Thursday, October 16, 2008

art school

I wish I were running for President, because if I were, part of my economic plan would be to eliminate art schools in favor of the apprenticeship for all of those budding student artists out there. I have many beefs with art school, I'll just put it right out there. One of my beefs is two-fold: art schools generally do not teach anyone how to survive as a working artist. And while you are learning how to make art in your basic art school, you are racking up incredible debt, and saddled with that debt when you get out of your four-year program with a BA in fine art. I have been talking to someone who wants to come work for me, but they are having a hard time figuring out how they can give up their $25 hour nanny job in favor of working for me at half that salary. This person has a master's degree in ceramics, and a $30,000 school loan debt, even with the financial help she received with grants and scholarships. Her monthly payment is so high, even I would have a hard time getting by.

To belabor the point: I have a family friend with a son who is showing some art talent, and he wants to attend a very expensive private art school in California. He's 17, a bit wild, and wants to sign on for financial aid that will give him and his parents over $70,000 in debt. When I heard about this, I blew a gasket. My idea is, if a 17-year old wants to go make art, then go make art! Get a part-time job to cover rent at the nasty squat you'll share with a few friends, sign up for some art classes at a community college, and find an artist who is making stuff you think is cool and offer to help them out. There is not a single working artist out there who does not need some kind of assistance. Help them, develop a relationship, and learn from them. It's called an apprenticeship, and it's a long-standing and time honored tradition that I think has been pushed aside in favor of four-year art school.

I understand that education is an investment. When I was 17, I wanted to go to art school too, because I thought that was the only path available to someone who wanted to be an artist. My thought is that students should not be spending their money on art school, but their time on being an apprentice. That's an investment too. When I finally landed on clay as my medium when I was 23, I got a job with another ceramic artist. From this artist I learned how to survive: how to sell work, how to run a business, how to live as a working artist and not just keep it on the side. I would love to share what she taught me with as many ceramic students as possible, but most of them are locked up in art school or waiting tables!

If I were running for president and putting out this idea, I know my opponent would run attack ads saying that I wanted to shut down art schools, put teachers out of work, and create a class of one-note, one-dimensional artists who had to learn how to sell out to survive. I would challenge my opponent to a debate where I would totally cream them and show them to be the institutional whores they really are. Until that happens, I would love to hear from everyone what their opinions are on this subject, and what advice they would give to that 17-year-old who wants to be an artist.


  1. when I decided I wanted to be a potter I looked for an apprenticeship and couldn't find one. One potter told me to just get a wheel and start, which I did. A few years ago I was approached about applying for membership in a local potter's guild. That invitation was rescined when the head of the guild found out that I didn't go to art school. Their loss. Art school is probably great for some, but why not go to a liberal arts school (my choice) and get an art degree? At least there you'll learn how to write and do other things that will help out along the way. That's just my opinion.

  2. I misspelled rescinded. lot of good my liberal arts degree did.

  3. Well, this is a hard one... Having attended a big private art school I do feel that they are necessary to a point. Maybe not the whole four years.

    The first year, I feel is very, very important in terms of development. When I was in school we learned a bit from all disciplines and I feel that that first year even gave me a foundation to switch careers later (within design). The next three years were good, but like you were saying, didn't really prepare us all to work as artists or designers in 'the real world'. The schools do turn out an inordinate amount of students that are very, very green with a mass of mounting debt. So much so that it almost seems like a racket between the school and the financial aid institutions.

    One of the more affordable alternatives are the extension classes offered by these schools. Most are taught by the same faculty in a BA or MA program. They're not as inexpensive as city college, but I do think that the standard is quite a bit higher.

    So I guess my advice to that 17 year old is this: Do a foundation year at the private school then extension classes and apprenticeship.

    Great topic, btw!

  4. I totally agree with you Whitney. I have a BFA, and while I didn't rack up a lot of debt, I certainly wasn't ready to survive in the art world when I graduated.

