Special Feature: Art school redpill

Thursday 1 October 2020, 8.00pm HKT

ONLY very few art schools are worth the bread in the sense of actually teaching you how to draw, paint, sculpt and whatnot. Your art school is probably shite, particularly if it isn’t in a First World country, and then some even there.

Watts Atelier and CalArts, for example, are in the category of greats.

Most art schools will just teach you useless shit like philosophy of art or the gestalt or zeitgeist of various artistic genres — when you just want to do something cool in art. Some will glorify some modern art bullshit because “muh expression.”

A lot of people graduate from art school can’t even operate on the level of begging. I’ve seen it first-hand many times in different countries, and it’s sad as it sounds.

It gets worse.

You will be tens of thousands of dollars or pounds or whatever currency in student debt.

Meanwhile a kid drawing anime for fun will draw 10 times better, and ironically, will have more money in the long run.

And that’s because you can learn most (not all) of the ‘art’ cheaper or for free online.

If you paid Watts Atelier or New Masters Academy and pay extra for critiques by their professionals, you will be learning more than you’ll save money. Then again, they’ll be worth the opportunity cost (formula here) since they accept the best and brightest — and the crême typically maximises the worth of their opportunities. So the point is moot when it comes to the topnotch art schools anyway.

Unlike the other occupations such as medicine, law, accounting, etc, employers generally don’t give a shit about what’s behind your diploma or degree. One glance at your portfolio and if it sucks, you’re effed. They would even hire a self-taught KID over you.

By what metric?

“I almost went to [Tokyo Communication Arts]. For car-design schools, what I notice is, if you just look at the designs that come out of schools, the consistently better ones come out from Hongik, Coventry, MAMI, Forzheim in Germany, and a decent one in California. Otherwise, I think every car-design programme is probably dog shit.”An industrial designer

I’ve seen plenty of detailed, technically good art that looks like straight retardation shit.

Also, animefags have to compete with each other on who can draw the style the best. It’s oversaturated and it’s boring.

By the metric of employers who need artists actually hiring you?

Had I contradicted myself there?

So if moneyfags employers are the ones setting the tone metric, it’s a straightforward task. Find out where you ‘should’ be working and draw whatever stupid style that is selling — ideally a style high in demand yet low in supply.

Working just for money is horribly unfulfilling spiritually as well as financially, by the way. It’s straight wage slavery. Your art suffers.

Contradicted myself?

If you thought the same as the above, then you’re confusing your shitty artistic taste with making art.

If you don’t get people to hire you, you aren’t a “pro.” It’s that simple. This is for people who want jobs, retard.

What part of nobody gives a shit about your “muh expression” you didn’t understand?

You say the debate is for people who want to actually MAKE ART.

So what exactly is your idea of “making art”? Why are you so willing and ready to accept a shitty life?

Piss off! We’re strictly talking about art schools. I don’t give a shit about what “making art” is for you. I’m not your nanny fcuktoy dictionary.

Let’s say we claim art wasn’t subjective.

We then have to claim that employers decide what good art is — since it necessarily follows from our earlier claim that you’re not a pro unless you get hired or commissioned.

The thing is, the employers are still subjectively deciding what they want and don’t want— since 90% of them are troglodytes untrained in art.

Did Picasso work for some big corporate bordello?

I’ve worked in the art industry before — professionally. It was butt-raeping soul-sapping awful work.

All businesses are started by crooks people. You can start working with other insufferable artists in a collective. Even if you don’t get shafted rich, I bet you’d be a million times happier — working on things you like, with goth chicks or Gucci studs people you like, in conditions you all tolerate agreed to — rather than be rich and working non-stop to make some philistine’s dream a reality.

But welcome to the real world too. In real life, we all have to do things we don’t like in order to earn money. Very few people get to do what they truly want. Deal with it.

Only few art schools are worth the money?

Depends on the school, of course. And what your expectations are, the quality of the teaching, and how industrious and focused you’re willing to be.

You cannot learn most of the art cheaper or for free online. It’s not possible to learn much online even from AnimeKing420’s “How to Draw Manga” channel.

If we discount street prostitution and software piracy free resources from the equation, it’s still cheaper to pay a life subscription to (say) NMA than being scammed by art school having university-level debt from art school.

