5 Struggles Only Art Students Understand

As all artists know, art school is a daily struggle. Between deadlines, sleeplessness, and creative blocks, it can be hard to focus on the payoff after graduation—an average salary between $47,000 and $89,000.

But still, art students keep their heads down and soldier on. Read on for the top 5 struggles every art student has dealt with in their scholastic career.

1. It’s not easy

This may be the most common misconception about art school. Students studying other disciplines may think that art is an “easy major,” but they have no idea how many sleepless nights the average art student has spent trying to finish a complicated project. One small mistake can often mean scrapping everything and starting over at the beginning.

Art students face a daily challenge to translate difficult-to-define emotions into something tangible and communicative. When they’re finished, they face lengthy critiques from professors and classmates before beginning the process again for the next project. It is certainly not easy.

2. Art supplies are expensive

Top-of-the-line oil paints, a quality digital drawing tablet, and that new set of colouring pencils Caran DAche style can all easily cost hundreds of dollars. Some stores will offer a student discount, but most art students expect to spend most of their hard-earned money on art supplies.

That hefty price tag can, unfortunately, stop art students from trying new things in their work. It’s difficult to experiment with new techniques if supplies are too expensive to replace.

3. It’s hard not to compare work to other artists’ pieces

Whether it’s the historical subjects of their classes, their talented professors, or an unusually gifted classmate, art students are constantly surrounded by masters in their field. It can be disheartening for a student to see another artist easily excel in areas they haven’t quite grasped yet.

That, combined with comments from viewers who just don’t “get” a particular piece, can block an art student’s motivation and make it tough to continue.

4. Friends and family will request commissions—for free

Maybe they’re looking for a new focal point for their foyer, a mural for their child’s bedroom, or a new logo for their small business. Regardless of their specific need, friends and family tend to look on art students as sources of free, personalized art.

This can be especially frustrating for students. Not only are they strapped for time, the supplies they use to make each project are not free. A well-intentioned favor can wind up costing art students money in the end.

5. It takes time to accumulate the resources needed to finish a project

Every art project is on a deadline. When a student has to spend an inordinate amount of time gathering supplies for a sculpture, going through tutorials on how to achieve a particular finish, or sourcing new brushes for their design software, it leaves very little time to actually work on the project itself.

That’s where Pligg can help. Pligg is home to a trove of downloadable eBooks, graphics, and design software plugins that can offer inspiration, instruction, or instruments—everything an art student needs to finish their project.