TAD or Degree?
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Thread: TAD or Degree?

  1. #1
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    TAD or Degree?

    Hi ive been debating this for a little lately and right now i'm a high school senior and im completely serious about art- concept design, illustration- the works. and my foster parents are pushing a college degree because they don't believe i can get a job without it. I know in art though that portfolio>degree and I want to go to TAD much more than any other school- but they reccomend an art university. I really don't have money or anything like that but i hope to pay for college through grants and scholarships and stuff plus funding is always helped by the foster care system. Because of my situation and stuff I dont want to fear having a stable job that sometimes having a degree can give you even though its just a piece of paper basically. I am completely passionate about art and basically what Im trying to say is should I go for TAD or should I go for some Art Degree? and as a last question i know TAD is not accredited but is there any way of showing that you went there- like a certificate or something? thanx for any comments

    Last edited by blazingdimensions; November 19th, 2011 at 01:33 PM.
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    This is a complex question that you're going to have to answer on your own. Look at schools based on their cost, location, programs, and quality of faculty. Discover whether or not there is an active art scene in the location. See if you qualify for government aide and then see if you qualify for school specific scholarships. You need to really research this stuff and make your own educated decision.

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    I think we all agree that accreditation doesn't matter in most art fields.

    Consider:

    What is your dedication level?

    How will you pay for TAD/College? (accredited schools are eligble for financial aid and federal loans with lower/no interest)

    If you go to a state school, will you have to focus to supplement your Liberal Arts education with outside resources?

    Do you want to have a back-up plan. (Some places like Target you can become a manager with any BA degree)

    Consider how you will pay back educational debt. How confident are you that your skill or rate of growth will substantiate the income for paying debt?

    What do you want to learn? Just art or well-rounded education?

    Are there alternate plans that are cheaper, but will offer similar experiences? (Illustration Academy, VLP, Attending Conventions, Ateliers, ect...)

    I highly suggest attending an Atelier for about a year with VLP membership. Then hopping on as a 2year student to TAD. In my opinion having a VLP membership is the most economic thing, 500$ a year. Go to college, learn about the world... get a rounded perspective on things... and dont skimp out on being a well-learned person because of impatience.

    Most of ALL:
    Do your own research and dont let anyone pressure you into any decision. Just dont ruin your life and create a debt that will haunt you for years. When in doubt go to junior college, most places you can go for free after financial aid. And if you are proactive enough you can easily overcome any inadequacies you may face there. (Atleast i did... infact i got paid 200$, and took no loans)

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    I think telling people you went to TAD should mean something. If it doesn't you probably don't want to work for them. I would find that incredibly scary in an employer for them not to appreciate it.

    A degree, especially in art, guarantees nothing. Focus on real learning from wherever you can get it.

    I think the best thing for you do would be to get a degree, but not in art. Something that lets you get a good paying job that will pay you through school. That is how I see it, because that is what I would do, if my life circumstances were different - say I did not already have an amazing opportunity land in my lap, and I had the benefit of foresight in your situation.

    Last edited by Izi; November 22nd, 2011 at 04:42 AM.
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    I think you making this decision on your own will make you a more competent person. Having it up for a poll doesn't help much in your decision making progress for YOUR career/life.

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    im not having people decide my life im just want to know other peoples thoughts on the subject especially before making a big decision- ive done lots of research on my own and i plan on looking up all the details, right now i just wanted to get other peoples perspectives.

    "Art is never finished, only abandoned." Leonardo Da Vinci

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    I go to TAD and I have a degree from my first college.

    I went to school as Premed and I graduated with a degree in Biology. Right now, I could be working in a cubicle, working on my phd in a biotech field, in med school, teaching, or working for pharmaceutical companies. With a degree I have many options that I just couldn't do with a high school diploma. But guess what?? I don't want to do those things. I used to want to be a doctor, but my heart wasn't in it.

    I go to TAD now because I want the best education and I won't need a degree to fall back on. There is absolutely no way that I am not going to make it as an artist. I am going to a great school, I am surrounded by great friends, I have the most amazing wife in the world and I won't fucking give up.

    So my advice to you is similar what has been said up above. You only need a plan B if you plan on failing. But you have to be able to ask yourself the question and answer it honestly. Do you have the passion and dedication to devote yourself to your craft?? Because if you don't have that passion, then I suggest a university. That way if you need something to fall back on, you will have it.

