On my first day at Art School, as a terrified yet precocious 18 year old, we were given countless addresses by numerous members of staff and persons of importance. I remember none of it, save a single line:
‘Remember, you’re not here to show us what you can do. You’re here to find out what you are capable of.’
This statement, from an extremely wise and level-headed lecturer who is an accomplished artist in his own right, is incredibly valuable to anyone starting out at a school of art and design. What you’ve done before means nothing now. It doesn’t matter how many prizes you’ve won, how many exhibitions you’ve already had. It doesn’t matter that your mum thinks you’re the best artist around or that you could draw the most realistic ponies in high school, and no one cares that you only work in oils or that you’re afraid of power tools.
Let it go. Open your mind to new ideas and new materials. Draw from the wealth of experience and talent that surrounds you. Unlearn everything you thought you knew, question everything and begin again.