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Art School????

FishEATnoodlesFishEATnoodles Registered User new member
Hey guys. I'm 25 turning 26 soon and I know it's never too late for anything (hopefully). I already have a 4 year degree and also tried going back for nursing. It's sad because most of things I've done I did because I've been pressured to. I've been doing art my whole life but fell under the pressure of "you should do something that will get you a good job." Of course I was young so what else could I do but listen to my parents since I was dependent on them anyway. I'm a CNA right now and I don't enjoy it one bit. After trying nursing school and failing I realize I should be working hard for something I actually want to do, not for something I don't care about. I've thought about going to art school for a while.

I want to do storybording. My whole life has consisted of me drawing stories and communicating through them. I feel like storyboarding is for me but I'm in such a predicament... I'm thinking about the debt I'll be in. I live in Minnesota and in the twin cities area. The only school around here that seems appealing and good is MCAD and of course (like any art school), it is expensive. I want to major in Illustration because I feel that's what I'll like. There are several graphic design programs that aren't super spendy but I don't feel quite a passion in that area? And even though I've done art my whole life I don't feel I know anything professionally and feel very uneducated in the art field.

I've thought about other things I could do to train myself and get my foot in the door without school but there is basically nothing here in MN. I've looked up scholarships and grants but for most I don't apply (especially grants)... Networking, building professionalism, gaining professional critiques, internshipping... all which I can find at MCAD... which is super important... I don't know what to do. I want to finally follow my dreams, I'm willing to work hard (because I already have for something I don't care about). What should I do? Age is not my problem. My only problem is money... but I'm willing to go through school again if it's for my dreams. I just want to know if it's worth it... or if there are other options for what I want to do.

And yes! I draw everyday and every time I get. Art is something I am really serious about. Sorry this is so long :0


  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited October 2017
    (posting in this new thread too, just to make sure you see it).

    So, without knowing what your current skills are in art, here's my general advice. College isn't going to help you get a job in the art industry. A college degree is miles away from the most important thing when hiring managers look at candidates: the portfolio. If you're already very good at art, going to college might boost that, but it's entirely dependent on the work you put in (which doesn't mean doing the bare minimum on your projects/assignments). If you're not very good yet, and still have a fair amount of learning to do, college may not be your best option at this time, in my opinion. College in itself does not make you a better artist.

    Before committing to an entire 4-year degree program, I'd strongly suggest you look into taking a few individual classes first, to see if you like it (and to see if you find it helpful). I found this place through a quick google search, which is an art atelier that's only 12 minutes from Twin Cities, MN!

    A 15-week course at the above atelier seems to average about $230, which is insanely cheap. They offer a range of classes, and the instructors and students generally seem to have some really good-looking work.

    Art ateliers do not give you degrees, but tend to be a MUCH better option if you're looking to increase your artistic skill, and are much cheaper than a college course, by many orders of magnitude. They can also be great for networking, though you may have more luck with that outside of MN. Still, I think that this is a great opportunity for you that you should really consider.

    Beyond that, there are LOADS of online classes now, either self-directed, or with a teacher who gives you feedback on your work every week. CGMA and Schoolism are the first that come to mind - I believe they've got some classes that would align really well with what you're looking to do.
    Career stuff:

    I graduated from art school in 2010, and have been working as an artist in video games since. The film industry and the game industry are extremely intensely competitive. If you are lucky enough to land a job at all, early on in your career you will likely not be paid the huge bucks. I went to school with a lot of students who coasted by, and had virtually nothing to show for their 4 years of expensive education at the end of it. There were some other students who were "okay", but they weren't good enough to land a job. There were very few at the top who were clearly good enough, by their graduations, to be hireable. You should take a serious look at your skills, and at your portfolio, and know that your work is at a professional level (or close to it) before expecting to land a job. While there may be exceptions to this rule, this is generally the best way to think about things, if your intention is to make this your sole career. It's scary! It's intense! It's incredibly rewarding! But this really has to be a deep passion that you're very interested in pursuing seriously, or you run the risk of not putting in the required amount of effort.

    If you haven't, try taking a gander at some portfolios from people who are currently working (or who have worked) as professional storyboard artists. This is one of the best ways you can look at your work and see where your art needs to improve. You can even try networking digitally, by finding these artists on Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr or whathaveyou (even their own personal websites) and asking if they have any advice with regards to getting into the field. Once you have some work gathered up, you can also ask them if they'd please take a look at your work and offer some feedback. These are busy people, so don't feel bad if they don't have the time to spare....but oftentimes, you'll get a lot of fantastic feedback from the best sources of feedback: people who have worked in the industry, in the career that you're looking to get into. This can also sometimes be a networking opportunity - I've heard of professionals keeping in close contact with some people who have asked them for feedback, and they end up thinking about this person when a job opportunity comes up. It's certainly worth a shot! :)

    Best of luck, and if you're interested in posting your work for feedback anywhere, you can head over to the Artist's Corner part of the forums here. There are a bunch of people there from all skill levels, so don't feel intimidated. :)

    NightDragon on
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Just relating to the hating your job thing, at some point every job you have is going to be work that you don't necessarily enjoy. That's why they pay you. Guidance counselors have done a disservice by pushing the idea that everyone should do what they love. You should push yourself to become a better artist and use your love of drawing to put you on a path to one day being able to do it full time but understand you have bills to pay now, and even being an artist will have it's shitty days.

    Whatever additional education you decide to get at this point, it's going to be in addition to having a job not instead of having a job. That's just part of being an adult. You mention nursing, there's a good reason people become nurses... it pays $50+ an hour, you have infinite opportunity to relocate anywhere in the country and you will never be unable to find a job. Lots of people get jobs they aren't passionate about so they can afford to do the things they love.

    My advice is listen to the advice of other artists when it comes to "how to do art for money", but always pay your bills.

  • FishEATnoodlesFishEATnoodles Registered User new member
    Thank you sooo much @NightDragon ! I really appreciate your words/advice. Ive thought a lot about it and no matter what I really really want to become a story artist. Thank you so much! I'm going to look at my options but most of all, give it my all.

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