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4 Artists and Their Journeys

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 8:38 PM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:

Sept. 5, 2012 by techgnotic

“When I left high school, I had all my plans to go to college, but I had no money. And I decided then, the best thing for me to do is not worry about getting money to go to college — I will educate myself. I walked down the street, I walked into a library, I would go to the library three days a week for ten years and I would educate myself. It’s all FREE, that’s the great thing about libraries! Most of you can afford to go to college, but if you wanna educate yourself completely, go to the library and educate yourself. When I was 28 years old, I graduated from Library.”
— Ray Bradbury

So spoke the recently departed Ray Bradbury, a seminal (possibly the seminal) American fantasy & science fiction writer.  Today, aspiring sci-fi and fantasy writers study his novels and short stories as their core education in that genre. I evoke Ray as an example of an everyman who made use of the free education medium (the Library) in a way that aspiring artists can now use the Internet and its vast arts training resources – resources like deviantART.

“Back to school” can conjure up a diverse array of feelings for many of us in the community revving up for another year of arts education both formal or self researched and generated.  The new phase can mean a final step towards graduation or a long journey’s first step toward a new and hopeful endeavor.  Whether you are attending “school” virtually, in person, formal or informal, now is the time we all reapply our efforts and resolve to move to the next tier of our personal development.

We have here assembled a diverse panel of experts to provide insights and advice that only longtime personal experience in the arts can bring.   There are a variety of theses and viewpoints relating to the artist’s educational journey for you to consume and apply to your own decision-making as you embark on this year’s arts training schedule.

Ray Bradbury had hundreds of stories to tell us, stories that still startle, shock and haunt us.  But, like every artist, he at first lacked the tools to consummate his desire to write.  Thankfully he disciplined himself to making maximum use of what resources were available to him.  Remember Ray as you peruse deviantART.  He had to ride his bicycle to the library to acquire his future literary tools. You only have to power-up your personal computer (or use a free one at the library).  The whole world is still out there for those with the desire to make themselves the world’s (and its peoples’) champion. Join the effort.

An interview withMikie Graham

Your decision to pursue becoming a custom toy artist didn’t come until after your graduation from The Academy of Art.  Was this arts education, though only tangentially related to the type of art you would eventually be doing, still worth the effort and expense?  In what ways did it pay dividends later on?

My Experience with college was a double-edged sword. Half of me wants to say that college was a waste of money while the other half knows that I learned a lot and created some great work during that period of my life. The question is whether it was college that made this possible, or if I would have gained this same artistic experience if left to my own devices. With or without college, I would have continued to make films and produce art. But college did provide some very nice equipment to work with and time to focus on my work.

One positive thing my college film experience did teach me is that making something great takes tons of work. On top of that, you need to be able to roll with the punches and just keep working.

Why the drastic change in career?

After college, I realized that I wasn't going to find any steady film work in San Francisco. For that I had to move, start over, make all new contacts, find a new place to live, a new job. I'd have to start from the beginning again and I wasn't excited about it. On top of this, I realized that being a production designer on a film was fun, but film is a giant collaborative beast and although you may put your blood sweat and tears into a project in the end, only the producer and director get the credit. I found this to be disappointing. So, I decided to pick up something I could do myself, that was my own thing... My childhood passion: Making toys.

It seems as if you could go back, you would chose a different academic path. Is this true? How would you change it? And what can a young artist do to insure that they choose the right direction?

It’s an entirely individual choice. If you're already a dedicated artist and you know what path you want to take your career, then, I would argue that you should save your money and spend it on creating an amazing portfolio or demo reel. Spend the time that you would be in class instead hunting down internship's and meeting people in your industry. If you choose college, do your research. Find a college that is prestigious in your craft and go after those.

What was your art education in High School like? Did the elective choices you made in high school influence the direction you took in art school?

High school was the best art education of my life. Freshman year my school was starting a video/computer graphics lab. I was interested in film so I signed up for as many elective classes as I could take. My teacher let me do whatever I wanted, as long as she could see I was working on something. Through these classes I got all the resources and experience I needed at that age. I got to experience the stress of a deadline and got to know what it was like to stay up until 3am editing a project. It got me excited about making movies of my own by any means necessary and it’s what drove me into college right out of high school.

