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Q and A: Is Art School Worth It?

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 20, 2011, 10:07 PM
This is a question that I get pretty often, and I'd like to start this by saying I honestly have no idea. It's such a hard thing to gauge due to there being so many external and internal parameters that there's no do-all end-all answer. I'm still not sure if Art School was completely worth it even for myself. If I don't know, surely I must not be the right person to ask.

BUT

I can provide you with some tips from experience about things you could consider, should you be considering higher education. (And by that, I'm speaking about full four-year style colleges that offer full-time curriculum for a Bachelors or Masters degree.)

Now, as I mentioned above, this is truthfully a touchy subject. I don't want to be held liable for ruining anyone's future. So take what I say as opinion, not fact. Also my opinions come from being raised within a middle-class family. Not YOUR family.

I'd also like to take this moment and disclaim I wrote this very late at night while watching Top Gear and feeling very drowsy. I think this all makes sense, or something.


  • BEGIN OPINIONS...

Don't go to Art School just to get your degree like it's some right-of-passage ritual like College has become in the USA. You're coming near to the end of High School or something, you're expected to go College right after. You're interested in art, so you decide it would be a good idea to make it your major. But is it really something you're interested in deep enough to warrant spending tens of thousands of dollars on? Unless you're one of the lucky few to get a free ride, you will without a doubt have substantial student debt by the time you graduate, (IF you graduate.) In my opinion, going to art school for reasons not related to career/commercial media learning is a complete waste of your time and money. (It's not uncommon to see the type of art in that previous link in schools. Sorry, I just don't think you need to spend $20,000 a year to produce introspective thesis work like THAT.) Simply put, I don't think personal enrichment shouldn't cost you a small fortune. You'd be much better off going to college for a more lucrative skill, something else that interests you, and developing your personal art alongside it with self discipline and continual motivation. If you ever want to hit it off as a big-name fine artist, determination and studying can make you every bit as successful as a college degree -- whatever you need that for in something as broad and amorphous a topic as "fine art" anyway. Something that could be an even better idea is to look for someone who could take you on as an apprentice. I can't speak for cost about that, but the quality of instruction you'd get could be immense, and WAY more personal. Either that, or make a friend who does what you want to do. It can happen!

However, if you're looking to get into the fields of a more industrialized art, such as graphic design, animation, illustration, or photography, you might just want to put some thought into just how much your interest in the topic as a career weighs against the cost and hardships of actually GETTING there. Hear me out: it's no easy task. You gotta make sure you're up for the battle to the winners circle.

Just like Fine Art, you don't always need a degree to actually be successful in the industrialized art world. One will definitely help you along, especially to get crucial experience-building internships, but it's not a 100% do-or-die required. It's not 100% uncommon for some college students to find their skills have outgrown the capacity of what their school covers, in which case they'd best consider arranging a meeting with their department heads to figure out whether it's a good time to leave before they rack up more needless debt. Artists do not have the same trials as, say, a business student where their grades make up a pretty good bit of their resume. They don't have the benefit of a PORTFOLIO. As an artist, your portfolio is a direct "Here's the facts, folks," tool that says everything about you. If your portfolio impresses, (really impresses,) you don't need a degree. If you can prove you can do it, they'll want you for it. (Edit: Though every employer is obviously different. Some people get lucky through connections. Some don't. A good looking resume never hurts. Having a degree definitely adds a gold star -- but it depends on who's looking.)

Now, a lot of that may sound pretty "anti-school," but it's really not. It's really something that applies to those who have the drive and motivation themselves to skip it entirely. It's meant for those who may not know what they want to do yet, to consider that a completely AIMLESS entry into art school can be dangerous and damaging especially if you're one of the many who, by their senior year, STILL don't know what they should be doing, or want to be doing. (That's a scary experience. No joke.)

However, if you are the type who wants to enter the industry, accepting the hardships, is genuinely intrigued by the process, has a direction and major in mind, and can't wait to get in there hands-on with everything, then by all means, you have every reason to go to art school. If you remain proactive, you will make friends there, countless professional contacts, you WILL have an experience that would be hard to repeat again at any point in your life. You need to make every best use of every little bit of it you can. Squander nothing. Because it will do nothing for you if you do nothing for it.

That said, definitely do your research and talk to people who graduated from the school you're looking to attend. (Really, email them. They're not hard to find through google or through the school's established alumni listings. They'll be more happy to help you than you think.) Make sure you're going to a school that caters best to what it is you want to be doing as a career. Look at current working professionals in the area of what you'd like to be doing. Where did they go? (If they went at all.) Is it feasible for you to do the same?

