Art Schools: the big decision


Art is a field many people are interested in delving into professionally. Graphic design, musical production, comic animation, playwrighting, and the list goes on and on. You may think that since you always felt like an unconventional student and a free-thinker, art school could be your long awaited forte.

Hold up, there, Picasso. Let’s really deliberate, together shall we? Art is wonderful when you have a day job, but consider these characteristics of successful art students before skimping the directory of universities, and abandoning your back-up plan of entrepreneurship.

Many natural born artists crave the freedom that free-lance and liberal spaces which necessitate solitary confinement require. If you feel like you need peace and quiet to listen to the inner-mutterings of your soul, read on. Another attribute of successful artists is the patience and thrill which follows discovering a new sound or a funky new character in a script entails.

Do you tend to feel utter delight and ecstasy upon uncovering a flame which you had, autonomously, brought to life? Have you always noticed a personal sensitivity to your environment and many of the activities being performed externally? Do you ever feel like your artwork is a response to the world around you?

Like they say “necessity is the mother of invention”; many artworks have been created out of a need for the artists to heighten or negate the realities of the world around them. The appreciation and fixation on the way something aesthetically looks are also qualities notorious artists possess. If you feel you tend to approach life with a limp, a snare, a holler or a slant hoot. Do not be ashamed.

These are all examples and even reminders of your authentic genius hidden within your natural affinity to express yourself. If you feel you have unintentionally felt like your way of being, seemed normal to you and unconventional to the rest of the world, this is a huge indication of a career path you may be destined to take.

So, you think you know what you want to do with your life. Art school is the next step. But is it worth it? How do you navigate the scammy schools from the teflon true geezers? For one, choosing an art school is not a mundane process, the strategy of uncovering the gems from beneath the filth should be rather redundant for all of you, so called, true artists out there. It is no secret, many art institutions are a lot like community colleges. Bad joke.

A lot of art schools are not accredited however, and will be like piggy banks which disappear after you graduate. Potential employers and art venue owners may give you sceptical stares upon realizing your school is new to their ears, go somewhere the least bit “known”.

Make sure you are attending an accredited school because it is not only a sign of the highest level of educational excellence assigned today, but accredited schools often accompany financial aid, loans and grants. The best way to get the 360 view of the school is to taste, feel, breathe and see how your hands move within the confines of the campus.

Graphic by Brandy Pickering

That’s right, go visit the school! Nothing is more definite to your overall decision than implementing your experience of one-on-one time with teachers and students into your decision. Your research should also be coupled with knowing which classes are offered in your field of study and how extensive or emphasized your field of study is within that particular institution.

Overall consider the reputation of the school, the quality of the curriculum and professors, as well as the student-to-faculty ratio. Also, check to see if any famous people went to the school, the opinions of the alumni, as well as their placement on the college rankings list.

All of these factors should help with your overall decision, but above all, see if you are truly passionate about what you are doing, the rest, as they say, shall easily fall into place.