Ask the Art Prof: Should I Pursue a Career in Fine Art?

Organic Form Project

“I am a lifelong self-taught artist who has been accepted into a number of fine arts programs, including a BFA program at a local university. I’m really happy about this, but I feel torn. I have done many mundane jobs in my life and always promised myself that I would leave it behind and seek something more creative as a means of living.

Now that I have that chance, I feel hesitant. Part of me thinks I should do something more ‘practical’ and have something that will enable me to grow professionally no matter what happens to the economy, my geographical circumstances, etc. Another part of me says that I’m 35 now and I may as well seize the opportunity to do something creative and really invest in myself, and take this time to explore through my artistic practice what it is that interests me. What do I do?”

The prevailing piece of advice that I give to my students when they worry (which is all the time) about a career in fine arts is this: no matter what happens, don’t live your life with a sense of regret.

One of my friends from art school did not pursue a career in fine arts, and instead chose early on to switch to an unrelated field. Over the many years since we graduated from art school, he has always had a full-time job with benefits and has not had to worry about the future. He goes on international vacations, his kids go to private school, and he eats out frequently at expensive restaurants. In our past and present conversations, I am the one talking about the constant state of anxiety I live in. I never know whether I will have a job next year, I struggle to pay for childcare month to month, and vacations are just wishful thinking.

Last year, he had a crushing realization: sixteen years had passed since art school, and in all of those years, he hadn’t made any art. Those years were gone, and the sense of regret he felt was devastating.

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My friend and I are polar opposites, which raises the question about whether choosing a career in fine art really is that black and white. I really wish I could tell you that you can have it both ways and still be successful as a professional artist, but I can’t. This profession is tough, insecure, and extremely unpredictable.

All of the professional fine artists I know are so devoted to their studio practice that to reduce their commitment in any way would be a setback in their career. Professional artists breathe art daily. Their drive to create art is unstoppable. They have to have an iron-clad resilience and a fierce survival instinct. If hearing that sounds scary, and painting on Sunday afternoons for three hours can satisfy you creatively, then it’s likely that a career in fine arts isn’t the right fit for you. If this sounds exciting and inspiring, then seize this opportunity and don’t look back.

I will admit that I can’t help but be jealous all of the comforts my friend enjoys. I fantasize about having a full-time job with benefits, and I have fleeting moments where I question why I do this to myself. At the same time, I know that I will never look back and regret my decision to live life as an artist.

For me, the impulse to create art is so great that if I didn’t follow my aspirations, I would be signing on to live my life with a relentless itch. I know that it would be torture for me to take a job unrelated to art. I would be preoccupied with what my life could have been like as a professional artist. I would rather take the plunge and fall flat on my face, than live with that itch. When I think about it that way, all of the luxuries I envy in my friend become insignificant.


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

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PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


Related articles
“How do I change careers to pursue my passion for art?”
“What are the career opportunities in fine art?”
“How long did it take you to jump start your career after graduation?  What was your first job?”

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Ask the Art Prof: Advice for Recent Art School Graduates

Pastel Portrait Drawing Assignment

“I just finished my BFA, where I specialized in painting and drawing, graduating in spring 2013. I am now living back in my hometown. I work at a restaurant as a dishwasher and am living back at home with my parents. I try to go to art openings in the city near where I live. I also have a small studio that I share with three other people and the rent is very affordable for me.

I am in an odd point in my life though. I love painting so much and work on painting every single day. I don’t know what to do for next year. I come from a working class family and money has always been a tough issue for me. I get depressed sometimes, thinking about how expensive life is. I want to live in a cosmopolitan international city to pursue graduate school. But I stress about the money all the time. What is your advice to young students who have just graduated from their undergraduate degree?”

Life immediately after art school can be traumatic. Most art students go through immense culture shock when they transition from art school into the “real world.” Going from being intensely saturated with artistic activity and other artists to almost nothing can be incredibly depressing and difficult to deal with. Feelings of isolation are common for young artists, and many find themselves at a loss for how to begin and what to do.

My greatest piece of advice is to be as proactive as humanly possible. Many young artists get caught up in what they can’t do. In doing so, they deplete their energy by focusing on the obstacles and limitations that are in the way of what they want. The problem with this approach is that you can end up convincing yourself that you are helpless with your hands tied behind your back.

The truth is, you are never helpless. Instead, focus on what you can do. Get creative with the supplies, facilities and time that’s available to you at the moment. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. When I was a young graduate, I couldn’t afford a studio space, so I purchased a small, inexpensive printing press and made a series of 4″ x 5″ drypoint prints (a non-acid intaglio printmaking technique) in my apartment living room. I had a friend in graduate school who used to get some of her supplies for her sculpture from the garbage on the streets of New York City. One of my colleagues works with nothing but paper towels, cardboard and Elmer’s glue.

