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Tips for Excelling in Digital Media Arts and Design Programs

By February 19, 2024February 27th, 2024Digital Arts

Digital media art and design programs offer students limitless opportunities to create, share, and connect through various channels and platforms. Venturing into these programs means students will need to blend their artistic skills with technical ability, which might be a first for many. Fortunately, there are strategies students can use to enhance their digital media journey and to find success inside and outside the classroom.

Work on Time Management

One of the first things you’ll learn about college is that your courses are more demanding than your high school classes. That adjustment can sometimes be difficult, especially if you weren’t anticipating it. Being able to manage your time starts you off on the right track. It’s also important to learn time management now since it’s essential to meeting deadlines for your employer and clients once you start working after graduation.

Create a schedule, prioritize your tasks, and allocate sufficient time for mandatory coursework before working on personal projects or participating in extracurricular activities. Think about the things that help keep you focused and where and how you get your work done best. Also consider potential distractions and how to avoid them.

Get Comfortable with Digital Tools

Digital media programs combine art and technology. Naturally, you’ll need to be familiar with the equipment and software used in the industry. Depending on what digital media degree program you’re in, you might need to know how to use editing software, cameras, AI, or digital drawing tools like drawing tablets. Some colleges provide students access to these tools inside the classroom or in on-campus media centers. Experiment with these tools as much as you can.

Learn as Many Skills As You Can

Even if you have a specialization in mind, try to push yourself to go outside your comfort zone and explore as many skills as you can in your degree program. Most digital media majors have access to very diverse classes that complement their main course requirements or interests. Taking some of these classes not only makes you a stronger overall student but also prepares you for a workforce that is actively searching for creatives who can tackle multiple parts of a project at once. The more you know and can do, the more valuable you are once you enter the workforce.

Embrace Constructive Criticism

It can be hard to be open to feedback and not take it personally. Artists and storytellers do put a lot of themselves into their work, after all. Just remember that constructive criticism from professors or peers is meant to serve as a way to improve and refine your work. It’s also a good idea to get used to hearing input now; once you start working, clients and collaborators will consistently be giving you suggestions or directly asking you to make changes.

Stay Updated

What’s new today is old tomorrow in the world of digital media. The way media is created, published, shared, and consumed is always changing. To succeed, you’ll need to be informed on the latest trends and advancements in the industry. Plan time to read up on the latest from online publications or attend talks and lectures from industry experts if the opportunity arises. Using these resources can help you gauge where digital media is headed and what you need to do to prepare for it.

Keep Your Portfolio In Mind

While you don’t necessarily need to start building a portfolio right away, it’s a good idea to keep that project in the back of your head. As you complete projects for classes, keep a list or make a folder that includes potential portfolio additions. It will save you a lot of time and effort to have this pre-prepared instead of trying to remember what work you’ve done later.

Learn About Villa’s Digital Media Programs

We believe that our talented digital media art and design students deserve every opportunity to be successful. From state-of-the-art facilities to talented educators to free books and tools, Villa Maria College provides its students with everything they need to have a bright future. Reach out today to learn more about our programs, including animation, digital filmmaking, digital media and communications, game design, graphic design, and interior design.