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If you are a current or aspiring art student, this article may save your life.  Or...your last tuition payment.  Please :heart: this news article so the word gets out, and more art students can get their ass in gear.


The Difficulty

Of Getting An Art Major


A heated argument broke out in my house this afternoon.

I live in a rental situation, renting a large room (with my own bathroom and workspace, real nice setup) in a Filipino household.  Love my landlord, get along great with the other housemates, but to emphasize the 'Filipino' aspect of the living situation, there's a lot of family taking residence here.  And with family, with teenage offspring, with high standards and expectations from the older immigrant generation speaking upon the younger American-born kin, tension is inevitable.

The daughter of one of the housemates is looking for colleges to apply to, and is hellbent on going to an art school.  However, when her grades dropped, her SAT scores came back unsatisfactory, and she showed symptoms of not taking her education seriously, she pulled the relevancy card.  These stupid classes aren't relevant to me, because I am going to art school and that's that.

As the argument churned onward, my landlord (this girl's aunt, again, Filipino family and me in this house) stated very bluntly 'I don't want you going to art school, I want you going to a REAL school, with REAL classes, that get you a REAL job.'

As an art major, I could feel my heart sobbing in inky blackness to hear those words.  Art school isn't a real education.  Art school doesn't get you a real job.  The whole argument, I just felt this sensation of wanting to jump in and assure each of them they were wrong.  But it's a family argument.  I'm merely a tenant.  I have no jurisdiction getting involved in telling this family how to raise their daughter.  I just took my laptop and Slurpee into my bedroom, and let the shouting diminish before hearing the telltale door slam to queue the all clear.

I'm certain my landlord didn't intend to strike a chord with me, but she did.  It's a very harsh reality and crippling epiphany that's been plaguing me for the last eight years.  It's the abundance of misconceptions around the value of the Art Major, and the sincere difficulty in getting one.

Do not shirk your High School education.

The relevancy card.

A ploy by young students, thinking they understand how the world works, that any education beyond that which they already know will not be relevant to their field, and therefore, does not need to be taken 'seriously.'  Who needs to know history when we can call up any event at our fingertips, when Wikipedia is just a flash of the iPhone away?  Who needs calculus when computers are doing all these calculations for us?  What's the point in taking chemistry when a specific field has no correlation to it?

Throughout high school, we believe the stuff we're learning will not come into play later.  While that's a true fact, the training we're intended to pick up has nothing to do with the content of the course work, but our ability to absorb information.  We are training our minds (which like every muscle needs fitness to be healthy and strong) to pick up these lessons and more effectively commit them into practice.  It's what we do with all our muscles.  Why do football players run through tires, when tires don't even appear on the field during a game?  Why do swimmers lift weights when there isn't an ounce of iron in a pool, or army recruits do squats when we're yet to have weaponry controlled by our buttcheeks?

They're training their muscles to keep them fit.

When you go into art school, your brain needs to be fit as a ground infantry's ass is toned.  You have to keep your mind fully in the game, because unlike high school, art school requires you to pick up on tenets you have probably never practiced before.  In high school, ever taken a class in cinematography?  Photomanipulation?  How about simple design and composition?  Animation?  Unlike other universities, art schools are giving you information that has never echoed off the walls of a high school classroom.  And thanks to continuing cuts to the arts in the United States, that ain't gonna change.

Shirk your high school education, go into art with a dull brain unreceptive to learning new techniques and principles, and you are dead in the water.  I learned this far too late in life, and struggled tremendously in art school from it.  I had a hell of a tough time starting out, which only become an ongoing nightmare when the beginner classes ascended to intermediate level.  I didn't take my high school education seriously, and ended up undergoing a tremendous psychological shift in 2004 where I got serious with my work and started adopting some sort of a work ethic.

Many others did not.  They survived by pulling the relevancy card over and over again in high school, thinking they finally hit their true calling at an art school, and then terrible terrible reality crashed down upon them with supernova force.  Maybe the information itself was irrelevant, granted, but their untrained minds, just flabby unstimulated mush, hadn't learn.

