Do I Need to Go to Art School to Be an Artist?

art advice

Do you dream of being a professional artist, but going to an art school, college, or atelier seems out of reach? This video discusses whether a formal art education is necessary for someone to create amazing work and have a career as an artist. I discuss my own experience and education history, and make some recommendations for both finding an art school or tackling self-education.


No, you can become an artist without attending an art school or even any art classes!! 

Of course, competent art instruction can help you reach your goals faster and better than you can on your own, but not all art education is created equal nor are all classes going to help you with what you specifically want to achieve.

Let's say for example, that you want to be a portrait painter who knows how to achieve a likeness and create realistic imagery. Attending a prestigious art college that favors conceptual art and doesn't teach foundational drawing and painting skills will land you without the ability to achieve your goals, and likely also with a lot of debt. 

My biggest recommendation: Find art instructors that are creating the very kind of work you want to make!

It seems simple, but when I was in high school the advice was to find the most prestigious school you could get into, and go there. No wonder so many artists went to college, left feeling lost, and ultimately went into careers outside of the arts!

If you're looking at an art school or college, take a look at the art of the instructors, and the art of alumni. Are they doing something you would love to see yourself doing in 5 years? 

The same if you seek out a private art instructor, workshops, or online classes. Look for teachers who are creating something that truly excites you!

There are more tools and resources out there today for individuals to learn how to create art in any style than ever before! If you apply yourself and seek out information, I am confident that you can become an artist, whether or not you attend an art college.

Want to get started making art? I have resources for you.

If you're totally new, try the FREE 5 Day Sketch Challenge: 

If you want to get better at realistic drawing, you'll up your game in the FREE 5 Day Drawing Transformation Challenge: 

If you need help mixing accurate paint colors, here's your FREE Color Mixing Workshop: (Link coming soon!)

And finally, if you want to study the classic subject of figure drawing, I have Figure Drawing Reference Photos and Tutorials on Patreon 

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