1. Deadlines are etched in stone, signed and sealed. Don’t waste a single breath on making an excuse because most of these professors understand you’re a creative individual, a creative liar especially, and will refrain from giving you the opportunity to cop out. Granted, there will be some professors who will sigh and accept profuse bleeding as a minimally acceptable excuse but I wouldn’t push the limits on this one. They’re gonna say that if the blood wasn’t coming from your eyes or your hands, you could still manage a decent design.
2. Start your projects early. In high school, you probably got away with frequent and conscious procrastination. If you have two weeks available to you, inhale and exhale digital design until you feel like you’re in desperate need of oxygen, submit your assignments before the deadline, and regain breath. It’s all about being punctual and knowing when you need to get work done and when to avoid clicking cat videos. Priorities, people, priorities. Get er’ done.
3. If the work isn’t even believable to you, for the love of god, do not try to dispute the grade. I repeat. ABORT MISSION. Quietly accept that you can’t win this fight and prepare immensely for the next opportunity you have to pack a punch. That infamous question will arise in the midst of that uncomfortable conversation you chose to initiate with your professor, “why did you do this?”, and if you can’t explain your process, you’re a goner if you don’t know how to prove what you did was what was best for the assignment. Make your work not only beautiful but also believable! Remember, convincing yourself of the assignment’s success comes before convincing someone else that your concept reflects thought. You can’t teach what you don’t know.
4. Don’t challenge the strength that is the copyright. Your grade will reflect your originality. Copying another artist’s work, especially as a Digital Media major, is like sinning in church. We’re all artists begging to have our creative voices heard, and the last think we want is to hear our concepts sputtering out of someone else’s distasteful mouth. Who would want to collab with a cheater, anyway? You’d be better off manning the project alone.
5. Be true to your style at the end of the day (note that I said at the end of the day!). It can be hard to let this concept continue to house your mind because all of your Digital Media professors will want to tug your arms in their own direction and essentially leave you with no limbs to fight back from the artistic suppression they want to force upon you. I’m exaggerating, but seriously. You should do what you can to satisfy the standards of the class without sacrificing what makes your work a reflection of who you are! It’s tricky, frustrating, and saddening at times to feel like your work isn’t “A”-worthy at every go, but when you take all the knowledge that they offer you and your own creative spirit and merge them into this crazy artistic powerhouse within your mind, you can do anything. Seriously anything. Screw dreams. Let your art take you on an adventure worth working for!
Do you have any suggestions for all the fantastic Digital Media majors out there?