The Drop-Out Rate in Art School is Monstrous.

Being unable to learn, these people are always the first to go.  If they couldn't grasp geometry, no way in hell will they get texturing.  Can't understand trigonometry, then you're screwed to be forever incapable of 3d modeling.  They went into Art School assuming art would be that forever escape away from math.

But it doesn't end there.  While half of applicants eventually drop out within the first year, it's one of those experiences where there is no home stretch.  There is no downhill run at the end, no assumption of 'if I can survive this class, everything from here on out will be a breeze.'  There is no such thing.  It only gets harder as it goes along.

I had to adopt a work schedule of 60 hours a week just to stay afloat at art school in my second year.  My dad would tell you of the dozens of late nights and sleepless weekends I spent, because the loud cantankerous family printer was next to his bedroom.  Oh, the late nights we would spend as I print off a concept design book for a class at 4 in the morning, each of us a coffee in hand, he's getting up for an early start to the day, I'm simply re-energizing to push Wednesday evening's project through to 1pm Thursday.  And that was just the second year.

Year 3, I simply did not exist.  I hardly remember anything from 2006.

By the time it was all said and done, and I finally drove home from my very last class on Friday afternoon, fueled only by a 6 hour binge nap I took on Wednesday, I collapsed onto my bed, my last conscious thought being 'I started art school in a class of 130.  I'm one of 3 who made it.'  I could only muster a couple euphoric chuckles before clicking off into a dreamless blink of unconsciousness, awaking seemingly in an instant on Sunday evening with a note taped to my bedroom door from my parents offering me congratulations.

It takes a lot out of you.  In my class, the drop out rate was 98%.  You have greater chances going to medical school or law school than you do getting that diploma.

The job market is there, but highly competitive.

Even then, the odds are still against you.  Finding a professional art-related job is extremely difficult.  However, I have to correct my landlord in saying that you can get a job in the field, and with art under your belt, it is pretty versatile.  Chemistry majors usually have to work chemistry.  Physics majors have to do aeronautics or engineering.  Art majors can find a spot in just about every company imaginable, whether it's visual effects for the next Avatar, or designing an online menu for a mom and pop Chinese restaurant.

But artists are in constant competition with one another.

Here on deviantArt, I'm very open and encouraging of other artists.  Especially my fellow color artists; I want to help them out as best I can, and give them their due praises and encouragement.  Outside of deviantArt, though, until we are actually hired on a team together, you are my enemy.  You are trying to keep me from making my living, and I am keeping you from your's.  Survival of the fittest, baby.  When you bring your A game, I too will bring mine, and we will duke it out with every neuron in our mind, every fiber in our fingertips.  With a dignified silence, without words or blows exchanged, we will fight.  Fight dirty.  Fight unfair.  Fight ferociously.  Because if we don't battle to stay on top every day, we will be surpassed by the others.

So it's important to keep your options open, and pursue an art major that opens up a lot of doors to improve your demand.  Graphic design is the obvious choice for best pick, because every publication and piece of media requires it.  It is the foundation of all things art, all things visual, and until humanity evolves beyond the necessity of eyeballs, graphic designers will be needed no matter how bad the economy, how trite the script, how awful the design doc.

Animation is the second obvious choice.  They don't come along easily, and finding a truly good animator is even more difficult.  Oh, sure, companies are trying more and more nowadays to bypass the necessity of good animation.  Just a cursory glance at 'Problem Solverz' shows cartoons trying oh so cutely to overcome its importance.  But the truth is, animators can get jobs way beyond their own field, and get hired to work for science and architecture.

Go back to the first point.  Do not shirk your high school education.  With that animation degree, you will need to know the content you're animating.  Want to make a simulated visual aid for a chemistry project to win a multi-million dollar grant?  Bet you wish you paid more attention in chemistry class.  How about a projected step by step construction process for that billion dollar high rise?  Sure would've helped to take math more seriously.

