Dropping out of Business for art school?

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Thread: Dropping out of Business for art school?

  1. #1
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    Dropping out of Business for art school?

    I read the FAQ posted by Jason Manley, and I feel confused as to how to handle my situation.

    I am in Montreal, Canada, 19 years old, currently studying (loosely used term haha) at John Molson School of Business for a bachelor in finance.

    I however, don't care for finance, and love art. Unfortunately when reading around I get the feeling that not finishing Finance and going to get an art diploma is a ridiculous idea, since everyone seems to be of the opinion that the Art degree is worth nothing.

    What are your thoughts on this? Would it be a smarter choice to survive through Business university, all while focusing on developing my artistic skills at home on my free time (I have none) by involving myself with competition, activities on CA,etc?

    I understand that this is a big choice that can only be made by me, but please talk as if you are tasked to make the choice for me.

    Thank you so much for any thoughts.

    Last edited by Pavel Sokov; May 26th, 2009 at 08:27 PM.
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    I think it's pretty ridiculous to work towards a degree in a discipline you have no interest in. If you know that finance isn't for you, then stop wasting your time and learn about something you care about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    I however, don't care for finance, and love art. Unfortunately when reading around I get the feeling that not finishing Finance and going to get an art diploma is a ridiculous idea, since everyone seems to be of the opinion that the Art degree is worth nothing.
    An art degree is worthless, but an art education isn't. So what you have to figure out for yourself is, will you be able to get where you want without formal schooling? Will you be able to devote the amount of time you need to while still getting a business degree? Do you have any intention of using the business degree, ever? If not, it seems stupid to spend several years of time and effort and several thousand dollars on something you have no intention of using.


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    My main problem is that I have a fear that a career in concept design just simply does not pay well. I know that some artists make it big, but they are usualy modern artists who came up with something of a fad like preserving sharks in fishtanks and displaying them, and make a few millions. Then of course there is Jason Manley who owns two art companies, and most likely is eating very very very well.

    But what are the chances, you know?

    I was thinking that I can use my business education to raise money in a soul crushing office job untill I can leave that office nest and start something entrepreneurial in the art field.

    Business is terribly boring, I have no love for it. But I'm simply too afraid to pursue my passion I think.
    I always figured it would be a safer bet to get a normal degree, a normal job, and after some semblence of security try to follow my dreams and whatnot.

    thoughts?
    what a tough choice, this is really a hard one to make haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    what a tough choice, this is really a hard one to make haha
    Then you've already made it. Stay in business school.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Many artists are bad at business, have poor business skills. Why not learn what you can from the business degree, with a view to using your knowledge then in art?

    Learn art from here, online, or do a degree in it subsequently, or if you are traditionally inclined go to an atelier, once you've got your business degree. (and remember, as Elwell says, "an art degree is worthless, but an art education isn't", but the same might also be said for the business degree, so why not use it as an opportunity to learn skills - and network!! - which will stand you in good stead if you become an artist, or a gallery-owner, or open an art/design-related business).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    My main problem is that I have a fear that a career in concept design just simply does not pay well.
    I have been in your situation, and the best advice I can give is this: if you're considering not doing it because of money, then don't do it. If you are doing it for any reason other than simply wanting to pursue what you're passionate about, then don't do it.

    There are hundreds of aspiring artists whose only hope is to be able to do what they love full time and make enough money to eat and pay rent. Whether or not it pays well is irrelevant to a lot of them. Most of them would be happy to make enough just to live on without having to take on a day job to pick up the slack. These are the people you will have to work harder than in order to succeed.

    You will run into times where you doubt your work and your ability to succeed. You will run into times where other people will doubt your work and your ability to succeed. The artists who make it in the end are the ones who have the passion and drive to work through those times. If you want it, you'd better be prepared to throw yourself at it 100%.

    Many successful concept artists have stories about what they gave up or what they risked to get where they are. I can assure you that most of them weren't worrying about making a great salary, they were just worrying about whether or not they would be able to achieve that dream of going to work and actually doing something they love to do.

