I would also like to share a bit more. As told by my parents, I've started to draw even before I uttered my first words! I've been drawing since the age of 2. We do not have special art schools in India at the elementary level of education, so didn't get much guidance, kept bringing in awards and prizes in 'on the spot painting competitions' though.Had to get through the usual grind of going through the subjects like Maths or Chemistry, which were like 'aliens' to me! Went to the Art College after 12th grade, and was a meritorious student! After an year got admission in the Moscow State Academy and traveled to Russia to peruse my 7 year degree in Painting. When there, I realized I didn't even come near any of the students there...there level was so good! Had to work hard day n' night and took me a whole year to reach there level to even learn the basics like perspective and compositions.
So, feel the 'learning' actually never ends... an artist keeps learning from experiences, surroundings and fellow artists!
I'll say my life was changed dramatically by just moving to a better art school!
And I like this platform where we all can share our experiences, even while sitting at faraway places. Kudos!
I went to Art school for undergrad and also received my MFA. For me, art school was a collection of experiences that could not or would not have been replicated elsewhere. More than any technique or material training it was about learning to look at the world and at art-making from a different perspective. It was a crazy, wild, exciting ride and I would never be where I am at intellectually without it. has it been worth the money I paid for it? Ya, i would say so, in the money realm of art making connections are extremely important and I made a ton of them in art school. But more importantly I think that my life is richer in experience because of it. I would never talk anyone into going to art school or push anyone to go because it's not the same for everyone, some of my fellow students didn't like it and it isn't cheap. I personally got a lot out of it and at my school it wasn't about learning to do what others have done, it was about learning what others have done so that we don't naively fall into the same idea as someone else and find satisfaction there. As soon as you know that you are not in new territory you should start exploring and pushing further, but in order to know that you are not in new territory you have to know what territory has been explored.
If artists didn't study in art school or college, because He/She do not want to learn past masters, afraid that He/She will continue to copy Leo Da Vinci, is pure B.S. An PAINTER MUST BE ABLE TO DRAW in order to develop own stile. You have very poor EXCUSE, my friend.
I have my BA and MA in art education (schools in TX and OK) and have attended many art workshops but I always wonder how my life would have turned out had I attended an art school in a large city, such as NY.
I got my MFA at UCLA, which I suppose qualifies as going to art school. Plus I got my BA at Barnard College in NYC where my painting teacher changed my life. Having taken tons of art classes all my life, I would say that you can learn the technical stuff about how to make "better" work from various teachers. You need that, but it doesn't take a great art school for that. What the great schools are for - I completely agree with Chris - are to go way beyond that in your ideas and thinking. By far, the valuable part of these great schools is the firsthand exposure to living, breathing, successful artists. I would say to Pam, if you wish you knew what would have happened at a big-city school, then just go - no, I don't mean to school, just go to the big city and find an artist you admire and ask to see their studio and talk with them a bit. You can learn vast amounts by asking good questions and seeing how someone works and thinks about their work. If they are willing, see what they say about your work. Then find the next artist you admire, and the next. You will soon have your top-notch art education.