There’s simply no comparison. I’ll bet you the life subscription is still cheaper than just one semester’s tuition at your average art school.

The real question is, are YOU worth spending that bread?

My schoolmate and friend Giles de Gisffourde went to art school and got a ‘First’ for his B.A. in Fine Arts with emphasis in illustration. He had to take all the studio discipline modules of the painting degrees, so he got solid training in the pure-art techniques. He was hardworking and motivated. He didn’t regret going to art school at all. He is a working artist and is ‘known’ in global art circles. His aristo-sounding name helps too.

But I also knew lots of people whose parents paid for them to go to some top art academy — and they just waltzed through classes, didn’t apply themselves, and then came out with worthless portfolios.

And then they pestered people like Giles (or me!) with “How d’you do this?” about basic art materials, never mind techniques.

  • To be fair, no art school is wholly rubbish. Even state-subsidised art programmes turn out talented art graduates every year.

But realise that even top-notch art schools are pretty much a “franchised school” and more about soaking up that sweet, guaranteed public-sector loan/grant money than about turning out qualified artists.

I met and talked to someone who taught and lasted only a year at The Art Academy in the USA. He said it was babysitting, not teaching art. Yet in the same city, there are private ateliers that teach students the hardcore classical techniques, and their graduates go on to actual art careers.

  • One of the defining aspects of many art-related discussion forums is their users’ stunning lack of knowledge of what actually happens in the real art world.

Check out the 5,000+ threads on 4chan and reddit that ask the same question.

Those forum users post grandiose screeds when they have certifiable delusions no real clue from experience about art education or how and where it happens. They would also meme about everything.

School — never mind art school — looks like it would be useless for those forum people anyway. They couldn’t follow instructions or take critiques even on the forum threads themselves to save their life, much less follow instructions for an art programme.

“I can’t afford to go anywhere anymore. It’s a high spend. It was just a dream. If anyone else is considering it and can afford it, art school is where you want to go. Just look up their degree shows and see what design students from each school made. People like to claim art is subjective. If that’s true, why do some schools consistently produce better art?”Angela, 29, working artist

Wait, are you saying Watts, NMA or such places are worth it — or not? Fedora guy says they aren’t worth it. I say they are.


  • The point about anyone asking if some art school is/isn’t worth the money is they’re really saying, “It ain’t worth going to art school,” period.

They’re not presenting much of a question either. Without context to the question, any answer will be true and objective.

For instance, is law school worth it?

  • It’s more worth it if — you have above-average school grades or possibly a first degree — have family networks in the legal field — have some working experience — can afford the high tuition fees — and still young enough at graduation time to put in a 25-year career timeline as a lawyer and corporate weasel.
  • It’s not worth it when you can’t even demonstrate simple common sense intellect to provide a context for your question. Law school is definitely not worth it when you’re barely able to write in cursive form a grammatically correct sentence.

For anything to be ‘worth it,’ you’ve got to have something in your person or background to provide the connectivity or interface to the field that the art/engineering/whatever school is supposed to help you cross into. It’s what Grandpa once said, “the maximisable molecular structure.” (In other words, the gestalt.)

Very often, that connectivity comes from carrying on some kind of family trade or activity — and the older folks helping to instill in you the knowledge base of that trade or activity.

For my artist friend Giles, he had that necessary gestalt to help make art school worth it. He’s been surrounded by art since birth. He knew how to sketch in rudimentary perspective even before he had learnt the alphabet. He’s been to more art museums more times as a 12 year old than most adults have in a lifetime. His folks are full of artists, or artistic types with conventional, unarty jobs. For him, art is as natural as breathing. From all that, Giles takes the view that art is ‘everyman’; it’s everywhere and nothing to be stuck-up about.

Those things would’ve meant nothing if Giles hadn’t ‘maximise’ them as his personal internal resources. But he did, and so avoided art school from becoming a bottomless sinkhole.

Same difference with the other professional schools. Wanting to be lawyer just because you’re argumentative or you fancy the status or potential earnings are not good enough reasons to spend 6–10 years’ money and effort on legal training and licensing. But law school could probably be worth it if you’ve worked for a few years in legal publishing (like me) or in food production compliance or HR. You get the general idea.