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    Hi Pavel,

    I'm kind of in the same boat, but 4 years ahead lol. I'm 23 years old and just graduated last year with a finance degree from a reputable school. For most of my classes, I kind of just coasted along because the interest was never fully there. But I honestly didn't know what else I could do with my life and it wasn't until senior year that I met a very talented film student did I realize that there's more to art than just hobby. But by then, it was too late, at least so I thought. I ended up graduating and signing with a small bank, and have now worked a full year under the company. The work is interesting at times but I can't help but feel like I belong somewhere else. I'm absolutely enamored by some of the beautiful concept art I see around here and on game sites but couldn't give two shits about a complex financial model. As of today, I am considering applying to art school and quitting my job next year to enroll full-time.

    As a kid, I always dreamed of becoming a cartoonist. I don't really know how that passion died (or at least subsided) as I grew up. I suppose it might have been my upbringing (both my parents are first generation immigrants and struggled an awful lot to ensure that I get a financially secure and respectable job). But now that I'm there, I can't say I prefer to be here. And this feeling has grown with me for a while.

    A number of things sparked my decision. First, I took a couple of weekend art classes just to dabble my feet in the water to see how it goes. Needless to say, I loved them and my passion was reborn. Second, on two separate occasions, the teachers of my classes told us their life stories and how they got into art and they were mindblowingly inspirational to me. Long story short, the first teacher lived a very fulfilling life from being a professional dancer to a Wall Street monkey to an executive chef and now an artist while the second teacher came to NY as a young kid with only $50 in his pocket and never lived a day working for someone else, just doing art on his own. As naive as it sounds, these stories helped me realize that one can take full control of his own life given the drive to do it. Third, I met a few art school students/graduates and fell in love with their portfolios/show reels - I really wanted to make something similar of my own. Fourth, I came here and read a number of posts, including Jason Manley's art school one, and managed to piece together a realistic, constructive plan of how to go about becoming a professional artist. Once I realized this was feasible, the decision was easier to make, though still tough.

    After a lot of thought and endless moments of self-doubt and hesitation, I finally came to the conclusion that I'm going to go with this plan and work hard to become a concept artist. Don't be discouraged by Elwell - for anyone who didn't grow up with art/art school, this is clearly a very difficult decision to make or even to wrap your head around. I'm sure there will continue to be several moments of hesitation on my own part going forward, but right now I've reached the point where I don't really see myself doing anything else. I still have a long ways to go in terms of honing my skills, but I'm inspired and encouraged daily but sifting through these forums and watching the progress of some of my peers' sketchbooks.

    This is obviously a problem that only you can answer yourself but my advice would be this: if you really don't see yourself in finance, don't waste any more time studying it. But at the same time, make sure you want to be an artist - do your research and prepare for the struggles ahead. If you search deep down inside and come to the conclusion that art isn't for you, perhaps you have other hobbies or interests that you can pursue as a career. But most of all, be honest with yourself and work hard from there. Being lazy and coasting along will not provide you with a fulfilling life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorc View Post
    Many artists are bad at business, have poor business skills. Why not learn what you can from the business degree, with a view to using your knowledge then in art?

    Learn art from here, online, or do a degree in it subsequently, or if you are traditionally inclined go to an atelier, once you've got your business degree. (and remember, as Elwell says, "an art degree is worthless, but an art education isn't", but the same might also be said for the business degree, so why not use it as an opportunity to learn skills - and network!! - which will stand you in good stead if you become an artist, or a gallery-owner, or open an art/design-related business).
    This is a common misconception about business school. If you're in business school, chances are you're either learning Finance, Marketing, or Economics. If you're in Finance, you're learning statistics, market pricing theories, and the ins and outs of accounting rules with the endgoal of being able to value a company or project. Being able to value something is not the same as being able to run it. There's a difference between being able to build a house and maintain it versus appraising the value of the real estate. There's a difference between running a business versus being able to call what the company's stock price should be based on its predicted profits. Marketing is more statistical analysis with applications to consumer behavior and Economics is the analysis of how to achieve maximum outputs given limited inputs by studying the input-output relationship.

