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  1. #1
    Junior sakiusa's Avatar
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    Art School vs. College?

    This is my first time posting here, so forgive me if I mess up or say something wrong, I swear I'm not doing it on purpose. I actually feel really nervous posting to be honest *sighs*

    Anyway, I'm a junior in high school right now and I'm seriously considering getting a job as an illustrator, but I've heard a lot of the horror stories surrounding art school (I also read the discussion thread about art school). But I've also wondered if it would change anything if you just majored in art at a university? I imagine art school would be a better option, but I was just wondering if there were other options aside from going to art school or being self-taught? My mom wants me to go to college and I have to apply to at least two schools in order to graduate, so I'm kinda conflicted right now on what to do. It doesn't help that my mom wants me to stay in-state (I live in California btw) and my brother already tried (and failed) to get financial aid, so now he's stuck trying to get a decent loan for himself. I'm still looking for more info though, and the whole thing is giving me a huge headache. I appreciate any responses.

  2. #2
    That's me! Hewge's Avatar

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    Neither will just make you a professional artist. The results will be the same for any choice - it's just on you and what effort you put into pursuing art.

  3. #3
    Senior athdaraxen's Avatar
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    I went to college for art and ended up regretting it some. I picked a bad college with only one art teacher and he was a photographer. Not the best guy to teach traditional media. I could see college being quite helpful for art but not as your major.

    Though I've always found this to be more useful than going to school for art.
    https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/138c5efd45e9

    I'm currently saving up for the anatomy videos now. The point I'm trying to make is you don't need to make it your major or anything, maybe a minor. Its just not worth it in the long run. If you really feel like pursuing art as a career then I would still only say make it your minor. If I could go back i would have minored in art and got a business or biology degree.
    I would only say go for it as your major if you want to go be an illustrator or such, and research what you'd be getting yourself into. The real art world can be very competitive and hard place to be. I apologize if this sounds a bit off-putting but I'd rather be honest with you.

    I just want to be clear this is all personal opinion.
    Last edited by athdaraxen; 04-25-2014 at 12:24 AM.

  4. #4
    Premium User MapleTerror's Avatar
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    Your other options would be classes, workshops, and-(rare to come by, and usually not free) mentorships.

    Before you decide on any school or college, make sure you take it seriously,- and have a positive attitude. Look at their curriculum, and see if the teachers are actually credible. Look for examples of their work or portfolios. If you don't like what you see, or their not really teaching what you want, don't cut them off your list just yet. See what else they have to offer and compare your options, the good and bad.

    Different art fields will be taught differently, and not all schools & colleges are the same.
    Make sure you prepare yourself and know what you're getting into. There's other things you can do, but I'll keep this short. Alot of horror-stories can be avoided by doing the above...

    Hope this helps and Goodluck!

  5. #5
    Premium User QT Melon's Avatar


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    We had a big long discussion about whether or not you need to go to Art School or College to become an artist earlier in this forum. https://forums.weasyl.com/vbulletin/...eally-worth-it

  6. #6
    I know this is late, but I'll be honest here. I'm in college right now, for my Fine Art and Design Major. I've specifically picked a major that opens many creative doors for me once I graduate, and that's important. You must always have a fallback. A degree serves well as a fallback, because despite all of the negativity about the worth of a degree nowadays, any degree looks better than no degree to a potential employer. My suggestion is find the best art program possible in your state in a university or college, not an art school. Art schools are very specialized and you should only attend one if you are absolutely sure you will forever want to work within the specialization you've chosen, because the cost is very high to throw away a degree. Attending a college in-state of course lowers your cost of tuition, and guarantees that you'll be closer to family and financial help if you'll need it. My specific college has the best art program in the state, with another college with a similarly decent program across the state line, and my courses hold the same standard as an art school would.

  7. #7
    ^ that is some top advice right there. Stayin in your home state cuts down a lot of costs, and actually, a lot of state schools have REALLY nice programs too! And are a fraction of the cost of art universities. It just comes down to what you want to do. Just research :>
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  8. #8
    Premium User QT Melon's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by RedBirdBlueBird View Post
    I know this is late, but I'll be honest here. I'm in college right now, for my Fine Art and Design Major. I've specifically picked a major that opens many creative doors for me once I graduate, and that's important. You must always have a fallback. A degree serves well as a fallback, because despite all of the negativity about the worth of a degree nowadays, any degree looks better than no degree to a potential employer. My suggestion is find the best art program possible in your state in a university or college, not an art school. Art schools are very specialized and you should only attend one if you are absolutely sure you will forever want to work within the specialization you've chosen, because the cost is very high to throw away a degree. Attending a college in-state of course lowers your cost of tuition, and guarantees that you'll be closer to family and financial help if you'll need it. My specific college has the best art program in the state, with another college with a similarly decent program across the state line, and my courses hold the same standard as an art school would.
    It's not negativity about the degree. The reality is that your portfolio is determining factor over a degree. Some people may say "Well if two people of equal skill applied, the person with a degree gets it"

    That is a very minute chance. For one it's what the employer may like better for the job you're going to do. There isn't "Equal Skill" I can't find artist that are just equal, but more like you know someone fits the job in certain circumstances better. A person who does better animal related art is going to get the job if that's what it calls for it. You have two people good with animal art? The employer will likely look at the style that fits it better or other qualifications like how long the artist has been in the field, what companies they worked for, costs to hire certain person over another.

    A person who does landscape art may have more job opportunities in certain fields because people like to focus on figure drawing or character design.

    Schools have been notorious for passing people with mediocre portfolios with a degree, so this is exactly why you better focus more on your portfolio than the thought "well you need a degree"

    You only need one if you're going to teach or go overseas.

  9. #9
    Junior batbot's Avatar
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    I think the most important point, besides the strength of your skill, are the connections you make in your relevant community. Art schools and really strong art departments can be a networking buffet, and it's best to come out of school with someone who knows someone, and a network of peers who encourage you to keep putting your work out there. You have to be pretty exceptional to stand out from the hundreds of others cold-calling on jobs, and most people just aren't gonna be miraculously "discovered"; having professional friends and mentors can help. Look for places where the profs are actual working professionals, or had long careers.
    100% Of the reason I went to an art school in NYC was about making good connections and getting to learn from people in my industry, in the historic "stronghold" of my medium and a very international art scene in general. Yeah, there's a lot of times I've doubted my choice, but I think with hindsight I would have just picked a different major, and made more competitive applications.... I would submit to at least 5 schools, to get the best idea of what each school can offer you, in terms of aid and school scholarships and grants.

    But be aware: illustration is a very doom and gloom industry right now. Sure people are getting hired, but with publishing basically wringing it's hands and not totally sure about what to do with digital media to get sales, the industry isn't like it was even 10 years ago. On the other hand, it's easier to get your work seen by audiences, and a lot of people are at least breaking even with crowd funded stuff, even without professional training and industry connections. But making a living as an illustrator isn't the career it used to be.

 

 

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