Many artists end up asking themselves: “should I go to art school?” because its expensive and they’ve probably heard time and time again that its a waste of time and money. If you’re in this situation, you’ve probably started to talk yourself out of it.
It’s too expensive, its a waste of time, you can easily just learn it all on your own while getting a degree in something more stable and more ‘reasonable.’
When an art school degree really matters
Even among the artistic community, there is plenty of debate whether doing to art school is the right decision. It is true that most of what you can learn in school is available on the internet and for a much cheaper price. So why bother paying that gross tuition? Well, it’s pretty much the same reason all other people do – to get that degree. But then comes the question whether it really matters for an artist to have a degree behind his or her name.
It turns out that it DOES matter in some cases. According to blog post by Giuseppe Castellano, going to art school was the best thing that he did in his life. And he brings up the point that a minimum degree of four years is pretty much the standard if you want a job in design for example.
The real benefit of art school isn’t the degree, its the people
Castellano also argues that although student debt is a reality for most artists after graduation and most skills learned in class could have been learned online for a fraction of the cost, it is in fact the experience of attending an art school and resulting friendships that makes it all worthwhile.
Attending a school, he was able to spend all day every day with some of the best artists from all around the world and was thus exposed to a wide variety of principles, ideas and perspectives. “You can’t really gain that [diverse and challenging] experience by focusing solely on seminars, conferences and online communities – where people are more likely to enjoy similar things, and think in similar ways.” I don’t know if I would necessarily agree with that but there is definitely many advantages of forming connections and friendships in person with talented artists worldwide.
Even then, art school just isn’t enough
Castellano does concede, however, that although not sufficient, online learning is extremely beneficial to an artist. With rich online communities, like the one here at Imaginecreatedo, online classes, virtual tutorials, webinars and all the other vast resources, it’s practically essential in today’s world to be involved online. Not to mention the self-motivation that’s required to pursue your own goals and set your own schedule is an invaluable skill.
Online essentials for the serious artist
- Online classes
- Online mentorships
- Online tutorials and tutorial videos
- Visits to galleries, museums and shows
Gradually get involved with the online community
Now of course, don’t just get on google and subscribe to everything around because you’re going to get overwhelmed and you won’t have any time for what’s most important: your work. So one at a time. I suggest looking into 1 per week and then deciding if you want to join it or not based on whether you actually get some concrete benefit out of it versus just out of a sense of “I really should”, or “what if”, etc.
Maybe staying far away from art school is the path for you
In addition to what’s listed above, there are online and methods that makes it possible for artists to circumvent the entire “job” path if that’s not where their heart truly lies. There’s so many ways for artists to earn incomes – and very good incomes at that – entirely online selling their artwork, providing their skills or by writing books and providing tutorials, workshops, classes, webinars, etc. Some artists such as Austin Thomas with a great feel for real estate even open their very own art galleries.
Although there are plenty of advantages to attending a classic art school, there are many disadvantages. You are most likely going to be forced to complete courses you don’t enjoy, study plenty of history you are never going to use, and pay through your nose for a bunch of material you can find online for free or for a fraction of the cost. I think art school is right for some people but not for everyone.
Should I go to art school, the classic list of pros and cons
Art school may not be the right way to go for you if you want to be an artrepreneur. If you want to make your own way an build a business around your art, then there is no 4 year school requirements you have to meet. I think if you’re independent, driven and aren’t scared of being uncomfortable, then I would suggest staying far away from traditional schools and instead focus on your real life education.
If you think this is the right path for you but you aren’t sure where to start and are frankly a little overwhelmed by the idea, please contact us! We help you to achieve your dreams and no, we don’t charge you a tuition fee.
Also, definitely share your comments or your thoughts on art school below!