Once you’ve developed the circumstances to be creating your work, be sure that you never, ever stop making your art. The first year out of school, I hardly made anything. I told myself that I was too exhausted from my day job, that I had no studio space, that I couldn’t afford art supplies. I sketched in my sketchbook every once in the while, went to the occasional life drawing session, but nothing remotely substantial or even skimming the level of production I was at in art school.

So what happened? Someone gave me a sorely needed wake up call. By chance, I ran into one of my former professors who I really liked and respected tremendously. We chatted and then he asked me, “So, how is your artwork going?” I felt so ashamed to tell him that I wasn’t making anything, and ran through my list of excuses. He firmly stated, “Clara, you were one of my best students, you have to make your art.” He gave me his contact information and agreed to look at my artwork now and then. Knowing that someone was out there looking out for me got me incredibly motivated to make my work. We’ve sustained our relationship now for over 15 years, and to this day, I look forward to our regular conversations with enthusiasm.

This brings me to the next thing you can be proactive about: building your own artistic community through artist friends and mentors. As intimidating as it might seem at first, don’t be afraid to call or email one of your former professors to ask for help and advice on a regular basis. I’m so glad that I forced myself to get over that fear and contacted my former professors early on. Most professors are happy to hear from former students, and they can provide practical guidance for how to navigate life as a professional artist. They will understand better than anyone else where you are coming from and commiserate with your struggles. Even as a mid-career artist, I find conversations with my mentors to be compelling and important.


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


Related articles
“What do you do after you’ve finished formalized training?”
“When you have a fine arts degree, what do you do for the rest of your life?”
“How do you stay motivated after school?”

Ask the Art Prof: What do You do After You’ve Finished Formalized Training in Visual Arts?

Chipboard Personality Sculptures

“What do you do after you’ve finished formalized training or an apprenticeship and there isn’t a clear path towards employment/financial independence directly in sight? What’s the best way for an artist to approach building a blueprint for how to live doing what they love?”

I remember after I finished my undergraduate studies at RISD that I felt overwhelmed by the wealth of knowledge that I had been gathering over the past four years. I had been embracing so many media and approaches to the point that I felt like I was completely buried in information.   My professors were also starting to confuse me with their highly contrasting opinions:  what one professor loved about my work another hated.   I found it impossible to sort through all of the various opinions and figure things out on my own.  I felt like my artwork had become a patchwork quilt of my professors’ techniques and approaches, and had nothing that I could truly call my own.

So what should be your first move after you finish training?  I would advocate taking a break to clear your head. I wanted to give myself the chance to sort through everything I had been absorbing as a student.  I knew that eventually I wanted to go back to graduate school, but I really wanted to take some time off before diving into another degree program.  I was curious and eager to get some “real world” experience and see where I could go on my own. (read this article I wrote about my first few years out of school) Although those four years I took before graduate school were difficult, they were critical to giving me the mental space to breathe after finishing my BFA.

After you take a break, what is the signal that you’re ready to get back to work?  When you start yearning to make work, when you truly start to miss the challenge and exhilaration of creating.  Starting completely from scratch can be very intimidating, especially after making the transition out of school.  My recommendation is to go through your sketchbooks and revisit a prior concept. Resurrecting an old idea can be a great way to get going. Perhaps it was an idea that you never brought to full fruition because of time constraints, maybe it was a concept that you put on the back burner at the time. Either way, an old idea can provide the launching pad that you need to jump start your artwork after school.

anticipation

Anticipation“, a monotype from the Digging series.

My MFA thesis work was a project called “Digging.” One of the final monotypes I created in “Digging” was an image of people waiting near a pit, with the diggers absent from the image. (see above)  Towards the end of the project, I had started to lose interest in the diggers, and started to redirect my focus on the people who were waiting. I was wrapping up my degree at the time, was about to move and start a new job,  and I knew that I wouldn’t have time to focus on the idea of these waiting figures. I temporarily shelved the idea, and then returned to it once things had settled down.  “Waiting” became my first project after finishing graduate school.


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


Related articles
“When you have a fine arts degree, what do you do for the rest of your life?”
What is your advice to young students who have just graduated from their undergraduate degree?”
“How do you stay motivated after school?”

 

Ask the Art Professor: When You Have a Fine Arts Degree, What Do You Do for the Rest of Your Life?

