Joshiua Blacklaws

Bachelor of Fine Arts student Joshiua sheds some light on what first year at university was like.

Joshiua Blacklaws

"In high school, I was interested in becoming an art teacher and then my teacher recommended I look into Elam. It’s not originally what I thought I would end up doing, but now I’m really glad I have decided to study here.

"I remember when I was about to start uni, I was really excited to let myself be bad at something. I always achieved really well in high school, but I was really excited to try something different and not be the best at it. I went to a decile 2 school, so we didn’t have the resources to do a lot. I was just doing painting and drawing and so I really wanted to challenge myself and have to work really hard to get better at something new.

"The staff at Elam don’t tell you how to make art, they facilitate you finding your own way of making art. They want you to figure out your own methods and as you go along, they will critique you and tell you where you are going wrong to guide the process. I feel like when you tell an artist how to do something, that’s when their creative drive will go away. You need that motivation of discovering it on your own.

"At Elam you are just like one community, you become like a family. You learn a lot about art, but you also learn a lot about working with people, which is really important as an artist.

"The biggest challenge I faced was in the first semester, was that I just took on way too much. I didn’t have any free time, which is really integral for a university student, just being able to have fun, chill and take some time to grow into being an adult.

"My highlight of the year was the final hand in, it felt like a big party! You could see so much change in all of us, and everyone felt like an artist at the end of the year. Everyone felt quite proud of what they had done and really confident that this is what we were meant to do.

"My advice to new students would be to just to chill out and enjoy the ride! You’re going learn so much about art and yourself. Give yourself room to breathe, be ready to be challenged but also to have the most rewarding year of your life!"