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    sllyther1's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Art class [Is it worth it?]

    Art class, does it really help? Or is it just a waste of money.Can art really be taught? This is a rather long debated topic I would say.

    Well, in my honest opinion, art class isn't worth it at all. First and foremost, going to art class every week isn't going to miraculously make you a better artist. Let me rephrase this, you may improve by bits and pieces, but certainly not as much as you would hope. Every week my teacher gives me a new drawing of his to replicate. The idea is to copy that picture with the medium you're studying in. Whoa, whoa, red flag right here. Certainly, that might seem the normal method of learning how to "draw" but hold on a minute. If that's all there is to art class, I can just do that stuff at home. And certainly you can. The same applies to different mediums. Whether it be acrylic painting, water color, oil, charcoal, pastel, etc. These can all be learned by experimentation. Simply put, the more you do it, the more you'll familiarize yourself with it. So, instead of wasting an hour and a half or more every week at art class trying to mechanically reproduce that damn old photo of abraham lincoln, save your money. You don't need to pay someone to instruct you to do what you can already do at home. Just put your mind to it.

    That being said, it isn't simply enough to just replicate a drawing. Especially if you're studying anatomy. You have to, as canny as it may sound, "understand" your subject matter. And if my teacher actually went and taught me how to figure draw different poses from different angles, how to identify certain muscle groups, etc, then it wouldn't be so bad. However, once again, you can do all that stuff at home. [google images, deviant art stock photos, gray's anatomy, forum input from other artists] My whole argument, I suppose, is that why waste time and money when all the resources are available to you at home? If you do decide to take art lessons, then by all means, demand that your teacher teach you what you want to learn, not the same lesson plan provided to kiddies. Technique-wise, there's not much to learn as art is rather individualistic.

    Hopefully this may help establish a deeper decision for those debating whether or not to seek outside art lessons. I believe there's an unrealistic media/social belief that art class is mandatory to produce a good artist. And that's just entirely untrue. Dedication, repetition, and contentment with what you're doing. That will produce the artist.
    Last edited by sllyther1; 09-02-2011 at 12:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Doc's Avatar
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    Art theory can be taught. In terms of theory, it is worth it, but if you go in there with a goal of getting better at drawing, or designing then no it isn't worth it.

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    sllyther1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    Art theory can be taught. In terms of theory, it is worth it, but if you go in there with a goal of getting better at drawing, or designing then no it isn't worth it.
    Yes, the theoretical stuff can be taught. Similar to math and language. But practical stuff like speaking and conversing, is definitely experience driven.

    In your opinion, do you believe art has an extensive theoretical side? (maybe color theory, composition, perspective, lighting) Also, what degree of difficulty do you believe the theoretical material are at? (I.e., can they be learned easily, are there a lot of concepts to grasp?)

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    Nexulous's Avatar
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    Art does have a extensive theoretical sides, people study enough of that stuff to major in it. But just knowing everything won't make you a better artist at all. The first and foremost thing you need in the designing field is experience. Experience in both failure and in success, to find out what you're true style is. Most people are fine with emulating a style of one person they see as an exemplar for their future work, but in reality, you need to bend that style, because art is malleable as fuck. Even if you know things(take me as an example), it wont just automatically make you into a better artist. Play with your style and find out what you like the best. So, arguably, art is also an experience driven career path.

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    sllyther1's Avatar
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    Yes, absolutely. :0 I agree with you on many points. I reckon design is lead by creativity (which cannot simply be taught). I can't say much or anything at all about post secondary art institutes(may go off as hear-say). I may actually have a slight bias from reading articles debating the validity and actual worth of art schools. To paraphrase much of what I read, you don't necessarily need post secondary art school to have a career in the arts, graphics design, animation, or illustration.

    Actually, in this regard, I'd like to ask for your personal opinion as to what you believe art school is worth(in terms of enjoyability, in terms of personal development, in terms of professional networking, etc.). It's somewhat of a personal concern I've had, as well, I believe it will benefit those like me.

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    Nexulous's Avatar
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    It's somewhat of a conceptual benefit. I've tried it a bit but decided it wasn't worthwhile. If you're the kind of person to stick to hard paint and follow the rules and guidelines of art to the exact specifications, you want to be at an art school soaking up that information. But a lot of artists, nowadays, are choosing to stray away from the guidelines that we have held on to for so long. Proportions now have no meaning in a world where you can make anything any size you want it to be and it might still be realistically possible. I have also seen, various times, that art school will not improve your skills, but teach you them again so as to ingrain them into your memory. But not much people have the time nor money to invest in such things, and in the long run, the added experience of not going to art school outweighs the costs and so called "benefits" of attending an art school/art academy.
    It's all a matter of opinion, and in any case, you are free to decide which path to choose. Attending school or university and getting an art degree will lead you to a job as a museum curator, a pretty dull job which pays fairly well. But people who choose to go into other fields like advertising or product design find many pathways, as it is the norm of technology, and these two majors both focus on moving with the future. But ideally, as a freelance designer, you will find much more freedom, along with a lot less money as you won't have a constant daily job to go to.


    Glad I could help you, I'm pretty sure when @Doc or @Ryan gets on, they'll have a more well informed opinion on the subjects I stated.
    Last edited by Nexulous; 09-02-2011 at 01:46 AM.

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    Doc (09-02-2011),sllyther1 (09-02-2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sllyther1 View Post
    Yes, the theoretical stuff can be taught. Similar to math and language. But practical stuff like speaking and conversing, is definitely experience driven.

    In your opinion, do you believe art has an extensive theoretical side? (maybe color theory, composition, perspective, lighting) Also, what degree of difficulty do you believe the theoretical material are at? (I.e., can they be learned easily, are there a lot of concepts to grasp?)
    I believe theory is quite extensive but only limited to learning the vocabulary, learning visual styles and visual cues. And all this isn't rather hard to learn. The practical and creativity side is what take years to master and even then one can never truly master their art.

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    sllyther1 (09-02-2011)

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    Assalamu alaikum's Avatar
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    Art class helped me.

    That is all.

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