Final Crit

“When you graduate from college with a fine arts degree, what do you do for the rest of your life?”

The answer to this question is completely unique to every person, but I can give some general pointers about things to consider that might be useful to anyone.

The important thing to remember is that while the degree will certainly open some doors for you, in the end it is all up to you. With a fine arts degree there is no pre-determined path (as compared to fields like law and medicine) to take so you have to be the one to take charge of where you want to go in life. I know people who have all sorts of fancy degrees who aren’t doing anything, and I also know people who have degrees from less prestigious schools who are doing wonderful things. The degree is what you make it out to be.

One thing that I’ve learned since leaving school is that you can pleasantly surprise yourself with what direction you go in.  One of my peers who went to school for architecture ended up doing ceramics. A friend of mine who went to school for printmaking and now does very well as a caricature artist. Someone else I know who went to art school is now a successful baker and chef. Robert J. Lang one day dropped a very successful career to be a full-time origami artist.  At the same time, I know plenty of people who are working in exactly the field they studied in school.  The idea is that anything can happen, and that sometimes it can be wonderful to embrace the unexpected.

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Origami by Robert J. Lang

I know now that I’m definitely meant to teach for the rest of my life, but oddly enough, I fell into teaching by accident. When I was a senior in high school, there was this program for seniors called SPARC. (Senior Program and Alternative to Regular Classes) which allowed certain students to do a full-time internship instead of attending classes during their final semester.  I was so completely miserable in high school that I was willing to do anything to get out of going to class. I’ll admit that was my sole motivation for doing the internship. I opted to be a teaching assistant to my former elementary school art teacher, and ended up loving it.

That work experience led to a summer job teaching visual art at an arts camp for grades K-6 while I was an undergraduate student at RISD. So when I graduated from RISD, I had all of this work experience teaching elementary age students and got a job at a private elementary school in Boston. By that point I had caught the teaching bug and knew that eventually I wanted to be able to teach at the college level, which is where I am now.

Portrait Drawing

Lastly, try to strike a healthy balance of having ambition and goals, while also having realistic expectations for yourself. It’s best to go into things without expectations that are set in stone, doing so could potentially lead to a lot of disappointment and frustration. Be flexible and open to other possibilities that you hadn’t considered before, knowing that it could potentially lead you to new and exciting places.


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


Related articles
“What do you do after you’ve finished formalized training?”
What is your advice to young students who have just graduated from their undergraduate degree?”
“How do you stay motivated after school?”

Ask the Art Prof: How Do I Become an Undergraduate Art Professor?

RISD Freshman Drawing, Section 19, Spring 2010

“I want to be an art professor, preferably at the undergraduate level.  I’d like to teach classes like drawing and painting, color theory, and 2-D Design. I don’t particularly see myself teaching at a school like RISD, but rather a small community college.

Some of the most inspirational people in my life were professors at a tiny hole in the wall 2 year college. They aren’t “working artists”, but they were pretty skilled guys, who clearly loved to teach. And I guess that’s kind of where I see myself teaching in a kind of similar setting. I don’t really like the business of Illustration all that much, so I don’t see myself doing that kind of work.

I honestly don’t see myself doing anything but teaching with my life. I’m currently in my second semester at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying Illustration. I’ve already gotten a couple associates in photography, and Fine Arts at a community college before transferring. I also plan to get a masters in something art related. So what kind of advice can you give a kid like me? What should I expect from a teaching job?”

When you’re a teacher, you have know that you are shouldering a tremendous responsibility to your students. I don’t mean to be melodramatic, but I’ve heard too many times about people being emotionally traumatized by bad art teachers in the past as being the reason that they gave up making art. I think some teachers don’t realize that even the smallest gesture or the slightest comment is capable of so much damage. Students can be very vulnerable and impressionable and you have to ensure that you can create a learning environment for them that fosters growth in a positive manner.

Teaching has extreme highs and lows: I’ve experienced everything from being beyond furious and livid with my students to being completely touched and moved by them, and of course everything that is in between. I’ve been frustrated with difficult situations where there is no clear answer for what I should do, and I’ve had moments where classes practically taught themselves. You never know what’s going to happen when you teach, which is part of why I love it so much.   Every time I think I’ve seen it all, something happens that catches me completely off guard that I have to figure out on the spot how to deal with. To me that’s what is wonderful about teaching, you have to be alert, on your toes, ready for anything to happen. There’s never a dull day in teaching. Some people may not like that, but I happen to thrive on the creative stimulation that occurs because of the unpredictability.

