I attended Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, where I earned a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in the Motion Pictures and Television program. Academy of Art University is the largest private art school in the United States, offers 25 different areas of study, and stands out as a institution where artists teach artists. My time at this school was a very memorable experience, and prepared me well for other life experiences. That said, I do wish my 18 year old self had a better perspective on how to get the most out of the experience.
There are many options of schools for artists of any age to attend in order to develop their skills and techniques, regardless of what medium they choose to utilize. While the expense of attending an art school for college is very high, the experiences gained there are priceless. Here are some key factors to consider when deciding if art school is the best choice for you:
Know Yourself and Your Worth
This can be hard to an emerging artist, especially when faced with a lot of criticism. Art school is designed to give you the honest feedback in the form of critique in classroom discussion in order to help you evolve into a professional artist. Many students let this feedback determine how they view themselves as artists. If you have a good sense of self as an artist, the critique will only make you better.
Make the Time to Practice Your Passion
Juggling responsibilities of being on your own, working, and attending school can be overwhelming, but making it a point to practice your art every day is critical. You are not attending art school to earn a degree. You are attending art school to earn and develop skills that will help you to become a successful artist. Take the time to learn, and go through the process the right way. If you can commit to that, the art school experience will be more valuable than the degree.
Figure Out What You Want To Do Before You Get There
Is your passion filmmaking? Painting? Fashion design? Try your hand at what you want to learn before enrolling to see if it truly is your passion. You don’t want to get years into your program of study before realizing that it isn’t a good fit.
Natural talent is fine, but perseverance and passion are what it really takes to succeed. Art school will challenge both your perseverance and your passion, and if you truly have grit, you will come out of the experience as a professional artist ready to take your career to the next level.