    Just like how it's a myth that going to art school will magically turn you into a great artist, going to business school will not suddenly make you a businessperson/entrepreneur. You might go to art school to pick up on classical fundamentals or learn Photoshop/Maya just as you'd go to business school to learn accounting rules or learn how to model on Excel/use Bloomberg. These are specific skill sets you learn in school as elements of foundation and the creative part or entrepreneurial/managerial part that turns these skills into something much greater comes from within. At least that's my opinion.

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    Hi first post,

    I can only share my experience. Does not mean its the norm.

    I live in nyc, and work as an art director in an ad firm. Say I make a hypothetical 100k usd a year. On average, my bosses make between say 500k and 2mil a year

    I work 70-90 hours a week because it's ny and we have to show the world we're better by working a lot.

    My girlfriend also lives here, but works as an investment banker, and makes a hypothetical 200k usd a year. works the same hours as me, but her bosses make around 25 mil a year.

    Granted she does make a lot more money than me, but at the end of the day, business is not a good fit for her, and her 10 hours drain her a whole lot more than my 10.

    In the end, my earning potential cannot match that of hers, as her bosses make a whole lot more than mine, but then again, 500k a year is more than enough for me to look forward to.

    figure out what is important to you, and go for it. If you need 25 mil to be happy, thats great, I want to be your friend so we can party in your big house. I mean this sincerely, I believe some people need more money to be happy, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    one last thing, from my understanding, finance is a hard and competitive thing to get into, requiring a lot of dedication and hard work. I bet you your first years salary you can get a great art job with your business degree and good art skills, But there is the chance that obtaining that degree slows your artistic development, which you will need along with your degree.

    Good luck,



    glad to be part of the forum.

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    Pavel Sokov,
    So the question is, do you want to do this because you NEED to or you want to.

    As I understand it Bobby Chiu, http://www.imaginismstudios.com/, was a business school drop out. He is very successful but at the same time he was DRIVEN by a NEED for it.

    Last edited by German-s; May 27th, 2009 at 10:26 AM.
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    Thank you so much for all these responces, I am really flattared by the input!

    Bagochips:
    You remind me so much of myself, struggling in Finance school because you think you should, but don't know why exactly. And then when you start going crazy and getting ready to say fuck it, you wake up the next morning and tell yourself to get yourself together, get serious and continue sitting in those shitty classes and not doing any work whatsoever.
    Great post, I got a lot from it man!

    Nemotoad:
    I like you, you spoke numbers. 25 mill a year huh? I could deal with that. Trouble is, there is no way to earn a good pay if you are working for someone. When I look around at my dad's rich friends, it is clear that no one is bossing on a salary. The only way is to get out of the office and get something yourself it seems. And there is no NEED for a business degree, or an art degree for that.
    500,000 a year is not bad, I'd be ok with that! But I am surprised that you are making 100k a year, I figured artists tend to make the lowest wages in the whole firm, to the effect of 30k or something like that.

    I think a decent choice would be to get my shit together, man up, and start studying for the first time in my life. Get through finance, while also focusing on improving my art skills by my own schooling. After this, get an office job, and then start thinking of how I can get out of there and get started on artistic endeveour of some sort.

    German,
    I am not sure. When I imagine myself as a rich modern artist, in a ridiculously flashy suit, at an art gallery and a rolls royce, it makes sense. All my friends always saw me like this in the future.
    But when I imagine myself as a financial boss, it is a pretty picture, but how could I possibly get promoted to anything, if I simply dont do any work, study for nothing, and somehow pass. Yestarday I had an advanced micro exam, didn't do shit for it. Tommorow I got a finance exam, I am spending my time on CA. I just can't give a fuck. its hard to care.

    here are my works, keep in mind that I am 19. I want you guys to rudely and realistically tell me whether I am cut out for a career in art or not:

    http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/8...zkartelxl9.jpg

    http://img409.imageshack.us/img409/5...hsmallcmg9.jpg

    http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/100...sfinalcopy.jpg

    http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/685...oncontrast.jpg

    http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/2140/steampunkmh3.jpg

    http://img299.imageshack.us/img299/2...shfinalli6.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    I think a decent choice would be to get my shit together, man up, and start studying for the first time in my life. Get through finance, while also focusing on improving my art skills by my own schooling. After this, get an office job, and then start thinking of how I can get out of there and get started on artistic endeveour of some sort.
    No, get started NOW. Money may allow you to buy just about any possession your heart desires in this world, but no amount of money can buy back valuable spent time. What you've just stated is a prime example of what author Steven Pressfield calls 'Resistance' in his book The War of Art.

