art & design

4 Advantages of Going To Art School

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I’ve come across a number of people on the internet say that art school isn’t worth the price, that what you learn can be done on your own. Since I’m in my third year of doing an art course, specifically graphic design, I thought I would share some of the advantages of going to art school.

The lecturers:

This really depends on which school or university you go to but chances are your lecturers are going to be people working in that field. Wether it be illustrators, graphic designers or other artists. They could be people who teach part-time and work on their own projects part-time. Or people who have come into lecturing after working in studios. Either way you’re being taught be people who work in your field and you’re learning directly from their experience.


Chances are if you’re doing an art course your school will teach lots of other art courses. This means they usually have lots of expensive equipment available for students to borrow. Okay so you might not need that giant film camera the tv production students use (though you may really want to), but there will be equipment available to make your work better.

Usually you will get access to the Adobe suite, you can buy this relatively cheap but being able to use it for free is handy. Depending on the school you may also get access to a laser printer or have a screen printing room. There is usually also cameras and other equipment available to use for photographing your work.

Most art schools also have a store which means you can buy your materials; sketchbooks, paper, tape, paint ect for cheaper than what you would get at a regular art shop.

Finishing your work:

I think all artists have a moment where they hate the painting or project or whatever it is they are currently working on. In times like this its easy for a self-taught artist to give up entirely on making art because they don’t like what they are doing.

The great thing about art courses is it forces you to work through it. You’re always going to get to a point where you hate the project you’re working on, by working out why you don’t like it (and fixing that problem) you’re going to become better as an artist. Often times I’ve found the work I hate most are the pieces most well received.

Work ethic:

Having a good work ethic isn’t something a course will really teach you, but you will learn it just from being a good student. By that I mean turning up to class regularly and on time will help in the ‘real world’, when you’re working a full-time job and have to get up at the same time every day. Doing this also means you have a better chance of getting a good reference from your lecturers which will help you get that job.


Of course there are also numerous disadvantages about going to art school. It being quite expensive, people not liking your work, and the fact you really could do some of it on your own. What you get out of doing an art course really depends on the effort and amount of work you put in. It can also depend on what opportunities you get from studying on that course. So really no one can say what is best.

MORE LIKE THIS: My Thoughts On Art School After One Year


  • Dan Antion

    There are a lot of benefits of going to art school. If you end up working in your chosen creative field, a degree and a portfolio is a much better credential than a portfolio alone. People respect the work that it took to get the degree, the showing up on time (as you mentioned) and the completion of assignments on time. And, since it’s possible that your art school education may eventually lead to a different career, you are likely to face the requirement of a degree.

    My daughter graduated from art school and was offered an opportunity to interview at a technology firm, in their marketing department. She asked me what she might say about art school that would be a plus for a business environment. I reminded her that she had to work independently, on multiple simultaneous projects for professors who all thought their assignment was the most important. Being able to work like that AND meet those deadlines, is a big plus in business!

    Also, going through professional critiques, participating on both sides of the table, is a critical skill that most business majors will never experience.

    Good luck with your education!

  • Magpiemakingdo

    I often lament not focusing more on art when I was younger, and I find myself wishing I had the opportunity to go through a program now. My SO keeps telling me that I can learn everything on my own, but I just know I would achieve so much more, so much faster with the structure that school provides.

    • Emma

      It really depends on what you want to do with art. If you want a job you could understand doing a course. But if its just a hobby you don’t really need to do something. But then again there are people who haven’t been to art school and turned their art into a full time job.

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