Is it worth your time and money?͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ This newsletter is about drawing. It goes out every Friday. Want to draw? Then check out my free workbook!

#47 - What Are The Benefits Of Going To Art Academy, And Should You Go To One If You Want To Become A Better Artist?

Is it worth your time and money?

Warm-Up Drawing Exercises

some of my sketchbook pages
Sketchbook pages of my doing Peter Han's excellent Dynamic Sketching course.

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Should You Go To Art Academy? Here are my thoughts on that.

The answer is that you should not ask anyone but figure that out for yourself.

What you need to do is figure out what you want. Where do you want to go with your artistic expression? And then YOU choose what you need to get there.

It can be an art academy, although that is certainly not the only option today. You have books, online courses and tutorials, and teachers, and you have access to art to study, both online and in museums.

Art academies, and paid courses, too, are designed to take you to a specific result. If you want to learn to storyboard, do a storyboarding course. If you’re going to become a painter, do painting courses.

Or figure it out yourself by making a lot of art, studying the masters in your field, and figuring out how they did it.

If a specific art academy takes you in the direction you want to take, it can be an option. It is often not a cheap option, and it is certainly not necessary to go through an art academy. The diploma you get means absolutely nothing. No one will ever ask you to show your diploma. People are far more interested in the finished art you made. They want to see your portfolio and hear you explain how you arrived at these results.

Art academy can also provide a steady routine. You just show up, and class starts. It can be less straightforward but not undoable to create your creative habit.

An art academy can also provide a network, which is not something to sneeze at. Your peers might be important people in your chosen industry ten years from now, and knowing them, being able to call them, can be very valuable.

That said, such networks have also been known to form online, on forums, and such.

Art academies can also surround you with peers you “compete with”; fellow students who challenge you to do better and show you how they did things. I haven’t seen an online equivalent for that. Artists show their final results, and you don’t see how they made something. You can find YouTube videos where you see artists draw or paint in real-time, which is VERY useful. I, for example, learned a lot by watching YouTube videos of people inking.

To summarize: find out what you want to do, what you want to be, and where you want to go. The answers to these questions will point you to the resources you need to be able to go there. And don’t trust anyone who gives you advice before they ask you these things.


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