Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my time at art school. I met people that are still some of the best friends I have. I had a few really amazing instructors. I also had a lot of instructors that were pretty much worthless, and classes that taught me nothing, yet cost me a hell of a lot of money.
In the end, art school had nothing I couldn’t have done myself. In fact I’d argue I DID do most of it myself. Even in art school, your education is firmly in your own hands. If you idly wait for all the answers to be given to you, well, it just won’t happen. You need to put in all the hard work, and ask all the right questions. Instructors might give you some of the answers, or guide you down a path, but they don’t safe guard any secret knowledge. The truth is, all of the exact same information is out there ready to be absorbed.
I firmly believe that any artist that has the drive and passion to do really well in art school, has the drive and passion to accomplish the exact same thing on their own. Conversely, artists that lack that will aren’t likely to discover it in art school.
This all brought me to the mental challenge one day of, “If I COULD do it all over again, knowing what I know now to help guide me, how would I go about developing those skills and gaining that knowledge?” The more I pondered that question, and devised my fantasy DIY Art School, the more I thought “Why not share this?”
There are a lot of potentially talented young artists out there deserving of their shot. Times are tough, and art school is likely just not an easy option for a lot of people. It’s expensive, and a lot of people simply don’t live near a good one at any rate. I’m sure there are a lot of people that just need that little push in the right direction to help make their dreams a reality. After all, as an artist, no one has ever asked to see my degree. No one has ever asked me what art school I attended. The work either stands on it’s own or it doesn’t, so why NOT do it yourself?
Now as a disclaimer, if you really want to attend art school, and it won’t be a financial burden, by all means I recommend that you find a great school and go. Art school can be a fantastic experience, and I encourage you to go, work hard, and have fun. However, if the thought of years of debt scares you, and you feel like art school is your only chance to follow your dream, I offer you an alternative to consider.