Home FAQ 4.3: College vs. art school
6/23/01, 10:51 a.m.
I'm from Malaysia & planning to further my studies in
the USA. I'm planning to major in Art. Problem is, my parents are quite
budget concious & can only spend around US$10,000 & and below,
while all the best art colleges across the USA are quite pricey. So they
plan to put me in a state university. So my question is: Is going to a
state university a wiser choice than a pricey art college like Savannah
or School of Visual Art?
I graduated from a state university. I did not attend a specialized
art school. I was 17 when I started college and knew I would have to pay
my own way. I didn't have any money, so I submitted to many scholarships
with my art portfolio. I got many partial scholarships for art schools,
but I still did not have enough money to cover the remainder. So I went with
a full scholarship that was offered from a state university.
If I do go to art school, how is it possible for a beginner like
moi to send in 10-20 pieces of art portfolio to them?
Is it possible that anyone who graduate from a state university can end up in your position as comic artist?
Are there any good example of comic artists that graduated from State
U? Besides Frank Cho, of course.
The advantage with a university is that you can learn so many different
disciplines. I doubt that I would have been able to take Japanese, anatomay
and phisiology, acting, writing, childrens liturature, world religions,
and history classes in the depth and breadth that I did at the university
had I went to a more specialized art school.
I had already decided to do comics when I enrolled in school, so I applied
what I learned from each discipline into my work. I feel that this gives
my art and writing a much bigger scope of experience and knowledge to pull
The bottom line is that each school has its advantages but you get out of it what you put into it. That last part was my motto the entire time I went to the university.
And you can go to a state university and also major in art. I did.
I majored in Graphic Design and minored in English. But I was able to take a huge array of other interests from science to theatre to karate.
12/9/01, 11:24 p.m.
In terms of your concerns in Talent/Major that you mentioned:
I would suggest to you to pursue the major and the career that you
most enjoy. Choose the one that is most personally rewarding to you. Choose
what you enjoy doing as an activity or passion, rather than what you think
offers security or payment as a career.
When you look at it this way, it makes things quite simple.
Once you have realized what it is in life that you most enjoy doing, just make a conscious effort to persevere at fulfilling your potential at it. Do it the best that you can and constantly strive to improve and evolve. Make a decision that you will learn from each effort and use that knowledge to make your next effort better than the last.
If you enjoy something enough, you will do it constantly and you will have an internal motivation to learn about it and improve at it.
This is what has worked for me.
From my own personal experience, I don't know much about talent. But
I put a lot of effort into realizing my passions.
I suggest to you that discipline, perserverance, practice, determination, problem-solving and a drive to learn and improve, is all that is needed to fulfill your ambitions.
Some people are born with a skill (talent) and others have to work hard (and work smart) to develope that skill. The working hard/working smart part is what has worked for me. Mostly it is the passion for learning and the perseverence to improve.