    Part of the problem is that art school thrives on the idea that art must be new every semester. No one student has enough time to develop his or her ideas into a viable collection of work, and they certainly don't have any knowledge when it comes to setting up a studio or running a small business.

    I think a good compromise would be two years of typical art school classes plus a couple courses in small business and personal finance, followed by a two-year stint as an apprentice. I would have signed up for sure! :)

  5. I went to what I suppose you would call at Tech School, in Australia. I was a Associate Degree majoring in Ceramics. It was only two years and not crazy expensive. We learnt a lot of arty things that didn't interest me but I loved the studio time. I think the most important part is having the right attitude to be able to work for yourself, no amount of education will keep you in the studio. I would suggest a well set up studio space, classes at a community art college in whatever interests you and lots of hands on time. Asking lots of questions from self employed people is really helpful also. I finished College in 1995 and I have been living off my education for most of my working life with absolutely no debt to pay when I was done.

  6. I'd vote for you. Do community art co-ops for learning experience and forget racking up debt that is going to suffocate you for years to come. I got my BA in Psychology and now am starting my own business as a personal chef...forgoing culinary school but still with tens of thousand of dollars in debt for my college education. It's so disheartening.

  7. I work for Whitney.
    I've been your assistant for almost 2 years (geeze, can you believe that!) and I knew what I wanted when I was interested in the position-- a fresh view at my craft. I needed to see someone creating in "real life" and learn this aspect of my craft that no one had taught me at my fancy art school. I've taken in an enormous appreciation for the work we do in a whole new way, and I also don't understand why more people aren't begging professional artists for jobs. (besides the $ factor)
    The truth is, the more we know about our craft and everything it involves the more well rounded we are with our own work.

    With one defense for my fancy art school: I do know a hell-of-a-lot more about glaze calculations and boring formula math than you do!! (cause we use it... never)

    All-in-all VOTE FOR WHITNEY you never know what you might learn!

  8. Your points are valid, but I'm wondering, if at 17 or 18, I'd have know what I wanted to do with my life to try to find a mentor and work for him or her... I'm not even sure how you would go about finding one that is a good fit. Fresh out of high school, no contacts, no worldly experience at all.

    I graduated with a BFA in photography, and I basically stopped doing art photography the day I got my degree. It was pointless for a career. But, while in school, I also took printmaking, color study, art history, graphics, sculpture, drawing, painting, etc. Not to mention the psychology, literature, science, and philosophy I was exposed to. And let me not forget the social implications of being one of many talented (or not so talented)... Without the dabbling in those other fields and those experiences, I might be a little lost or of narrower vision... I draw reference from what I was taught almost daily now still.

    So, while I think I received a rather a useless degree in the scheme of getting a job, I wouldn't have traded that experience for anything. It helped mold me to today. It was a golden opportunity to be more well-rounded, because heaven knows my passions at 18 were a far cry from my passions at 40.

    Lastly, I thought of my experience in college (art school) as a springboard for my independence. I learned a tremendous amount about myself in those days.

  9. Whoa, Whitney...that's quite a rant! I'd defiantly vote for you for President but seeing how I went to art school and loved it I'd have differ with you on this point in your platform.

    For me art school was the gateway to my whole career. I was very lucky and had no debt. Also I found a mentor, in one of my instructors, a brilliant textile artist, who took me under her wing and influenced my entire life. I was young, didn't know what direction I wanted to go and needed the structure art school gave me. I was exposed to all sorts of mediums. The academic classes that my school provided were terrific as well (though I still spell like shit). Your absolutely right - I couldn't possibly have made a living with my BFA in textiles when I guaduated but what I got out of the experience made waiting tables bearable! I eventaully found a way to semi-incorporate my fancy art school education into a career and it all worked out. I wouldn't trade those four glorious years of freedom exploring the artistic process for anything. I'd tell that 17 year old to go, have fun, learn lots but get a scholarship.

    Since Whitney Smith is not on the ballot this year... GO OBAMA!

