Art Student Owl is a meme that spoofs the stereotypical art student in popular culture. Chain smoking and devoted to everything having to do with art to the point that anything else becomes unimportant, the art student scrapes by on student loans, barely having enough money to eat and looking down their noses at anyone who lives in the "real world" and doesn’t suffer for something greater than themselves – their art. They also tend to see anything and everything as either art or something that should be used as art.
The meme itself contains a photograph of a rather bored looking owl (who knew owls could look bored?), with a cigarette dangling out of its beak, appearing to be just a moment away from pontificating on some deep art-related subject.
The text around the meme art typically has something to do with art, art school, artists, or anything else art-related. This meme appeals not only to the particular subculture of artists, but also anyone who has ever had a friend or an acquaintance like this.
Art students are often mistaken for hipsters, and although there is some crossover within the genre, it is erroneous to attribute the air of superiority and cliquishness to art students that hipsters often have. Art students are often accidentally like this, but only because they are absentminded and totally focused on their craft.
Notable versions of this meme include "It is not crap … it is a sculpture I made with my anus", and "Older male model bends over … Look away in horror".