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November 7, 2012


Replies: 23

What can you do with a degree in fine art?

AmyLouiseZombie Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Preferably from people with a degree in fine art :P like what kind of work have you gotten from it and what not?
Curious to know because I'd love to go to art college but it's tricking trying to decide where to go in life ><

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Devious Comments

Mew-Sumomo Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Student General Artist
While it's true that you probably won't be asked about a degree in the professional art world, I wouldn't let that dissuade you from attending an art school to learn the discipline. I'm studying illustration and design and I feel like the type of education I'm getting is great, and that I wouldn't be able to learn the sorts of things I'm learning anywhere else.
WilWhalen Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Well, let's take a look at the stats.

Amount of times I've been asked about a degree while negotiating a freelance job: 0

If it's a good program, and you can afford it, then it won't hurt, but if you aren't self motivated enough to theoretically do it without, the school isn't going to imbue that into you. Most professionals (like the really big timers) I know don't have accredited degrees in art. Lots went to the Safehouse Atelier, a select few went to AI and its ilk, and the rest are 100% self taught. Don't waste 4 years in a crummy program for a degree, because the actual learnin' and the people you meet are all that matters, not the paper.

(This is all from my experience in freelance illustration, by the by. Graphic design/advertising art are possibly different.)
AmyLouiseZombie Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
to be honest illustration is what I want to do so thank you so much for your input!
puppy-dangerous Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
You can...spend money on it?

Getting a degree in any sort of art is one of those things that may or may not actually matter. When it comes down to getting a job, it doesn't matter at all, all you have to do is show you can do the work. They don't look for a degree, they don't care, you can graduate and still be a horrible artist. It won't increase your liklyhood of getting a job.

Yes, on the one hand you do learn things you might not otherwise, but you also go into debt that you probably won't be able to pay off.

I'd say 99% of the professional artists I know (and I know a LOT), ones who make 100% of their income off of art, haven't gone to school for art. Many of them do have a degree, but it's not related to art.
slategreen Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Ideally, a BFA should gear you toward a job as a gallery artist, graphic designer or illustrator. If it doesn't do that, it isn't a very good program.

But even if it's a good program, it does tend to come down to how much effort you put in it. And you could put that same effort into teaching yourself, but--a BFA program will expose you to things that you didn't think to look up on your own, and it will end up influencing your taste because you'll be required to study things like art history... and there will be that teacher every now and then that tries to bend you into a particular shape and if you value your grade, you'll do it. Sometimes a good thing, sometimes a not so good thing.

Some time you will probably have to read boring articles about the importance of tree stumps in 19th c. American landscape painting, but I'm sure every major has its amazingly dull moments.
painted-bees Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
You can go and get your masters so that you may qualify for a teaching position, yaay!
Otherwise, a degree in fine art doesn't do anything for you. A good portfolio, a strong skillset, and good PR will get you work. Bachelors of Fine Arts are a dime a dozen.
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
the degree has nothing to do with it. it's what you know how to do that matters.
DANgerous124 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Save your money and teach yourself. A degree in art is not going to get you far in life. If you're good then your art will sell. A piece of paper and a bunch of pretentious art teachers is not the way to go in becoming a better artist.
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Student General Artist
Depends on the companies you work for.

SOme will ask for a degree and some will not. You don't have to get exactly an art school degree, but a degree is fine neverless.
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
your impression of art school is based on a fanciful stereotype that makes you look foolish.

there are plenty of people who go to art school and do just fine in life, just as there are plenty of people who never go at all and then complain about it on DA.
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