  10. Forwarding this to my 17 year old daughter pronto...

    *yeah, she wants to go to art school, but is in a local state university double-majoring in art and sustainability. Taking on debt even so.

  11. Ellie Skross11:52 AM

    I find this discussion fascinating. I deal with artists daily as I own a business that has exhibits. Plus I am the mother of an artist who went to a four year art school. The thing that strikes me most from both angles is that you all are right in one aspect - schools should be teaching the economics of art - the business of art. It should be mandatory.

    The artists I deal with are good. Most of them have been trained and have a formal education. It is a good base. But they all struggle with marketing themselves. And it is a rare artist that is spontaneously discovered without a doing the hard work of marketing.

    I enjoy this blog especially when you talk about the frustrations as well as the delights of your art. I'm adding a link from my blog to yours so my artists and collectors can enjoy your insight amd conversation.

  12. ellie skross12:02 PM

    Oops, my blog is Come and read.

  13. I forgot to add that after I finished college and wasn't really using my education, I did do a Small Business class which really helped me with figuring how to price my time, copyrighting, trademarking, marketing,licenses etc. We did a little of that at art school but it was the non art business class that did the trick.

  14. There are two sides to every argument: My biggest vote for Art school is that you are given the time to develop your own identity as an artist without having to sell it at the same time. I am more of a latent artist- have always loved making art, but needed the confidence only art school could give me to explore my creativity without having to put a price tag on it at the same time. It may seem like an expensive excuse to be able to explore art, but education also has given me in-roads and a broader, more educated and accepting art community to belong to. I think apprenticeships are good, but in Art school you have a wider variety of instruction, a more well-rounded approach that can really benefit your own work.
    You are right- you dont really learn how to make a business out of your art, but granted, there are business programs that people can take. Since I am Canadian and have had access to less expensive education, I am all for people exploring a community college art education before pouring a ton of money into an exclusive and over-priced art school. I do agree that having a debt of tens of thousands of dollars out of art school is not going to pay off for a very long time, and that it isnt a great option unless you are guaranteed to come out of art school being a raving success.

  15. I am a recovering Art school goer. I went to School of Visual Arts in N.Y., which was more of an artist workshop with some core classes thrown in so you can have a “degree”. It was considered one of the top illustration schools on the east coast. During my first year painting studio class, I had an extremely abstract style painter/teacher who was married to a very well known painter in NY and was given this job as a “favor” to her husband, while we the students paid 18k a year to be there. Not only was she not a very good teacher, she was an even worse painter. She was not able to help students whose style leaned more towards realistic painting than abstract contemporary work. She herself had never gone to art school and was unable to paint in that way. I as a result was so confused and lost, that I wound up dropping out a couple years later. I could not paint for 5 years afterwards. I am still paying off my federal student loan. But here’s the kicker. I still owe the school money, because they sent back my student loans without me knowing, so as a result I owe the school an additional 8k. for the semester my loans did not cover.  I tried settling, talking to them etc… but they will not release my transcript so I can further continue my Art education. After bitching about this for several years, I went back to school and started from scratch. I think eventually I might cough up the 8k and get my credits.

    So right now I am back in school, going to a community college, and concentrating on ceramics, (now that I have a better idea of what I want to do). I really do want that degree, I feel like I will not be satisfied until I have it. So my opinion is this: I think that there needs to be a combination of both. I think you need the basics/foundation/structure you can get from Art school, but that art school should also provide opportunities for students to apprentice under different artists for school credit. Kinda like a work study program, so they can see what it’s like not only from a perspective of one artist, but multiple. They should be exposed to studio artists, commission artists, gallery artists/owners. I don’t think in any way that having an Art degree makes you an artist, but it can open doors that would otherwise be closed regardless of your experience, or how incredibly brilliant and talented you are, unless you work for yourself, and then it doesn’t really matter. (in my opinion).