Artists always need a fall-back skill, too.  Math is mine.  I was always good at math naturally, but didn't do well in school because I kept pulling the relevancy card on my own parents.  Who needs stupid trigonometry?  What kind of idiot goes around measuring shadows at flagpoles?  Sheesh!

Fast forward five years, and I'm in a Flash class, working on a game where a cannon shoots a ball towards the cursor.

'How do I make it follow the mouse, then shoot when I click?'
'Follow the mouse?' my teacher looks over my shoulder.  'Oh, you need a Math, Tangent operator in the code.'
'Tangent?  Wait, as in-'
'Yeah, trigonometry.'
'Umm...' My face sinks to a scowl.  'Oookay, so, tangent.  That for, err...'
'You do know trigonometry, right?'
'Uhh...I, umm.'  I look down in shame.  'Damn.'
'Relevancy card, huh.'  The teacher smacks the back of my head.  'Shoulda kept it in the deck there, skippy.'

There are several other great majors that focus in art that open many doors in the professional world.  Website design.  Advertising design.  Even video game art and design.  Believe it, video game majors can easily get jobs outside of the game industry, as the industry itself is one of the most fast-paced quality demanding fields out there.  After developing the skills necessary to work on video games, they are easily qualified to apply their skills in countless fields.

For example, in El Segundo, Maba Media is a company created by former game design graduates who make simulated car crashes in 3d software for court cases.  Zoic Studios in Marina Del Rey, who does the CGI sequences for CSI: Miami and American advertisements for luxury cars, hires visual effects artists from Electronic Arts.

Almost all art related majors overlap in several ways, and are interchangeable between multiple industries.

In summary...

Art school is, in many ways, a lot more difficult than a regular university.  While the work there may not be as tedious as solving parabolas or measuring the atomic weights of molecules, the time and energy required can sum up to a much greater quantity than its academic counterparts.  Many things can go wrong with art, too.  Paint can run.  Markers smudge.  Renders can cancel, files corrupt, animation rigs break, textures reset, and sculptures drop.  The stress art students go through is insurmountable in comparison.

Regular students just have to worry their thesis is spelled correctly, their numbers are aligned, their handwriting is legible, they go into the class properly studied and knowing the course material enough to survive the midterm test.

Art students?  We have to make sure we don't leave our drawings in the sun.  We can't put too much water on paints, or too little.  Every speed bump in the campus garage is a traumatizing endeavor of crippling worry as we pray to God, Odin, Jupiter, Zeus, and Patrick Swayzee that our external hard drive doesn't chip with each thud against pavement.  On top of knowing the course material and doing all the homework, the commute to campus is as psychologically draining as awaiting the results of a pregnancy test.

It's easy to get in to art school, I'll give that.  Yet they don't make it easy to stay.  It's like a frying pan, any dope can place their palm flat against its hot surface.  However, it takes a special breed of calloused masochist to not pull away.  In my class, I'm amongst the 2% of psychotic socially inept drones who managed to get through.  And it was all because of a strong work ethic I only wish I had in high school.  It was because of a solid staff of teachers who had faith in me.  And above all else, it was because my dad cracked the whip, kept my ass in gear, and never once cashed in my relevancy card.  I was a perfect candidate for just another case of year-one dropouts going in, but drastically adapted into a completely new animal that actually clenched that diploma without the luxury of a home stretch.

And I wouldn't have done anything else differently.
Add a Comment:
Zeke-Hiro Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
i wish i read this earlier....
Arislynn Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Most people would feel so screwed after reading this, but I feel hyped. I wish I read this a couple years earlier, though, I would have been more motivated to improve my art. Now I feel like it's too late to improve as much as I would have liked. I know I would be better if I hadn't wasted my time playing video games and just being lazy. I'm a junior in high school now, and I feel like 2 or so years isn't enough time for me to improve.

