The Pros and Cons of Art School

The Pros and Cons of Art School

If your heart is set on being an artist, you may be asking yourself if you should apply for art school or not. This article doesn’t aim to give you a straight answer, as the answer is different depending on your circumstances and reasons. So, what we’ll discuss today instead are the general advantages and disadvantages of art school to help you come to a decision.

Pro #1: Connections

One of the hardest challenges a fledgling artist faces is getting their name out there. Even with social media, it’s hard to gain recognition in an industry that seems to be expanding faster every day. However, if you attend art school, this won’t be an issue. In art school, you’ll likely meet numerous people who will be helpful to your career. Most art professors also have experience working for museums or art galleries, and if you stand out enough, they might recommend your art for future exhibits. Some of your classmates may become curators as well, and if their museum is looking to feature new artists, the chances are high that they’ll reach out to you first.

Pro #2: Mentorship

One of the things you can’t get from books or the internet is the mentorship tailored to your needs. In art school, you are guided by professional artists who can critique your art and give your work direction. While you can get criticism by posting your works on the internet, the words of a few faceless folks are useless compared to the advice of someone who has many years of experience in the industry. An art school curriculum is also designed to build your artistic skill and provide holistic knowledge of art like history, preservation, curation, etc.

Photo of Student in Art School

Con #1: Expenses

Perhaps the most significant thing preventing people from going to art school is that it’s expensive. Twenty-five of the most expensive schools in America are art schools. This is especially damning in present times when you realize that you can get art tutorials and other fundamental learning materials on the internet almost entirely for free. In addition, while there are scholarships available, they’re highly competitive and often prioritize people with more financially challenged backgrounds.

Con #2: Stress

Art school isn’t just about learning. There are academic requirements that come along with the experience. For better or worse, grades judge if you’re good enough to progress and determine your grade. In addition, your professors provide you with homework, exams, projects, and other requirements. Add the fact that you usually take around five classes a semester, the deliverables can rack up and cause severe mental problems if you don’t organize and prepare well.

Before making your choice, we recommend that you thoroughly research the institution you’re eyeing to ensure they can provide you the education you need. Ensure that your expectations match with what the school has to offer, else you’ll just be disappointed. Ask your peers who went to art school about your experience and check forums for other people’s opinions. Sometimes an outsider’s perspective may give you insights you never even considered.

Photo Attribution:

1st and featured image from

2nd image from

Share This

About the author