You’ve gotta be careful how much you tell your professors

“Meeting your adviser is like a first date” this was actually said to me about the school picnic at the beginning of the year. And so the relationship meanders, and it blossoms, and in a few weeks you’ll feel comfortable opening up to your adviser during one of the many studio visits you’ll have together. So during that moment when you think “should I tell my adviser this?” during the first few months. Just don’t. Keep your mouth shut. You’ll have plenty of time to talk about your work still and there’s no reason to give up too much information all at once.

Now, this is a tricky balance because you also don’t want to appear that you’re withholding information. These visits can resemble a mash up between a police interrogation and a psychotherapy session. But the difference is, there are no repercussions if you stay quiet.

I was having a beer with a ridiculous amount of other art grads I had invited out (another tip. Invite everyone out for drinks or karaoke at least once a month!) and I was sitting next to a friend, and I asked her how things were going. She told me the ins and outs of her situation and then said “You’ve gotta be careful how much you tell your professors” and this really rang true with me. You really do.

I think a lot of people come into grad school with the idea that they need to have everything ironed out on day one. You don’t. A lot of teachers just want you to experiment, and make new work that has nothing to do with the old work that got you into the school. So don’t be afraid to simply say “I used to do this stuff, and now I’m just playing around, and trying to find a new path”. Which really, is what you should be doing anyway. Grad school is a great opportunity to try something new and go a new direction. These forks in the road come at opportune times in an artists career so cherish them when you can.

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