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  1. #1
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    Masters of Fine Arts degree?! (MFA)

    After you received your Bachelors of Fine Arts degree (BFA), who has gone back to art school and received their Masters of Fine Arts degree?

    'Cuz my mom wants me to go for a Masters of Fine Arts after I get my BFA but I keep telling her that in the "art world," clients DO NOT go by what degree you have but by the quality of your work! This ain't engineering or law!! haha

    I need some backup from you guys.
    So it is true that degrees don't matter in getting good gigs?
    And is a MFA worth it? Do you need one to teach at an art school?!
    AHH!!

    Thanks


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  3. #2
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    Hey Den, I think that if you have opportunity to get you MA you should take it. I am just finishing up my Bach of New Media from www.eciad.ca and they are just finishing up the program for the Masters which I will be taking the following year.

    I know we are not in engineering etc but educational credentials in any walk of life will bring you more. Entering into your field may not bring these on an immediate basis but over time I think you will see stronger considerations for positions you are applying for as well as the time spent in the program may take you in new directions which may not have called to you otherwise. In my opinion it is a complete win win.

    And I am quite sure (In Canada anyway) you do need an MFA to teach at a university level.

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  4. #3
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    NO ONE CARES if you have a masters, or any degree for that matter. Get your ba of bfa to make your parents happy (especially if they're paying for it), but the value of an art education is in the education, not the piece of paper. And it's at least four years off anyway, so don't stress about it now.


    Tristan Elwell
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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Presence
    And I am quite sure (In Canada anyway) you do need an MFA to teach at a university level.
    Most MFA programs are pyramid schemes run for the benefit of university art programs.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
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    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
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  6. #5
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    After you received your Bachelors of Fine Arts degree (BFA), who has gone back to art school and received their Masters of Fine Arts degree?...

    ...my mom wants me to go for a Masters of Fine Arts after I get my BFA

    ...So it is true that degrees don't matter in getting good gigs? Do you need one to teach at an art school?!
    I don't know what credentials you need to teach at an art school but the commercial art world doesn't care what degrees you hold. They only care about what you can do for them. Personally I believe that if you were to go out and get some real professional experience while other lunkhead contemporaries of yours were back at school slaving over their BFA, you would end up with the more valuable and practical education. I also believe that bringing professional experience to the table down the road, would open doors to teaching gigs when you were ready to consider that option

    Mark Hannon
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  7. #6
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    don't waste your money on that crap! They live off other people's sucess and failures.

    Sadly, we are all blinded from the truth.

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by figure2
    I don't know what credentials you need to teach at an art school but the commercial art world doesn't care what degrees you hold. They only care about what you can do for them. Personally I believe that if you were to go out and get some real professional experience while other lunkhead contemporaries of yours were back at school slaving over their BFA, you would end up with the more valuable and practical education. I also believe that bringing professional experience to the table down the road, would open doors to teaching gigs when you were ready to consider that option

    Yeah, professional experience helps.
    go to any art schools website and just look up the faculty members. you'll see whats required to teach there.
    I did this with MICA (i have a friend that goes there, and apparently its one of the best painting programs in the US for art schools)... most of the teachers had MFA's, quite a few had only BA's, and even a couple only had certificates, not even a BA. From what I know, if you want to teach at a college, you'll have a much better chance with an MFA. Not that I've done it myself, but just from what I've heard, to teach college with only a BA, you have to know people to get you in. That makes sense though.

    and yeah, i'm sure everyone will agree that the degree means very little in the commercial art world... (plenty of people even have PHDs in art, but still can't get a single magazine illustration published or into a single art gallery)... i was talking only about degrees for teaching.

    --Keith
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  9. #8
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    Funny thing is, nobody cares what education you have. Jeff and Ron (at Watts Atelier) have done a range of high and low end freelance and in house gigs with no degree at all. They both also teach at Watts, and have more freedom to come up with thier own classes and teach what they want. You do have to have some sort of degree of somewhat to teach at an accredited school, but then you also have to teach what they tell you...

    Elwell is right.

    I self-published a book on the fundamentals of drawing from life.

    http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-D...8951905&sr=8-1
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by figure2
    I don't know what credentials you need to teach at an art school but the commercial art world doesn't care what degrees you hold. They only care about what you can do for them. Personally I believe that if you were to go out and get some real professional experience while other lunkhead contemporaries of yours were back at school slaving over their BFA, you would end up with the more valuable and practical education. I also believe that bringing professional experience to the table down the road, would open doors to teaching gigs when you were ready to consider that option
    An MFA in fine arts helps if your interested in the world of fine art. The art world has never been so big (despite what others would say) and an MFA looks much better then just a BFA.