Remember that in the art world, the quality of your instruction can be every bit more important than the degree you get at the end. Don't think about the degree. Think about YOU. If you go through college, learn nothing, and get a degree as a pat on the back, did you really wind up with something worth keeping? At what cost?

And last but not least, DO. NOT. RUSH. IT. If you're JUST getting out of high school and you're REALLY not sure what you want to do yet, but you're REALLY sure you want to go into art school, don't rush in and make the wrong decisions. You have time. Breathe. Get a summer job. Think about it. Research it. Make an informed decision when you KNOW it's what you want to do. You'll thank yourself later for not plowing through, crashing, then burning.

Edit: What this really comes down to is the fact that art school, like many schools, is terrifyingly expensive. Much more than many kids realize, and they end up tallying horrifying debts. If it were affordable for everyone, I'd wholly suggest everyone go to art school. But this is not the case. For your own protection, give it good thought, and do your research as to whether or not it's for you.

  • END OF OPINIONS...
Agree, disagree, whatever you like!

(by the way, please don't ask me which schools are good. I seriously can't tell you that.)

Add a Comment:
 
:iconjoy-ling:
joy-ling Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I feel like I'm necro-ing an old conversation but there are two art schools that I know of that offer full scholarships.

One of them is in the Cooper Union, which is located in New York, NY. It's one of the most selective schools, however, and from what I've experienced they're looking for students who are into that contemporary art thing. :P They specifically told me that even though my work was technically proficient, they weren't looking for students with my skill.

The other is the Muse program in Hunter College, which offers full scholarships to New York City students and partial scholarships to non-New York students. Even if you get a partial scholarship the price you have to pay is not substantial. It's the program I am currently attending and it consists of illustrators, photographers, musicians, dancers etc. I'm actually very happy in the program and I got to experience many artistic things in the city (free trips to Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Broadway and art museums kind of stuff). You don't even have to major in art if you change your mind. It's a very non-rigid program. Every year they accepted about 40 students out of over 3,000.

Those are alternatives, if you're willing to move to NY. :P

Still, I think the best way to improve your art skills is to constantly work at it... I've been refining mine for almost 15 years. Although I am mostly self taught, I think that becoming an apprentice or a student would help my skills skyrocket.
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:iconangelic-alchemist:
Angelic-Alchemist Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011
whaa..this is helpful....i m at a stage where i have an option between an art school and an engineering one and was in such a dilemma....i'll go with information technology...cuz someone instructing me ways to hold my pencil doesn't sound that goood to me =_="
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:iconrooster82:
rooster82 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2011   Digital Artist
I studied art when I was in college and I value everything I was thought. I was very lucky to have excellent professors and the knowledge and exposure I got from them still helps me as a creative individual today. In the end, that piece of paper I earned, that degree, has helped me get jobs in other countries. Companies are more willing to support employment visas for a foreigner with a degree. So in my case, I believe art school helped me a great deal.

With that said, I also agree that one need not necessarily attend art school to break into the business. I have amazingly talented colleagues and friends who are doing very well for themselves as creatives and they did not study art in school. One of my mentors during my college years used to be a textile salesman before becoming a painter and sculptor. Painting was his hobby, and now he sells art for a living! He always reminded me that you should never be a starving artist. :XD Eat first! Create art later.

In the end, whether you go to art school or not, I think dedication and hard work is the key to breaking into the creative industry. If you can't take the projects assigned by a professor in college or handle their quirkiness, I can't see how one would be able to survive in the professional creative field.
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:iconsarav-art:
SaraV-Art Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011  Student Digital Artist
this journal has covered everything I have been reflecting about for the past few months. I want to do animation, but have decided not to rush it, I might just find something that attracts me more than art in general, like say: Forensic Chemistry and DNA Profiling <3
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:iconzakaz92:
zakaz92 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011   General Artist
Thanks for sharing this. And from many points I would have to agree with you as I have a family member my uncle who has worked for DC Ubisoft and capcom that didn't go to art school for his work He simply made himself a great artist by drive determination and will. Art schools are very expensive as you pointed out and I firmly believe alot fo young people rushes to jump into an art school not just for the degree but because i have had alot of people tell me that they believe they will improve and become supreme artist quicker when thats not the case at all I haven't went to an Art school and I believe i have improved in a major way since starting from my younger days to now am I perfect no way but the fact that I was able to improve just by associating myself with other artist with the same mind set wanting to get better, alot of people don't have self determination and they may think a schoo will change that but like I have always been told if you dont do it for your self no one else will either and the thing about it is that really all you need to become a better artist or pro is just read study get help and most of all PRACTICE!. and I know you don't always have to have a degree to get work sure it will look better for you but my uncle and myself for that matter is proof that all you truly need is the skill and will to do the job once someone sees that its only a matter of time from that point. Again thank you for this journal entry it was informative to read.
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:iconbloominglotus:
BloomingLotus Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very nice journal.
I wish DA would design a +favjournal button XD
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:iconthearta:
TheArta Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011  Student General Artist
There is :+fav: journal option, maybe it's not out yet for members, but dA has designed it! ^^ I think it's gonna be out soon. C: I can already fave this and it has 5 faves until now. I guess it's only for beta testers at the moment~
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:iconbloominglotus:
BloomingLotus Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ah.. I can't see it yet :D hope it will become public soon! :)
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:iconaruzza:
aruzza Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
my my, that link you give is... O_o