Sink your teeth into it, or sink in it

Any discussion about going to art school has one big issue:—

  • How are you going to get a job without making use of the networking that comes with attending a famous school?

Like most things, art school will give you the result equal to the effort you put into it. If you don’t take it seriously, you probably get jack shit from going to one. Others may differ.

If you’re worried about not getting a good education, then talk to the teachers, look at their work, look at other students’ work, look at the curriculum. There are a million options out there.

  • The famous art/ business/ law/ medical schools, etc, do have an edge. The difference is how you make that edge serve you.

Are you going to post on Art Station and hope to become a viral hit? DeviantArt? Instagram? Twitter? Girls Do Porn? 8chan?

Are you going to suck cock cold-call art directors and ask for a job?

Are you going to join the queues of thousands of waifu nolife artists trying to “get seen” at street corners art conventions?

Art school puts your face right in front of employers. What kind of face you want to be put up is up to you.

Below is a spur-of-the-moment artwork by the author, 2015, in pen and ink on artboard not meant to be used in this way. It sucks as art, but well liked by everybody who’ve seen it. They also wanted a portrait of themselves in the same style and material.

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 01 Oct 2020. (B19035).

All images via c4c unless otherwise indicated.

Xxxx words.

L’article original écrit le 14 février 2019 sur 06:48–07:57.

Special Feature: Is art school even worth it?

Tuesday 29 September 2020, 8.00pm HKT

Unless you can’t force yourself into a schedule, then yes, art school is worth it.

snek 1513383605642

Squirming and wriggling to decide

Whether art school — indeed any kind of university-level ‘school’ — is worth it or not is you must answer two ultra-important questions:—

  • What am I going to do after it?
  • Where is my money coming from for those 3 to 5 years?

In other words, it’s a very personal thing and hard to dismiss with a simple line like, “Well, it’s all bullshit, so don’t bother.” (Unless you’re R. Crumb, I guurrss.)

Art school is also used to having all sorts of ‘unusual’ and ‘weird’ people. Some of these people can have some serious malfunction to them. What you don’t want to end up is getting expelled from art school because of their effect on you.

Not worth it for a few years yet

Some of you will disagree with the idea that art school isn’t and won’t be worth it unless you can operate to schedule and timekeeping. Understandable. Many people go to art school thinking it would boot them into discipline and get stuff done. For many, I’ve seen it does.

Yet I’ve also seen numerous times that art school had been nothing but a flippin’ nightmare for many others, and once they left it, nearly all reverted to their own ways. Art was never a true calling to begin with for them. They just did their stuff because, if they didn’t, they’d fail the course and the money wasted.

For many, art school can be just as stressful as law or medical school. Every waking moment is spent worrying about getting shit done (and leaving it to the last minute) and staying up all night doing it.

So my view is to stay out of art school for another few years and work on ‘art’ on your own. It’s not like you could look for a job with an art degree like you would an accountant’s or shipping manager’s job. Develop discipline on your own that way, and then going to art school should be a breeze, relatively speaking.

“Well, I was like this and I had clients when I was at art school. Usually I wouldn’t even sleep just to get the client’s request done right away, yet when it came to school assignments and such, I always left it to the last minute. I think it’s really different when you are actually earning money compared to doing it because you’ve told to do it.”Adriana, BA Fine Arts, now at an advertising agency

Save your money. Learning art should not require 50 grand in debt unless it’s, like, computer animation or something, and even then…

Depends what you want out of it

Art school isn’t entirely unworth it, but it really does depend on what you hope to get out of it. Same with architecture, engineering, law, business or medical school. What DO you want from art school, my old son?

Depends on the school itself too. If you’re going to a first-class place like CalArts or the Sorbonne, then of course it’s probably going to be worth it on balance of probabilities.

All the professional schools have a reputation. It is based on the kind of art, law, engineering or whatever field they do — but also on the competence, knowledge and commercial potential (read: earning power) of their alumnae.

One particular thing to bear in mind is it isn’t worth wasting time, energy and money on bad teachers. Their effect on you in art can be more significant than bad teachers in law, engineering and others. That’s because other fields like law or engineering primarily operate to a structured knowledge base that revolves around largely empirical yardsticks (like statutes, caselaw, maths, physics, chemistry) — but the yardsticks in art are much more undefined and fluid. That’s why top art schools are so much fewer than top law, engineering or business schools.