How does seeking internships with artists help fledgling artists with their early career choices?  How does one approach an artist for an internship?

I would say that seeking internship's may be the single most important step a young artist can take. To find work, you need a good resume but you can’t get a job without a resume and you can’t build a resume without a job. So, volunteering your services to established artists for free is a great way to get those positive references.

Getting an internship is as easy as finding an artists email address and sending them an email explaining who you are and why you want to intern for them. Let them know that you want to learn anything they are willing to teach you. More often than not, some artists are happy to talk to you and give advice, while others may be looking for someone exactly like you. But be aware that putting yourself out there can come with a lot of rejection. Don't take it personally and don't let it discourage you. Just keep applying!

What is your bottom-line advice on arts school attendance to the aspiring artist?

First off, know if college is right for you. If it is, evaluate schools by what they can give you besides a degree.

Don't jump into a college just because it’s the next step after high school without truly knowing what you want to do. The money that you would spend on school could be used to make amazing art. I would say that if you do decide to go to college, go in with very specific goals in mind. Go in with a film that you want to make or an art show that you want to produce. Then, use the school to make it happen. That way, when you leave you have an incredible portfolio and experience / connections.

An interview withCarrie Yury

Your arts education is so multi-faceted and had remained ongoing as you’ve explored several diverse fields of art. Was it your intention to investigate as many genres of art as possible before choosing a specialty or a dissatisfaction with one field precipitating the move to the next?

I've always done both art and English; I double majored in undergrad, and have a Masters degree in each subject. I guess nobody told me I was supposed to specialize until it was too late. And with respect to media, I think of myself as someone who mainly does photography and drawing/painting, with occasional forays into music, sculpture, performance, etc. More than anything it's the people I've met in school that have influenced me - fellow students and professors. In my undergrad at UCSC I thought of myself as a painter.

But towards the very end of my time at UCSC I was part of an all-woman arts collective called IWAC (Interdisciplinary Women's Arts Collective). I was so inspired by all of these incredible women doing risky, interesting, thoughtful work in various media. Being part of that group exploded my horizons. When I was in a PhD program in English at the University of Chicago, that’s when photography really clicked for me; it brought together the ability to work with both ideas and images. Eventually, I quit my PhD program in English got an MFA instead. I ended up making installation, sound, painting, drawing, and photos.

How important is it to remain loyal to the personal principles guiding your artistic self-expression, regardless of the changing nature of one’s arts education?

I think the whole point of an arts education is to break you down so that you can build yourself back up again. The purpose of that exercise is so that you can figure out what you really believe in. It's a painful, destabilizing process. But it's a kind of baptism by fire; once you are out the other side you're stronger. Critiques are hard, but when you are embattled you figure out what is really important to you.

In addition to your career as an artist, you also work as a research and strategy consultant. In what ways has your education in the arts led to, and benefitted, this aspect of your life and career?

This is a good question. When I was enrolled in my PhD program I lucked into a contract position as an ethnographic researcher. That spiraled into a wonderful, interesting career in the business world. Four years later, though, I still had this horrible feeling of incompleteness whenever I thought about art. So, I finally went ahead and enrolled in an MFA program. But the ethnographic mindset is a hard one to shake. Eventually I gave in and let ethnography slip into my conceptual photographic practice. After a hiatus, I'm consulting again, and I love it. So my art practice led me back to consulting, and consulting feeds my art practice.

What is your bottom-line advice on arts school attendance to the aspiring artist?

I'm a big proponent of education in general. And an MFA is a fabulous experience; you learn so much about yourself, about art, about history. For me, particularly because of my eclectic background, there was a certain amount of professionalization that I couldn't have gotten without doing an MFA. I'm so happy that I finally got my MFA. My bottom line is: if you want to take yourself seriously as an artist, get an MFA. But cultivate another skill too, so that you can support your art practice!

An interview withTimothy Maguder

Your career has been a steady ascension through the professional fine arts world from your art school education at SFAI on through to presently curating the Gallery Heist.  Have you always known, and kept a steady bead on, exactly where you were going and what you were wanting to achieve in the arts world, or was it simply making the best choice as opportunities arose?