Like a lot of people, I didn't have natural talent. I had to work hard on it. When I finally felt content, though, I stopped drawing to improve, but to impress. That's where it all went down and I started being ignorant and stuck up. Always comparing myself to those who don't have the ability I do, when I should have been learning from those who were better than me. I know better now, my only regret is that I learned this sooner.
hakepe Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It's not too late. I studied other things and worked in another field for years untila I started to draw and paint again regulary and I have improved a lot since last year. If you start drawing today and draw regulary, you will improve and you will keep improving your whole life. An artist is never ready, but an eternal student of the craft.
Arislynn Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I know, it's just that I know I would be so much better had I not stopped for that time. But that's in the past, and all I can do is look forward. I'll definitely keep practicing.
hakepe Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yes, I know how you feel. I sometimes feel the same way but I need to stay positive, so I desided not to think about what might have been. Instead I try to think what can be. So keep practicing and stay positive :)
Arislynn Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So hard to stay positive with all these amazing people surrounding you xD thanks, I'll try. I'd say same to you, but it would seem like you're already great at what you do x)
Arislynn Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So hard to stay positive with all these amazing people surrounding you xD thanks, I'll try. I'd say same to you, but it would seem like you're already great at what you do x)
hakepe Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks :) yeah it can be hard sometimes but then again beating yourself down will only drain energy from creating art.
TheSteelPolarBear Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Thank you for telling me this before I go to college I still have time to grab that math and make it mah B**CH! XD
Nenie Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This article came in just in time lol :D
I've just recently graduated from a 4 year college in majoring in Art. And now that im out for the year before i go to grad school. I'm having a little bit of a hard time getting a job. granted, where i live usually doesnt have careers for artists other than just being local artists. So when i go to grad school i wanna go to an art school in a major city where they have more opportunities for artists.
I'm just feeling now that i may regret getting this degree. But it's what i want to do with my life because i'm not so good in anything else. Not because i pulled the "relevancy card" in high school but because i really am not that good at mathematics, or science or writing literature. Not so tech savy with computers and lack confidence to be a teacher or work with communications.

The job names for artists today are: Designers, Marketers, Web designers, Advertisement creators. That's mostly the art that is looked for now of artists. Sure there's still illustrations being made for many publications, and animation for cartoons, furniture, sculpture and pottery decor designing being made. Our art is still valuable. It's everywhere in our media. being an artist is not useless and we have to be more appreciated in the work force.
ScottMan2th Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
as an older returning student (if 45 counts as older) i can attest that aspects of my intended degree (graphic design) has not been easy. Since i haven’t done algebra or anything related to it in over 20+ years this has not been the high point of my academic experience thus far...other aspects have not been as difficult, although being broke and not having the programs used in class at home has proven to be very annoying when finishing assignments. have a cousin in New York who is a graphic designer (over 14 years) who is very successful and her brother who is a photographer in Birmingham Alabama (also very successful) so the jobs are there if you have the talent and are willing to go where the work is.
sakurasoul Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2011  Student Interface Designer
I'm in art school right now. I will keep your example and start reading books next week. I'm in Graphic Design, but aspire to a career in Game Art and Design, with concentrations in animation. Any suggestions?

Also, about trigonometry, any helpful books?
inkclaw88 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
im in 10th grade and after i graduate from high school i want to get in to art school have any tips for me???
pinaki93 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2011   Digital Artist
I'm so glad I found this!
It makes me glad now that I took all those advanced classes in high school, and didn't shirk them on top of it. :XD:
albaoaurora Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011  Student General Artist
I highly appreciate this article and it's opened my eyes a lot. It's amazing! Thank you.

But, I have a qualm here.
"Regular students just have to worry their thesis is spelled correctly, their numbers are aligned, their handwriting is legible, they go into the class properly studied and knowing the course material enough to survive the midterm test."
I don't know about that. You're grossly underestimating it. High school is worse than that. College...?
vest Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011
Yeah, a lot of people had an issue with that, and I attempt to address it in the comments and regret it for the poor wording. That pertains more towards 101 courses and general ed classes, not specialized classes later on. The main point of that was to state that while regular students face a number of stresses and requirements that rarely appear in art classes, art students end up facing a whole different series of possible problems and setbacks that could actually make the course work as stressful as any other general ed class.
albaoaurora Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2011  Student General Artist
Oh okay, I got it now. Thank you for clarifying. I did not reach the comments addressing this, otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it.
And thank you, for expressing this, too. Art isn't nice and easy-going as people think. I hope that it opened a lot of people's eyes.
TiffanySketches Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011  Professional Interface Designer
When I went to art school I always cringed at the whole "I'm bad at math because I'm an artist". Most times it was a cop out excuse or a reason to give up and ignore their math classes, or to give up on 3D classes.