“Depends on what kind of art school you mean. Getting a degree in art? Most likely a waste, and you have to take classes that aren’t about art just to cover the general graduation requirements.”Steve, who dropped out of Year 1 art school and went to business school instead

Consider joining an atelier (art bureau or studio). Not only is it cheaper (generally speaking) but you have a professional artist there to guide you and make sure you’re learning the techniques the right way. Of course you could learn by yourself or with free resources, but nothing beats having a working pro next to you to point out your mistakes and show you how to fix them, and make sure you understand ‘why.’

However, the university system in ALL countries is flawed, unless you’re on a nice scholarship to somewhere first class like The Art Center that helps you build contacts.

“No, I dropped out a couple years ago and everyone I would have graduated with is still making begging-tier art. Seeing their stuff on Facebook makes me cringe.”Steve

Yes, it all depends on the school, tuition, if the teachers are current working professionals or not, the curriculum, and if you have to waste time on classes that aren’t art or art-business courses.

“It’s definitely worth it — if you get a scholarship — but don’t even [eff] around with student debt if you’re in the USA. That shit will ruin your life.”Mike, whose working artist wife is still paying off her U.S. art degree 10 years after graduation

This, and all of this

What’s the last thing you made while technically “in school”? What’s the best thing you’ve made since you got out?

Art school can be a colossal waste of time, effort and money if you don’t have a reasonably good idea of what you would be doing AFTER it.

Many years ago, The Naked Listener knew someone who majored in commercial illustration — and art school for him was basically like being given the educational equivalent of faith healing. Not every art school turns out this way and not for every student, but some kind of artistic ‘repair’ tends to be true enough for the majority of art students.

The more pragmatic attitude is:—

  • “Rubbish, Until Proven Not.” Always assume art school is rubbish first. Try to find out what the school is like from current and former students there.

“It’s only worth it if you want to put up with bullshit mandatory classes alongside actually worth-it classes.” — A guy who’s into art fundamentals and couldn’t handle the constant shifting of focus in art school

The fact is, shitty art schools — like shitty engineering schools, law schools, etc — prey upon students’ eagerness and lack of knowledge, and get away with taking your money and doing the littlest possible in return.

Then there is the matter of the technical worth of the modules available for the course you’re on or applying for.

To anyone reading this:—

  • If you think you can get away without knowing how perspective works or practising it, you might as well give up now. That’s because attempting any sort of representational drawing — with reference or from the mind’s eye — without that knowledge is like trying to do calculus without knowing basic arithmetic.

My father was an architect, engineer, surveyor and town planner. He’d probably be dead — actually, he is dead, but I meant ‘dead’ in his professional context — if he didn’t take an Industrial Design course, which actually teaches you how to draw through a combination of perspective and proper draughtsmanship. He took that, first at the RIBA in London, and then at the famous Das Staatliches Bauhaus in Berlin or Weimar during the interwar years.

Dad used to say, heaven help you if you want to draw or design anything 3D consistently. Everything featured in a 3D drawing is affected by perspective, lighting, colour and so on. Learning anatomy without perspective is 10 times harder too. You won’t be able to cope or make use of any other knowledge because your proportionals will be askew (or effed up) — and you’ll have no idea why or how to fix them.

perspective cubes 1513402489555

Pic related — it’s one of the fundamental drawing and design exercises in art

From nearly everyone I know who took a class in perspective drawing, they said it taught them more about art in one semester than anything in their entire experience up to that point.

The perspective drawing class is typically a freshman module and compulsory for all majors in Industrial Design, Interior Design and Architecture — yet it’s often unavailable to freshmen majoring in Illustration, Graphic Design or Animation. Obviously it varies between universities and degree structures:—

“I majored in industrial design at a public uni, and let me tell you right now the Animation [and] Illustration majors learned much, much more on perspective and pen skills. Industrial Design focuses too much on the problem-solving aspect. Only the private schools focus on drawing and rendering skills exclusively.”Claudia, industrial designer, graduated from a German art school

You can see the gross lack of fundamentals in any student who didn’t get to learn this perspective stuff before coming to art school. Some don’t really think so:—