and thank you for this journal! it's really true! art is subjective, and i'm afraid if i entered any of those art school, i'm gonna making 'good' art in the professor's eyes rather than to make art like how i wanted it to be. i'm no expert, but i do think art should come from yourself. being in art school could probably gave some kind of impact to the student.

and despite getting degree, if people in the industries don't see your work as impacting because you've gone too abstract, you would likely end up as an unemployed. but if you get into another degree with promising prospect, and still maintain your artistic activities, it's saver that way. when your art is appealing, people will come and hire you. believe me, i'm one of that lucky person to have small art business along with my friends :D
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:iconyoulootamax:
youlootamax Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I find it interesting the number of artists who feel like art school isn't worth it. Hmm, you get networking, face-to-face critique, access to tools you otherwise would have no hope to even get close to at that early in your career, introduction to tools you didn't know existed or wouldn't have touched had you not been exposed to them, and so on and so fourth. I may not have become the next big thing coming out of college, but I feel like every penny put into my education was worth it.
My opinion is, if you truly love something and want to get as good as you can in it, go to school for it. It shouldn't matter the price on something that you're passionate about. For me it was no question that I wanted to go to art school. Who cares that I could have learned some of the skills on my own? I wouldn't have learned them nearly as quickly, and I wouldn't have been introduced to things like traditional inking, which is now one of my favorite things to do.

And I won't like to you or anyone about this: I've ALWAYS hated school, and by the time I was done with college, I was more than ready to be out of there. That's just how I am. But I wouldn't trade that education or the things I learned there for anything else.

Then again, I also want to get into a professional industry. And you know, a degree counts for work experience. Also, if your professors are doing their jobs, they've exposed you to as many opportunities to get hired as possible. As was said though, it does take initiative, but seriously, anyone who goes into anything like that expecting a job to just drop into their lap, no work put into getting one whatsoever, is an idiot. Anyone who expects to be amazing -just- because they went to school is also an idiot.

Sure I'm going to be knee deep in debt for awhile, and sure I'm not going to be able to buy a lot of the things I wish I could, but that's the same no matter the degree you'ld be going for, even if you go to a different school not related to art. Art school may be more expensive than regular school, but COLLEGE IS EXPENSIVE NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO. Other schools -really- aren't that different. You won't magically get a better paying job just because you got a degree in something else: you still gotta work at it no matter what.

Anyway, that's just my two cents on the matter. If someone isn't passionate enough about their art, and only just dabble in it for fun, or they're picking it simply because they think it's the easy way to a degree, then I agree: they shouldn't waste their money to go to art school, because they probably won't even last the whole way through anyway because they won't be able to handle the stress it brings. But if they take it seriously, and can't see themselves doing anything else, then there's no reason they shouldn't go, even if they end up freelancing in the end. Just because someone thinks they're going to freelance, doesn't mean they'll still want to after going through school. They might decide it'd be really fun to work at a company. There's just no way of telling how you're going to feel when you're done with it.