I have always struggled with math my entire life and work my ass off in high school with tutors and extra help just to squeak by with a C in my classes. While my math skills are still just as bad and I still cannot do simple math worth a damn, the work ethic in high school is what helped me to get through art school.

Honestly, I think succeeding in art takes an insane amount of determination. If you aren't willing to draw until your hand bleeds, get out now. >__<;;;
TempestWorks Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
In the middle of my third academic year as an art student currently, let me say that I agree with your statements 110%. Luckily I was imbued with a sense of perfectionism by my parents young, so I never slacked in high school. However, this attitude of the relevancy card still persists around me in the general education courses at my school.

It's not a pretty sight and just adds more stress as people wonder 'what's the minimum to pass this class?' It worries me that this unprofessional attitude will hurt them more than anything else. Will those around you say "I want to work with this person in the future!" or "They just do the minimum, and I want someone I know will give 100% in anything."

As a side note, Art School is super hard everyone. I'm going into my 9th straight quarter of 5 classes a quarter, without summer breaks, and I'm tired. Oh so tired. But everyone, don't let the difficulty stop you from following your dreams.
MissDudette Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2011
Did I tell you I love this thing? 'Cause I do love it. :XD:
Keitana Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011  Student General Artist
Thank you so much for posting this! It's really helped me consider my choices a little bit more.

As a high school who is nearing the end of grade 10, the stress of picking the right courses for one of the two most important high school years is a little bit stressful. Art is my passion... It's what I do when I'm sad, bored or lonely. In school, while other classes bore me and I spend my time watching the clock, my one art class passes by everyday like a breeze.

The thing is... I'm pretty scared that I might not be chosing what's best for me. I'm a high academic student who takes school seriously, earning 85%~90%+ in each of my classes. With this in mind, I believe that I could do a lot out there. I could get a high paying job and be able to support my future family while still being able to have the funds to travel the world... Maybe it's too much of a dream~ I'm afraid that if I try to go into arts (specifically graphic design), I won't have enough to allow wiggle room to be stress-free (or at least not overwhelmed by it; my Mom puts a lot of emphasis on this point).

Basically, the scary part is going for my passion and risk it becoming a tedious job to which I lose all inspiration. This has happened once when I was overwhelmed by realism commissions, not fun. Even going into art as my passion and have it turn out that I cannot find a stable job...

On the other hand, I could be something like an aerospace engineer (or even something a little less fancy, planes and spaceships are cool though XD ). Science and math don't make the time fly by like art does, but it certainly doesn't bring me to tears, then that would leave me with a hobby of art on the side which would never get old since I'm doing it on my own time.

I'm sorry if this is all jumbled, hopefully the point I'm trying to get across is working alright. Basically: Get a job in art for my passion and face the challenges of losing inspiration/lower pay/trouble finding a job, or going into something completely different including math or science, having a "bigger job" (though not neccessarily liking it as much) to travel and being able to include art as a hobby.

It's a frightening choice... Considering next week is when the choices for grade 11 classes reach their deadlines... Do you have any advice?
Skaera Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not that you asked, I know, but since I'm just about finished with grade 11 I feel like I might as well offer some unsolicited but relevant advice. (feel free not to read, haha. I'm just procrastinating here ._. )

Since you're an academic-inclined student, you should really push yourself in 11th grade =) Take as many APs as you think you can handle, for instance, and also AP art if your school offers it. If your high school is anything like mine, junior year should be your busiest, since it's the year colleges look at the most. I've also heard that some art schools consider academics then financial situation first before they even look at your portfolio. Regardless of whether that's true, excelling at academics is definitely a plus as, from what research I've done, some art schools offer substantial scholarships based on academic merit alone.

