This video may be humorous but there is a lot of truth in it. Is art school worth it? Is it worth the money – or the debt? Will you actually become a better artist? Will you get to follow your artistic instincts? Will you learn the business side of things?
In this day and age, a better option would be to take advantage of self-directed online learning, informally and on your time. You having the desire to become a better artist and working at it daily is a greater indicator of success than an expensive degree. The ability to become an artist is within you – as is the drive to become the best you can be. If you don’t have the desire, no school will magically make it happen.
Here’s some more reading on this topic:
On my foundation course, when I was being prepared to enter a degree course, the teachers explicitly warned me not to say at interview that I wanted to be a painter. I must say that I am ready to be led away in “new media”. These days, if you apply to an art school and declare that all your thoughts are directed towards art, all your travels are made in pilgrimage to art, and suggest that all you ever want to do is paint well so as to make even the slightest contribution to a tradition, you will not gain admission. I didn’t say all that; I lied, as I was coached to do. But then I found that if you actually go ahead and draw and paint in an art school, things will become difficult.
– read more at Don’t go to art school if you want to learn to paint
Artists are neither doctors nor lawyers. We do not, on average, make huge six-figure salaries. We can make livable salaries, certainly. Even comfortable salaries. But we ain’t usually making a quarter mil a year. Hate to break it to you. An online debt repayment calculator recommended a salary exceeding $400,000 in order to pay off a RISD education within 10 years.
– read more at Don’t go to art school (which also has some suggestions on affordable art schools and a recommendation for a DIY online education)
I can’t tell you all the times I went back to my dorm and cried because of the harsh twenty minute critique I just endured; I lost count. I didn’t mention the sometimes crippling insecurity that comes with just not getting a technique, or how your professor looks at you like you’re an idiot because it’s not sinking in, or having both of those things happen when you’re in the middle of a required class you didn’t want to take in the first place. I didn’t mention the dozens of times I had to pull all-nighters to get my work done in time, and the long, exhausting day after (which included a critique, of course). You’re learning publicly, so you fail publicly; for people like me who don’t like attention on them, screwing up in front of a class of your peers doesn’t just suck, it can be damaging and have you questioning what you’re doing.
– read more at What makes an artist? Hint: it’s not art school