Should You Go to Art School?
There’s much debate in the art community on whether you should attend art school. Can you achieve a career in art without taking college courses? Can you avoid incurring student debt? We’ve always felt that you can benefit by being around other artists and teachers. You’ll have access to more opportunities and facilities than you would if you were on your own. Some people learn better with hands on instruction. Others can read blogs or take less expensive online workshops to figure out how to do anything on their own. Everyone learns in their own way and at their own speed. We believe a school’s constant assignments will teach you discipline and how to manage many things at once. This would mirror having a job in a design studio. Could you get the same discipline learning on your own? We’re not so sure. But again, it depends on the individual.
You tend to get out of things what you put into them. Passion and self motivation don’t always go hand in hand. Going to a pricey art school won’t make you a better artist if you don’t bust your hump to learn as much as possible. You need to push yourself to get better. And of course not all schools or instructors are created equal. When choosing an art school, make sure the teachers are active in the art industry, current with technology, and able to communicate well. Talk to current students while you’re on a school tour to get their insights on the instructors. Take anything said by the college admissions department with a grain of salt. These are salespeople who may just tell you what you want to hear. Insights from current or past students will be invaluable.
Do you even need a college degree? It depends on where you live and try to get a job. Some studios are more concerned with your portfolio instead of a paper certificate. Some job markets are so competitive that employers may look at degrees just to help them sort through candidates. If you aren’t sure if you want to go into debt for an art career, try taking some online workshops first. Or team up with a group of local artists for group sessions.