aspect of your creative journey!