  16. I couldn't agree with you more.

  17. kelli2:14 PM

    I absolutely agree, and I want to broaden it even further than just art degrees. I think we are way, way too focused on getting degrees. What happened to apprenticeships in all the other fields too? Universities and professors have a huge incentive in keeping the school system expand the way it currently is. But some of those professors didn't even have to go through the rigorous schooling kids today do just to be at the step of looking for a job. If they became successful or accomplished, or whatever standard it is they want to achieve, how can they encourage 18-year-olds to saddle themselves with $50,000 in debt to reach that same plateau? It is a huge double standard, and it is hugely harming the past few young generations.

  18. This is such a wonderful conversation that is happening here. I am recently in the same boat. I am thirty and have been an artist all my life. I did attend a bit of art school ten years ago right out of college but that didn't go so well and I dropped after two years. This summer I finally paid off my loan and my partner suggests that I finish my degree. Great idea! I am now in only my fourth week at a local community college (that is one of the top ones in the country I hear) and am completely frustrated. I am struggling with the art classes because they're not challenging me. Over these past ten years I've read so many books about different art techniques, analyzed photos, other's work, taken workshops with professionals and here I ignorantly thought college would teach me something new. I just may drop out at the end of this term, pay back my couple thousand dollars and continue with my plan!
    I preach to anyone I talk to that if they want to learn art to learn from someone who is actually making a living at it! I think part of me expected to jumpstart my career going back to school (not sure where that crazy idea came from). I have a little art show coming up next week, plans to submit work to national magazines, a savings for workshops with local artists I admire... This is what they should teach. How to market, how to find the opporutnity, heck, how to make it!

  19. (Er... I mean I attended right out of high school!)

  20. i completely agree with you in terms that the apprentice would learn much more than one who just learns how to create. on the other hand though, what i feel art schools do allow (or at least the one i went to) was that you can experiment with many different mediums/processes until you find the one that is just an extension of yourself.
    my issue with art schools is that they place a sense of false importance on the student as a budding artist. they teach them skills in creation, or thought, but they don't teach them (as you so wonderfully put) how to survive properly. there are very few models of artist who are lucky enough just create as the job. people who want to be artists get little direction on survival. art schools themselves are a double edged sword, you are able to meet other people who are in the "same boat" as you, and you get to try new things, see new things, but, they don't get to understand how business works, how to survive--the essentials of how the business and economy work.

  21. I'm in total agreement. In britain we're theoretically meant to have free education, however we now pay tuition fees and generally people emerge from university with thousands of pounds of student loans....The only good thing is that you don't have to pay these back until you are earning over a certain amount.

    I didn't go to art school I just did an A level (2 years) which allowed me to explore print making, oil painting, drawing, perspective etc and improve my skills, but there was absolutely no advice about living as an artist. No concept or discussion of residencies, exhibiting, and no advice about realistically what kind of area I should go into.

    I'd love the apprenticeship way of learning to come back - though i'm not sure how that would work in the fine arts?

  22. All of this is such great food for thought ( as always, Whitney!) i think the bottom line too, is evaluating your personal situation/needs, because everyone is different. I went to a fancy dancy art school at great expense to my family and myself...rubbed elbows w/ folks who were just gonna 'graduate and paint'. My Dad ( who is a trained architect, and got HIS art education at Copper Union for free) kept saying " what are you going to do to pay the rent?". I kept telling him not to worry, I was gonna make it on my art!...there are those who really don't have to worry about the debt, or how to earn a living later ( which art schools definitely dont teach) and those attend art schools who do have to. Perhaps your parents can help lyo with the rent until you 'make it' ( whatever that means to you) or you dont have a spouse w/ a 'regular' job....( believe me, being able to go to the doctor when you dont feel well because you can afford health insurance DOES matter, especially when you are self employed and no work gets done until you are over whatever ails you) but you don't think about that kind of stuff when you are 20 and just want to make art. I had a very wise professor who said in a painting class "art is a business...dont kid yourself otherwise"..I have never forgotten that, and am forever grateful. Even the 'holy grail' of being a fine artist is...I have friends who sell in high end galleries in San Francisco, NYC and Santa Fe and they complain that there is a demand from the galleries to not waver too far from their 'style' because that is what they can sell.

