Art school is almost always a huge waste of money. There is very little they can teach you that you can't teach yourself if you have the devotion. Even critiques and stuff you just need to find an artists group to get.
They may help with networking- but is that REALLY worth all the money you pay them? Probably not. If you want to network, become active in your art scene. Find galleries doing openings. Join social groups. Etc. Network directly with the local artists.
Is a degree in art going to help you? Probably not. Nobody who hires artists looks for a degree- because it proves nothing other than that you can stick though school. And while being persistent is a good thing, it doesn't mean you are actually any good. They hire from a portfolio. The only time a degree is even going to matter in the slightest is if you are going for a job doing something to do with specific programs and stuff- something like 3d rendering- and even then it's only an indication to them that you know the software and stuff, if you can present a portfolio that shows you can do it without the classes then that is just fine.
Thanks. I can't say being here has been a total waste; a lot of people here helped my overcome major social anxiety and come out as a transgender ftm; and that has been as valuable as any learning could be. But you're right; the money that has been spent here was spent, but I have no reason to spend anymore.
If I were in your position (I have a similar one, but not as dramatic), I would stick with the degree. You already spent the money. After college you could go work full-time somewhere and start paying off your debt, or you could try to win a few scholarships too. I know that I may be over simplifying the situation, but there are worse situations than paying off a debt and not being able to live in a house. If you have any good friends, ask if you could live with them for a while. Since you are planning on being an artist, perhaps selling your work is an option as well.
"Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on..." ~Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin Probably the most meaningful lyrics in that song...anyway. You have to pursue what you want, regardless of the means to get there. If a degree feels like the wrong way to go about it, then go with what you feel. Trust your instinct; it will never lie to you.
Lol i find myself asking that question over and over again. Now i recently figured out i rather do art than any thing else. So if you enjoy doing art and want to make a living from it. Go for it. Do you need a degree to be considered art? no.
Only reason i think you would need a degree in art is to be a full time Art historian or Graphic Designer.
Do you need a degree to get a job as an artist....maybe. Depends on what you are looking to do. If you are looking to do freelance, you will be completely judged by the quality of your portfolio. Freelance requires some sales skills, you need to research who is hiring freelance artists, tailor a portfolio to the client, and follow up regularly. Including sending updated portfolios. You will need to work under a deadline, and the one person I have spoken to who does this says that your first job or two with any new commisioner you should aim to have done early if possible, in case they are the type to ask for revisions, and if they are the type to ask for revisions, you need to aim early with that particular company always.
Working for a company a college degree is often an advantage. There are more artists out there than there are art jobs. So if you are going for a job at a company, there are likely a dozen other artists who are looking as well. I have worked crappy retail sales jobs where the manager either wants extensive experience in the field or a college degree, it has nothing to do with doing the job, it is a screening procedure to thin the possible resumes. When you have 12 people applying for a job, and 3 have previous experience, and 3 have college degrees, you can cut the field in half by only taking college degree/experienced people for interview.
Honestly keeping an art degree is solely up to you. The degree is only worth it in studios and big businesses that want to know that you know what you are doing. However college in art is for the contacts moreso than a piece of paper. If you have far reaching friends and acquaintances, then you will be a very successful artist. Also do not let others tell you what to do. If YOU feel that this degree is overall worthless, than that is for you to decide not them.
Do you need a degree in art to be an artist? NO. You do not. The only time that will help you is in the professional field or if your dream job requires proof of knowlege because it's a specialized career. The only thing going to college does for an artist is help make you more knowlegeable and because art is a skills trade is one of MANY options to gain the skills you need to be a good artist. There are many ways to gain art skills for FREE. Such as being an apprentance and substituting pay for knowlege, doing your own personal research, and your own personal field study. For example checking out books on painting at the library or finding free online tutorials from skilled artists or companies and using them to your advantage. Most artists are entrepreneurs and make thier money off of their art or create mass produced products that they sell as income usually with another job and work on their actual projects and portfolios on the side lines until they get funded by another mean, such as getting hired by a company to do commission projects, musuems etc.. ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS...If you can't afford a degree I highly suggest you stop now then so as not to worsen your condition. Another thought is transfering majors which you can do and people do do all the time, guess what? Especially artists when their intersts change to something else such as chaning from graphic design to photography or scultpure to painting. Perhaps consider to a cheaper school and getting finacial aid or paying out of pocket at a community college if you are close to finishing a degree in something, it doesn't have to be art but it would be a good idea if you change your mind and don't want to be an artist or want a back drop incase things don't work out to get some sort of degree even if it's an asscociates in liberal arts at the very least. Keep in mind that depending on the years you've done of art school you can always minor in art and major in something else or settle with an associates degree and work on getting an art job that you can gain skills from instead.
What my advice is simple: What is important to you? Figure that out and you will be able to plot out your course in life.
That aside, I think you are ignoring a third option: take some time off of school.
It really sounds like school is injuring you emotionally. Maybe it would be good if you took a break, and came back in a year. After a year of some other thing, you will perhaps find yourself emotionally refreshed and ready to confront one more year of art.