IS ART SCHOOL BAD?? 0_O
|15 min read
Recommended Journals
Juicefast is officially over!
10 days ago, I decided to go on a juice fast that was going to last 10 days. Eating nothing else but juice. I did consume some vegetables and fruit aswell now here and there. But mostly juice. Positives :bulletpink: I FEEL SO good and healthy. :bulletpink: I lost probably around 10 pounds. :bulletpink: No headaches or stomac pains, which I usually have now and then. :bulletpink: SO MUCH MORE ENERGY :bulletpink: my skin looks a lot healthier. :bulletpink: I can consume vegetables/fruits I hate which is good for me by just mixing them with other stuff. Brilliant! Negatives :bulletred: SO much waste of fruit/vegetable meat, and always
How to get rid of ART BLOCKS
Hey guys!! I've had this question a lot so I thought I'd take the time and answer it for everyone. This is what works for me the best, how do you guys do it?
My Progression as an Animator at Disney
A friend of mine is writing a book on animation fundamentals and asked me for a "paragraph or two" (which I can't do) on the subject of timing.  I considered it and ended up writing about my progression of learning while a Disney animator in the traditional animation days.  It was good therapy for me to really think this through and consider the order of things.  I hope you enjoy it.  "Like" or "fav" this so others will see it too.  Thanks! My Progression As A Disney Animator by Tom Bancroft Walt Disney is quoted as saying that it takes 10 years to make a great animator. When I was first coming out of California Institute of the Arts and
k04sk's avatar
By k04sk   |   Watch
67 64 7K (1 Today)
Published: July 27, 2013


BTW THIS IS LONG ASS POST , BUT ENCOURAGE YOU TO READ THIS IS IF YOU ARE A PERSON CONSIDERING ART FOR A CAREER

EDIT: I ADDED NUMBER 3 IN BECAUSE THAT WAS KIND OF AN IMPORTANT LESSON TOO. HAHA

Usually I am pretty quiet when it comes to the community and its dealings with drama . But I feel like I have to write my two cents about this topic.

A lot of people have been throwing around this post around about how art schools are terrible and are not worth it . I am sure you can find the article somewhere if you just google it . Though everyone is entitled to their own opinion I feel that I should talk about both sides of the coin when it comes to art school.

Now I have went to art school , and have done well for myself , I have worked internationally and worked for some big companies , and currently at the moment I actually teach at an art school as well. 

SO THE ULTIMATE QUESTION: IS ART SCHOOL A WASTE OF TIME?

WELL THERE IS NO BLACK AND WHITE ANSWER

What I believe is that art school is an Investment , nothing is guaranteed about art school , just because you go to the best art school in the world , that doesn't guarantee you will be successful . However , not going to school and buying dvds , watching you-tube videos , doesn't guarantee you will be successful either. Both are very circumstantial . Now one is definitely a lot less expensive than the other . But I believe value is what you make of it.

I feel like most of the people that complain about art school are the ones who didn't work hard and expecting everything to be handed to them , then they graduate , cant find a job , and blame the school for all of their shortcomings. It's funny to me because I bet those people didn't do 1 thing to try to improve their school either. But are quick to complain. When I was school if we didn't have the classes or things we needed we raised hell, and the school changed to our needs . I believe school is what you make of it . Because I have seen people go to really crappy schools and become really successful , and I have seen people go to really good schools and do nothing with their lives. 

Now granted the school I went to was really expensive , was it worth it? I can't really say , would I do it all over again? Can't say either . Were there some things that happened to me while in art school that changed my life forever? DEFINITELY . Here are a few of those things

1. When I was in art school I majored in game art design. I had no idea what I wanted to do ( mostly because I was young and immature, I was a young black kid who wanted to party , dance , chase girls , and draw on the side) but I knew i wanted to do art in games . Schooled showed me animation , programming , modeling, scripting , painting everything. Art school showed me all the possible avenues in games . BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY IT SHOWED ME WHAT I DIDN'T WANT TO DO . So after my first year I realized that I didn't want to be a animator or a modeler , I wanted to be a concept artist because it was fun for me. I also sat in a lot of classes in my spare time grabbing small pieces of knowledge here and there.