As to whether you'll get tired of art as a job, when all's said and done that's a purely personal decision =) As for me, I welcome the chance to simply draw anything, whether it be for myself or for someone else, but some people need inspiration to draw, though I've never heard of anyone who actually loses their will to draw/paint/create after finding a job in the artistic industries. (Then again, those people are less likely to succeed in the industry in the first place, so...)

(Though if you're planning to become something vitally important to the world (like, say, a doctor) then by all means consider choosing that instead of art 0-0 god knows we need more doctors. Doctors are awesome.)

Oh, also, game design pays more than graphic design in general. Significantly more. So does fashion design. Though... this only apply to employed individuals, I think. So take that as you will XD

If you actually read that, hope it was of some help :3
Keitana Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Student General Artist
Ah, thank you so much for your reply ^^ Actually, after seeing your message, I went and looked up some more career opportunities for those who can draw. Architect caught my eye... A beautiful blend of both math and art, I think that sounds perfect :'D
And also, thank you for the recommendation for AP classes! I've looked into this too and wasn't aware that B's in AP count as A's in normal classes. Now I'm definitely more inclined to take a few next year.
I know this is a little bit of a short reply for your long one, but really, I appreciated it a lot <3 It really helped!
Skaera Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's great =)you're welcome!
It's funny now I like both math and art but really hate architecture xD but it's definitely a great career for most people who like both.
whimsy657 Featured By Owner May 19, 2011  Student General Artist
oh yeah. taking an art major TOTALLY going to be in that two percent. :D
Icha-Icha-Sensei Featured By Owner May 17, 2011
Man, did this open my eyes. Thank you. :)
rottingmangos Featured By Owner May 16, 2011
I'm in 8th grade, but I've been thinking about going into an art career. After reading this, I will work hard in high school to get where I want to be!
Thats-Your-Funeral Featured By Owner May 10, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I'm a double major in Criminology and Animation, and I have to say while animation certainly takes a lot more of my time, the work I have to put into criminology is far more daunting and difficult. There's a lot I agree with in this article, but there's a lot I can't help but disagree with as well, as someone who has experienced (and will continue to experience) both sides of the spectrum.

I do agree completely with you in terms of the job market, however. Aspiring artists often don't understand how important it is to know about more than just art. The classes I've taken in psychology and anatomy for example, have given me so much in terms of developing creative and exciting characters.
monkfishlover Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow.... I'm definitely glad that I'm a computer science major and not an art major.... I'm way better at math than I am at drawing.... I took a basic drawing class last semester and it was tough.... I got many C's on artwork that took me hours to finish... :iconnuuplz:
GisaPizzatto Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Featured: [link]
Selladorra Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so great. What a fantastic article. Luckily for me, I realized this early on; that Art school wasn't easy. I love art, and I couldn't imagine a day without it, and people often tell me that I "shouldn't neglect my artistic abilities". (You usually heart the opposite; what's with the people I surround myself with? :lol: )
However I was too afraid that by entering an Art School, I'd lose all my creativity by all the work I'd have to do, all the late hours; and the things I might have to create that I didn't want to. I was afraid of art becoming a chore. So, I left it as a hobby for me. One that I do every day, for myself only. Those who can go through art school--and still love art--are really admirable. If only I had the courage, and the love, for art, maybe I could've too. May you do well on the path you have chosen :)
Xabeix Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Wow... Being a doctor or an artist is pratically the same. I've been studying in a field really close of arts and I know how it feels. I once heard my parents say that my sister had more talent than I because she wanted to become a doctor and for years I've been dreaming of drawing as a job... So you see... it hurt somehow my feelings. People were raised, thinking being a doctor or whatever else that isn't related to arts is better. What would they say if they knew how you can kill yourself just to finish a project within the allowed time? I'm trying to get into University in an art program and my parents aren't really supporting me. They're proud of me only because I want to get into University. Nothing else...
Amiba Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011  Professional Photographer
as an art school graduate I can relate to the things you put in here. It is a very competitive market especially here in Mexico with little to zero interest in art. But heck as the hopeless romantic I am I wouldn't have gone any other way and I love being an art major. finding a job is a whole different thing but I love it!
bishiecake Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
Excuse me, I am curious: what careers in the arts use calculus? I would really like to hear a first-hand experience, if anyone out there uses it.
vest Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
The parabolas created with nurbs, patch, and vector illustration all use calculus equations to draw lines. When making Flash games, I had to actually teach myself calculus to make accurately targeting arcs.
bishiecake Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011
By accurate, do you mean that you wanted the arcs to look realistic?
vest Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011
They had to point at where a projectile was aiming. For example, if I'm firing a cannon over a wall, and want to create a visual arc that traces a path the cannonball will travel, I would need to use calculus to draw that parabola.
meteorguppy Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the wake up call. I am finishing up high school right now and I agree that the "relevancy card" is not a good thing to pull. Same goes for the so-called "senioritis" that many of my 12th grade friends (and I) have experienced, thinking that math, history, biology, and English won't matter anymore "cuz we're graduating soon"... we are wrong about that. Thank you for pointing out that high school does matter, and that art is not just a way to get away from learning. So many ignorant people say "Art class? That's easy." or "There's AP Art class at our school? What a pointless class. What do you do in there anyway?" They don't realize how much work art takes. So... thanks for your thoughtful words. I will remember them for a long, long time. :)
WildGriffin Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011  Student General Artist
What about homeschoolers? xD

