A few weeks ago I wrote about all of the advantages of attending art school. In that post I mentioned there were a few bad things about studying an art course so today I will be sharing all the reasons why you shouldn’t go to art school.
The one big argument out there about art schools is you don’t really need to do a course to learn art. For the most part that is true. All modern art courses work by teaching you fundamental basics which you practise while working on different projects. These are things like analytical drawing, colour theory, typography. You can quite easily just teach yourself these things. The important thing is building up your skills and applying them. So at least for the ‘making art’ portion you can work on it in your own free time.
Art school won’t actually teach you to be a good artist, if they did that everyone would graduate as the most amazing artist ever. There is an element to self learning while doing an art degree, the different to that and being self-taught is the structure. If you are really dedicated to your practise and work on improving your art everyday you don’t need the learning structure that art school provides. You also won’t have to pay to attend art school. This in itself is a huge bonus.
You also have the fact that when graduating the degree isn’t the important thing. Unlike some jobs which just require a degree, you need a portfolio to show employers that you are good at art. This portfolio is the reason why you attend art school, by learning your craft you are also creating a body of work to show an employer. But the work doesn’t actually need a degree, this means you can create a portfolio of work during your free time and use that to apply to jobs.
You also don’t have to deal with criticism which you could argue is either a good or bad thing. If you go to art school lots of people will be critiquing your work. For the most part that’s fine but you will occasionally come across some tutors who don’t like what you’ve done. And they aren’t shy about telling you so. Being able to take criticism is really important if you want an art career but it’s also a really hard thing to do. It’s easy to get disheartened if you’re constantly being told all the things you did wrong. Self-taught or not criticism is something you need to get used to.
So should you self-teach or go to art school. It depends. Can you afford tuition. How good are the art schools in your area. Are you aiming for a job in an art related field. Do you have the motivation to work on your art on your own. These are some of the questions you need to ask when deciding if you should or shouldn’t apply for a course.