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  1. #1
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    How important is having degree in art?

    I just have to decide how to go on, esp. how to continue in my career and really important thing for it is to seek how important is have to got a degree, for someone who want or who will try to find job in art department, just we could talk more specific- in concept art will be better.

    This question is mainly involve to situation in UK and having degree vs. get job in art section (concept art).

    So please could you tell me some opinions or in better way experiences, thanks a lot

    EDIT/ UPDATED QUESTION:

    But as I see the whole discussion is turning around only one think and that think is SCHOOL, of course:-) but you the all time mention only the ART school. That s correct I did not mean with degree only to have it and think that is will be easier way to get dream position. I know that these art schools give you strong knowledge in art give you a lot of useful connection and I am pretty sure as most of you there that is the main point of getting to ART school. And degree is only some "kind of paper" Just as you said...

    But If I can be more specific, or in better way I give you an example. Just exactly example on me, try to explain why I even started this thread.

    I am not come from england (you may probably noticed that from my english) ) but from central Europe and we ve got that very poor choice of art school as I said and get to it is very small chance it is around 10% it is almost "mission impossible" and I do not mention about protection and local connection between students and teachers, but that is turn to another discussion.

    The point is that I study on IT school, but not at ART school, my school is very general focused. Have not focused to only one department or sector and that is very big problem for me I guess. I have knew already from my young years that I will be working in ART department, started as a web designer I dare to say I have a lot of experiences esp. in graphic design, worked in a lot of graphics agency have made a lot of works, for that in my 22years I ve got lot of work to demonstrate my skills in my porfolio. But as I see my the biggest problem is education esp. maybe few last years trying to study some "it school"only from reason to get degree, the in our country it is normal progress for most of people. They get a degree from electric-science school and now they work as a financial directors... just only from reason they have degree.

    Just as I said haven t study ART School and now may be I must study it from first year (I did not pass exam from math) and this step gives me a strong punch to think about my situation, asked myself several times if I need this school, when I convinced to do in my whole life ART, really need it? wouldn t it only wasting of time? And what if I finish it after 3years, give me that something? Do not gain strong knowledge of ART which I will get on ART school, the connection between people which "walk around" art will be very poor as well, so Wouldn t be better quit this and go to abroad to find a new challenges ? Maybe after some time when I done with struggling with my English get some courses, or even school? or simply start with my portfolio working ? Wouldn t be miss it in future that I haven t got a degree? It maybe better for me. Just as I said I only afraid If I pass my school if would be mean something for me. That s the whole point which I mean "get degree"....

    Apologize for very long thread and maybe for my english, I must working on it I know it So thanks a lot...


    SIMPLY SAID:

    basically my original question is, if it have some sense to try to acomplish my current school targeting to generally IT sector (graphic, development in C++, java, digital video, editting etc, just very generally targeting school) only from reason to get degree?

    n this case I think would be better to quit my current school, and at firstly take some course in UK, if something like that exist, that should be great compromise beetween school and gain some experineces, skills and inspiration, but I am not sure If I should to try some school in UK, just in case of my english or money... But as I said I do not know situation in UK of existing some courses in concept art, digital painting etc... For that I created this thread to get some information from more experienced people
    Last edited by tr79; March 21st, 2011 at 04:51 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Degrees are required for academic positions. For working in a production field, what you will need more is a portfolio of substantial quality.
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    Just to add to what MephistoLV has said. You go to art school to learn how to draw and paint in a professional manner if you want to work as an artist. You don't go to get a degree. The degree is a by product given in recognition of you successfully achieving your goal.
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    yes I know that. I only called it just "degree" know that behind this is a lot of knowledge, if we speak about art school and a lot of experiences to future career.

    I mean this whole discussion as a basic. I haven t go art school, because unfortunately I do not come from UK and in our country we have got very poor opportunity choice of that kind of schools.

    I only want to ask about people which haven t got these school with irelevant degree but on the other side they have worked many years in art and want to get to position like concept artist, simply if they have got some chance, or it is whole stand up only at if you have degree or not. Speak about situation in UK.

    But as I see mephisto answer to it already- the portfolio will be probably more important...

    And other question is about courses, do exist any art courses in UK which people can do during their work? And when finishing this courses is there also any degree or some progress which could help to get position in art department?

    And the last one to mephisto: what positions are mean with "academic"?

    Thanks a lot again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tr79 View Post

    And the last one to mephisto: what positions are mean with "academic"?
    By academic positions I am referring to being an art teacher at some level in a university or in a K-12 public or private school.
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    It's not really.