That point aside, thank you for writing this--I'm glad to have read it before going to university. Hopefully I can try to mentally prepare. Though I doubt it; my fragile little mind can't take criticism. ^^"
Dimensional-Paradox Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
I'm screwed. Period.
photonarbiter Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011  Student Digital Artist
So .... i need trig and geometry? well then im fucked ..... sigh
The-Letter-W Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I tried one school and left. I do believe part of it is finding the right school.
I felt the school I chose was rushing the program (it was a total of two years for Animation... you say yours is... five? o_o) and I didn't think I was getting enough out of it.
Very well written article. Something I'll keep in mind when I go to another.
CaittheCat Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011  Student General Artist
I'm a high school student who takes education very serious, if I wasn't serious, I would have never enrolled in a Prep school. I felt even though I know that I want to go into Graphic Design, I also want to pursue a minor in either international business and/or another foreign language. I am a Junior now working my ass off, and I don't plan on lightening up in my Senior Year. It is filled with history, English, PreCalc, 'Scientist For Life', AP French, and my foundations in Art History and more Studio Art classes.

Even though I hear you yourself can't sponsor yourself, I do. I make myself do what I must, my mother used to do it, but now I am so driven my mother doesn't even bother to ask me. I am a life long learner, and I always wish to push the boundaries I reside in. So when I leave high school and go off to a good university, I want to cry out 'Leve ta main et cri 'VICTOIRE'! [Raise your hand and scream 'VICTORY'!] However, I realize, that will be only half the battle, and that there is much more to face.

So thank you so much for writing this to get the point across that an education is necessary to make it. :heart: It makes High School students like myself who work so hard feel good for the work we've been doing so far.
oOskittleXsmashOo Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011
im so glad i read this at age 13!!!! i knew perception and other similar things were important, but geeze!
Poopgoblyn Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011
Also, one last thing to mention, where as with all academia it is nothing but hardcore memorization of given principles and facts, visual studies are just that visual. You can't memorize facts and information about the visual, because it is never 100% with everything. Thus, a lot, actually I would say a good 60% of our education at AI was experience based than memorization based.

Oh yes, we memorized how a program works, or how the buttons function, shortcuts, etc, etc. We know the basic principles of squash and stretch. But put it out on the field and you see that there is a loooot of other variables to consider. The shapes, the colors, the techniques. Most of that was experimentation...Even when we were forced to do realistic looking things, we still experimented...finding the right amount of polygons to use, where to use those polygons most efficiently. How to use texture space better, etc...

