For many if not most artists, there comes a time when self-reflection is not enough to improve one’s craft. This is where an art workshop or residency can come in handy. If you want to take your artistic skills to a new level of excellence, an art class can help you get there. Here are just a few important tips to keep in mind before signing up!

Leave Perfectionism at the Door

Just as a would-be computer coder must learn a particular computer language before creating a program in that language, a person with interest in a particular art form must learn to understand the rudiments of their craft before they create first-rate work. Even advanced artists can benefit from refocusing their efforts on fundamental artistic concepts.

For someone with perfectionistic tendencies, however, this part of the learning process can be difficult. If you’re hitting a brick wall in your first art class, don’t become frustrated or give up. Give yourself time to develop your talent in a new direction and see where it takes you. Allow yourself time to make mistakes. No one is perfect!

Leave Stubbornness at the Wayside!

Just as perfectionism can mar an otherwise suitable art workshop, an inordinately stubborn person can miss out on the process of learning important concepts. If an experienced instructor has advice on how to improve your craft, for example, by all means, take them at their word! A good art instructor will help you move beyond your mistakes: If you genuinely want to excel as an artist, learn to accept criticism before setting foot in the classroom.

Help Foster a Community of Artists

Going to a new art class can feel like an intimidating step in life for the socially anxious among us. We’ll be opening ourselves up to a new group of people after all: Certainly, that kind of artistic openness requires some level of vulnerability. To make your class worth it and to connect with your peers, help foster a community within the classroom by being friendly with everyone. Offer support and help to other students if you see them struggling. You’ll probably make new friends in the bargain!

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

As a wise person once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Your goal as an art student should be to outdo yourself; it shouldn’t be to outdo your fellow students. Focus on your growth as an artist instead of taking other people down a peg: Turning an art workshop into a competition isn’t going to make the learning process enjoyable for anyone. It’ll also sour the social aspects of the class. Who wants to participate in a classroom experience that they don’t enjoy?