My high regard for this may be slightly colored by the fact that I went to a very good school for what I majored in. All of my professors were part time, and actually worked in the industry and went out of their way to bring in people from various companies that the students could show their portfolios to. A large portion of my class in my degree were already working by the time we graduated. So that's just where I'm coming from. Not all schools are as good at giving those kinds of opportunities to their students.
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:iconsolsolution:
solsolution Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012
which art school did you go to?
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:iconyoulootamax:
youlootamax Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The Atlanta campus for the Savannah College of Art and Design. I went there for Sequential Art, and it's one of the best schools for that particular degree. (moreso the Atlanta campus than the Savannah campus, since the Atlanta campus still has a lot of professors who came in from the field to teach)
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:iconzuluyo:
zuluyo Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011   Digital Artist
I am going to a sort of art school, it's specifically for animation and digital art. I can say one thing about art school or any kind of school really: networking is huge there, there's a high possibility that when I graduate someone I went to school with will probably hire me. However this is not your traditional art school, no stupid high concept thesis crap (like the first two schools I went to). This school just straight up traditional arts, traditional 2d animation, and later computer 2d 3d animation, no dumb modern art crap allowed.
I don't regret my choice to go there at all, but it took me a while to realize that regular art school just wasn't for me.
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:iconsolsolution:
solsolution Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012
what's the school that you go to?
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:iconzuluyo:
zuluyo Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012   Digital Artist
I go to DigiPen Institute of Technology, it has it's problems, lots of them, especially with the upperclassmen programs, but they're working on it.
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011  Professional General Artist
Here's what I wrote. [link]

I actually wrote a bunch more about taking advantage of art school while you're there but I'm going to make a different journal another time about it, maybe tomorrow maybe a second one today? we'll see. I'm still going about it in a pages document... :P
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011  Professional General Artist
Really its the best if you had decided significantly in advance that's your goal. Sophomore year of high school I knew what I wanted to do and relentlessly (single-mindedly perhaps) went after it. Extensive research helped but what really made up my mind was a Pre-College Program at the School of Visual Arts. I think its necessary to "try before you buy". After that program, my decision was confirmed, I knew I could complete college level work, and I had made a choice about what college I wanted to attend.

Getting there, I discovered that my experience in Pre-College was exactly the same as Foundation year, so it was easy for me to adapt and excel. After spending two years digging into the material, I discovered what you mentioned, that the real resources in art schools aren't obvious, and branched out. I used art school as a way to learn every medium and method possible rather than slogging through a pre-determined course.

I also split my mentality; buying wholeheartedly into whatever the teacher said during class, then when I went home evaluating its use and placing it into its proper place in my worldview. I think a lot of kids who have trouble with art school conceptually have difficulty with the instruction. A lot of the comments here are very negative towards instructors, when the faculty are the greatest resource in the whole school; they ARE the school. (I know you know this but this is more of a follow up to other comments.)

Actually you know, I'm going to stop here and write a journal as a follow up. How about you link it as an alternate point of view, when I finish?
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:iconsmileychan:
smileychan Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Student General Artist
I'm for the mentor method all the way. I studied under a professional artist for a year: best thing I ever did.
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:iconjinzilla:
jinzilla Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Student
totally agree~ I'm only going to art school because i've come to realize it's my source of LIFE. however i had decided that if art schools aren't giving me scholarships to attend then i pretty much don't stand a chance in hell in the real world and i would just go to a regular public uni. BUT I DID~! so going to art school is surprisingly inexpensive for me and i've decided to take advantage of that. still pretty tough though, i had to turn down my top choice because it was still 50K+ per year after the scholarships D'8

thanks for all your helpful journals/tutorials!
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:iconlightning-powered:
Lightning-Powered Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
EVERYONE ARTIST SHOULD READ THIS.


Personally I don't plan on going to an art school, as nice as I think it will be to be surrouded by like-minded people, I just don't see the point. It ensures neither genius nor success.
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:iconlightning-powered:
Lightning-Powered Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
Actually why don't you turn this into a news article so everyone CAN read it?!
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:iconsaramations:
saramations Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Reminds me: [link]

All in all it was a good decision for me because when I try to imagine my life with out it... I don't think I'd turn out as happy.

Also, it seems as if the role of school has changed in the last ...10 years or so. Ever since the advent of youtube, google, and social media, we can access tutorials and information so much easier we don't need school like we did before.
But that will never be the same as going to class everyday and getting chewed out by your teachers... ;)
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:iconrengintumer:
RenginTumer Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I do agree with the modern art bit. I feel like most of it is pretty pretentious and has no value unless it's pleasing to the eye and interesting.

However, the comments on this page leave an impression on me like art school is always worthless. I'm currently studying game design in the Netherlands. I do realize that going to college or university is, relatively speaking, extremely cheap here, but I would like to emphasize that art school does have some major pro's, provided that the art school is doing it's job well.

For starters, as fox-orian stated, internships provide valuable experience in the industry. I have coincidentally just finished an internship at a Dutch game company, and it was very valuable to me even though I'm not a game designer and eventually want to get into the movie industry instead.