I think for most young artists, who go into a graduate program for the their MFA, they have an intention to build a career as a working artist, or at least use their Masters experience as a catalyst for future creative endeavors, but I always saw it as a way to do a variety of things, apart from simply showing my work in a gallery setting. An MFA program offers you the freedom to explore a variety of avenues, in both research and studio practice, whereas a strict program in Curatorial studies or art history has a pretty basic or narrowly focused agenda.

The contemporary artist shouldn't be limited to merely showing his or her own work, and art shouldn't be defined purely by what's on the walls, it's the entire package, socially. The opportunity at Gallery Heist came at a time when the owner wanted to broaden the audience. It seemed only natural to try and bridge the gap between artist and curator, personally.

What is the value of the peripheral opportunities associated with a good arts school, i.e., the networking connections that can be such important career builders?  Do you counsel young artists in the importance of networking, even if their interests are far from the “administrative” aspects of an arts career?

Networking is incredibly important whether you're an artist, curator, teacher, etc. The word "networking" gets a bad rap with young artists, because it sounds materialistic or like it cheapens the experience of making and sharing your art, but in today's world...networking is simply the measure of your communication with others that can relate to you, help you, and vice versa. This can start in and should be one of your primary motivations in going to art school; finding the right people to look up to and learn from. It's up to you to find your own voice and decide how to use it, but the big picture is often defined by who you connect with.

How has social networking online aided you in getting to where you are today? Is there any advice for young artists who primarily use online tools to reach people with their work?

Yeah, social networking is its own beast. It can be beautiful and it can be disgusting. It's how you use it; a perfect tool for exposure, and personal growth, or a waste of time. A lot of people look down on sites such as facebook or twitter, but the truth is that likely everyone you need to know is on one of those networking sites and there is often no better way to connect and communicate with them, than writing them RIGHT NOW. My advice is to use social networking to your advantage and make it your tool. Use it; don't let it use you.

What is your bottom-line advice on arts school attendance to the aspiring artist or anyone interested in an arts-related career?

A young artist might see academic degrees as being arbitrary, but in this world, you're better off biting the bullet and getting them as protection. You'll likely be limited without a degree. Even as a starting point that leads to your own journeys outside of academia, art school offers you greater job options, as well as a built-in networking system. The trick is to find the right school for you.

An interview withEllen C. Herbert

Of all the arts, photography would seem to be the one requiring the least formal arts education.  What is the real value in taking photography classes?

I have had the pleasure of working with photographers who are classically trained and those who are self-taught or who have done internships. I do think that a continued concerted effort to stay abreast of technical developments is key as well as an understanding of the evolution of photography; in a fine art sense as well as a craftsman sense. There are a couple of points that I do feel are key though: understanding light and understanding and building a business structure around ones' practice.

Is there an overall arts aesthetic that the artist can only obtain in a structured arts education?  Should even an artist with limited means try to obtain as much of a formal education as possible?

Taking classes is always worthwhile for the discipline and to hear another point of view if only to butt up against something and sharpen your view.

What were some of the practical mechanics of shooting better pictures that you learned in your arts classes?

I am not a photographer, but a producer. My arts classes had alot to do with art history and darkroom techniques that are quite archaic now. My best education came from learning on the job, saying yes to any opportunity and having the good fortune to assist, intern and hone my sensibilities on the job. I also came up in the photography industry at a time where agencies were more 'mom and pop' shops and we had to know how to handle all parts of a business, from international distribution which gave me reason to read foreign papers and keep my passport current to accounting, technique, marketing and sales. We had to trust our eye in editing and choosing imagery and assisting photographers in selling their work to a myriad of markets.

Working in an entrepreneurial atmosphere meant ample opportunities to venture into different areas also - shifting between still and motion for example. I began producing for an agency I worked with simply because there was no one else to do it and I liked the energy and immediacy of putting together a team and structure for a focused image/campaign/spread/film, etc. I still do and every project is different and demands that I am amenable to learning something new.

