How old is too old to go to art school?
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  1. #1
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    How old is too old to go to art school?

    I'm 20 years old now and I've got atleast a year of at home studying before I could apply to one of the good schools, will I be an old man pushing 21-22 amongst a bunch of youngsters?

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  2. #2
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    If you still have a pulse you'll probably cope....

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    There was a retired doctor of 65 in my 1st year back when I was in art school.
    Other than him it was a spectrum including peeps in their 20s, 30's, 40s, whatever.
    Majority (45%?) 19 or 20 in first year, but that's UK based stats from my personal experience, nothing like a survey.

    When I went back to computer geek school later on there was a guy in his late 60s, similar mix overall but less women.

    21-22 is practically an amoeba/zygote btw....wouldn't worry about that.

    Edit: let's rephrase the question. How old is too old to learn Spanish, guitar, driving or cooking?

    Last edited by Flake; March 11th, 2009 at 09:41 PM.
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  4. #4
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    22 as old?!? Okay, if 22 is considered TOO OLD to pursue an arts education, then I'm ready for retirement and shouldn't even consider trying; and yet, I'm going back later this summer.

    I look at the situation this way: 20 years from now, assuming we haven't reached the Mad Max version of reality that appears rapidly approaching, I don't want to sit in a cube wondering day in and day out if I could've, would've, should've done what I really wanted to do in life but just didn't try.

    When I was in college years ago (that should give you a clue about my age), a student from Romania once told a group of guys in the dorm one late Saturday night: "Americans simply don't realize just how many opportunities exist for them - everywhere I hear and see people complaining about how limited everything is when I see the exact opposite compared to where I came from."

    To paraphrase from a movie: I'd rather do something I love badly than wallow in stagnation and misery not doing the thing I love at all.

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    Yes, it's far too late. If you are older than 18 and you're not working for Massive Black or Blizzard by now, you have no hope. Better off breaking both of your hands and applying for a job at McDonalds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    Edit: let's rephrase the question. How old is too old to learn Spanish, guitar, driving or cooking?
    If you cannot get the desired skills before you die, then you're too old...

    (I'll be the first one to admit it's not a practical definition)

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    Disciplines vary

    Might be tough to break into Game Art or Animation as a career if one is, say, 50 or more, but there have been some very successful Illustration, Graphic Design, and Painting and Drawing majors who started later in life at Laguna College of Art & Design. And LCAD is a school with a lot of young spirit.

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    Okay I feel a little better, it just seems like all these youngsters are going straight from high school to these high end art schools, I'm basically just starting out so I feel like I need to do a lot of catching up.

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    I have already completed a bachelor's degree in engineering and will be 23 by the time I enter an art school... It's just like burning_chrome put it, I'm not about to wonder for the rest of my life if I should've chased my dreams and applied to an art school, even if all other freshmen there are 18.

    Also, Art Center admissions note that the average age of their freshman is 23. This definitely varies by art schools though.

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    Just to add that although it wasn't art school, when I was at university there was a woman in her 80's who successfully graduated.

    You're never too old.

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    You are very young and have your whole life ahead of you! There are many schools that have a population of students ranging from 18 to 40. That's certainly true at Max the Mutt, where your age would be average.

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    jeez
    i'm 24, i guess i should throw in the towel
    hahah

    naw seriously, as someone who went through a degree in neuroscience before realizing it wasn't what i wanted to do, i'm going to go ahead and tell you to take all the time you need before making the decision.

    --
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    The average age at where I teach is 24 and it's a traditional four year private art school. We get kids right out of high school and we get students of every age on up.

    I've had students older than me. I've had students with families to support and I've had practically every age range you can imagine. It's not the age that matters to me- it's the desire to learn.

    You almost have to ask yourself- are you too old to learn? No one makes age an issue in school unless you choose to.

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    When I went to school I had no interested in learning, now I have no job and basically I wake up in the morning and for the next 10 hours I'm either drawing, or reading. I know I can become a great artist I just need to keep at this pace and It'll all come in time I guess.

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    I must agree with Dave on this. And add...You are only as old as you feel.