Accordion Bookbinding Project

“Are there any downsides to teaching?” Like any profession, there are certainly aspects of teaching that can be challenging to deal with. I hate the politics that inevitably come with teaching in any department at any school; it can get pretty ugly and unpleasant.  The extent to which you have to deal with politics depends on your position at the school.  If you are a part-time professor, you can pretty much just teach your class and leave.  Part-time professors are usually are not mandated to attend faculty meetings, and do not have to do committee work, which allows them to stay outside of the politics of their department if they wish.  If you are a full-time professor, politics can be a huge part of the position.Your colleagues will be pivotal in whether you achieve tenure or not, so how you navigate the politics of your department is critical.

Would you recommend teaching along side doing professional work?”

If you teach at the undergraduate level, there are set expectations that you will be teaching and creating your independent professional work at the same time. (by contrast, this is not the case if you teach at the high school level) I personally cannot imagine one without the other.  Without my teaching I think I would go out of my mind sitting in my studio for hours by myself, while without my professional work I know that I would be starved of my own creative initiatives.  I’ll be honest and say that it is extremely challenging at times to maintain a healthy balance between the two.  I’ll admit to having moments when I’m working on my own artwork and I don’t want the distraction of teaching.  Ultimately though, I see the two practices as having a symbiotic relationship that support and inform each other. People ask me all the time whether I would give up teaching entirely if I could, and the answer is a resounding no. I crave the dialogues, the creative stimulation that I gain from teaching too much to give it up.

Final Crit

“Is there anything about your college career that you would have done differently to aid you as a professor now?”

To be completely honest, I would have waited to go to graduate school until I got accepted into one that was more prestigious. I applied to graduate school in 2002, when everyone was panicking after Sept. 11 happened and masses of people headed back to graduate school instead of getting jobs. I stupidly assumed at the time that I would have no problem getting into a strong program given my background and experience.  I was dead wrong. By the time the application season was over, I found myself on three wait lists, with three rejections, and only one acceptance at my “safety” school.  I had quit my job at the time and it didn’t even occur to me that I could wait another year and reapply the following year. So by default, I went to a small, relatively unknown graduate school.  Now that I’ve been in the field for several years, I am certain that my lack of association with a prestigious MFA program has been a hindrance in terms of getting a teaching position and has also hurt some professional networking opportunities that I could have had.

“Are there any extra classes/minors you would recommend I take along side my art classes that would be of use as an art professor?”

I think any other interests that you have outside of the visual arts can only enrich your background as a person, which in turn has the potential to greatly affect your depth as a teacher. I’m a classical musician as well, and I consistently performed with orchestras and chamber groups throughout college and the years afterward. My association and passion for music has certainly allowed me to connect with many different people in unique ways.  I like to think that my pursuits outside of the visual arts make me more dimensional as a person and teacher.

Final Crit

“How easy will finding a job be when I am through with college, and what should I expect when it comes time to finding a teaching job?  Do you know how easy or hard it is for someone to find a teaching job right after grad school?”

To be completely honest, but it’s brutal. If you want to teach at the undergraduate level, you’ll have to be ready to be an adjunct (part-time) professor for a while (maybe years) before you’re even on the radar for a full-time, tenure track position.  I have colleagues who have been teaching in the field with years of extensive experience who can’t get positions, and who are still applying every year.  The majority of people are not able to get a full-time teaching position immediately after graduate school. Almost everyone I know had to “pay their dues” for several years before they were hired full-time.

As an adjunct, be prepared to have no job security whatsoever, to make peanuts in terms of pay, and to live in anxiety semester to semester about whether you have work or not.  I’ve gotten calls two weeks before the semester started about whether I could teach a class.  I’ve also had classes cancelled three days before the first day of class due to low enrollment.  I’ve had semesters when I taught at five courses at three different schools. I’ve had days when I used to teach at one school in the morning, and then ate lunch in my car as I drove to another school to teach in the afternoon.   A colleague of mine had to move back in with her parents because she was having such a hard time getting work. Another colleague joked that looking for a job was his “hobby.” I’m sorry to be so blunt about it, but it’s true.

“Is it easier for someone who has actually worked in the field?”

I think it depends on the field that you choose to teach in.  For example, if you are in animation it really counts that you’ve worked in the industry before you start teaching. That professional experience is critical to establishing your credibility in the field as a professor, and enriches your background in a dramatic way.


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


Related Videos
Youtube Playlist: Video Critiques on Art School Admissions Portfolios
Youtube Playlist:  How to Draw a Portrait with Charcoal and Cross-Hatching
Youtube Playlist:  Crit Quickies, 1 min. critiques on artworks


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Ask the Art Prof: How Can I Tell if I’m Skilled Enough as a Visual Artist?

