Friday, September 11, 2015

Finding A Way When Art School Doesn't Work Out


Yesterday I was really planning on posting something. Then I went from excited, to panicking, to straight being pissed off.

As I've mentioned, more than once I believe, I had applied to art school and was planning to start in the Spring Semester. There were a bunch of tedious processes to go through and they got done. I had reviewed this school years ago when I first wanted to attend and they were pretty good. The fact that it was online and had specifically geared classes towards the career I wanted were the biggest appeal to me. Later in the day yesterday after finishing some modules for financial aid and decided to just look them up again.

Of course they were a lot different this time. They were either REALLY good or REALLY bad. I don't think I saw a single review that was just okay about the school. I delve deeper and find out that they have pending lawsuits, that they may be losing accreditation due to low graduation rates and also financial aid eligibility. THIS is where I started to panic. I COULD NOT go to school without financial aid. The other problems were also bad but this kind of drove it home.

"What if this happened why I was there?"
"What if I had to drop out and be in debt for nothing?"

Those were two of the hundreds of thoughts and scenarios running through my head and this was the point where I started getting pissed off (SO MANY EMOTIONS). It had to happen now. Later that night I emailed the school representatives and informed them that I could no longer attend. I was left with the panic, the anger and the disappointment. But, I was not going to give up on getting the education I wanted. Since this wasn't a reliable possibility for me anymore, I've decided to forgo art school, at least for now, and self teach. My insomnia kicked in because of all of this so I spent most of the night researching different ways to teach myself and still have a career. Here is what I've found out so far:

  • Online Workshops: These are definitely a viable option for me since they are online, cheaper than school courses, and have great reviews online and through word of mouth.  The LevelUp! Workshop from ConceptArt.Org is the first one I want to try. It's $139 for six months and has courses in a lot of different subjects I love, including ones geared towards building a career. Two other ones I plan on applying for are CG Master Academy Master Classes, which are pretty much all $699 each and The Gnomon Workshop, which is $499 for a year. I need to save up for those two. There are many options out there.
  • Regimented Schedule: Another widely given tip out there is to make yourself practice a certain amount of time everyday to master techniques and hone your craft. I plan on starting to draw about five hours a day every day fixing my weaknesses and learning the basics with a new eye and seeing how that goes. I can't learn without a lot of practice.
  • Free Tutorials: The internet is FILLED with all sorts of tutorials on how to draw, paint and learn the technical skills of being an artist. Pinterest has loads of resources linked in and YouTube has a lot of different videos/tutorials available.
  • Books Books Books: This makes me very happy, even if it is really obvious. Last night I researched a lot of books that have helped people learn. The list is pretty long but I'll end up making a post of my favorite art books in the future when I've found out what has worked for me best.
  • Don't just learn the skills, learn the business: I really believe this to be true, especially since I won't have the resources some schools could give me. Knowing the laws, how to market myself, and how the industry works will go a long way in me actually landing a job.

I'll admit I'm still filled with a little bit of panic, but I will not give up on this. I want to pursue my art career and refuse to let school bring me down. I thank all of the resources that I have available that will help me achieve my dream.

What are some ways you know of to self teach? What has and hasn't worked for you? Any feedback or information would be greatly appreciated!



  1. Online workshops & classes are really good way to go because they're convenient & sometimes even cheaper. :]

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    1. Thank you for the feedback! Are there any you recommend?


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