Second, art school can teach you what you like and what you don't like. During high school I've done a kind of foundation year at one of the biggest art schools of the Netherlands. I found out that even the Illustration section of that school is waayyyy too artsy fartsy for me and that I immensely dislike the philosophy of teaching that they have there. In addition to that, the internship that I've been doing due to my current college and the whole education have made me realize that I'm more of a film person than a game person. It has taught me that while I enjoy modeling and rendering, I have a passion for drawing and painting. Even though I want to get into a different industry, I can take this skillset with me, and I will be all the more valuable to a company because I know the workflow from a 2D painting to a 3D model and eventually an in-game asset pretty intricately.

Third, art school is about pushing your boundaries, not only learning what you like. Of course, you can go too far but it can't hurt drawing inspiration from other disciplines like graphic design and sculpting while you're still in art school to experiment. It will make your style all the more original. Plus, you will probably be pushed to finish your piece to a higher skill level than you would have done yourself. I guess it's a community pro: because you're in the environment and interacting with the people who share a common interest, you learn quicker and push yourself harder. It could be argued that one could also find this on forums, but I personally think that having someone standing next to you and putting a book in front of your nose for you to leaf through and commenting on various pieces while you're doing it is something totally different than someone simply linking you the book and saying "It's so awesome!".

Like I said, going to college is relatively cheap in the Netherlands, so it gives students more freedom to make a mistake or two about choosing an education. However, this is an international site and right now I think fox-orian's post is very much directed at US residents. I guess these points make more sense with a "cheaper" education system, but I still think they're worth considering, if you want to make a profession out of art that is.
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:iconbobbyfasel:
bobbyfasel Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
P much agree with everything you just said. Art school's a double-edged sword, definitely.
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:iconalysataladay:
AlysaTaladay Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I had a pretty basic art education. I know enough to get by if I want to apply for a masters or another bachelors (I think...), but I don't know enough to get a job in, say, interior design (my fields of emphasis were graphic arts and art history). I know that I love interiors, and I really could be happy designing spaces, but I also know that it's a competitive field, and that there's no guarantee that if I get a degree that I'll be able to get a job, even after all the blood, sweat, and tears that I know perfectly well will come with the course load. I am in this exact position, now, of having a bachelor's in art and being in debt not because of college, but because other, unexpected expenses that I can't afford, and I can't make enough to pull myself out. Thank God I don't have loans to pay off on top of all this.

This is excellent advice.
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:iconrasterox:
Rasterox Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011
I really wish you had wrote this 7 years ago and I had read it then.. thank you anyway. =)
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:iconhumdrumbuzz:
HumDrumBuzz Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Student General Artist
I rushed into University to do Fine Art, because that's what I had been told by my education that I had been doing since I was 15. And the only thing in school I enjoyed.

I passed my year of Foundation, and I passed my first year of a Bachelors focusing on Contemporary Sculpture and then quit.

I'm now in 9000 (about $14000 maybe?) of debt, which could have been a lot worse if I had stayed till the end.

I have learned some technical skills along the way, for example, I can use an angle grinder and I realise just how important a spirit level is....
My only claim to fame, from doing sculpture for however many years, is that I come complete with a photography portfolio full of strange looking shapes placed on tables, and that I probably can put Ikea furniture together without using the instructions..
But that's it really.

I made the mistakes you talked about here. I didn't think about what I wanted to do, and I rushed into something because it was what I was best at, and I ignored everything else.

It was only about 6months ago that I really found out what it was that interested me for a career in art. Which is animation.

I never thought that at the end of my Fine Art degree, I wanted to create abstract instillations in art galleries no one's ever heard about, portraying some overly worked theme that would make a small amount of people say "Ahhh, I understand!" but most other people think " This is pretentious and I only came for the free wine anyway..." (which sadly is how I feel in modern art galleries most of the time)

So now, at 21, I still live where I went to Uni, I have a shite job that pays my bills, and I'm only now really getting to understand what I want from my skills. How I want to develop them and who I want to learn from.

My course leader gave me the option to DO animation to portray my ideas, when I sat down and talked about why I wanted to quit. But NOT to teach me.

I told him that it was the teaching part that I wanted. Yes, I do want to be taught the basics, but I also want to be taught how to get into the industry and make a career out of it, and benefit from the instruction and experience of my teachers and mentors. Something, I had never felt, when coming to do Sculpture and fineart.

In the short of it, I came to University because I thought it was the easy way out, and that after 4 years I would THEN decide what to do next. But that was a waste. Of my own money, my own time, but ALSO, the time of my teachers and the other students in my class. Because I just didn't care, because I didn't stop to think.