What are some of the ineffable or intangible yet important principles you learned from your arts education?

Again, with little arts education, I learned from mentors, often both brilliant and mad and from trial and error. Baron Wolman taught me a couple of principles that echo almost weekly, always say yes to adventure and more importantly, that if one is bored, one is boring. This permeates in work as well as in life. Rick Ridgeway, acclaimed mountaineer, writer and photographer, taught me to 'commit and then figure it out' or as his employees used to say with a grin, 'Commit and let your employees figure it out.' Once he took out an ad in a source book claiming that his agency was the premiere footage house specializing in adventure cinematography. He then left for several months to climb K2. The result was that I had to get up to speed quickly about a medium that I knew nothing about very quickly, but I did and another door opened.

What can you say about the positive effects from simply being around other artists and art instructors as a growth experience?

My work is collaborative and dependent on any number of specialists and conditions to be successful: an art director, a location scout, the photographer and their own vision, a stylist, the weather, budget and time constraints. To be successful and keep the work interesting and fulfilling, for me at least, is less about showing people what I know, but listening and learning to what is on offer and figuring out how to meld the best of what is available (often very quickly) to create an atmosphere to make the best picture possible. I also find it quite useful to look beyond the medium of photography to help my work. Creative and constructive inspiration can be found in music, literature, the culinary arts, architecture and so on.

“When I left high school, I had all my plans to go to college, but I had no money. And I decided then, the best thing for me to do is not worry about getting money to go to college — I will educate myself. I walked down the street, I walked into a library, I would go to the library three days a week for ten years and I would educate myself. It’s all FREE, that’s the great thing about libraries! Most of you can afford to go to college, but if you wanna educate yourself completely, go to the library and educate yourself. When I was 28 years old, I graduated from Library.”
Add a Comment:
Jam-uzu Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"I graduated from Library." Best.quote.ever.
rockogirl Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
natali23 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
i want learn in art hight scool but in my city isn't this and i want to go in englend... please help me somebody
nataly vashagashvili from georgia
juliju123 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
i feel the same :'( no art high school in germany
Rietzhu Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012
I only went to school to "learn how to draw:" everything else did not matter.. in the end though I learned I cant really "be tought to learn how to draw" instead it was then "doing" part that mattered the most. Only through volumes of work can any dream be realized, though im still fighting metaphorical battles I still persevere. You don't need to throw thousands of dollars at anyone just to "learn how to draw" Do it yourself.
brainwavedesigns Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
i guess everybody has there own incredible life's story.
D-Prototype Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
How insightful.
SparksflyStudios Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012  Professional General Artist
Your story is very courageous. I admire all self-educated artists because the majority of them recognize the fact that you never stop learning. Congratulations on your journey.
BlueBlankey Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist
I really agree with Maguder- "Use [social networking]; don't let it use you."
Networking is an extremely important part of an artist's career, especially when you're talented, yet untrained and lacking a portfolio. It's easy to get stuck asking for requests and expecting a learning experience, but instead being used for "free stuff" without them even critiquing your work.
Education not only gives that talent a controlled channel to follow, but also gets you that portfolio and some constructive criticism to help you along in getting a successful career.

I say that self-learning develops you as an artist, but to become a professional you have to have connections and the mindset to do the workflow in a style that's new to you. Not saying to jump the gun and get into college immediately, but rather to think it through and to definitely consider it as a viable option. I'll be giving higher education another go in a few months, (dropped out very first class), but with plans for a certificate instead of a bachelor's. Get well noticed enough and you won't always need the huge degree. :)
JosefRubinstein Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
Who is that woman on the front of the news letter in the "Interview " box?Far left with a smile.She isn t mentioned in the actual newsletter.
ellenherbert Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
That is ME. Ellen Herbert.
zeromin0 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012  Student General Artist
every people have their story ......

