Forget About Art School

They say that if you want to improve, you have to do things you don’t want to do. You have to fight through the mundane aspects of life, which may include that art project with your least favorite medium. You want to be an artist? Well, then you need to forget about art school.

You can do this without a degree. (photo by A Forest Frolic)

You can do this without a degree. (photo by A Forest Frolic)

It would be one thing if you could ensure that it would be worthwhile. But the thing about art is that you can do art without going to school. Some people have the natural ability. Give them a pen, a paintbrush, or even chalk, and they can make magic. And practice makes for growth, so as long as they’re able to invest in some material – they have it down.

If some of you would do anything to become an artist, you know art school isn’t for you. Think about it. A profession in art is not exactly the most luxurious. Even though they say art chooses you, I personally believe it’s a mutual affection. Art may be the thing that caught you first, but you catch art too. There’s a sweet, quiet serenity that comes only from making art.

This article from Elite Daily shows me just that, when the author, who has been to art school and regrets it, says:

I’m not saying you’ll go to art school and not learn. I am saying a good amount of the lessons taught in art school consist of fluff and bullsh*t. If you are already enrolled in an art school, take everything you learn with a grain of salt – except for art history. Art history is pretty solid because it’s based on factual information, which can greatly influence your work, instead of what’s based on theory of how to produce ‘good’ art. The good art always breaks the rules and theories, anyway.

He then goes on to say that,

My own personal goals are what clashed with art school, but let me tell you something, ladies and gentleman. The bands I skipped class to go see have opened more doors for my artistic career than that school ever did. Within a month or so after getting kicked out, I produced by first t-shirt design for a band, and it’s been a hit.

Another confession I have to make is that most of the tricks I have developed as an illustrator weren’t learned in art school.  They were techniques I have taken on from studying successful artists on my own time. So you can say I am more or less 80 percent self-taught.

If you want to go to art school, do it. But don’t be surprised when you aren’t making a substantial living off of your commission. Don’t  be surprised when you are struggling to pay for your loans and your living arrangements. Don’t be surprised.

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