Scratchboard Project

“I think this would be the most important question that I’d ask a professional in animation, digital design, video games or movie development. How can I tell if I’m skilled enough to focus on the career to get this kind of job? And, do you think I can do it?”

In my opinion, it’s nearly impossible to evaluate your skills all by yourself.  This is a natural part of the creative process; all of us who work in the visual arts have difficulty getting outside of our own heads and seeing our work objectively. I know that for me after working on a piece for several hours that everything looks the same to me and I can’t figure out by myself what needs to happen next.  This is why you need to seek the opinions of industry professionals and other art students to help you figure this out.

If you’re in a degree program, it’s a simple matter of requesting a  more extensive conversation with one of your teachers who works in the industry. But what if you don’t have that?  I would recommend searching online for artists who are working in the fields you’re interested in, as well as students who are enrolled in BFA programs. Analyze their portfolios and ask yourself what it is that they’re doing that you think makes their work successful. Compare your work to theirs and honestly ask yourself whether you think you can hold a candle to what they’re doing.  If the answer is no, then you need to work harder. If the answer is yes, the only way to truly find out if you can get the job is to apply.

Gesture Drawing

To answer your second question, I truly believe that if you make the decision to do it, it can indeed happen if you are willing to back up that decision with a monstrous work ethic, iron clad tenacity, and a complete and utter dedication. Never underestimate the power of working hard; I went to art school at RISD with many people who were ridiculously talented, but who were lazy and never went anywhere with their careers.  On the other hand, I also went to school with many people who worked incredibly hard, who persevered in the most grueling circumstances, and who went on to have very successful careers.

I can guarantee to you that there will be blood, sweat and tears along the way if you commit yourself like this. A serious investment has to be made from the very beginning. Even when things get tough, you have to be willing to push through the obstacles and keep going. If that sounds like something you are willing to dedicate yourself to, then the answer is yes, you can do it.


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


Related Videos
Youtube Playlist: Video Critiques on Art School Admissions Portfolios
Youtube Playlist:  How to Draw a Portrait with Charcoal and Cross-Hatching
Youtube Playlist:  Crit Quickies, 1 min. critiques on artworks


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Ask the Art Professor: What is the Purpose of a Degree in Fine Art?

Final Crit

“For fine artists who do not plan on teaching later in life, what is the purpose of a degree in fine art? How do art academies and residencies compare?”

In my opinion, a degree in fine art is a truly unique, immersive experience that cannot be replicated in any other way. The most critical part  boils down to the people and the long term relationships that you cultivate during that time. Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how impressive the facilities/resources/administration are at a school is if you don’t have a vital creative community to inhabit it.  Your experience is very much defined by the people who you are surrounded by. In art school, you have this incredible range and concentration of creative personalities within an arm’s reach, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I don’t know any other context that exists where this is the case.

One could argue that a small art academy or an artist residency would in theory provide the same kind of access to a creative community, but it’s just not the same thing. With a degree program, students sign on for a four year commitment that they are expected to complete, while many teachers dedicate their entire lives to the school. Doing a four week artist residency pales in comparison in terms of the kinds of lifelong relationships that you will be able to foster in a degree program.

Composition Project

The most important things that you can take away from a degree in fine art is that which you will carry with you for the rest of your life.  It’s not about the physical work itself.  By the time I had finished my fine arts degree, I had created literally hundreds and hundreds of pieces of physical art.  Where are those works now?  A few are buried in a portfolio at the back of a closet that I never open, and the rest made their way to the recycle bin or garbage many years ago.  So if it’s not about the physical works, what is it really about? To me  it’s about the critical thinking, process, and creative strategies that you gain. Those skills will stay with you forever and will be applied to every artistic initiative that you take.

The other aspect that is vital to a degree in fine art is the high productivity and incredible volume of work that you’ll produce while working on the degree.  In school, you have relatively few distractions, (ex.: your meals and house keeping are taken care of) and you’re given this huge chunk of precious time to devote entirely to your studio practice and development. I have never produced so much work, in such a short, concentrated period of time as I did when I was pursuing my degree.  One week in school is nearly equivalent to three months in the “real” world in terms of the prodigious level of production and progress that can occur.


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

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PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


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“How are European MFA degrees viewed in the United States?”
“How do you preserve your artistic integrity within the strict time limitations in an academic setting?”
“Is art education really so popular in western countries?”
“What do you do after you’ve finished formalized training?”