I'm probably not going to be able to afford going to Uni again for a very long time. Because I dropped out, I won't get funded again and will have to save up the money myself. So now I have a long time to think about what it really is that I want, as well as paying of a 3rd of a student loan, and an overdraft. I would have rather done the thinking first, in hindsight.

Sorry this was long and rambling, but dropping out of Uni for me and the issues raised in your journal is something I'm going through right now. I wanted to tell my experiences to anyone just passing by this comment who might be interested.
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:iconm-g-studio:
M-G-Studio Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
It all depends on the person, whether they want to jump into their careers sooner or later. Schools get you there sooner because you have a deadline for how long you can be there and the deadlines for projects etc. BUT in school, it's the teacher that tells you how to do something and then you end up only doing it their way. This limits the creativity because then a person may be afraid or not motivated to try something new that wasn't part of the learning process at school.

Learning art yourself is a long road because there are no deadlines and you may end up doing things wrong more than doing them right but in the end, you learn what not to do, how to do it and you get to gain experience doing so many different styles and genres. Learning on your own gains you the ability to evolve more and it doesn't cage or limit your imagination. Atleast that's what I think.
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:iconmangawhispers:
MangaWhispers Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I agree with you I went to college for Graphic Design (which wasn't really what i wanted in the first place, first mistake) during 'drawing 101' the instructor would always tell me I'm doing things wrong, and that I'm not holding my pencil the 'correct' way, that i should sketch with short line but draw it all at once, :icondizzyplz: she was a crazy lady! She actually made me hate drawing (very sad time in my life T^T) but now I'm away from the rules and restrictions of drawing I can do what ever I like!... who made these rules for art anyways! :icononionsighplz:
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:iconm-g-studio:
M-G-Studio Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Not only that but consider the fact that one's teacher opinion varies from another, so to some you may have done things right and to others you have done things wrong. So how can art ever be judged if everyone's opinion is different?
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:iconmangawhispers:
MangaWhispers Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Right! Half the time I did projects I wouldn't know why I was doing it, where's my motivation! Really the projects they had us do didn't have meaning to me, and I really hate painting primary and secondary colors with shapes... I under stand shading... I learnt most of my knowledge from DA or Google searching. I think teachers lack the soul of art and are just teaching the technical part.
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:iconkeiiii:
keiiii Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011
It's not that the teachers lack "the soul of art." It's just that the soul isn't something that can be taught in a classroom. It's already in you.

Of course the teachers focus on the technical part. Not because they don't value TEH SOUL, but because the technical part is what art schools are SUPPOSED to teach.
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:iconmangawhispers:
MangaWhispers Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Right I understand what your saying, she can't give me the 'Soul' but she sure helped to take mine away, being a teacher I'm sure calling your student profanity is inexcusable. :icononistressplz: That and she made art an uncomfortable experience, way unlike when I was drawing in high school for the entertainment of it and feeling the pure joy of when something did actually turn out right. I understand all the tech parts of art and how things work (though I still struggle with perspective but hey who doesn't?) I'm not a hater of all art teachers b/c there are some darn good ones out there (even on DA) but really don't put your students down just b/c they sketch in a different way, or not the 'right way' b/c there isn't a right way ... beauty is in the eye of the beholder (believe me I've seen some ugly art in museums but I guess someone loved them):iconfinallyplz:
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:iconkeiiii:
keiiii Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2011
I'm not saying anything about your teacher in particular. I don't even know who she is. But even though you have some ideas about the "tech parts of art" and "how things work," you (and me too, for that matter) are far from mastering those things -- and not just perspective. We all have lots of room for improvement and learning. Saying things like "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" in this context makes it seem like you're dismissing the importance of improving your basics.

And there are definitely right ways to do things, ESPECIALLY when you're just learning. Remember what they say -- you gotta learn the rules before you break the rules.

It's very very possible to become a great artist without ever putting your foot in an art classroom. But you need to have an open mind, which entails trying new things and being receptive to critiques.
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:iconmangawhispers:
MangaWhispers Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Correct I'm not dismissing the rules, I know there are thing put forth out there, that are there for reasons such as the eight heads rule for the human. (and I definitively know it's hard to draw the human form without the basics! the little rules and tricks make it easier, Thank God!)In the art class I had we were mostly pushed to draw what we saw, for the most part I already did that, drawing what you see not what you think you see.

Also, I'm not dismissing the basics, everything starts with a foundation and I applaud those who can teach these basics without tearing down there students themselves. Also they should provide projects that practice the teachings rather than tell them to draw something and turn it in... who know maybe I'm just not meant for the classroom :D

I did take online classes, and I learned twice as much from those (teacher wasn't looking over my shoulder) than I did from an online campus. I believe it's because rather than getting fifteen projects for one week we were actually give time to understand what was being taught and then given a project to actually apply that. Also the teacher was able to critique your work without the distractions of the classroom, In my opinion critiques were my favorite part b/c without them how could I not find ways to improve?