but what make it's the wonderful is - if u share it with other
that for motivation
JasonManley Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The key to art school is the following:

a. the faculty can actually do the things that you are hoping to learn to do.
b. the same faculty are leaders in their field, or very gifted teachers. The latter can be solved by asking another student who the very best teachers are.
c. See the faculty work and their credits. If they are of high achievement and their work is strong, you will be learning from those who know how to succeed as an artist.
d. Check the student work from each year. If none of the students are doing anything remotely related to your chosen path, then it is not the right school. Do not mistake lessons you think you don't need for student work that is unrelated to your path. If you want to learn representational art and all the students and faculty are doing their take on modern art, you will find it very difficult to learn...and vice versa. Same applies to all areas.
e. If the student work is awesome, you know there are minds there that can teach and encourage, and that the student environment is at least supportive in the years that work was done. If the work is consistent over time, then you know its a consistent program.
f. There are affordable options if you do not have money. You can bust hump at the community or local college, getting generals and other courses that will transfer out of the way for cheap. You can try to get scholarships. You can get video educational materials (tons of free and super low cost stuff out there). You can attend workshops and seminars. You can seek out a local artist who works in the manner you dream about...and earn their trust. Become their assistant.
g. There are lots of paths. If you surround yourself with brilliance, it rubs off. You cannot avoid it if you are doing the work and pushing hard.
h. Ask other students how the school is. If they say the school is ok but I learn more from the students then its probably cheaper to hang out at the coffee shop and meet the art students and run in that circle. No use for study in a school where you get more out of the students than the teachers.
i. Work very hard.
j. Work even harder.
k. Enjoy BUSINESS, BASIC LEGAL, ENTREPRENEURIAL, MARKETING and PROMOTION subjects as if they are your vegetables at dinner. The difference between starving artists and non-starving artists are usually found in the complete lack of business education in the big art schools today. All art makes great biz makes for an empty fridge, and running out of paint.
l. connect online with others and share your secrets.
m. prepare for your job search, ip development path, independent freelance world etc...starting in your sophomore year. Prepare outside of any class work. Find out you need a portfolio a certain way for senior portfolio class? Do it your sophomore year and you are already ahead. One must not wait for improvement if he or she wishes to truly be a successful artist.
n. Always look for more affordable options and bang for the buck. There is no reason to be paying 130,000 USD on average for the US art schools if you are in the states. I know the Euros and Canadians have such included, but in the US, that excessive tuition will bind you in the chains of debt, locked to a job you wish you did not have to do, for far too long. Weigh financial decisions carefully. In the end, my best education came at a community college and a summer program, The Illustration Academy, not the 100k+ art school I spent the last two years after transferring. Buyer beware and good luck to you all.
ellenherbert Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012
Best advice ever:

k. Enjoy BUSINESS, BASIC LEGAL, ENTREPRENEURIAL, MARKETING and PROMOTION subjects as if they are your vegetables at dinner. The difference between starving artists and non-starving artists are usually found in the complete lack of business education in the big art schools today. All art makes great biz makes for an empty fridge, and running out of paint.
MarieRiver Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I wish Deviant art would make articles about people who don't have to option to go to an art school and don't have many career options as an artist so they can get advice. There is no art school in my country and very few career options in art and with the job market it's only in the field of design. I always hope to read something to help me, but never find anything applying to my situation. I suppose I can't blame the site for using the state of art in their country as a template for the topics they address. They just assume everyone on here lives the same life to some extent. I wish I could go to art school. I couldn't even get to do my major in art, I was denied. What does someone in my position do. When you have limited resources and limited opportunities?
blairstudios Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi,I understand what you are saying;have you been able to look to the internet for assistance? There's a plethora of free sites that offer tutorials in art skills, as well as many reputable schools that offer the online attendance option. Also at Gnomon Works, they offer DVD tutorials. I suggest these methods because, depending on your skill level, one of your main goals should be to put together the best collection/portfolio of your work, and then unleashing it to the world. The internet has reduced the size of the world tremendously, and you could get a job anywhere in the WORLD that they have art opportunities if you're willing to take the first steps. Even if you didn't want to relocate, most companies offer telecommuting which can be awesome. Hope this helps.
MarieRiver Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for the advice. It's really nice of you to take the time to try and help me. As for the internet *sigh*. I fear I am still in the long process of learning how to use it. Finding what I'm looking for is a pain. I still try though and I have looked around for tips on coloured pencil work and drawing and such, but haven't come across much useful information. I'll keep looking though.
As for art school online, many when I graduate from my current degree I'll have the time to explore that option. Right now, I'm so busy that finding time to write is a struggle, but I am doing one art course this semester, so maybe I'll get a taste of the basics to help me along on my own.
My portfolio is coming along, slowly, but its being put together. It's certainly not amazing, because I'm still coming into my own style and am still learning techniques and skills and such. Sadly, I never thought my art would ever be anything more than a hobby, as there's no real market for the fine arts here -where I live- and I love it too much to leave. It's home. Even if its full of limited opportunities for people like me. I'll have to explore those internet option more.
Just thank you so much though. Your response was really helpful. :) It's given me some hope about being on this site since I'm not too fond of all these social sites, even though this one is art based. Lol.
pudji Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
i the no
aldoggartist2004 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I think there has to be a balance between both a formal education and being self taught. It's never about one or the other, it's about combining the two to really get a solid perspective.