2. I met some extremely important people who were very pivotal in my life . How I got into concept art was because I walked into a computer lab and I saw edgar cardona aka :iconreallygay: painting on a wacom (something that I have never seen before)  when I saw that I was amazed and also hooked , Before you knew it I was following him around and we began to explore and paint together in computer labs everyday . Meeting Edgar led meet one of my best friends Anthony Jones aka :iconrobotpencil: . We began to draw and paint together everyday at school , created a sketch group , concept club , and met many other like minded people who loved art like we did. I got AJ his first job and he helped me get my job in Madrid and also my job at ILM . But also they were my best friends , who helped me through extremely difficult times in my life as I did for them. 

My point is I can't guarantee that I would have met these two people if it weren't for school . I also can't guarantee that we would have had a facility such as school where we could all meet up and hang out and use all the schools equipment. So was it worth the 70k ? Not sure . BUT I DO KNOW THAT I WOULD NOT BE WHERE I AM TODAY IF IT WAS NOT FOR THEM.

3. I learned to grow up and work with others . Before art school I was a jock . I played a lot of sports hung out with the tough guys partied a lot all that stuff. I actually wanted to be a pro soccer player at one point. I went straight from high-school to art college and my personality was a little too outgoing when I entered art school. I expected everyone to be my best friend right away , joke with me and tell me all about themselves. Why ? because my previous class mates were like me , young , loud , athletic , obnoxious , arrogant , nothing held back. So with my high school friends we would joke around a lot, hit he each other , talk crap on each other , curse a lot , but it was all in good fun . Yeah we butted heads a lot but these are friends that I would trust with my life if push came to shove ( I still feel this way) . Now when I brought that personality into art school , needless to say in a room full of introverts , most people hated me immediately . I treated art like my sports , competitive , talk trash , haha but all good fun. Of course it didn't come off like that . And finally some people let me know. Of course I thought people were being too sensitive right? Well regardless of whether I was right or wrong ( probably wrong haha) I had to learn to respect others , and always realize some people may not be that comfortable to joke around with me in that sort of way. So I learned that my personality and image is very important in how others perceive me. So I learned to mature a little and be more professional in the beginning until me and that artist are more comfortable with each other. Something I don't I think I could have learned from chilling at home drawing and only hanging out with my hs friends. Till this day I try to keep my hs friends and art friends separate only because I know those worlds don't mix that well. So I learned that not everyone needs to meet "party" kalen . And when I changed my attitude a lot of doors opened up for me

4. I also met a few instructors that changed my life . One of them being Mike Tracy. Now was this one lesson that he taught me worth 1200$ I paid for the class? Again I can't say . But I can say it was pivotal , and I am not sure I would have hit this lesson by myself.

He took my hw one day and put it on the projector and asked a student to give me a grade , the student said B ( he was being nice too) . Mr Tracy then took my picture and put it beside a Craig Mullins painting . He asked the student again to give me a grade and he said F . Standing in front of a class of 20 I felt so embarrassed and realized that if I wanted to be successful I would have to be as good as people who have been doing it for 25 years.

5. What I also learned from school is that no one is going to cry for me and sulk for my short comings . Now what people don't know about me is that among the group of my art friends when I was in school . I WAS THE WORST ONE . Not very many people took me seriously , in fact many people thought I was a fan boy following around the good artists. A lot of people thought I didn't belong even though they were my friends.

One day an employer came to school and wanted to look at student work . Naturally the employer loved all of my friends work , and didn't give me the time of day . I CAN SAY FIRST HAND THAT THIS IS ONE OF THE WORST FEELINGS IN WORLD . to feel like you don't belong . Being a minority I have always felt like an outsider and to have this feeling in my art was unbearable. To add insult to injury our Academic director arranged a tour at a big studio for some of the concept art students , there they would meet a famous art director and get critiqued. I asked pleaded that I be allowed to go with my friends , but she said my work wasn't good enough. I felt left out and alone. They were my friends , but when it came to art it was like we were on a different planet. I was angry , mad , sad you name it.