    As far as I'm aware, if you go for a job interview and another guy does the same interview; Your portfolio's are of the same standard, your attitudes are similar, you're both going for the same position, then if you have a degree and he doesn't then you'll likely get the job.

    But if someone has better work in their portfolio, has a more pleasing attitude and whatever else that makes them seem like a better candidate, then your CV is not going to mean much. Whatever shows the most evidence that you work well in a team and that you can do the job well.


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    Quote Originally Posted by damascus57 View Post

    As far as I'm aware, if you go for a job interview and another guy does the same interview; Your portfolio's are of the same standard, your attitudes are similar, you're both going for the same position, then if you have a degree and he doesn't then you'll likely get the job.
    ^^^I've heard this to be true of several places. A lot of times they'd rather have the person of close or equal skill with a degree than without. But really the portfolio is the strongest factor.
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    Look at the similar threads, the degree question gets answered a lot, the answer is always that the paper doesn't get you anywhere - unless you intend to teach, especially abroad.

    Some UK relevant answers though:
    And other question is about courses, do exist any art courses in UK which people can do during their work?
    I doubt there are big enough concept art roles here to offer training like Blizzard or other big companies, the market has been suffering and a lot of studios would rather just rotate interns or freelancers than keep concept artists on, let alone pay for training as well.

    And when finishing this courses is there also any degree or some progress which could help to get position in art department?
    We don't have any degree programmes dedicated to concept art in the UK yet (well we have one, but it's rubbish). The education here is pretty dire for accredited representational art courses, our schools are slightly better for animation and fine art really.

    The two London ateliers (these don't give degrees) would be in my opinion your best bet if you are choosing from places to study in the UK, towards an end of concept art: http://www.lavenderhillstudios.com/ http://www.drawpaintsculpt.com/

    They teach the fundamentals at least, without the fees, syllabus and red tape of our sloppy arts degree schools, but they're not specifically geared towards concept art at all - so you'd have to supplement with your own learning, and there's enough stuff online for that these days! If you are thinking about moving to the UK, the CA sketchgroup is always active and looking for new recruits </shameless plug>
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  11. #9
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    Get a degree, even if its from a state university.

    There are some great state-funded schools out there...
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    If you want to teach art, but people just care about your art and how unique. It is, I mean, there are artists with degrees and their art is probably horrible.
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    If your going to get a degree make sure its in business, law, medicine or engineering. Look up the Avg Income for an artist and start figuring out what loans will cost and probability of landing a decent paying job that will cover your loans as well as living expenses.

    Speaking from experience...I'd highly advise against a degree in art. Your sole dedication (good portfolio) and skills alone should be enough to land you decent work. However I ENCOURAGE people to get a degree in those areas I mentioned as a plan B.

    I find that NOT enough artists properly plan out their lives due to parents not being good role models and letting starry eyed kids who know nothing about the real world steer their lives.

    This is NOT for debate and I am NOT interested in defending my opinion. I'm stating this so people see a different more logical point of view
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    Quote Originally Posted by gruve24 View Post
    If your going to get a degree make sure its in business, law, medicine or engineering. Look up the Avg Income for an artist and start figuring out what loans will cost and probability of landing a decent paying job that will cover your loans as well as living expenses.

    Speaking from experience...I'd highly advise against a degree in art. Your sole dedication (good portfolio) and skills alone should be enough to land you decent work. However I ENCOURAGE people to get a degree in those areas I mentioned as a plan B.

    I find that NOT enough artists properly plan out their lives due to parents not being good role models and letting starry eyed kids who know nothing about the real world steer their lives.

    This is NOT for debate and I am NOT interested in defending my opinion. I'm stating this so people see a different more logical point of view
    Whatever gruve 24...I'm not interested in attacking your opinion, since that is all it is. Getting a degree in any area other than art is going to take a great deal of time, effort and money which would probably be better spent applied towards one's real interest. That is the logical point of view.

    Yes, this question is asked frequently...and actually answered well right from the start byMephistoLV. Most really talented, successful artists do not have degrees - they do have training and education but it tends to be very focused. Lumisade stated quite well what can be gained from attending a good art school - education, training and connections. None of it is easy - just have to figure out how much you want it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gruve24 View Post
    If your going to get a degree make sure its in business, law, medicine or engineering. Look up the Avg Income for an artist and start figuring out what loans will cost and probability of landing a decent paying job that will cover your loans as well as living expenses.
    I'm all for having a backup plan but you are simply not going to be a doctor by day and an artist by night. Not going to happen. Planning to go into careers that are famous for being stressful and time-sucking so that you can pursue art part-time is a Bad Plan. Plus, you don't want frustrated artists poking around in your spleen or building your nuclear power plants anyway. Don't do this.
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