To Art School or Not.
I recently was asked the question, “If you had it all to do over again, would you go to art school or would you do it on your own?” This came from a kid in high school who’s trying to figure out what path to take in life, I’m guessing. I told him for myself I wouldn’t change much because I did learn a lot from some amazing artists; I would just probably change my approach. By that I mean I would do a lot more networking – finding the teachers that I could get the most knowledge from in technique and the business side. Going to college also allowed me to live in a different state. For me Baltimore was the perfect place to be. I could hop on a train and be in D.C., Philly, or New York easily. This allowed me to experience more places and their cultures. I also made long life friends who helped me grow as a person. At the end of it I walked away with a degree that has helped me get jobs to pay the bills, but I also walked away with a debt.
The thing is everything that I got to experience in art school you can experience without art school with the exception of earning a degree. You can meet other artists, learn from them and grow as an artist yourself. There is also YouTube, you can learn a lot of techniques from there. The growth of the internet has allowed you access to many tools to further your career. It kind of even the playing field to a degree. You also don’t have to go to school in order to travel and see what’s out in the world. However, you do need to be highly motivated and able to impose structure upon yourself. I have artist friends who chose this route.
It is just really the road you want to take, or you feel you need to take to advance yourself. At the end of the day you will only go as far as you allow yourself to go.