“What did [perspective class] actually teach you? Why do people like you never explain this? Anybody can draw a bunch of stupid boxes in perspective. My fnckin’ seventh-grade art class did this shit! What did it ACTUALLY TEACH YOU? And don’t say “it taught me to draw in perspective.”Oscar, advertising artist, 20+ years working experience

Dad probably would agree with Oscar. But Dad used to explain perspective drawing helps with creating (say) vehicles that aren’t real, doing backgrounds, drawing bodies in general and extreme perspective, foreshortening, weapons, still-life fruits, you name it. Can draw in perspective, can draw anything. It improves your draughtsmanship and linework, and it teaches you “Form,” which helps with making dank line-art. Seriously it’s a fundamental for a reason.

The point is this:—

  • From the lips of my father and my art-school friends of yore, the most useful art classes are those such as mechanical drawing and architectural draughting — classes that aren’t even geared for art majors.

Colour theory is another good class, yet most of the most useful classes in it are freshman or beginners courses.

Can someone in fact learn this stuff on their own without going to art school and the expense of it?

  • The idea is that you CAN learn and perfect your craft on your own via various resources (online or offline) and self-study.

That’s dynamite on paper but doesn’t do jack for those who need to know this stuff in order to get on with the course requirements in art school.But ultimately this still holds true:—

  • It’s better to just aim at doing certain classes that will actually help you and forget about an art degree altogether. Your own ability and skill should speak for yourself and will take you further than any degree could.

When The Naked Listener took A-level Biology (in senior secondary school), I made all of my own ‘art’ assignments based on what I was learning in it. The exam board required the submission of a lab portfolio (the proverbial “practical file”) containing detailed, annotated pencil diagrams of animals and plants. But I also did coloured felt-tip sketches and watercolours of my microscope observations and cross-sections — these were not required for class or exam. I ended up passing my exams and had a sizeable biology lab art portfolio at the end of it.

The counterpoint:—

“Now that’s great only if you’re 100% ready to dedicate your time to classes and assignments. If the teaching is reasonably good — that is, not particularly bad — you could still end up with your head a bit far up your arse trying to do your own projects and shit, and think there’s no point in signing up for classes because you think you’re going to be half-arsed about them.”

No brainer, but that was mostly my ex-schoolmates’ basic attitude to the various uni-level art classes.

When it comes to art, most people who have any connection with it will recommend forget a degree. Studios just want your portfolio. You shouldn’t need classes or a degree to have a good portfolio. Classes can (and most probably will) help you make a good portfolio, but you CAN do it on your own with the right level of hard work and imagination.

If you reckon that is a reasonably workable route for you, then you’ll need the below.

Art school replacement starter pack

This stuff?

  • A Guide to Figure Drawing by G.E. Hicks
  • Bargue’s Drawing Course
  • Zin Lim’s YouTube Channel
  • Loomis books
  • A solid imagination

No way I’m saying art school can be replaced, but you’ve go to start somewhere to build up your skills that will make art school worthwhile.

If you can prove two things to me, or preferably yourself, then you don’t need art school (or, indeed, any school):—

  1. Can you get a job in the industry you want without formal qualifications like a degree?
  2. Can you learn on your own, and have enough time to do so?

Remember, just because you can learn on your own doesn’t mean you will be fit for an art/engineering/law/whatever job. You would still need to know the structure of the organisation, the industry, how to apply your know-how, and be able to work with and under people effectively. For a lot of people, going to ‘school’ ups the learning curve and cuts down the learning time.

“For me, it’s been a great way to contextualise my practice. I got a better hang of art history, started to read theory texts, and overall accessed a wider range of contemporary art. An autodidact can do all this too, but I believe it takes a lot more effort and will. It’s also nice sometimes to have a safety net that your school and the students are when you apply for an open-call show or a grant, and so on. And a university also means you can access a lot of archives and literature that is normally not open to the public or costs money.”A pro-art school artist

But some of us are just not cut out for school, never mind art school. Some are just unsuited for any situation involving any interaction with others:—

