Ask the Art Prof Live #5: Starting Art School, Avoiding Cliches

“I got accepted into my top choice of art schools this year.  I’m super excited, but I’m also really nervous and don’t really know what to expect. The art program at my high school wasn’t very good, and I’m worried that I’m going to be really inexperienced compared to the other students. What are your tips for starting art school?”

Work with other students on your art school projects, be a cheerleader for each other!

Charcoal Drawings of Bones

Talk to your professors, and ask for help.

Learn to separate yourself from your art in a group critique.

Start early, avoid the marathon the night before, spread out your work over several days.

“What are common cliches and design mistakes you see in students? How do you think those can be worked on or avoided?”
Mentioned: Leon Golub, Kathe Kollwitz, Delacroix

Image_Leon Golub    images    Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peuple

Research your art media
Mentioned: Rodin, Bourdelle, Degas, Giacometti

hb_11.173.3    45686-12    hb_29.100.395    download

Get the cliches out of your system, and then eliminate them.

The “Layers” assignment in my RISD Freshman Drawing class.


Ask for feedback early on, several times, before the group critique.

Final Crit
A self-portrait becomes a penis.

ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

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Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.

Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.

ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.

Related Live Videos
#8: Should I do the Starving Artist Phase in New York City?
#7: How do I Improve My Art?  How do I Find My Artistic Style?
#6: Teaching High School Art, Teaching Color
#4:  Oversaturation, Brainstorming, Beginning a Series
#3:  Personal Themes, Never Too Late to Start Drawing
#2:  Aches While Drawing, Professional Artwork vs. Student Artwork
#1:  Graduate MFA Programs


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