    Here's an excerpt from the book relevant to the discussion:

    Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it's easiest to rationalize. We don't tell ourselves, "I'm never going to write my symphony." Instead we say, "I am going to write my symphony; I'm just going to start tomorrow."
    You've already clearly stated your unhappiness and lack of motivation in your finance studies - how would spending the next few years and perhaps quite a bit beyond make it any better? The money? Really? You spend 70 or more hours a week just to live for (maybe) 2 days off to enjoy the financial rewards? And when would you really have the time for devoting any serious efforts towards honing and advancing your artistic skills with a full-time 8-to-whenever job in finance?

    I agree with German-s, don't drop out and pursue art if you aren't absolutely certain that art is what you really want to do with your life; but if you are, don't nickel and dime it if you truly want to achieve any level of skill or professionalism.

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    You know, when I went to high school I wanted to be a comic book artist. When I graduated, everyone was pressuring me to go into Biomedical Engineering because I did equally well at both art and science, and well, going into Biomedical Engineering would give me a shot at going to pre-med, with everything paid for, blah blah blah.

    So I went to our engineering school, hated it, stuck it out for 2.5 years, and then transferred to the public university to get a degree in Business Admin with a focus on Marketing... which took another 2.5 years (a lot of my classes from the engineering school transferred over, but only as general credits, so I needed to play catch up with the core business classes).

    Now, a few years later, I'm planning on going back to school part time for graphic design, using the money I earn with my job that I earned in part because of my "failed" experience from engineering school.

    In the meantime, I met some people who got their degrees at our prestigious art school and have been working part time jobs because they weren't able to get into the field they wanted, or are JUST now seeing their dreams and education meet and get them where they want to be.

    I'm not telling you all of this to show you what you should or should not do. I'm telling you this to show can be a hard, long road (even though my particular road isn't terribly long, haha) no matter what route you go.

    Also, just to throw this out there - maybe consider a double major? I mean, if you're that unhappy with Finance, maybe you can switch to something involving less number crunching, and pick up Art as your second major (or your minor if your school will let you, and you don't have the time/funds to spare). That's another option that I haven't seen anyone else bring up yet.

    Best of luck to you in whatever you decide!

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    Nyc pay is quite higher than other places, but our housing expenses are very high as well. We hire our juniors at 45k then by their two year mark they make 60 or so depending on the artist. Everyone is different, and develops at a different rate.

    You CAN make a nice life with an artists salary.

    You should ask your question on a business and finance forum as well, because i'm sure our perspectives are influenced heavily by our love of the art.

    Good luck.

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    Like some of the others said alread, you have to really NEED to be an artist to have the drive to make it and stick with it. I haven't "made it" yet since I'm still a student but I am absolutely determined to become a concept artist, if i'm turned down for something I dont sit and think "aww maybe this isn't the right career, this is too hard", Instead I think, "why? what do i need to do to make my work better" and then WORK HARDER.

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    One thing I can surely put out there is that if you want art to be your ultimate career, you have to focus on it. Do it today... can you imagine working eight hours of it? How about ten? A day. For a minimum of five days a week. Now I'm not saying this to dissuade you at all, you just have to realize that it takes serious effort to get from here to there.

    If you are truly serious about it, then no matter what you do on the side (business school, working a job, etc.), you have to keep your primary goal of pushing yourself into art as your primary concern.

    MindCandyMan is a perfect example of going from "Rags to Riches" I guess as far as the art world is concerned. That guy is truly an inspiration to all.