“Didn’t want to be there. Was depressed due to social withdrawal. Had an annoying roommate. He kept me up late one night and I tried to intimidate him into going to sleep. I grabbed a box cutter and stared at him until making eye contact. I stabbed the wall, then went to bed. Fifteen minutes later, campus police took me to the psychiatric ward at the campus medical center. I stayed there overnight due to homicidal tendencies. I was issued a suspension until a hearing. Five weeks later, they issued me a non-academic dismissal. I’m not allowed on campus without permission ever again.”Dude on how he ‘dropped out’ of art school in the USA

Dear oh dear. Your sleep that night wasn’t as important as you thought. That other guy was probably a retard, but who the hell wouldn’t call the cops when your autistic roommate is staring you down with a blade and stabbing shit, and then going back to sleep?! Not allowed on campus again — thank heavens for that.

It tends to be problem with art students more than most, especially among those habitually hopped up on medication (not just drugs), booze, bad food or whatever else — combined with their fringe politics or ‘atypical’ attitudes.

“Holy shit, dude. Yeah, I worked to practise self-restraint in the beginning, but that didn’t last more than six weeks. I am getting help for my behaviour. Hey, I do have a short fuse. I spend a lot of time alone and I do build things up in my head too until I lash out, but unfortunately, there’s not a lot I could do about it without some serious soul-searching and depersonalisation — until you realise that it really doesn’t matter. Blow up just once at the wrong time and place involving the cops, but especially the courts — and you are FINISHED for life in many areas.”

Don’t stress yourself out, but you need to address that autistic rage before you get married and have kids. Work out and do hiking — they really do help.

Only two things to bear in mind:—

  1. If you can learn to draw on your own.
  2. If you can find clients for what you specialise in.

I have no experience with this sort of thing in art, but I can tell you this should be all you need.

“If you are freelancing — drawing furry porn — then it might be valuable to find where you could work. You may not be good enough or have enough opportunities to make a living wage while freelancing though.”

If art is just a hobby for side cash, then anybody would really doubt art school is what you want in the first place, but it is always an option if you want to go further.

Is this the real worth of art school? —

  • So you’ll have credentials. There is a certain prestige about saying you went to one.

That is false. Tell a future employer you went to art school and they will be:—

  • disgusted at your poor life decisions
  • apprehensive (often extremely) at your naïvété and lack of real-life experience
  • worried you’ll be like the 101 other stereotypical art students he had to sack for tardiness, laziness, stroppiness, crabbiness or some other ‘-ness’
  • derisive — in their minds, working-class people are jealous and sometimes feel superior to rich kids who lazed around at art school

Either way, The Naked Listener reckons it’s better to make up something than to tell them you’re an art student.

One of my ex-schoolmates’ kid made up a fake business profile on Facebook, wrote a fake recommendation and got his dad to pretend to be the owner, and I’ve noticed the kid has been accepted into practically every job applied for.

“It’s amazing what you can get away with, with some costume jewellery and a cutthroat attitude.” — ‘Columbus Ohio’ in “Zombieland: Double Tap” (2019)

The modern card Rolodex

(via Boquete Panama)

Whoever says art school gives nothing but credentials in nearly all cases has never been to one.

I know a lot of people are memeing whenever they discuss art. If you really went to art school, what connections have you made from it?

The ‘art’ takes on a certain prestige when you at least could say you’ve been “trained” at so-and-so art school. Art school gives you the proper education to create ‘loftier’ art — aesthetically. That higher aesthetic from going to art school and graduating also establishes professional connections for a lifetime.

Anyone who has been to any kind of professional school will have made lifelong connections with at least a few fellow professionals — art school, law school, engineering school, etc. I recall Dad’s checklist for going to any professional school:—

