18 December, 2008

What % of artists actually went to art school?

Maybe you want to keep that confidential?

Here is an interesting question. How many of the people working and making a living as artists went to art school...for the full 4 years....and got a degree?

How many of you "artists" out there saw the movie "Art School Confidential" with John Malkovich? What a strange but interesting movie! Recommended viewing... especially for those of us who went to art school. The characters are so true to life. I found it darkly amusing.

Thoughts anyone? on....both topics.



jim rownd 18 Dec 2008

when I was look at art schools ( way back) none of the schools seem to really focus on the student being able to make a living at art.

So I found a vocational school that was free and the teachers were working professionals in the graphic arts field. 2 years later I was working at an advertising art studio and i did find out that there were some very good 4 years colleges out there that coworkers had gone to.

no I haven't seen the movie. one more on my list of must see.

side note. not to many responses to this thread. maybe not that many here have gone to art school?

Nikolaus 18 Dec 2008

I went to Tech School.

I was a "Starving Artist" then, and i'm just above that distiction now. ;)

Just kidding, I've found ways to make it work for me and my clients....now i'm much more happy as an artist.

aonghas smith 18 Dec 2008

Yes i went to art school. Didnt work out for me. I dont consider myself artistic in a creative sense, i just like to draw things that interest me.

Linda Eades Blackburn 18 Dec 2008

I went to a four year Art School. Not even in existence now. No Degree, they just gave out certificates and I didn't even bother to pick that up.

It's never been an issue. I have worked both in house and freelance for almost 40 years. Your portfolio will get your foot in the door for an in house job. You portfolio and work experience will get you the freelance work.

Your degree, alone, will get you nothing, but is a plus with a good portfolio.

Linda Eades Blackburn 18 Dec 2008

I have recently been in contact with alumni from my art school and have found that a mere handful are in the art business. This seems to be the case no matter where artists are studying. Sad.

Nikolaus 18 Dec 2008

I agree Linda.

Only two out of my class do art for a living now. You have to love it too to stay in it thru thick and thin.

Plus the advertising industry is bleeding red ink all over the place right now...hope I can hold on, many are getting 'cut".

___ Angus. You are an Illustrator and a very good one, so you are artistic....

jim rownd 18 Dec 2008

i was just at my art school reunion last week ( 30 years). 0ut of 20 10 showed up and 4 are in the biz.

one guy( Bruce) owns a cool animation studio


Nikolaus 18 Dec 2008

The absolute most upsetting thing for me when I was in high school was that if I would have played football I could have maybe gotten a FREE scholarship to a big university, but I was actually a decent artist at the top of my class and all they gave me was a pat on the back.

Why don't schools give scholarships for ART...? If it wasn't for "Advertising Agencies" those players wouldn't be making the money they make today.

Advertising is what is making the world go round. Even free TV isn't really free...it's funded by "advertising dollars"... and someone has to pay somewhere down the line.

Artists are more important to the world than they might think.

Susan Epps Oliver 18 Dec 2008

Four years of formal training as a textile and fabric designer. Fortunately, the course contained all the usual elements of art training because I didn't stay in textiles for too long afterwards.

Some of it comes back to me at times but most is forgotten in the mists and has been replaced with hard work and determination.

Kathi Perry 18 Dec 2008

Nope...completely self taught...have done a lot of research though and own a few really nice art textbooks...(used to work in a university bookstore) But then again I am not and really never have earned a living at it. I have done work for private parties but never anything commercial. Like you Aohghas I also am not the most creative artist. I draw what I see. :) I am trying to break away from it though...makes me feel a bit stifled sometimes.

Haven't seen the movie either but will look it up sounds interesting.

Chris Aleman 18 Dec 2008

Hey there Lena, I am a natural-born artist, I have been able to draw since I could pick up a crayon, in fact, other than the mandatory veiwing of the Bob Ross show in grade school(though we never did any actual painting, they just made us watch him...go figure), and high-school art classes(I never got anything lower than an A-, and that one time was for an assignment I didn't turn in)...I am completely self-taught...as an ARTIST, that is.

As a TATTOOIST,(there is a difference) I did a very short(6 month) apprenticeship, and that varies from shop to shop and from apprentice to Tattooist...there is a difference however, between being an artist and being a tattooist, and there is a very old saying in this business that says "Just because you can draw, doesn't mean you can tattoo!"

I know lots of tattooist's who cannot draw a stick figure, but they are awsome tattooists, and I know quite a few artists who have tried to tattoo, and failed horribly, it just takes a special kind of person to do this kind of art.

Years ago, I visited both Kent State's Art program, and the University of Akron's Art program, and other than being very expensive, I walked away with the feeling that they did not focus on the growth of the individual artist's talent's, but instead focused more on teaching art history.

Don't get me wrong, I think a very good knowledge of design, composition, and history is critical of any art form, but I do know from a personal perspective that I struggled for years trying to find an "identity", or an art form that I really loved, and was willing to stick with when times got tough(as it does with tattooing every winter, during the summer months I can make anywhere between $100-$5000/day...and I am here, at the shop, EVERY-SINGLE-DAY, but during the winter...November for instance, I did maby 3 tattoo's...big contrast!).

