Art School vs. Self Taught

In my introductory post on this blog, I mentioned that it was always my dream to go to art school and due to circumstances beyond my control at the age of 16, I didn’t get that opportunity. Over the years I have toyed with the idea, still thinking even back then, that I was too old (HA! in my 20’s), that I should give it up and also that the financial outlay was way too expensive! In my currency, the cost of art schools in the US can get me a substantial down-payment on a house!

But now that I have made the commitment to take my art more seriously, and I am also at a point in my life where my day job does not satisfy me except to provide me with the monetary means to afford art supplies; the thought has emerged again. Do I want to even venture into the formal world of school again after just completing my MBA last year? What was the point of me doing my MBA even though it was on scholarship if I’m back to square 1? How can I justify such a huge expense when I am older and certain other achievement markers have still not been realised – like a family, house and a career I love (the catch 22 of this is quite obvious to me)?

And so I started looking at Art Schools, at articles about self-taught artist and things I could consider, the successful artists who made I despite being self taught and also about why you shouldn’t go to Art School. In the end my heart yearns for knowing and exploring what could have been. While my brain is saying you’ve got this! You’re talented, you just need to dedicate the time and have the discipline to be where you want to be despite being self taught. The articles I came across, also helped make that seem more of a reality.

At the end of the day I would love to come back to this post in a year; my decision having been made and I look back on this happy. Happy because whatever the avenue I chose to be successful based on my definition of success it was the right one.

Have you gone to art school, are considering it or just plain don’t believe in it? If so what did you ultimately do and how did you decide? If you are self taught, how was your journey? If you plan to be self taught, what have you learnt thus far?

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