(Also suitable for any professional school)
(1) Begin with the end in mind. What are you going to do afterwards?
(2) Ideally, no recourse to public funds, but worth a shot applying for a state loan/grant. In short, can you self-fund
(3) Have enough of the minimum required skills in the subject to make attending the school worth the aggro.
(4) Backup plan — what happens if you were to drop out? Professional schools are hard, whether it’s because of them or you. If you can fail school homework, you can fail university as well.
(5) You must be willing to cultivate all your immediate and peripheral classmates as your professional contacts for life during school and well afterwards. They ARE your job references. Some will race ahead of you in the profession, and you’ll need their helping hand to get in and get on. Others will call on you for help, and you shouldn’t refuse them. If you play your cards right, 20 years later you and your few select alumnae should be at the top of your game and practically monopolise it — “until some cnut comes along in 10 years to edge you lot out.” You cannot do that without rolodexing. It will be too late to start after graduation.
(6) Your future employers, clients, sponsors and patrons will always need to know what connections you have (and will have) in your professional world. You should be a calculated risk for them, not an open-ended risk.
(7) The technical stuff is just technical. Any idiot can be a fully trained architect. You could flog architecture into a fisherman, but it won’t turn him into a GOOD architect. “Drive around any city and witness the abortions all over the place that are built by ‘trained’ architects.” So don’t sweat the technicals.
(8) Intelligence is the information as well as the ability to use it to help you survive. You can use intelligence for mentalising, or use it for getting things done that stay done.

The Naked Listener’s dad, taxi ride, London, winter 1978

That is a reality-based positive mental and professional attitude — or the exercise of going to one won’t be as fruitful as it should be.

By the way, the cabbie was hearing all this and nodding in agreement. If he could understand this, so can you.

“In the beginning I made a ton of friends and friends of friends, but almost all of them turned out to be lazy fccks or drug addicts, and now I’m mostly alone but still in art school.”

Well, that is something of a ‘feature’ of art schools. Like I mentioned early on, art schools has a fair number of ‘unusual’ and ‘weird’ people.

“NO, no, no, save yourself! I painfully regret the four years of my life I wasted there. The ‘TUUUTORS’ didn’t teach you anything, and you effectively tread water the whole time you’re there. Anything you learnt, you taught yourself, and you don’t need to be in art school to do that. The only useful thing I got out of it was useful contacts in the art industry.”

Many ex-art students and graduates say the broad and generic Fine Art schools barely teach any technical skills, and it’s just a shitty philosophy and art history course.

Some recommend going to a 2D/3D animation school. There, they teach you 2D technical skills like gestures, figures, environments, mechanicals, design, colour theory, light, etc, while also teaching you 3D skills that still benefits you even if you don’t care about it. See also entertainment design. Or anything that reads like a “trade school for artists” with a focus on industry jobs.

Looking from the standpoint of employers, a somewhat different picture emerges:—

“Out of the interns we take on yearly, there’s none that come self-taught. Some cross-disciples (game studio, programmers to designers, designers to artists, etc) but none without any credentials.
We rarely if ever hire people without a degree unless they have senior or higher level of work experience.
Occasionally we set random artists on freelance or outsource missions, but this is uncommon by today’s standard, even for the more odd jobs. If ever, we contact outsource studios that does it dirt cheap and then have it polished by seniors in-house.”
— Email from an art major for 5 years and has a full job since then

Provocative insight into the artist’s bank account

anti stiff Cycling 11 April 1891

(via The Quack Doctor)

Teachers will tell you it’s worth it.

Students will tell you it’s not.

Dreamers will aspire to never quit.

Achievers will say it gave them food for thought.

Parents will say they should’ve adopted a pet instead of having their kid.

If your goal is to create work that would gain you praise and recognition, then no, art school would be a waste. Just grind fundamentals.

Art school is useful for those who want to create FINE art, which requires an understanding of the history and critical theory surrounding art.

A politically incorrect fact of life:—

  • Women who posts watercolour pictures of Star Wars characters get millions of followers more than a guy like Yoji Shinkawa. — A pop artist gets infinitely more money and success than your favourite obscure band. — A camgirl streamer with her tits out gets more views than your favourite channel about literally anything. — More people alive today have heard of Jackson Bollocks Jackson Pollock than Frederick Leighton.

What do you count as success, luv? Would you rather watch a film by Michael Bay or Katsuhiro Ōtomo?

If self-development works for you, then do it. A formal higher education would probably be a waste of time for you.

“I got a ‘full-ride’ scholarship to study art at a private college. If the program wants me to take a bunch of history classes, then fine. It’s the least I can do for them. (laughs)” — Kevin, 19, heading to America in six months’ time

An acquaintance of mine writes in:—

“Not an art school guy but my roommate is, so I can tell you what he tells me about it.
Basically, [art school] doesn’t help you learn any new skills if you don’t already have a grasp on them. Sure, [the students] get life drawing classes and access to some dope software, but the main point of it is to get them to produce a portfolio so that once [they] finish, [they] can potentially get employed.”