    A lot of art teachers who went to art school and then got an MFA said that the BFA was just preporation for the MFA program... which is where it's realy at (education wise). Most fine arts MFA programs are independent study majors. You do your own thing and you either pass or fail.

    Last edited by RefrigeratorCo; April 29th, 2005 at 10:05 PM.
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  11. #10
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    An MFA in fine arts helps if your interested in the world of fine art. The art world has never been so big (despite what others would say) and an MFA looks much better then just a BFA.
    You know RefrigeratorCo, this sounds an awful lot like the advice the Wizard gave the Scarecrow in"The Wizard of OZ." While I can't recall the exact quote, the spirit of it was that men of lesser intellect could be made to seem more learned and important if they held the right piece of paper.

    I personally believe that if an artist with a minor (or no) degree walked into a gallery with such stunning work that dollar signs danced in the gallery owner's eyes, nobody would care what degrees the artist held.

    There are 3 things that you would need to succeed in commercial or fine art: skill, work that has a high degree of visual appeal and the marketing savvy to promote yourself. Out of the 3, the last is perhaps the most important as Thomas Kinkade has already proved. I sincerely doubt that an MFA would give you those things.

    Last edited by figure2; April 24th, 2005 at 11:37 AM.
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  12. #11
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    Presence- yeah, its true obtaining an MFA is a double win in the long run. But probably not THAT necessary

    Elwell - you never fail to dissapoint. Wait 'til I show my mom this!

    Patton Art
    - MICA is a nice place. I have a friend that goes there as wel. Woaaa, you can be a doctor in art? "Doc Drawer"

    Jet Pack
    - yeah, those Ateliers are cool. life drawings upon hours and hours, very useful. Perhaps more useful than an art school education?

    RefrigeratorCo - ahh, so MFA's mainly benifit the fine art peeps! I can see why Cool

    Figure2 - great connection to the Oz film


    thanks for all the responses. I got some contradicting views but the majority say; It's all 'bout skills. Not that piece 'o paper"

    thanks

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  13. #12
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    yeah yeah, you dont need the shiny little "MFA" sheriff badge or "BFA" deputy badge to really get work or to get by in the real world... but, the real badge isnt just whats for show, its made up of all the time spent working towards it.
    alot of you guys are overlooking what, to me at least, is one of the more important aspects of an MFA program(or BFA for that manner)... and that is the experience that you have while you are in the program.
    i stayed in school and finished out my BFA simply because of the whole experience of being able study and produce art full time and getting to be around lots of friends and other people all doing the same thing in really close proximity. sure, most people have to have a part time job while youre there, but for the most part when youre in school, art is your full time job. you get to develop your own ideas and try different things out. the only consequences are maybe a bad grade or something. its not quite like the real world where you might have to work full time to support yourself.

    i started doing freelance work for a couple different video game companies a few years back, right before i even got in my major. i could have taken off and made that a full time job, but i wanted to stay and keep experiencing the art school environment to its fullest. nothing beats hanging out with and working around all my friends from my major all day long and all night, talking about all kinds of stuff... and then wandering over to another majors department to see all the kids in there doing the same thing. i miss school right now immensely, and youre hard pressed to find a similar experience to it ever again. ive been constantly throwing around the idea of going back to school somewhere for an MFA program. im not sure yet if i will.
    RefrigeratorCo is totally right in his description of an MFA program, as far as the fine arts versions go. you do your own thing. You get 2 years to really delve into your study and do alot of discussing about things. i was lucky to be in a major at my art school (during my bfa) that was already set up like an MFA program, and having an extra fifth year at my school was like having a year in an MFA program. my three years in the Drawing Department were pretty much all independent study, with a handful of electives i chose from throughout the school.

    so what im really getting at is that, yeah, its not for everyone, but studying for a BFA or an MFA can simply be about those experiences and conversations and people you share ideas with or people who you work with in the studio till 2 in the morning every night. its what you make of it.

    or you can go to just get the shiny sheriffs badge.

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  14. #13
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    well, it would depend on which atelier you went to. I wouldn't go to an art school unless they were paying me, since I've already been to one, and most of what I learned was about growing up and such, not as much about art. Too many required classes that were unrelated to drawing, and general education classes that were subpar because they were teaching at an art school, so the classes were either unrelated at all to art and horrible, or just horribly boring. I've taken a few REALLY great GE classes at a community college, and luckily, they transferred.

    wes is right too, the time is really important and good, but getting the right kind of instruction that you want is the tricky part...

    I self-published a book on the fundamentals of drawing from life.

    http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-D...8951905&sr=8-1
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