From The Sketch Book

March 14, 2018

Are you going to Art School?

Filed under: Uncategorized — scottnelson @ 8:55 pm

College Days 2

When I was young I wasn’t overly athletic. The only thing I could do well sports related was ride long wheelies on my bmx bike and jump it over things. When people noticed that I  could draw better than I could catch a fly ball or sink free throws I became known as the “drawing kid”. And from that point on folks assumed I was headed to art school. And I assumed it as well.

Yet just like the football player who doesn’t think grades are overly important and is heartbroken when there is no scholarship I admittedly didn’t focus on my academics as much as I should have.  I spent more time doodling than worrying about some random social studies exam.  Not that I did horrible in school mind you.  I was basically a B- or a C+ student and I was perfectly ok with it.  Why?   I was going to ART SCHOOL!!! Who needs straight A’s?

I attended art school in the mid 80’s so I’m unsure how the public school system treats kids interested in attending art school these days.  For my own students (I teach various drawing classes at a  local museum) I stress how important their english, writing, math (specifically accounting), business and even marketing classes are.  In some ways they’re more important than drawing classes! WHAT???  Not to say that an artist shouldn’t be creating art 24/7 but what they also need to realize is the days of working at a business as a staff artist is pretty much over. Perhaps there are selected jobs in certain industries but for the most part if you want to earn an income with your art you need to know the business side of it because you’ll most likely be a FREELANCER.  This means you will be your own boss and you will have to create your own customer base.    You’ll also need to understand contract law and how royalties work.  Learn how to invoice and track your profit and loss.  And so many more “not art” boring subjects.

You might say that these things take the “fun out of creating art and I would agree.  Doodling is much funner than algebra but if you want to become successful in art you still need to be smart. 🙂

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