    The main thing also, is that you have to start NOW! GO GO GO!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bagochips View Post
    I'm kind of in the same boat, but 4 years ahead lol. I'm 23 years old and just graduated last year with a finance degree from a reputable school. For most of my classes, I kind of just coasted along because the interest was never fully there. But I honestly didn't know what else I could do with my life and it wasn't until senior year that I met a very talented film student did I realize that there's more to art than just hobby. But by then, it was too late, at least so I thought. I ended up graduating and signing with a small bank, and have now worked a full year under the company. The work is interesting at times but I can't help but feel like I belong somewhere else. I'm absolutely enamored by some of the beautiful concept art I see around here and on game sites but couldn't give two shits about a complex financial model. As of today, I am considering applying to art school and quitting my job next year to enroll full-time.
    I could relate to a lot of what you said. Indeed as a child I wanted nothing more than becoming a pro-artist, cartoonist and even illustrator. During my teen years my family greatly discouraged me from enrolling at an art school, as they were concerned with what my finances would be. Today I find that if I had chosen my own path, the profession(s) I have always sought, I would have been in a much better financial situation. If you have an undying passion for art, your life will simply not work otherwise.

    I also tried to rationalize myself out of choosing art for many years, but the passion has always remained there. I studied philology, which I liked less, and I was too scared of the risks of dropping out of school, so I lingered there and graduated. For three years I've worked at an international corporate firm with a considerably good salary, but I wasn't happy. All I wanted to do was art, and felt like I didn't really belong there. Very recently I have decided that whether I'm going to be as successful as I want to be or not, I still have to become an artist. All these years spent with rationalizing, trying to give up art, giving in to my fears have only served to keep me away from my dreams when I could have followed them all along. Now that I have made my decision, I will try to pursue some kind of education, art school or not, because in the end, these are just tools to help us get the professions we have always dreamed of having.

    Last edited by Gokce; May 27th, 2009 at 07:31 PM.
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    Just an example that anything is possible, here is a run down of my basic experience:

    In 2000 I was 18yrs old Graduated High School, dreamed of working for an animation company, wanted to go to Ringling, but my parents coudldn't afford it.

    I took my Florida Bright Futures Scholarship (Full tuition Academic thing) and started getting my business degree from Florida State University.

    Halfway through my girlfriend (now wife), made me realize that I wasn't doing what I loved and said she would support my decision if I were to just go for it.
    I was halfway through the degree so I stuck it out for 2 more years switching into a management degree because you can always use the things you learn from that no matter what you are doing.

    In 2004 at 22yrs old I Graduated with a B.S. in Multi National Business Operations, got Married and ...found a job locally as ...you guessed it...

    An Avid Video Editor!! What?! It was a high school talent I had developed and I found a way to use it while my wife finished getting her Masters. Then we finally went for it once she was finished.

    In 2005 at 25yrs old I started in the Ringling School of Art and Design Department of Computer Animation Program. Learned a whole heck of a lot! Took my classes way more serious then anyone else did because I knew this was it! Also since I had already completed my liberal arts classes in my first degree and a few art histories I was able to load up on more art electives and did an independent study that was one of the best experiences of my life.

    Now in 2009 I have graduated with my BFA in Computer Animation and after a long and intensive job search I am happy to report that i just got hired by Dreamworks Animation in Glendale, CA and I start in 3 weeks.

    I can say that in every single interview I had my business degree came up as something they were very impressed with and they actually liked that I finished it even though I had made the decision to go to art school halfway through. Some even said that they liked that I was older because they knew I was taking it very seriously. (I'm not saying younger is not as good by any means...a few of the most talented people I know came straight from high school to Ringling and are now getting jobs at Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney, and Sony). Being older does give you some perspective on what is important that students right out of high school may not have that's all.

    You may not like finance, but I know there are things that you can learn from it that you can carry with you the rest of your life. As an artist it will only benefit you to know more about money and business. You can develop your skills more, take art histories and basic drawing classes to get them out of the way now while it's cheaper. I say complete your degree and then find the form of art education that you will benefit from most. Whether it's a traditional art school, online classes, mentor program, DVD learning, or forums and books, just find what works best for you. Most structured programs are there because they work well for most people and are still in business because either they have a good reputation for producing quality artists or (be careful...) they have a marketing machine advertising all over the world sucking in unsuspecting new students.

    most important thing is

    Never Give Up. You are never to Old. You will never stop learning. and did I mention Never Give Up.

