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If you’re a high schooler dreaming of life as a Dragon, you might be wondering how best to prepare yourself for the challenges and opportunities that await you at DigiPen. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do before graduating high school to set yourself up for success!

If you’re interested in our Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation program, below you’ll find a few handy tips, as well as some words of wisdom from a currently enrolled BFA student.

To prepare for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation program, you should:

  • Take drawing classes. Even though our art students spend their final two years making 3D work, the first two years are dedicated to building a foundation in traditional fine art skills. Taking classes to learn figure drawing, observational drawing, and how to work in a wide range of media will go a long way towards setting yourself up for success.

  • Take a sketch book wherever you go. Try to draw your surroundings as accurately as possible, or ask your friends and family if you can draw their portraits. DigiPen requires BFA applicants to submit an art portfolio, so keep your best work together for when it’s time to show off your skills!

  • Don’t be shy; seek out critique. Great artists aren’t born — they’re made. One of the best ways to hone your craft is by seeking honest critique from friends, family, and mentors. As an art student at DigiPen, you’ll be submitting your work for group critique in nearly every course you take, so it’s good to get in the habit now. Sometimes all it takes to improve a piece is a small tweak, while other times, you might need to completely start over. Either way, don’t be afraid to ask, and don’t take feedback personally — masterpieces are rarely made on the first try. If you’re nervous about the art portfolio you’re planning to submit for your DigiPen application, you can email us at, call us at (425) 629-5001, or text (425) 414-3633 to learn more about our free art feedback sessions — another handy bit of critique that can make a big difference.

Obviously, do art! The first couple years are always going to be rough, so giving yourself that time in high school to get your bad art out of the way, it’s going to be really freeing when you come into this environment and need to be on top of everything. Being able to get a healthy attitude towards art before you come here is important — getting over that fear of failure and accepting that it is a learning process is really important. Any artist that is totally happy with their art probably isn’t growing. Learning that it’s okay to feel that way, and knowing how to not let it trip you up is a good thing to figure out early on in high school.”

Kait Baird

BFA in Digital Art and Animation