I'm in no way saying drawing is just some blah thing that anyone can do (cuz it's not) there are things to learn, be it from a teacher, a book, or online like DA, but I just don't think you absolutely need to go to school to become a great artist. Especially when everything the teachers tell you they pull from a book. :iconstudytimeplz:
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(1 Reply)
:iconm-g-studio:
M-G-Studio Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Well it comes down to the fact that they're paid to teach you.. so that's basically the main reason why they lack the soul for it, cause to them art isn't expression, it's a job.
I had a teacher in elementary school who gave me a 19 out of 20 on a big painting I did. Her reason was (and I quote)"you aren't a professional artist" I'm not sure who in grade 8 can be a professional artist. She was insane.
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:iconmangawhispers:
MangaWhispers Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2011  Student Digital Artist
:iconpetrifiedplz: Are you serious! That teacher wishes she was a professional, she probably dresses up as picasso behind closed doors pretending she was famous when all she could do was teach kids (who I might add are tons more creative than her) to finger paint... She's a hater!Some people are just so :iconvoodooplz:
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:iconm-g-studio:
M-G-Studio Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Haha your comment made me laugh lol and yes she was a hater.
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:iconmangawhispers:
MangaWhispers Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2011  Student Digital Artist
:D your welcome, but I've seen too many times were teachers take out there stress on there art students, it's kinda like stepping on a flower before it can bloom... really it's sad. But kudos for the good art teachers who nurture the young artists! :icongraduatingplz:
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(1 Reply)
:icont5fx:
t5FX Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
Go to business school to learn the business portions. that is, if you already work hard at being an artist.

Think long and hard about your decision and make sure it fits you. When trying to figure out if I should go to school or not I heard from many resources and also visited a few schools. Remember, the school needs students as much as you need an education.
I visited one school that my roommate, at the time, went to. He did not get a job in his field, but that wasn't the deciding factor. It was the fact they told me right out that they preferred high school graduates who lived at home because their classes weren't flexible. They liked my portfolio and wanted me to attend. But they suggested for me to quit my job, move into their dorms and live off my tuition until I graduate. Screw that!
So I went to a school that had a well rounded curriculum as well as instructors with varying backgrounds. I got lucky.
I had a illustrator who was into comic art. Another illustrator into icon, logos and animation. And another who was heavily into fine art.
I was the only one in my class who performed graphic design prior to attending, so my studies were usually a bit more advanced and they did their best to challenge me.

With that...
The biggest problem I ran into was the instructors having to please the politics of the school. We hadn't very many students and the ones who joined dropped out the moment they realized it wasn't all about opening Photoshop and adding some pre-filter. So we were always taking two steps back as to how far my projects could go.
In the end I feel it was good for me to learn the ins and outs. But ultimately, I feel that I would have learned most of this anyway with online research.
I feel if you have the motivation and knowledge to learn on your own, go to business school to learn how to manage your business while you practice your art on the side. If this is my opinion, then why did I attend. Well, most places probably won't hire you without that piece of paper...then again some won't hire you without the experience either.
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:iconsprings:
Springs Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I see it as this : art school is like a boat. The boat doesn't decide it's direction, the person controlling it does. Instructors will tell you what to do, what they want to see. But it's still up to you to practice and apply what you learned.


However, I think the biggest thing with art school (depending on which school you go to) is the experience and contacts you'll make. It's a lot easier to jump out of art school with a bunch of contacts and some experience working with art fields than it is to without. The only thing a degree is going to help you with is to show the employers that you are (and I put this very loosely), "qualified".

I'm glad the school I'm going to isn't JUST art (although it is more on the creative-arts side of things). I'm studying illustration, however on the side I'm also learning other things by myself. I find that a secondary interest helps a lot, as learning art can be applied to so many things.
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:iconfcombat:
FcomBaT Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Student Filmographer
art school, 1 part teaching and 1 part self teaching. yeah teachers can teach you stuff but its up to you to keep going with it. Some people make it without artschool, dont. It all depends on who and what you are going for. It's expensive but as he said. if it wasnt wed have a lot (more) of people going for no reason. Art is a serious thing to me. So i take it seriously. If you dont take it seriously from the start, why go? Music is the same way. Its not going to get you the job. overall its you that will get you the job.
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:iconsoritak:
SoritaK Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I don't have a good/bad opinion, it's just my punt of view.
I believe that a true "artist" (human beign after all) must keep in mind two things: to embrace art as a whole and find how to make your goals, as in all careers.