The worth-its

Everything about art school depends on what kind of person you are.

Art schools, like the ateliers, are worth it.

If the art school has “University” anywhere in its name, then it’s usually not worth it. Universities usually don’t provide a proper curriculum to teaching and improving technical skills. Most of the time will be spent on writing papers about the newest SJW perspectives or some political philosophy of aesthetics — things that you couldn’t give two shites about. “University” art school is mostly NOT related to anything art-worthy, according to many art graduates I’ve known over the years.

The girls in art schools are worth it.

There are girls in art schools. Would it be easier for you to practise art if you also had girls to pine over or try for? For many, that might be reason enough to go to art school.

Art schools with wide-ranging resources are worth it.

Not all art schools are created equal. Some have a fantastic range of facilities and resources, such as print-making equipment, kilns, animation studios, specialist workshops, support engineers, etc, for whatever art major.

Art school as a social networking site is worth it.

Would it help you to make connections in the money-paying world outside? Some art schools help students know what competitions, exhibitions or volunteering activities are happening and what galleries are looking for in the up-and-coming artists to bring the students up to speed with the people in the loop or in their ‘scene.’ Art calls for a rather “with-it” mentality as well as lots of socialising, which provides the fodder for processing into ‘art.’ It’s absolutely unsuited for loners or paranoid shut-ins. Try mathematics instead.

Remain in the world of reality.

Art school is an excuse to do art “aaall daaay long,” as they say in Aaalaabama.

If you’re a “with-it, next-level” type of person and know why you’re going in and what you’re coming out with, then art school is worth it.

If you don’t like people (which is fine) or if you really just want to focus on doing realistic paintings in PhotoShop or draw super-cute anime girls, then art school isn’t worth it.

If you ‘hate’ people in general (which is fine), then art school isn’t worth it. There are many kinds of ‘untypical’ and ‘atypical’ people in art school, and many have incredibly annoying habits and attitudes.

If you want to do game art, go to a school specifically for that. Those guys often also have more ‘this-is-how-you-draw-this’ type of classes. So that would be a good option, and you might find you’re actually cut out for 3D work, or system design or some other creative role in gamemaking.

“NO, I have learnt 10 times faster out of school. Just focus on building the portfolio. Also degrees mean nothing. It’s all about skills.”

If your portfolio failed to prove your going to art school had been worth it — that definitely is not what you want.

Below is a welding ‘artpiece’ by an unknown and nameless non-artist, probably based in the USA. Created around 24 August 2020 to make a statement, which is “/b/, go suck clock” (geddit?).

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 29 Sept 2020. (B17176)

All images via c4c unless otherwise indicated.


The Naked Listener. (2020 Sep 29). Special Report, Part 1: Is art school even worth it? The Naked Listener’s Weblog. 2,900 words. URL: xxxx.

Initialement écrit le 25 décembre 2017 et publié le 29 septembre 2020 avec les revisions.

2.30am local time, 24°C (75°F) hot and effing humid

British schooling comeback to American TV host

Relevant: Apply cold water to burnt area

(hat tip to MINI Microfone for image via Imgur)

Nearly all of my American friends have validated the truth of this, that their geography sucks.

The rest of us know THAT already:—

“War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” — Ambrose Bierce


America is a large, complicated place. Lots of states, and you have to remember at lot about each of those. Still, learn.”

But the truth is…

“I always thought Nicaragua was next to Sweden. Because. Everything. Is. Next. To. Sweden.

The absolute reality is even more terrifying…

“Liberals are only concerned with watching awful network programming, and Occupying Obama thinks there are 57 states.”


“They’re still figuring out how to work the cellphone…”
— the movie “Robodoc” (2008)


“Have you lost an eye or a testicle, or some other small but pricey part
of your body? Sue your doctor. Lost your brain? Accidental
lobotomy is not a defect — it’s an education system feature.”

— ‘MINI Microfone’ (a 100% regular American)

(Thanks, MINI Microfone, you’re a real stand-up guy…—Editor)


Please leave your opinion to make MINI Microfone’s day. Thank you.



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. Image via Imgur. (B13151)

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