But why were they so much better than me? They had the same resources I did , same classes , but yet they were so much better.  Granted I had to keep a full time job while working and I didn't have as much money. But I realized NO CARES WHAT YOU HAVE FOR EXCUSES , IF THEY ARE BETTER THEY ARE BETTER. AND IF I WANTED TO BE TAKING SERIOUSLY I WOULD HAVE TO WORK TWICE AS HARD TO CATCH UP. 

eventually I caught up. ( though I am still catching up to those guys everyday , and thank god they are my friends so they gave me great advice)

but without school , I am not sure I would have learned that lesson either.


Also its important to remember that america has a lot more opportunities in this business than other places. For example my friend Frank who I went to school with was from taiwan. and was going to school here. Now I know for a fact if he had not gone to school here , he would not be at naughty dog. the people and things he experienced here definitely influenced him for the better.

So though it is a much cheaper route to just buy dvd's and books , watch youtube etc etc . I am quite confident I would have missed out on all of those experiences that have influenced my life in a positive manner.

I think school has a recipe to put like minded people together and things happen , I cant always say this will happen at every school  , but it did for me.

And now that I teach , I hope I can be that person for 1 student out of 20 that makes their 70k tuition worth while as well. So if you are in school and you feel like you are getting what you want , then talk to the directors , start a group , complain and raise hell . And if it doesn't work then simply leave.

So my conclusion is to simply do your research about school and know there are many different routes to being an artist , school is just one of em , and just because someone takes it , it doesn't mean they are dumb , nor does it mean that someone who doesn't is so much better and smarter. Anything in this life is what you make of it.

Because I guarantee if you work your ass off it doesn't matter what route you will take , you will be successful

keep pushing forward

cheers,

Kalen




This journal was coded by LineBirgitte - graphics by xyphid
Recommended Journals
Juicefast is officially over!
10 days ago, I decided to go on a juice fast that was going to last 10 days. Eating nothing else but juice. I did consume some vegetables and fruit aswell now here and there. But mostly juice. Positives :bulletpink: I FEEL SO good and healthy. :bulletpink: I lost probably around 10 pounds. :bulletpink: No headaches or stomac pains, which I usually have now and then. :bulletpink: SO MUCH MORE ENERGY :bulletpink: my skin looks a lot healthier. :bulletpink: I can consume vegetables/fruits I hate which is good for me by just mixing them with other stuff. Brilliant! Negatives :bulletred: SO much waste of fruit/vegetable meat, and always
How to get rid of ART BLOCKS
Hey guys!! I've had this question a lot so I thought I'd take the time and answer it for everyone. This is what works for me the best, how do you guys do it?
My Progression as an Animator at Disney
A friend of mine is writing a book on animation fundamentals and asked me for a "paragraph or two" (which I can't do) on the subject of timing.  I considered it and ended up writing about my progression of learning while a Disney animator in the traditional animation days.  It was good therapy for me to really think this through and consider the order of things.  I hope you enjoy it.  "Like" or "fav" this so others will see it too.  Thanks! My Progression As A Disney Animator by Tom Bancroft Walt Disney is quoted as saying that it takes 10 years to make a great animator. When I was first coming out of California Institute of the Arts and
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Sign In
Comments (61)
Matoki's avatar
Have you ever thought of doing an improvement meme? I don't know if you already have though XD 
kamaniki.deviantart.com/art/03…
Reply  ·  
k04sk's avatar
k04sk|Professional Digital Artist
I think did one but I was only 3 years into it , I can probably do it again though . Here is the one I did awhile back k04sk.deviantart.com/art/Impro…
Reply  ·  
Matoki's avatar
It's great! I'd love it if you did another though =)
Reply  ·  
k04sk's avatar
k04sk|Professional Digital Artist
ill try to do one in the next week or so for you!
Reply  ·  
spicypig's avatar
Hi. I go to an early college high school as a sophomore and I'd just like to thank you so much for writing this. For a very long time I wanted to go to art school and become some kind of successful artist. My parents have always been hard on me when it comes to school and accepted nothing less than A's. They stressed school, emphasizing that as a mix of three major minorities (black, asian, and hispanic) that the only way I could make it in world was by getting into a good college. After prodding and creating a detailed life plan of colleges I was considering and career options my parents finally accepted my dreams. With that, they told me that it meant I would have to work even harder and I did. I competed with 340 other students to get into the high school I'm attending. I was elated getting in, but I go to school with some pretty amazing people. I'm surrounded with future doctors, engineers, and probably a president or two. I often feel intimidated and lie about what I want to be as an adult. I've been lying so often that I started wondering if I really should consider a different career. I have to pick a major by the end of this year. I've been stressing out this past month and even got sent to a career counselor. He didn't really help me and in fact made me more worried. This was really encouraging. It just reminded me of what made excited about going to college in the first place which was to experience new things and meet new people while learning how to do the thing I love. I love art. Thank you!
Reply  ·  
k04sk's avatar
k04sk|Professional Digital Artist
Well it seems like you have some very unique opportunities ahead of you , just remember that art isn't going anywhere . Unfortunately it doesn't pay as some people would hope , ( unless you are really really really good ) so having a back up career isn't necessarily a bad thing . I know lots of people who love art but chose a more stable career , and then did art on the side for their own enjoyment . Or even switch careers later on . Again it's different for everyone . As much as I say follow your heart , it's also important to think everything through 