For example since I was 11 years old I have always learned more from the Internet or the library than my university but here in Mexico you need a diploma to leave the country and get a job here.
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:iconsoritak:
SoritaK Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Filmographer
maybe you lose some money but in the future it will become a good thing
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I want to reiterate to anyone considering art school to REALLY, REALLY think it through. It's more than being able to draw well. It's more than being a good student. You have to have an obscene amount of self-discipline in order to excel in higher education and you're very likely going to end up with ludicrous amounts of debt. I know far too many people who greatly underestimated the amount of dedication and discipline necessary to succeed at that path. Whether you pass or fail, the debt follows you everywhere.

Don't go to art school to learn how to draw. Go to art school to refine your work and gain professional expertise so you can get a practical job in a field you love like game design, but if you just "like drawing" and want to improve, there are far cheaper (read: free) ways to do that all over the internet. Don't get suckered into thinking you need to go to some expensive college or technical school to become a good artist.
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:iconciviliansonfire:
civiliansonfire Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I went to an art college for a little over 2 years & at first I like it, I got back to doing art but as it kept going on I started to absolutely hate going to an art school. I eventually quite (for cost & because I wasn't happy there). Now I'm going to a normal college studying game design I like it a lot plus it's way cheaper lol. I still study art on my own time. One reason I hated art school was I felt like I wasn't learning anything and I didn't really get to do art for me, but now I'm out I learn what I want and practice what I want for free. So yea, I think art school may be a waste of time
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:iconchristasyd:
christasyd Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Actually studying art like that while wasting lots of money is a total waste, and sometimes art schools aren't really that effective. I learn how to draw and stuffs by myself, and after graduating from high school 4 years from now I'll be taking Japanese as my major, since after further consideration learning Japanese could be a valuable asset for me. All of my teachers at school told me to take graphic design but if I could learn graphic design by myself, why bother taking it as a major? Especially because my goal is to become a comic artist in Japan, Japanese will be important and after considering that I'm good at learning language, why not? But that's still 4 years from now, right now I'm concentrating to graduate from junior high and enter my dream high school, it's still a long way to go for me.
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:iconjustblah:
justblah Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
i am studying art atm. its only been a year...i honestly think its bullshit.
now, im not in the same boat as most people cuz im only doing it to get residency, and obviously art is a passion of mine so i figured i would breeze through it, but even before i got into it, i knew that a good folio beats any kinda fancy piece of paper that says "degree" in gold letters.

i honestly dont think art school is worth it these days at all.
reasons:
1: thers usually 30 to 40 students a teacher must "teach" stuff. so nothing is personal, they just tell you..."okay now i want you to try out cubism with acrylics" and then pass or fail you.

2: they mostly never treat a subject or style or aspect of art you usually like. its just a big general overview of begginer stuff. cuz teachers assume that everyone is a begginer and treat you as such.

3: doing "theory" or "history" assignaments is probably worse then hell. i like painting shit that looks cool. end of story. i dont give a shit about wat the oldest piece of art is or why picasso is (apparently) so great. ( if you havent guessed, i think picasso is a pile pf shit. i could replicate his work using my sexy butt cheeks to hold the brush)

4: the money as you say.

i learned how to paint on my own, and when in doubt, i have google by my side to teach me EXACTLY, ima say that again...EXACTLY what it is i want to learn.

the only kinda way art school would be worth it is if you had a teacher, thats actually good at art himself ( none of mine are exept my sculpture teacher) that could dedicate all his time to you and you alone.

well...thats my personal opinion anyway
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:iconmangawhispers:
MangaWhispers Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Took the words right out of my mouth :D (well except for the butt cheek part...)I always wondered why I was paying teachers to teach me what I already know, and art history is the DEVIL!!! :icononionsighplz: I guess it's all political rather than expression... and why does there have to be a meaning behind everything... maybe I just painted a guy because I liked his face, really!
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:iconiris-reola:
Iris-Reola Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011
I'm going to my state university for my art major, which has a decent, but not amazing, studio art major program. I am one of those fortunate people that gets a mostly free ride (my dad's a retired marine, so I get free tuition at any of the state universities in state), and while some classes and professors have been less helpful than others, it's a great way to keep me working on art most of the year. I have a tendency to get into slumps and not work on art for a few months at a time and school has ensured that I will get practice in. If I didn't have that mostly free ride, I probably would've picked a different major.
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