I also want to add that from a social studies stance, Art in general is looked down upon because of how little people really and trully understand it. Oh yes, with science and math you can verify things easily. You can put it on paper, you can say 2+2=4, because it can be verified easily. But explain to someone what blue is. Try it. Try to explain what blue is to someone, outside of the general scientific explanation that it is a pigment of color in the light spectrum, we can only describe it in adjectives, and analogies. Oceans, sky, calm, cool, cold, peaceful, healing, health, thes things are so ingrained into our psyche we never question it.

All this in the first three semesters, color theory, cinematography, really teach you how much of a science there is in the visual.

To this day, how many parents are skeptical about their kids going to art school? In their heads they see a starving hippy living on the beach in Venice Beach. They forget that virtually everything that is artificial in their visual world is a product of an artist. An ad on tv. A game at the store. the color of your car. the shape of your house. the furniture you have. In fact, visual elements are so common, I argue that people neglect to realize the importance of it, thus the importance of art in general.

Also, add in the part about the harshness of negative criticism.

In academia, you are proven wrong by your lack of grasping the facts. If you say 2+2=5 well it is wrong, not because you are stupid, but because you are wrong. Simply put it is a matter of fact.

In the visual, you are proven wrong by your lack of understanding taste. And it hurts a hell of a lot more when someone says you're wrong because your tastes, your feelings, your entire perspective on the visual element of it (which is highly subjective to begin with) is called into utter question. It isn't an attack on your brain, and fact checking, it is an attack on you as a human being and being able to understand rather than know.

just saying you left a few key things that I believe should also be touched upon in this awesome journal entry
Poopgoblyn Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011
Being there with you I can attest to a lot of what you say here. However my only critique here is you focus overly much on mathematical know hows, though I presume that is because that was your own weakness that you had realized became that card.

Many other people suffer from other things.

As an artist, you spend a lot of time creating new things, all the time. To create something new you have to have some context in something that already exists. (Remember what Kozis taught us in concept art). An artist, especially a concept artist, and I expand this to all artists by the way, have to be breathing, walking, encyclopedias. OF EVERYTHING.

Shun history? When it comes to you having to create realistic textures based on Late Roman centurion armor, knowing a bit of history, where to look, how it should look, is going to help.

Shun any kind of social sciences and culture? You can forget the fundamentals of all cinematographic, design, color theory etc which is in effect a product of the given culture and social sceinces.

Shun literature and writing? How are you going to learn about diffirent world mythologies, diffirent stories, or how to come up with one of your own? Oh but I will never have to write a story, WRONG, every character, every setting, every new created thing you make will have a story by default. The story is visual, but it is still there. If you don't have the ground basis of knowledge of all things, ALL THINGS, you are going to lack as an artist.

To sum it up: Art is nothing more than regurgitating the information you have through a visual medium. If you do not have a lot of information in your head, you aren't going to have a lot of regurgitating to do.
whimsy657 Featured By Owner May 19, 2011  Student General Artist
very well said. i haven't gone to college yet, but this made a lot of sense. You wrote that very well. What did you major in? Judging by your paragraph it's art, definitely. What type?
Poopgoblyn Featured By Owner May 19, 2011
my major was game art and design.
whimsy657 Featured By Owner May 20, 2011  Student General Artist
that sounds awesome. nice!
RadenWA Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011  Student General Artist
I had super intensive math and science extra courses on my year 3 high school, try-out exams every month and countless sleepless nights to finish the assignments or study for the next day's exams. All just to pass a national final exam by the end of my high school, which determines if I can get away from this lifeless life or not.

Now that I've passed it all, I left it on my past, but I feel how totally wonderful and easy my life is now in my art major, while my fellow classmates struggles hard to catch up with the heaping assignments-while they got art classes on high school and I did not.

But now I'm afraid that I started to forget all those intense math and science knowledge I had from high school-because I really had never got the need to use it for almost 2 years.
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