    Personally, I'm 38 years old, and I have finally figured out what I want to do with my life. As a result, I'm in Art school. You can do it, if you want it bad enough. The quesiton is...how bad do you want it? As with any school, it takes dedication and hard work to get through any school, period. You aren't too old. In fact, I wish I had figured what I wanted to do at your age. It would have made my life more fulfilling. That stated, it just took me a long time to figure what I wanted to do...Now, at least, I'm on the right road.

    You're never too old to change directions in your life, until you feel that you're too old to take the chance.

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    I'm 22 and I just started my foundation year in January. I went to school before in pursuit of a degree my parents wanted for me.

    I think going back to school has worked better for me. The first time around I didn't do great because I wasn't into it and I was focused on living the life on my own.

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    This thread makes me feel a little bit better. I am 24 and have applied to a couple of art schools in my area (Sheridan & OCAD) I'll be 25 by the time I'll be attending school.

    Nice to see I am not as alone as I once thought!

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    Guys. Seriously. Most people can't look at a person and tell the difference between 18 and 22.

    Just pop your collar, crack open a Natty Light, and act like a douche. Throw up west side symbols and call everybody "brah". If you're really desperate, wear a visor backwards and upside down.

    Nobody will be the wiser that you're really a 22 year old geriatric posing as a young whippersnapper until you drunkenly stumble out of your frat house and scream at them to get off your lawn.

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    Well I have to say I'm glad to see this thread. My story is a long one of disappointment-growing up in nowhere Iowa, midwestern housewives looked down their noses at you if you didn't have 3 kids by the time you were 25 ( I'm 28 with no kids ). And that's no joke; I've HAD strangers say straight up "WHY don't you have kids?" The jobs for women are restricted to teacher, nurse, social worker, secretary, and housewife. The idea that anyone, especially a woman, could have an imagination, especially a rather *twisted* one was OUT of the question. So I went and got my Master's in Psychology...for social work jobs...and I HAAATTTEEEE IT. HATE. My employer just terminated 6 positions including mine a few weeks ago, and I began doing commissions of portraits for ppl's kids. As I fell back into working everyday, I felt a freedom and joy I haven't felt for some time. Suddenly I wasn't drinking every night just so I could sleep. I wasn't fighting with my boyfriend everyday. And you know what? If I have to work at 7/11 until I get into Art School, its going to happen. Because once you know what you want to do with the rest of your life, all the obstacles and excuses fade into meaninglessness. You have to DO what you were BORN to do. And if I have to live in my car to attend art school, so be it.

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    The average student body here in England, not just for arts, seems to be around 19-21. Meeting people that are 24, 25 or even older that decided to come to uni is a common thing even.

    I'd say you fit right in.

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    I'm 26 and plan on going to art school. I'll be probably about 28 by the time I'm ready (after community college). If you can make it happen I don't think age is an issue at all

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    I am 35, started in automotive engineering, move to automotive digital sculpting, was accepted to College for Creative Studies last year. I have yet to attend... I am now considering a concept art, as I think the diversity of subject and skills makes for a stronger career outlook.

    Car designers are a dime a dozen these days.

    My battle is with myself and the "you can't do that" thoughts that seem to haunt me when I see such great art work on here. I know intellectually that I can get there with enough time on paper,but still that lil voice creeps up.

    I don't think you have any choice but to go for it ALL!! if your were born to be an artist you wont be happy at anything else... trust me.

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    If you're half blind, senile, and palsied, then you're probably too old.
    Short of that, don't sweat it.


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    if you've been born itīs already too late.......give up now

    its time to knuckle down and really lick boot!
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  29. #25
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    In today's culture it may be a good thing to have had some real life experience before going to art school. It means, hopefully, that you know a bit of what the world is about, are serious about being disciplined, paying attention and giving the course of studies your best shot. Many students straight out of high school have challenges: they attended schools that didn't hold them responsible for getting to class on time, being prepared, paying attention. The never had to work hard over a long period of time despite frustration and the normals ups and downs of learning new skills. They also lack organizational skills. On top of everything, they are still dealing with getting to know themselves as adults and finding their core values. Their challenges are just as great as those that the older students face. They are just different.

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