Thanks for asking! Here are some tips and lessons learned during my journey as an art/design student:
1. There is no such thing as failure, understand your going to make crappy work as part of the process of making good work. Turn mistakes and accidents into constructive ones.
2. “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. Don’t worry about being original, worry about being good. Observe and analyze your favorite artists and designers and try to figure out how they do what they do and do it your way.
3. Study and Network! Watch youtube videos, read books and magazines, analyze good designs and works of art, train your eye to see in a creative way. Go to galleries, talk to artists and designers, work around them. I’ve honestly learned more outside of school than inside of it by researching and being around great people.
4. Clients come first, including teachers who will act like your clients. Be ready to do mundane production work that won’t be very exciting to do. You will have to create or insert things in your art and design you might not want to do.The best designers I know go through the projects that aren’t creatively inspiring to give themselves a chance to work on projects that are.
5. Finally… work! Sketch every day, explore and experiment with design programs(Photoshop, Illustrator etc.) daily. Once you have a good portfolio be ready to share it and promote it online and in person. Remember that art and culture is highly subjective and there is no wrong way to do things so don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try things with sketching.
I hope that helps and again this is all just based on my experiences and of course learning from mistakes I have made in the past. There is a ton of great art and design material to get inspired by here on tumblr. But also check out booooooom.com, www.proxart.org, and fffffffffound.com for more inspiration.
Good luck and don’t forget to have fun, the greatest artists are the ones who access the creativity from their childhood :)