Thank you for the kind words about Chowder! I’m glad it meant something to you.
I understand the frustration of your situation. Wanting to continue following your dream but being given a roadblock is painful. But know this, not everyone’s path is the same.
Here’s the thing to remember: Going to art school doesn’t make you an artist.
Sure there are many good reasons to go to an art school. It can help refine you. You have access to great teachers, peers to learn from, and good connections afterwards.
But as someone a little (lotta) older who’s been out of school for a while, I know there are many other ways of achieving your dreams.
Let’s look at the positives of going to a regular school. You can broaden your interests in many different categories, each which can affect your art in astoundingly positive ways. Studying literature, history, mythology, science, and philosophy broadens your views on the world. And isn’t all art really just the artist’s view of their world? Expanding it with new curriculum only benefits you. I love Kate Beaton’s art because she’s such a history nerd. She humanizes historical figures and zeroes in on what’s funny about them. It feels both academic and emotional at the same time. That’s a really hard combo to achieve, but her deep knowledge and passion feeds her art in surprising and wonderful ways.
Sometimes I worry that artists spend too much time looking at other artists and not enough time looking at all the other amazing things around them. It becomes a bloated ouroboros (snake eating himself; I had to look up the spelling, so yeah I’m not as smart as I pretend to be).
Being at a regular college doesn’t mean your art dreams must die. Most colleges have some sort of art program. Take a few life drawing classes. Take some other art classes. Wherever you end up, set aside a little time each day to work on your art. And now with the “magic of the internet” (he says waving his hand and staring off into the distance), you can easily keep in touch with your art school friends. Ask them to share their project challenges with you. Look to them for feedback on your art. Use them to force you to keep it up. There’s a good chance you could find a group of like-minded art students to work with at your school as well. And maybe in couple of years, you’ll feel like it’s time to transfer to art school to take things to a new level and maybe your parents will agree. Who knows what the future holds?
I didn’t go to art school. I went to a state school and took one art class in four years. I drew a comic every day because that’s what I really wanted to do. But school let me grow and introduced me to new concepts and ideas. It let me meet other cartoonists. It fed a lot of the stuff that I did later on.
There’s no traditional path anymore. You don’t need to go to art school to keep evolving and growing as an artist. Art school is one means to get there. School isn’t even necessary. There are so many ways to get information and guidance now. Your own passion and drive are the most important thing to keep you on that path.
I wish you the best of luck out there and I hope this helps, even a little.
p.s. if anyone has extra advice to offer, please reblog this and share your experience.
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