To me, the artist never stops learning. Research, inspiration, desire, and motivation is something art school cannot teach you. It is something that comes from within and drives the artist (especially the self taught artist) to advance his/her ideas and progress their artistic development. However, a formal education (or even taking some classes) will also present points of views, techniques, and skill sets that one as a self taught artist would have never tried. It is human nature to just focus and straddle a realm where one feels comfortable and finds success. It is more difficult for a person to venture into an area that is unknown and untried and out of ones norm. I believe one learns more by trying something he/she would not have tried under ones own tutelage. As well, having a broader eduction outside of art also helps ones growth as an artist, opening a person up to new ideas and experiences. Bottom line again, I believe, is having balance. If you go to school, look outside of your classes to other experiences, and know that just the education alone will not gain one success. If you are self taught, know that taking some classes and experiencing new ideas and new techniques will broaden your point of view and skill set.

Great article! Good luck to all!
MissDaisy14 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is such an inspiring article. I stopped for a long time from college because we are financially challenged. I do freelance jobs that requires my talents and at the same time I learn my work. I also use the computer to advance my learning.
Portretforyou Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
From my personal experience (I studied Fine Art Ba and Illustration BA in Uk)

I think you have to calculate what you get for that mony?
If you have to study on your own everything and you get just some critics from lecturers and even if they encourage you in changing your personal style to sweet there test etc...It's not enough.
They gave an impression that they don't care about students and that you are just a number. Especialy the Fine Art team hated drawings and gave low marks for any attempting realism.
There were philosophers where they were encouraging students to talk a lot and work quick and creepy. They were trying to do clones of them selfs.
I couldn't believe that anybody can teach in such a irresponsible, discriminatory way.

Is better you don't waste your time on courses like that. I could say that I learn more from lecturers from other courses than from my own.
The best things were students and resources (library) from which you could learn the most.
Even if I was from morning till evening studying and learning I feel that I didn't got anything useful from the staff of Ba Fine Art
and then I changed the College and the Course

So don't worry if you couldn't go in College, find what you like to do in your life and keep going.

But if you want to go, you have to go to an open day, talk with students of the course, look what they are doing.
Feel the vibes, talk with staff. Ask Ask and ask, don't be shy...
You really have to find those who work with you and support you.
It's your money and you have to know what you will get in return.

College graduations is not a guarantee for commissions!!!
Rochellee Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Rock on grandma! Love it
YelenaVee Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Art school offers a yardstick to measure your work by, so that you're not working in a vacuum. You learn, very quickly, that there's always someone better than you. (And you're always better than someone else). Most importantly, you learn how to take criticism and use it to improve your work. I used to be soooo precious about my work. Turning my drawing board to face the class and let 'em rip was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But it's the best way to learn how to analyse your own own work, learn strengths and weaknesses, and build on that.
kevindevries Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
You're definitely right. Especially the line "You learn, very quickly, that there's always someone better than you and you are always better than someone else."