Unfortunately I was not as smart as you in high school , I was a jock who liked art , so for me if I didn't make it in art I was probably going to be screwed lol . You are surrounded by future successful . People , a lot of people don't have that opportunity. So just take your time with all of this and I'm sure the right decision will present itself 
Reply  ·  
RAVNXI's avatar
RAVNXI|Professional Digital Artist
Wonderful advice, thank you! I was a lot like you, in high school I was friends with two upperclassmen who were naturally very good at drawing, and though I loved drawing as a kid, I was the worst out of all my friends. So I worked hard on my weaknesses and never just drew what I was good at. Eventually I got to their level, and now (according to them) I've exceeded them by miles. Though I'm not a professional artist, nor do I plan to pursue art as anything more than a hobby, I could really relate to your story. It goes to show that hard work is paramount when it comes to being a successful artist. Thanks for sharing!
Reply  ·  
xLacie's avatar
xLacie|Student Filmographer
Thank you so much  for writing this journal. Right now I'm exactly choosing whether or not to go to an art uni and where and your journal really helped me out.
Reply  ·  
phizzle12's avatar
Thanks. This is very encouraging for me.
Reply  ·  
Edarneor's avatar
Edarneor|Professional Digital Artist
Everybody keeps asking this question without realizing that it can never be answered. Ever.
*sigh* When will people learn to decide for themselves? :)
Reply  ·  
CutePastelStars's avatar
CutePastelStars|Student Digital Artist
A lot of them don't get that it also depends on your mindset and how hard you work/your dedication to it lol.
Reply  ·  
Edarneor's avatar
Edarneor|Professional Digital Artist
Exactly :)
Reply  ·  
CutePastelStars's avatar
CutePastelStars|Student Digital Artist
<3 So glad someone else gets it.
Reply  ·  
DrazziElder's avatar
DrazziElder|Hobbyist Digital Artist
All these are good points. But the thing is, no one should have to pay 70k plus for their education. It's a very important thing to have but it's easily something that is impossible to attain for most people without selling your left eye, your right leg and most of your soul. And that pisses me off. Sorry. Just ranting here.
Reply  ·  
k04sk's avatar
k04sk|Professional Digital Artist
no one suggesting that the way schools in general are the best. You are right, colleges in general are over priced , Having lived in europe and seeing how their education is paid for. I think the U.S. needs to take the money of out these sort of things. If you are going to pay 70k plus for it then you better make that school worth your money . Where what I feel a lot of students don't . Whether that is there responsibility or not is kind of hard question haha , 

