I am in the mood to give advice because I am thinking of my art students at home studying for their exam. They have finished the practical (yet to be examined) and now only have to prepare for and write the theory paper. And this is my advice for them now:
Do something to prepare you for the art exam every day. It does not have to be something big, just something. Write down all the artists and artworks for early International Art. Write a description for every conceptual artwork we studied. Look at the South African art pictures. Or anything else that make you come in contact with the theory.
If that is too much then go on Youtube and watch a video. But do something to do with art theory every day.
Because your success is going to depend more on doing small bits every day than it will on cramming through all the work the night before you write the exam.
I have the same advice for my new matrics. Do something every day. Today we are working on practical again and that is my advice to them. Take your Visual Diary with you. Work in it for ten minutes every day. Done. Success guaranteed.
And with report writing time upon us I want to preach to myself. Don’t leave it all for the last week. Start early. Start now. Write a bit every day. One student report. One sentence! Anything to keep momentum. Because nobody knows what other calamities time may bring and no matter what you do at some point you run out of time.
Yesterday my art practice consisted of the following. I lined up four panels. One quite advanced and three with only a scrap stuck on. Then I drew two lines across all four panels, using my more complete work as a guide. And that was it — two lines.
But that was enough for the day. Not because I worked like a dog but because I worked, even if it was just two lines. It is two lines I did not have before. Three works activated and taken forward that were lying dormant for more than a week. A practice that was performed, no matter how small.
And that is my personal secret to success. It does not matter to have great and big ideas. What matters is that you do something. Even if the idea is very small and the task very mundane. Because tiny steps done regularly makes for a large journey over time. And that counts.