I believe most of what you learn in art school is from each other, other students. Teachers often evaluate work from their own perspective (which is understandable) but with other students you're on the same level. You're still exploring and other give you a more open minded critique and that way you can help each other improve.
rogergordon Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I am definitely a proponent of acquiring a good art education at a good art school. That said; a good art school will encourage self-educating. Each teacher brings something new to the table through the lenses of their experience and from what they have learned from others. The student body is a community that fosters cross-pollination of ideas, comraderie of a common cause and provides contacts after graduation. Being an artist is often a lonely creative endeavor that is relieved with a community of like-minded folks.
ada-lena Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Professional Photographer
thank you :D
VampireKnight-girl Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Student General Artist
Although I do agree that getting a degree in art is helpful, I feel these artist are partial to MFA's. I'm currently persuing a BFA. I read an article that said you need a BFA for Graphic Design (which is my consentration). I don't see why I would need a MFA, when everything(except this article,) has told me a BFA will get me in the door, career-wise.
SHIIBUMII Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Bonniemarie Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012   Traditional Artist
I was a bit surprised after reading the quote from Ray Bradbury that none of the artists interviewed were self taught (as in they had no formal arts education). I kinda thought the quote was misleading. I just would have liked to have seen an artist being interviewed who had got successful without an education. It would be inspring because thats what I'm trying to do.
pikaato Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The artists who get successful without education get pure luck in that someone sees their work and they get a job/promoted/etc...
It's a sad fact but it's who sees you're work and it's hard to get out there. Even if you have a degree, on a CV it only gets you to the interview stage of a job. The rest is your portfolio. It's all about getting noticed and these artists got connections and the help to promote themselves through education. I'm taught how to promote myself, but also offered a lot of competitions to enter and lecturers will pass on an amazing reference to their friends if they find you good.
It would of been nice to read how the lucky ones got their big break, but it's mostly about showing off your work, wherever you can!
MusicForTheDeaf Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm doing the same. It doesn't feel like my own doing if I take lessons and read tutorials. :)
Distortedblack Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree. I think more have gotten further without the degree. I would like to hear their success stories.
pikaato Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Someone saw their work and it's how they started.
A friend of mine is the same age as me and she's been offered the job on a life time because of her online blog being noticed by a celebrity. She's always studied art at school and is now at University but she's not giving up on University, even though she has a clear and very successful future in design.
hmheather Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
that's realy cool! i wish i was that good:)lol
Kryione Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Some very nice tips and enlightenment from Timothy Maguder and Ellen C. Herbert on non-artistic education......esp. to young artists....:D
TeaFoxKaris Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree with the idea Self-taught is better. I too spend a lot of my days in the Library - and demolishing it.
One friend of mine said that i should have a wanted poster in there for un-returned Library books!
ruslanos2008 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I also believe that self-training leads to better results than the imposed training. When you learn to do self,this that means you want it training!
ChristopherDavies Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Pretty cool.
Respectican Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
For some reason I strongly feel the urge to go the library (no.. not to use the library pc..) instead of using the computer 24/7 for research. I was surprised how the article didn't mention that books are STILL a great resource nowadays. Maybe I'm a bit nostalgic (I'm 21), but computers really take out a lot of fun in life...

Thanks for writing the article though. Very inspiring. I've just enrolled in a nature/forest study, a subject that inspires me a lot in art. I have barely developed in art/music my whole life but always felt the strong urge to do so. Cary Yury describes a lot that I feel the same way about (ie. feeling of emptiness about art while studying something non-artsy). I still don't regret my choice in education as my skills in art/music were too low to enroll in artschool anyway and I would love to help develop more nature in this world. However, this article makes me realize a lot of things that I can still do regarding art. Thanks a lot for that :)
StudioStone Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
I agree with you on books. The Internet is an easy way to find pictures and art but sometimes books have things you can't find on the web
ThylacoleoCarnifex Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I also learned that it's a great place to discourage many other people among the art world because of how everyone idolizes particular artists here.
Weird094 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012
Btw some people don't care if there not popular but that how you think of then it fine it is your life. :)
ThylacoleoCarnifex Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Have you ever done a stand-up comedy? You're hilarious!
Weird094 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012
ThylacoleoCarnifex Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Weird094 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012
What are you talking about?
ThylacoleoCarnifex Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I am talking about your mother.
Weird094 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012
Whatever....I'm surprise you responded to it.
ThylacoleoCarnifex Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
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