    My Little Art Blog

    THE RINGLING 100

    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that has been given to us." --Gandalf
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  24. #20
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    Great post. Congratulations on your new job!

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    Hi Pavel I was in the exact position as you.
    Studying Business, while really wishing I could be in art.
    This weekend I graduated Business School (after 5 years) (SFSU)
    it took long because I was concurrently enrolled in another school, for Art (the Academy of Art).

    I feel this was a smart choice, although not fun, and somewhat rough. But now I can employ myself even if my artistic aspirations fail, or combine my skills into a Creative Business Job, such as Creative Project Management, or Creative Director. But whos to say, I just graduated a couple days ago!

    I would recommend finishing what you've started, and in the meantime try and advance your artistic career/training as much as you can.

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    It's the DEGREE that isn't necessary, not the skills! I hardly know where to begin. First, passion and genuine interest are of paramount importance. Second, nothing is "secure." I remember when lawyers couldn't get jobs, and there have been several times when grade school teachers were having trouble finding jobs. In art, I do suggest a broad based education that will give you the skills to be flexible.

    You need to be sure that you go after the appropriate skills!

    For a career in concept art, you can look at the jobs section and will find a good rundown of the skills companies are looking for. I copied and pasted one ad for another thread and if I can find it again I'll post it here.

    You will need high level fine art REPRESENTATIONAL painting and drawing skills; illustration skills; animation related courses in basic animation, layout, story boarding, cartooning, character design; industrial design skills in designing and drawing props and objects; concept specific courses including environment concept design in photo shop, and more.

    To get these skills you will have to devote time and energy. if you REALLY want to do this, the hard work doesn't seem as hard, but if you don't have the passion for it, well, that's another story.

    Max the Mutt (Toronto) and Ringling (Florida) are the only schools I'm aware of that are offering specific programs in concept art. You can also go to several different programs, or take independent courses, to put the skills pack together.

    There are jobs for people who have these skills. The video game industry in Canada is growing, and salaries are very good. There are also many people in Toronto, making good livings, who are freelancing and are getting concept design jobs through their websites working for video game companies all over the world.

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    I am so flattered by the amount of helpfull answers!
    It is wonderfull to see other people's views and learn a bit from each one.

    I would REALLY like it, however, if someone would check out the links of my art above and told me if they think I'm even a half-way decent artist or not.
    I'm 19 now, reached my peak at 15, then I kinda stopped drawing, just pumping out a few paintings (the ones you see above) here and there, as well as a sculpture or two. So if I never stopped working hard at it, I think my art would be a whole different story today.

    also here is a pencil work I am still kinda proud of from 2007:
    http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/559...rssmallnew.jpg

    Last edited by Pavel Sokov; May 29th, 2009 at 01:27 PM.
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    I mean... they are all great and all, but the main thing you have to look for is merely: can you do it fast, on a regular basis, and are you still doing it. Everyday.

    Being an artist isn't about what you did before, it's about what you're doing now.
    I'm sorry if this comes off as rude, but start up a sketchbook, and lets see your CURRENT work. And then lets see you do it for months on end.

    My Bloggins

    Mat Kaminski's Sketchbook

    Sketchbooks love Critiques, give a crit, get a crit! (tm)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    I am so flattered by the amount of helpfull answers!
    It is wonderfull to see other people's views and learn a bit from each one.

    I would REALLY like it, however, if someone would check out the links of my art above and told me if they think I'm even a half-way decent artist or not.
    I'm 19 now, reached my peak at 15, then I kinda stopped drawing, just pumping out a few paintings (the ones you see above) here and there, as well as a sculpture or two. So if I never stopped working hard at it, I think my art would be a whole different story today.

    also here is a pencil work I am still kinda proud of from 2007:
    http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/559...rssmallnew.jpg
    you don't need someone to tell you have a good chance of making it or not. if someone told you no you aren't good enough to become an amazing artist would you just give up? no one can tell you how you'll turn out. have some faith and put in the work and if you really want it you can get it. so you stopped for some time. its no matter because you can just pick it up again and make up for that time. 5 years later what if you said the same thing? if you picked it up again, never stopped working hard at it right now, your art probably would be a whole different story several years later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    I am so flattered by the amount of helpfull answers!
    It is wonderfull to see other people's views and learn a bit from each one.