    There is no Plan B,
    -e

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    Quote Originally Posted by blazingdimensions View Post
    im not having people decide my life im just want to know other peoples thoughts on the subject especially before making a big decision- ive done lots of research on my own and i plan on looking up all the details, right now i just wanted to get other peoples perspectives.
    Yet, you ignored the fact there's a forum full of art school questions and posted a poll in the Lounge.

    What makes your flakes so special, snow?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thyname View Post
    So my advice to you is similar what has been said up above. You only need a plan B if you plan on failing. But you have to be able to ask yourself the question and answer it honestly. Do you have the passion and dedication to devote yourself to your craft?? Because if you don't have that passion, then I suggest a university. That way if you need something to fall back on, you will have it.

    There is no Plan B,
    -e
    I agree partially with what you say here. I think that dedication and work ethic are what make a career, not formal education.

    But i think it is wise to have a degree. Having a back up plan doesnt mean the person plans on failing or disbelieves in their ability to succeed.

    Having a plan b is because life draws sour hands sometimes and you have to be prepared. being a responsible adult means making the decisions that are in the best interest of yourself.

    For each of us we have to determine our willingness to face risks. Thats a personal choice. So often in the art world we take this sort of "All or nothing" approach to art as if we cant have our cake and our icecream to. We forget that most of the great masters were thoroughly educated and practiced in many feilds.

    Im not saying that college is for everyone. But i am saying that there is a reality that we all (have to) face regarding money and living. If you have the means, family, and support to not have a plan b... then by all means do it (i know i would.)

    But if you are like me and are completely independent, dont have anyone to fall back on then i suggest thinking a little deeper about what life may or may not bring.

    I dont want to discourage you or anyone else. And i, more than anyone i know believe in my ability and determination. i just want to make sure that you dont just settle for an "attractive" plan of acton that you might regret friend. You are valuable and your potential is only as much as you limit.

    Just like Thyname changed from wanting to be a Doctor, and realized he wanted something else. You could also be like that some day.

    its a hard question that sometimes is clouded by youth, impatience, and zeal. But you need to determine.

    What options are attractive? do you see yourself being more than just a production person? do you have a lot of personal motivation? how will you make money to support yourself or family if something happens.

    You options dont have to be a "backup career" but you should atleast have some sort of plan whether its being a wise saver, invester, or obtaining stability through personal business endeavors. So many people who are "successful concept artists" and illustrators are struggling. Even the ones who you see have work everywhere. A lot of them are struggling just like the rest of us.

    The guys who are making bank are the ones like Randis, Bobby Chiu, Jason, ect who either work in-house or have their own business/education endeavors that bring in more consistent workflow.

    Art is a luxury career that is very tempermental with economic influx. I cant tell you how many stories ive heard from illustrators who become displaced during recessions. I worked with a guy who had been an illustrator for 20 years who packed milk at target because he had no other skills...

    What other career skills can help you as a concept artist and make you a more important commodity to your work place? What skills cany you obtain that you can also channel into alternative means of income? Graphic design? Advertising? Modeling? Art directing?

    I dont expect you to make the same decision as i do. And i only write all this cause i sincerely care about all the people who ask these kinds of questions. When i started school sure i had a bad experience at an AI school. But i cant say that ive regretted getting a liberal arts education. And i know that i dont need it but its nice and i feel like i am much broader because of it.

    Dont make decisions based off of your "gut" make them off of facts. I wont try to force feed you any facts cause i think any decision can be right if it is the right one for you! But i just think you should spend as much time researching, reading, and not just asking this simple question. Sit down with people who have been working for 20 years+ and ask them about industry trends? Ask them how technology has changed the career dynamics. Ask how many of their friends are still workin in the feild versus how many dropped out due to circumstances. Talk to older illustrators and ask them about dry spells in the industry and how they delt with them.

    Talk to successful people not just ones who do good art, but ones who make a good income. Ask them what they do to make themselves more marketable as an artist. Because its more than about making pretty pictures. You have to understand that this is a business. You are essentially persuing jobs that are handling accounts oftentimes worth 100's of thousands to millions of dollars. You have to be able to communicate. you have to produce. you have to be intelligent and insightful. You have to have maturity. You should be knowlegable about the world around you so that your work can draw upon a rich pool of inspiration.

    anyways assess yourself. be honest. what kind of person are you? what are you weaknesses? strengths? do you have a mentor?

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