At art school I copied Kandinsky by Glen Paul Mendes

Is Art School Necessary to be an Emerging Artist?

Aliyah Lashley August 30 2023


The value of attending art school for those interested in a profession in visual arts has been the subject of debate in the art community since the 2000s. Is it necessary for having greater career prospects? Or is it merely a waste of time and resources that could ultimately result in debt? Let’s find out.

Art education can increase your advantages of turning your dream job as an artist, but going to art school is not necessary. A degree will not guarantee you will have a successful art career. There are a few factors to consider about art school:


• It extends well beyond your knowledge and experiences, as well as creating connections and perhaps even introducing you to people who could advance your career in the future.

• When you study art, you develop individual and teamwork working skills and time management abilities that employers value.

• The complexity and diversity of society can be better understood, interpreted, and navigated with the aid of an arts education.

• Studying visual arts promotes social mobility, which encourages and inspires kids from low-income homes to pursue higher education.

• Art schools have art shows so anyone can view student artwork, including art critics, collectors, and employers looking for potential employees.

• By the time you graduate, you will have met numerous individuals in the art world.

Ask around the art community. If you believe that taking a class to learn about a subject is beneficial in pursuing a career in the visual arts then you have to have means and a support network to do so. Although art school provides advantages, no one can decide for you if the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.


• Depending on the school/class/instructor, the program you are interested in taking might not be what you expected it to be.

• Most of art school is self-driven. The majority of your education is you sitting at your desk by yourself while you practice your craft which is something you could easily do on your own while watching video tutorials.

• Art schools may have outstanding professors who are now successful in the field or they may have professors who have never actually done any professional artwork.

• If finances are an issue, you could go into debt from student loan payments.

At the end of the day, every emerging artist is unique, and art school may be for you. Art education has value in general and you should never stop learning. To avoid wasting time and money, do your research and find the best art program and instructor that suits you. Most people end up bitter from their experience of choosing the wrong school. But if you feel that you don’t need art school or an art degree to be an artist, then that’s up to you, there is no right or wrong answer.

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