Sacrifice is everything in the art's, and I don't think there is an Artist out there who cannot relate to that, but personal success is something that the individual makes for themselves...yea, some people are just "lucky", but I know I have had to work for very hard for everything I have, and I don't feel personally that a piece of paper would have helped me out anymore than what I have done on my own.

Dominic Melfi 19 Dec 2008

I had 3 semesters of interior design, which I have always felt was useful to me thruout my life. It grounded me in color, composition and form.

WESTERN ARTWORK By Denny Karchner 19 Dec 2008

Hi Lena and everyone here.

I do make a living as an artist and have since the age of 13. I have made most of my money as a graphic artist. I am now producing my "western art" along with my freelance art as well. I did graduate from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1972. I always knew that I was not going to teach or needed the full four years. I do have an Associates Degree. Hell, I wanted out of school so bad just because I wanted to get started working. I got hired the week after I graduated.

Sorry, I have not seen the movie.--Denny ;{

Nikolaus 19 Dec 2008

Good points Denny....Isn't it true that for most careers people start AFTER they go to college ....but most artists already have had 8-14 years of practce before they ever go to advanced schools....

We really have to love it to make all those sacrifices.

Darrell Williams 20 Dec 2008

I majored in art for a while, untill I realized that the srt department at my university was filled with alot of sour grape instructors. They tended to knock anything realistic, which caused several very talented artist to change majors. I know of only one other from my group that is doing art as more than a hobby.

I went back to check things out. Nothing has really changed. One students senior project that was getting loads of encouragement was a silouette of a man covered in yellow feathers. Sad and a bit disturbing.

Kathi Perry 20 Dec 2008

I would have loved to go to art school. After high school I wanted to go to Cornish Art Institute in Seattle...my Mother disagreed with my Dad and I and said NO we are not paying for that. A year later I had my first child and there has never been enough money to go. I envy all of you who had the opportunity to attend. I took every art class available to me in high school. I always did well and really did not like the other classes that were manditory...lol. Art was the only thing that got me through. :)

WESTERN ARTWORK By Denny Karchner 20 Dec 2008

Glad that art has got you through too Kathi. I don't know where I would have ended up if I had not had the parents I did. They encouraged me from the age of three to pursue my art. We did not have tons of money, but they made sure I got to go art school. My father was a postmaster for 30 years, but he and my mother bought a local grocery store just to put us three kids through school after high school. I actually had an high school art teacher who helped me financially to get through art school. He wanted nothing in return but to help other up and coming artists in any way I could. This is why I feel inclined to post my tutorials and etc. to fill my obligation to my former art teacher.

I had one other thing that happened to me while I was attending art school that help me to be propelled to another level above my fellow classmates. My time at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh was a full 24 months. With nine months left before graduation, I was one of only two students that was chosen to work in the school's own art department. I did not have to take any of my classes except for the one class of the instructor who ran the art department. Unlike my fellow students, I graduated with a full-blown portfolio full of "real" pieces that actually went to print. All other students walked away with fictitious pieces. I will never forget that opportunity! It was monumental!!

--Denny ;{

Kathi Perry 20 Dec 2008

Your very lucky you had all the support you did Denny...that's cool! My dad was supportive my mother was too practical as far as finances went. She said she wouldn't support a starving artist...lol Well she is pretty old now and has become a lot more supportive in the past years...probably because she gets free artwork....lol

H.E. Drew 20 Dec 2008

Darrell, don't get me started..LOL..had a similar experience after spending 1 term as an art major. I will not go into details but, I quit the art major, went to work, and put my self through 5 years of math and engineering education earning a degree and a national engineering certification know as a F.E. in the industry.

I have clashed with nearly every art professor I had in the studio yet all my other university experiences in math and engineering were for the most part, quite good.

I give no credit to the existing universities who hand out BFAs crammed full of post modern views. to me, the BFA is counter productive in the process of producing the true masters of today.

the technical college studies for art career minded students who sharpen there skills through them are way better off than the students who waste their time and their mommies' and daddies' money pursuing BFA's.

In my views, art can not be taught. it can only be fostered. art academia does little to foster the real master that resides in so many. it is up to the individual to find that master artist within themself.

Nicole Viste 22 Dec 2008

I am about as self taught as they come, I only took my first year of art in high school and did not get along with the art teacher, who admitted then that I was already above his level, and being from a small town like I am, we only had one art teacher (who also doubled as the health and substitute english teacher lol) for the entire school, so that was the end of my art schooling. I went to college for a major in Livestock Production & Management and a minor in Land Sciences...and at that point had never actually considered using my art to make a living...then real life hit...I found out quick that making money and ranching do not belong in the same sentence. I got a day job with the county, still not considering using my art as a source of income, but word got out, and soon I started to pick up commissions, and with some persuassion of my father and support from alot of locals, got prints made of my own drawings, and although it barely been a year since I "went public" with my art, it's making me more money than my cows and horses, and it flexible enough that I can still fulfill my dreams of ranching...and drawing critters on the side to pay for it....

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