What If An Artist Cannot Afford An Art Education

What To Do If A Fine Arts Education Is Too Expensive

An art education is certainly a expensive endeavor. Clearly not all art majors are equal and many can be used in different ways.

Some positions will absolutely require an art education of some kind. Nevertheless the world of art is a bit unique. Near more than half of all professional artist jobs are filled by those without an art education.

Allow me to be clear. I have long suggested for everyone to obtain an education. The benefits far outweigh the costs if you will truly pursue art to its fullest.

Nevertheless, if you genuinely cannot afford this, I can help give you a feel of the world you are about to enter.

How is it that I am qualified to aid you on this path? It has also been the path of my life for I could not afford it when I was younger.

First Steps To Take When Not Having An Art Education

If the field you pursue does not have some state requirement for education then anything is possible. The real question becomes whether or not you are a self starter and can self educate.

In short, you will have to obtain an art education of some kind. How you choose to go about this is what becomes critical.

Today tech schools offer a wider variety of courses at more affordable prices. An example is becoming certified in using CAD. It will not give you a degree, but it is a critical point of education.

You will need to discover what your field needs. Art is so broad that universities also have a difficult time preparing student for their select fields. Many times specialization is needed.

The goal of where you wish to go is into these specializations in a more affordable format. Your art education may not contain aspects such as art appreciation, or understanding art principles, but you do need to know technology.

The other pieces which would normally be learned within visual arts can be acquired through time. They are still very important but not always job specific.

Ultimately you must invest into yourself. There is no way around this. The quantifiable means by which to achieve this can be played with as you attempt to produce the best outcome.

Can The Cost Of An Art Education Be Further Reduced?

Needless to say that no matter what path you take an art education will cost you something. It really becomes a matter of deciding to make that education possible.

When you look at what can be obtained while minimizing expense there really is no better way than tech schools. Still if one really wished to totally self educate, it is a possibility.

Learning through self education is not the best way. There will be holes or gaps which leave you vulnerable to what you do not know.

Additionally the costs of self education will often exceed that of a tech school. You will have to pay for your mistakes and then correct them.

Alternatively an apprenticeship of some kind can be arranged. This will allow you go learn while also obtaining real world experience.

The difficulty with an apprenticeship is earning enough money to still benefit your life. Do not expect to make regular wages, this is unrealistic.

Through an apprenticeship you are having someone invest into you the art education you need, while knowing you will most likely leave. In many ways early on they are doing you a favor.

Opportunities With And Without A Formal Art Education

Since the year 2000 the job market for artists with and those without an art education has been split. These statistics can be easily found online.

Year to year the numbers may shift to one side or another, yet they typically remain with more people who do not have an art education holding jobs. Initially this may sound wonderful if you plan on taking that path.

The issue is that if you are young and entering the job market, having the art education is the only edge you have. You lack experience.

In the year 2021 employers began to accept almost anyone who could fill a position even if unqualified. Broader issues within the job market created an anomaly allowing almost anyone to fill a role.

Realistically no one can expect that kind of environment to forever remain. It is imperative to prepare yourself for a life journey, not the exception to the rule.

The greater point to realize from this track record of history is that opportunities are there without obtaining an art education. Nevertheless this does not remove individual responsibility to self educate.

Art Education Influences On Job Placement

The benefit of having an art education is that you can more readily apply for the position you desire. Additionally you will stand out from those who do not have this education.

The one exception to you being seen over others is the applicant who has more experience in that specific field. That candidate, with our without education, will be one to compete with.

It may be required that you take a lesser position in order to make advancement if you lack experience. Much will depend on the demand for that role, and broader influences within your market.

In short, the line to reach where you wish to be is shorter than not having an art education. It is in part why I stress its importance when compared to the alternative.

Not Having An Art Education Influences On Job Placement

When you do not have an art education things become a bit more complicated. Much will depend upon experience. If you lack this then clearly you will be seeking to take any entry level role you can find.

From that entry level position you will be seeking to advance internally. In the meantime continued education will be critical to proving oneself for advancement.

The difficulty with advancing this way is that auxiliary roles do not always provide the level of experience needed for the position you wish. Nevertheless learning the surrounding roles can round out an individual aiding to prove the potential for advancement.

Is An Art Education Needed For Freelance Work?

Certainly an education is needed within the capacity to perform the work you are seeking to do. Yet the nature of how this art education is obtained can be much more flexible.

Being self taught is not an issue. The problem which will arise for a newer artist is not having the portfolio and support base to propel you forward.

Clients do not magically appear, good public relations is needed. There are many other hurdles which will stand within your path which reach well beyond education.

You will have to look at how artist develop themselves as well as business strategies to build your foundation. Typically it can be better to begin freelance work after having some time, contacts, and influence within another company.

How Did I Obtain My Art Education?

I am purely self taught. Know that I did not begin my professional life being an artist. For me wood art was a passion for quite some time before it was ever a profession.

Due to this I had many years to learn art and many of its surrounding influences. Adding to this I owned a business for many years. This too was not related to art.

When I decided to step into the art world on a professional level it was after having gained a lot of life and business experience. The art education itself expanded, yet it was carried by a lot of business experience.

My path to reach where I am at was a very long curve in order to arrive where I am at now. Certainly it is not the preferred path if one knows up front that art is where they wish to be.

Despite this difference, it is without a doubt proof that this can be done. The real issue at hand is time and personal investment.

Issues such as marketing, having an online gallery, and understanding the art community are each important. These matters are not what define you.

Rather I would suggest that any artist should understand who their real competition is. More often than not it is the artist themselves which will get in their own way.

Is An Art Education Really That Important?

Yes an art education is very important. How it is obtained is what matters. You cannot exist without it.

If you lack in money or time to achieve where you wish to go or be, then begin small. Invest in yourself by reading, absorbing, and practicing your art.

You begin by simply reaching out to other artists and potential clients. Find a niche where you can fit in and begin to grow. The key is moving forward and building some kind of momentum.

The worst place you can be is where you are doing nothing. Having an education does not mean that it must be a piece of paper from a university.

Nevertheless what you offer the world must be your personal best.

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