    I would REALLY like it, however, if someone would check out the links of my art above and told me if they think I'm even a half-way decent artist or not.
    I'm 19 now, reached my peak at 15, then I kinda stopped drawing, just pumping out a few paintings (the ones you see above) here and there, as well as a sculpture or two. So if I never stopped working hard at it, I think my art would be a whole different story today.

    also here is a pencil work I am still kinda proud of from 2007:
    http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/559...rssmallnew.jpg
    From what I looked at, you're pretty good, but what I think doesn't necessarily matter.

    What will matter is what your potential clients think.

    If you want to be able to sell your work, then figure out what route you want to go (stay in finance and work on it later, drop out and go to art school now, do a double major, whatever you decide) and take it from there. And while you're on whatever path you choose, think about the kind of style(s) you want to draw, and find prospective clients who would want those styles for their projects.

    K J Dawson's KreativeWerks - my new daily sketch blog (more like almost-daily...)
    My DeviantARt page - some of my "finished" works; updated sporadically
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    In answer to your question, the work you are showing is good work for a self taught person interested in going to school and developing his skills. You are a student, not an artist. (In fact, in my opinion, we should all let other people call us artists, not label ourselves, and put our attention, with all humility, into our work rather ourselves).

    I would want to see some work done from life, including painting (can be simple still life) and some sketch book work in addition to the images you've posted. If they were at the same level, and I was convinced that you had the passion and motivation, I for one would recommend accepting you into the concept art program I oversee ... your work demonstrates awareness of basic principles, sensitivity, and shows that you have (or had?) enough interest and self motivation to go after knowledge and skills independently.

    My only worry would be your ability to immerse yourself in learning without needing to judge yourself every minute. To learn, you need to put your full attention on PROCESS and ride out the failures (some are inevitable), seeing it all as part of the growth process. Faith is required.

    I gather you live in Montreal. I'm in Toronto. The Canadian video game industry, as I've written elsewhere, is growing. In addition to Vancouver and Montreal, London now has about 5 companies, and Toronto is beginning to pick up. Koei (Japan) is opening here. Koei specifically wanted assurance of trained talent when they decided where to open another branch! There is a shortage of people with the full skill pack, which includes industrial design skills, as well as developed traditional representational fine art skills, illustration, some animation skills including story boarding...and more. Anyone with these skills will be employed.



    I hope this helps.

    Last edited by Maxine Schacker; May 30th, 2009 at 08:32 AM.
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    Ahh, I feel like I'm in much of the same situation as you are, except I'm partway through a degree in Life Sciences at McMaster, and I feel if I'm not exactly aiming for where I want to be in life right now, and it's really discouraging. I've really looked into what people have said in this thread here, and I feel that to not procrastinate in pursuing what you love to do is important, but on the other hand, I've a bunch of other factors in my situation that I have to consider.. My sister has Down's.. so it was really what pushed me to go into the Sciences, and.. maybe I'm thinking too far into this, but it's always been in the back of my mind that I need to have a steady job to be able to support her when my parents are older. But right now, I feel as if the degree I'm pursuing is useless, and I've had all sorts of thoughts in my head.. such as pursuing a degree like Software Engineering at another university, that is more useful for a career in CGI and I'd also be able to get a steady job out of it, but I don't know if it'll lead me even further from being able to do art for a living.

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    Thanks for the thanks. I just wanted to add that you do not need a degree. You need a good professional attitude, the ability to work as a team member, and excellent skills.

    If you happen to visit Toronto during June, do drop in. Our year end show is on exhibit.

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    This is an excellent thread, as I'm in a very similar situation. Reading these posts have been very uplifting. So, here goes my story... and as you can see from the wall of text, a long one. So, stay with me.