Only thing is if it was free then I would say there needs to be a higher bar for entrance into these sort of schools , because thats mean probably everyone would want to become an artist hahaha.
Reply  ·  
DrazziElder's avatar
DrazziElder|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree with having a higher bar for entrance in that case. I went to college, majored in literature and now I'm doing a master's in translation. My university is inexpensive compared to many others but even then I couldn't have attended without the aid I received. To think of people paying more than double what my tuition costs...it boggles the mind, really. Especially considering how terrible some universities are. Not everyone is cut out for college but people should at least get the chance to choose to go or not. In regards to art universities, I have to confess I've always wanted to have proper schooling in the basics of art. I even signed up to take classes at a studio once, it was a waste of time and money for the most part since I didn't learn anything new. I've improved more these past months while working on my own with free resources than there. But I also managed to find good people here in this site and in other art sites that have helped me and encouraged me. So creating an environment where you are surrounded by people with similar goals to you, all learning the same craft, helps immensely. Even if it is a virtual place and not a physical one like your experience was.
Reply  ·  
superhermit's avatar
superhermit|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good read
Reply  ·  
fisheypixels's avatar
fisheypixels|Student General Artist
Thanks dude. This means a lot, and helps me out a lot.

I've been debating art school. All arts in fact. It's always been a dream of mine to be a singer, concept artist, comic writer, comic artist, or just writer.
I love drawing and music and writing, but I can't draw very good at all, I can't sing or play instruments very good at all, but I do know I'm a decent writer.
I know I have so much room for improvement in all areas, though most are not my forte.

I know I want to take some sort of art class, but I've yet to decide which class.

Thanks again.
- Sam
Reply  ·  
Cetriya's avatar
Cetriya|Professional General Artist
the person who made the other post has done well with his career and so does Oatley so the point of view isn't only from bitter people. 

Art school itself isn't bad. As an investment, I wouldn't do it if I could do it all again. Sure it teaches you lots of life lessons, but its lessons that you'd have to learn eventually to survive and not necessarily with a 40k per year price tag. 

As you've mention in your own post, you only got better by putting in the hours. If some one not knowing how to do anything go through art school, they may work as hard as they can, but they can not compete with someone who's been drawing just as intensely for many more years. I find most that are good in school are ones who where good before coming to school and now have 4 years to hone their skills. The rest either has to spend a few years after to school to make up or just fall by the wayside. 

Other then life lessons, connects are what art school are good for. However, in these past 2 years of school, less studios came for illustrators. less jobs are posted in the job forums. So one has to find their own means of finding work. Well, one could just do that without the dept. 

There's also the fact that even the best of schools still lack any business classes and as great as my school is, they can't control the industry/market to employ more interns or pay more in comparison to debt or to keep updating curriculum to meet with new trends. 

A side note, I found a lot of my teachers teach workshops outside of class and the school have short workshops. Its a lot cheaper and more focus. Why pay someone for me to experiment? I can do it on my own. 


Reply  ·  
Cetriya's avatar
Cetriya|Professional General Artist
another note, this discussion comes up for other majors. So its not just art school. 
Reply  ·  
k04sk's avatar
k04sk|Professional Digital Artist
i am fully aware of the person wrote that article , in fact I have always been a huge fan of his work while going to school. my thing is when a few successful artists who made it through art school and became successful write about school being a waste of time , I feel like its a bandwagon thing for all the students who were lazy and didn't work to jump on and hate it as well.

So by no means am I calling the successful ones bitter, (even I can be bitter about this subject) , they are definitely in the right to their own opinion. I just think there are a lot of people who did not work hard school and failed are quick to get behind the successful ones and talk about how schools ruined them. Not to say the successful ones are elitist or anything but I think such criticism of a university/art school/state should be reserved for the people that really tried to put the work in

I am just explaining the pros cons of school , if you are really self disciplined have a space you can dedicate your work to day in and day out . Then heck go for it. However, some don't learn that way.

