High school is done and you’re a fish ready to move into a much bigger pond. What could be a more important question than what kind of college you go to? Now compound the question with the fact that you want to pursue a passion not likely to make you a millionaire, heck, it might not even pay the bills, and it’s also highly competitive with more critics than you can shake a stick at. Well, the answer seems obvious to someone who’s been creating from their soul since they were knee high to the curb: Art School!
Yes, that was me, it feels like not too long ago, and to my art teachers it was a no brainer. But to my parents, it was up for discussion. If you’re finding yourself in the same situation, or will be in the non too distant future, the correct path is hard to find, hard to take, and will be constantly changing to make matters worse. For me, personally, I decided to keep art as a private passion and appease my right brain by pursuing an engineering degree. A few years later, after two degrees, tons of research, and a 100 page dissertation , guess what…? I went to art school.
Getting to the point, it depends on the stage you are in your life, what field you want to enter, and how much you’re willing to sacrifice. Yes, don’t let anyone sugar coat this. So here are the bullet points, take ‘em with a grain of salt:
- Totally immersed in technique and process (so important)
- Other art students around to inspire and drive you
- Specialized services to help you find internships in your field
- Depending on what school, recruiters will make a Bee line to your campus for talent
- A lot of artists out there, highly competitive. EVERYONE wants to be a concept artist.
- Not all fine art schools have classes in business or any other disciplines, which in this era is crucial.
- Your portfolio is everything! There really isn’t the “Harvard” of art schools, so no one really cares where you graduated from. What matters is your work. The proof is in the pudding.
- Tech art schools are good for learning software and learning to market yourself, but are NOT good at teaching fundamentals. Having taught at one, I cannot stress this enough. DO NOT go to one unless you are already proficient in the basics and have shit load of drive. DO NOT let the admissions reps fool you!!!
Not Art School
- Grow in a different field that could potentially relate/better your art (engineering is surprising akin to animation)
- Always good to have a back up plan. With a graduate degree you can teach classes while you’re between contracts.
- Meeting students outside your discipline. What big successful studio nowadays was founded solely by art students?
- Potentially more expensive, especially private schools.
- If you do pursue art, you’ll still have to take non related general education courses.
- Chance for interdepartmental work. The university I went to just created a degree that merged the Com Sci department with the fine arts department. Perfect program for a Tech Artist.
- If you do decide to pursue a graduate degree, there are more options.
And there it is. Hope you found my post helpful, or entertaining at the very least.