    I graduated from San Jose State University - Fall 08' - with a degree in Public Relations. It took me eight years, yep eight... but I don't really care it took me so long. Plus, I worked part to full time every semester. During my last two years at SJSU, I got a huge break getting an internship working for the Federal Government, in which, they eventually hired me full time/permanent. Now, many of you say nothing is ever a "for sure" thing when it comes to job security, but working for the Federal government, it is as "for sure" as it can get. Today, I'm making 40k a year with benefits and I'm only 26. Happy ending? Far from it...

    If you watch The Office, working here is a lot like it, minus the funny people and moments. I DREAD coming to work. Everyday I think about quitting, but I'd end up applying to the same boring job. Also, my job is sooo damn easy. You'll be amazed at what people get paid for what they do here... but they are very, very nice people.

    Then one day, I literally had a talk with myself. I asked, why are you here? You know you don't want to be here.. so, what's the point? I'm mean I have it all, job security, 401k, health benefits, but it wasn't enough, it didn't make me happy. I literally had trouble sleeping, and it bugged me to death that I couldn't be happy for what I had. Let me tell that I am a good person, with a good heart, and appreciate all the blessings given to me. But, I just wasn't happy.

    Then one day, I was doing some spring cleaning in my apartment and came across an old letter I wrote to myself when I was a freshman in high school. It was an assignment my English teacher made us do. Basically, the assignment was to write about what you wanted to be when you grow up. I wrote that I wanted to become an artist, making my own comic books or video games. I mentioned I loved to draw and write. I also found some old poetry and drawings I did when I was a senior in high school. I forgot how good I was... all my great stuff were done from an AP Art class I took senior year. What happened?

    Well, what happened is, life is what happened...

    Stay with me here... I'm getting to my point real soon...

    The very next day, I started to do some very HEAVY research on the types of jobs for artists. The types of industry, salary, school, you name it, I researched, and researched it some more. I knew I was ready to make a HUGE career change for myself. One, that not even my parents approved of... till this day (and they always approve of what I do).

    And after looking at all these sites, the artwork put out, and even the video games that I play, I knew I wanted to just get into this industry. The more I researched, and even practiced (my art)! I felt, in my heart, THIS is what I want, and THIS is what I was looking for.

    I've read books, blogs, and websites about passion this, passion that and I HATED it. I hated it, because for so long I could never find my passion. But when I picked up my #2 pencil and started drawing and sketching for the first time in a long time, I felt alive. I probably felt what people who love to work with animals felt, or doctors and whatever felt when they did surgery for the first time. You know you found your passion, because it's a feeling you can't truly describe.

    So, I applied to the Academy of Art University, and this Fall, I'll be starting their MFA in Animation and Visual Effects. I know it's going to be expensive, and I know it's going to be hard, but I don't care. I'm willing to start all over again because I've found something I want to do for the rest of my entire life. This will be my life.

    As for my job? Well, of course I still have to pay for the bills, but the luxury I have working here is that I'll be able to go to school and work full time. I know I can do it, because I WANT to do it.

    Putting things into perspective, my situation is a really good one. I already have a BA and now going for a Masters. Yes, the paper means nothing in the Art world, but in the business, communication, marketing and HR world, it does. So, if my dream ends up not happening the way I hope (it will happen, I guarantee it) I'll have plan B - my BA & Masters.

    If you're about to graduate... do it... you've invested that much, might as well. But on the side, work on your passion. Instead of going out, playing video games or watching television, work on your art work. Again, if things don't work out too well you can always fall back on Plan B, your BA. Just having that alone gets you into more doors than people without one.

    Sorry for the super long post and the horrible grammar, but I just felt I had to add my two cents. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've had my many doubts, concerns or what not, but when you find something you love to do, why not do it? Unless you win the lotto or marry rich, you'll be working for the rest of your life, so why not something you love? And the saying is true, when you find something you love to do and get paid for it... how is it work?

    Good luck to all you aspiring artists, and God Bless. I'll be posting some of my work soon, and hope for some critique. Bye!

    Last edited by Jo3ism; June 5th, 2009 at 04:57 PM.
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