Because I personally think there are only a few schools that really accept the best of the best and give them 4 years to hone their skills. I was not one of them , I was actually really really really bad at art. Many people told me to quit. But I kept with it . The same goes for a lot of my friends who were in school. Usually if you already that good , you'd probably go the self taught route by that time , again some people are different.

As for the market it is a shame , unfortunately schools can't really control that , having worked in one , it is a hard task to try to make everything universal when it comes to the standard. The fact of the matter is everyone wants to be an artist , so everyone goes to school for it and then the market becomes over saturated meaning less and less jobs, since now the self taught route is even more appealing there are even more artists trying to compete , so the ones that get jobs have to be really top tier. Not to mention the requirements of our jobs keep increasing. I definitely wouldn't depend on a school to find you work. But I can say a lot of work was given to me from school faculty.

as for business I couldn't agree more , my school had a few classes on it , but even that wasn't enough and I had to learn on my own , luckily I had some mentors give me some tips , but the business side constantly changes with the industry trends . Not sure how to fix this haha , but if anyone knows they should talk about it

again I am not saying either one is better or worse , Im just saying people should learn to see the pros and con's of these kinds of things before they choose . If you have teachers that do side workshops then heck yeah no need for school , but some people may not have that options. 

I think all of this is circumstantial so thats why I cant say self taught is 100% the way to go or say School is 100% the way to go. 

Thanks again for your reply btw I am glad people are speaking up about their experiences ( and sorry any typos lol )
Reply  ·  
Cetriya's avatar
Cetriya|Professional General Artist
I figured that you would know, just wanted to add the comment for others to know that the original post and interview are from successful people. Sorry if that came out rude. 

I definitely know that my school is great and I've gained a lot of life experiences. I don't regret going yet at the same time I wouldn't do it again if I had the chance. I would at least do it differently. 

I feel what gets people the most isnt if art school is bad or good, but maybe not being clear about what to expect? Unless one talks to the students, alumni or read blogs like this, You wouldn't know that those 4 years aren't enough. You see from their mailers, such gorgeous artwork and many awards and though its not stated, the assumption for a young person is that all the credit goes to the school. You don't realise until a classmate or a teacher like yours with the example of the painting let you know that you have years to make up. Many that I see get jobs right after graduating or get internships are those who already had some years of practice before going to school. Not to say they are the best but that they're just ahead of you in study. 

You're more likely to learn about an art school then about alternatives. Its getting very expensive to attend higher ed schools, so its about the costs vs benefit. So yeah, I do think of it circumstantial but most of my classmates really shouldn't go to art school yet (because they don't know what to do, or what they want to do even if they're pretty good at art), at least not right after high school. I'm guessing that you as a teacher has felt the frustration of just not having enough time to teach a class. I as a student get frustrated that I just need more time learning something before I move on to the next project. 

lol, I think I'm ranting here and to you who has more years over me. So you know what I'm talking of. At the end of it all, I'd advise people not to get into crippling debt if they just can't afford it and that there's other avenues. After all, to make an investment one must have the money or means to invest. 

Reply  ·  
legrosclown's avatar
legrosclown|Professional Digital Artist
Thank you Kalen. I've been reading alot about this and I do agree with you. That's what people has been forgetting all this time.
Reply  ·  
SometimesCats's avatar
SometimesCats|Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much.
I'm going to be starting school to get my AA and then transfer to a better college for art. 
I've always been a little hesitant to try and make art a career because I'm really not very good at it, not like everybody else here.
But I wanted to try to be a concept artist for video games and such. I'm just so nervous about it because everybody is so much better.
It's very discouraging. 
I suppose I just need to work a lot harder to get to a place were I feel comfortable with how my art looks and confident in my choice to go  into this field! 
Reply  ·  
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Sign In
©2019 DeviantArt
All Rights reserved