On Friday June 14th, 2019 I graduated as Valedictorian from Living Arts College with my BA in Interactive Media Design.
Many parents encourage their children to attend college but are extremely hesitant to encourage their children to pursue a career in the creative field.
So, in this blog post I’m going to be debunking some stereotypes about the creative industry and discussing the Pros & Cons of attending art school.
Stereotype 1: “Artists are always broke”
Chris Do, a graphic designer & founder of The Futur charges $50,000 for a logo, yes you heard that right.
My classmate made $1,000 in a week from selling a t-shirt design on RedBubble.
Etsy sellers offering handmade items are making 6 figures a year.
The average graphic design salary is a minimum of $47,000 a year (not including freelance work on the side).
This list goes on but needless to say, no artists are not “always broke” and some are extremely wealthy in comparison to people working an average 9 - 5.
Stereotype 2: “It’s hard to find a job as an artist”
It’s 2019 and there are so many artistic jobs in this world it is almost impossible to list every single one.
Let’s say you paint, sell those paintings on Etsy! OR sell the design on T-Shirts OR sell the design to big clothing companies!
Let’s say you make wedding dresses, open up your own boutique selling to brides!
Let’s say you like to draw, take those drawings and print them on stickers to sell online!
I could go on and on but you get the point. Technology & social media have vastly expanded the ways artists can profit from their craft.
Stereotype 3: “Being an artist isn’t a real job”
Creating takes skill & logic, just because it isn’t intense physical labor (most of the time) or a core subject does not mean it’s easy.
I’m sure lots of you reading this right now can’t even get passed “stick figure”.
Ultimately design is not just what it feels like and looks like, design is how it works - Steve Jobs
Design is literally everywhere & it’s how our mighty economy continuously makes goods that sell and appeal to others.
During the first year of college I got to dabble in many areas of the creative field and learned a lot of new things but due to my driven nature I became too advanced for school & it was no longer providing me any value.
When I graduated with my BA that piece of paper no longer meant as much to me as it did that first year of college.
I learned most of my business & branding skills from free online resources and don’t even “use” my degree since I’m self employed.
I also graduated with peers who possess the skill level of beginner designers but work alongside creatives who possess the skill level of senior art directors and have no degree.
If you ask me, college wasn’t worth 3 years of my life and neither was that piece of paper but I am thankful for the growth I experienced during that first year.
If it hadn’t been for a crazy coincidence of events during college, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this today.
I discuss these events with more detail inside of my new book, The Rich College Kid.
So if you ask me, should you go to art school? I can only say, I think that’s for you to decide.