this is not very good but i don't really have anything better to offer these days lol

anonymous asked:

Hi! So I'm currently looking at going into an university for the arts and I've been told by many people (parents, teachers, etc.) that going to a regular non-art university with a certain design program is often better than going to a straight up art school. I see the reasoning behind that (get a secondary major/minor as a fall back plan) but I don't know if that hurts one's chance of making a career in an arts-oriented industry. Thoughts? (thank you and sorry if that doesn't make much sense!)

My mom and I had this discussion too. It’s usually backed by their logic of “Art is great yeah — but if and when it doesn’t work — you should have a REAL major. Just in case.” 

As with most college things — it depends. Its just a big, big “it depends.”

There are really pros and cons to each. My own personal thinking when it came to my education was “Do I really want to juggle a business minor while learning art from generic teachers?” and “How devoted am I to an art career?” 

Because really, going to an art trade school or art centric school of any kind is a lot different than taking a university art major.

Here are the main reason that affected MY choice…

1. You don’t divide your time to different skills, making your art skill stronger. 
Many times, art school have no minors. I didn’t. It was all Illustration, all the way. Which gives you 4 years of all encompassing art knowledge and time to build a very strong portfolio. I’m not saying that uni students in art majors aren’t just as good artists (I’ll talk about that later.) I’m just saying the more time and energy you spend on ONE subject, the better you get at it. Its just that simple. Plus, all your classes are art driven. So not only do I know how to figure draw and color coordinate, but I know all about art history and art theory, design theory… etc, and all these subjects are geared toward making your actual major stronger.  Even our English classes are toward your field. Illustrators learn novels they can learn to depict through art — Animation students can take script writing and narrative classes… etc.  If you go to an art school you are going to finish college with a very large body of work and a bit more confidence that you spent your time devoted to working on a specific trade rather than a bunch of different things. 

2. Resources. 
Art schools have way more tools, classes and resources to teaching you the field. Plain and simple. Risd had an art store on campus, figure drawing every Wednesday and Saturday, giant paper cutters and wood cutting rooms for making your own matte boards and canvases, WACOM tablet computers, a room of STOCK PHOTOS, an ID building full of 3D printers, giant photo printers and much more. I was able to stretch and experiment and try a ton of different things for my portfolio simply because everything to make EVERYTHING was on hand. Not a lot of uni’s devote that amount of resources to one department. I’m not even mentioning that our whole career center is devoted to art jobs, period. 

3. Art is VAST. 
I was an Illustration student, and I went to RISD to become a video game concept artist. But during my year of Foundations (where they make you take beginner classes that relate to every major) I discovered that I hated doing concept art. I geared my portfolio towards costume design instead. But art is vast and very diverse. I took classes in set design, jewelry making, cinematic storytelling (storyboards), character design, Game Assets, Web Design, 3D Printing, Product Photography and more. I took charge of my college experience to learn lots of different art tools and techniques. I also was sure to take classes in Business and Entrepreneurship (with a focus on art companies and such.)  When I graduated I worked for Cirque Du Soliel and in between jobs I freelanced making websites. Currently I’m working at a Fashion Design house retouching models in photoshop. I also know how to create jewelry in 3D CAD CAM, so I know that should I need to and the costuming doesn’t work out — I have skills that can be applied to the jewelry buisness ( or heck, I know how to storyboard and do character designs, even if I don’t like doing it). I know a lot of amazing alumni who finished in one major and had a successful career in another. Regardless of my major I have a BFA in art which makes me a candidate for ANY art job (even teaching college art without a teaching degree, lol). My fall back plan to my art career is just a different art career. 

Okay — now just to play my own devil’s advocate, let me argue all those points with just one:

In the end, your employers are going to pick you because of your artwork — not your school. 

So if you decide to got to a university and have a minor in buisness — so long as your Portfolio is strong then it really doesn’t matter once you get out into the art world. Sometimes the school (art OR uni) gets you into the door for the interview… but at the end of the day all that anyone will care about is your actual work. 

I would say that if you want to go to a university, be prepared to motivate yourself to do above and beyond what they can offer you. Sometimes uni’s art department curriculum are limiting. So you got to motivate yourself to do more research, more work, more learning, and more experience on your own time. 

This goes for if you plan on not attending a college at all! Which is another viable option!

The key to this is SELF MOTIVATION. And taking advantage of your own education, whether that means going above and beyond a uni, or taking advantage of art school, or not going to college at all. 

Personally I’m shit at that. I need someone to give me a specific assignment. I can do anything if someone gives me rules and a deadline. When someone says “do whatever” or its left up to me, I just get lost and don’t do anything. So — to RISD I went.