    The moral of the story, I think is that there are many great ways to go about this business of making art...not one necessarily better than the other, but you should really look at your own life and what will make the most of your learning style, financial resources, and willingness to be in an academic or hands on type of situation. For myself, I ended up going back to grad school for a MA in art education...I teach part time elementary art, and work at my art the other 3 days of the week. I trained as a sculptor in my undergrad days, and now make sculptural jewelry instead the other 3 days of the week...sometimes I am so happy, because my basic needs are met by my teaching job, and I can create anything I like in my artistic life and not worry (too much!) as to whether or not it will sell....and yet, catch me on a 'bad day' and I feel like I am not a 'real artist' because I dont earn % 100 of my income form artmaking, or I did not get an MFA like some of my friends ( many of whom work part time as everything from massage therapists to plumbers)... I am ashamed sometimes to tell other artists I know that I have to teach a few days a week...the need to look totally successful in my art weighs heavily...

    my point being that, there are so many ways to create and lead an artists life. Clarify what works for YOU , what is doable, for you and your family

    I agree with you, Whitney, if going into big debt, for a profession, that from a financial viewpoint can be dubious is the only way, that kid should NOT do it, ( the fancy art school) because he will owe all this $ and still be asking if 'you would like fires with that?" at some restaurant , then he should find another way..but the beauty of it all is that there are many paths that can lead to the same end result....knowledge is found in so many different venues be it academic or practical...what matters more, I think is the heart, hard work and dedication you place in getting there...

  23. OOps!...perhaps I should have gone to a liberal arts college too!..I meant "fries" not "fires"!..

  24. Hi there! Great Topic!
    I was very fortunate to have my parents pay for 4 years of college. My dad was also very clear on what he would pay for. 4 years of state school - NO PRIVATE ART SCHOOL! I was hurt at first thinking why not art school if that was what I wanted to be - an artist. State schools seemed so plain and ordinary and not very artsy to me but that was my only choice and I picked a state school that had the strongest design program and one that I needed to have my portfolio reviewed and apply to get into. Now I thank my parents for not only paying but for making me choose a state school. I was blended into a diverse community. I took other general elective classes with students in other majors like English and Science. BTW - they had a lot of other kinds of talents that I did not. Some college friends became teachers and bankers and engineers. I think by being in and around them and not just art majors in college helped me grow even more and I believe that to be a very helpful learning curve to any artist.
    Some art students need the look and feel of a private art school to build a name and image for themselves but I say save your $$$. If you are truly creative deep within you will follow that no matter where you go or what you decide.

  25. Hi there, I happened upon your blog today and this post struck a cord. I completely agree with you. I currently teach high school ceramics and most recently opened an art gallery. I am writing my thesis on how to better prepare students for a career in the arts by introducing them to volunteer and internship opportunities. I think nothing is more valuable than experience and sometimes a degree is not necessary depending on what aspect of the art world you want to work in. I think if you want to be an artist, by all means, create! It is much less expensive than a private art school...

  26. I realize I am late to the conversation here, but the subject is so thought provoking I had to speak up, and will probably continue the thought over at my blog with w a link back here if that's ok?? At any rate, I did not go to a fancy art school, I attended a state school, after 2 years of community college, and my intended major was interior design as I knew enough even then to know that I could always use a regular paycheck, and the chances of that area of the arts giving me one was greater than say, "painting". I will never forget having to sit through one of the most torturous classes of my life... watercolor, which I had never attempted before, and the prof ripped me apart during every critique like her life depended upon it. I cried every single day after class. I worked hard, though. I didn't know what else to do but learn it, master it. To the point that when I brought in my final project she said, "So, who'd you hire to paint that for ya'??" She begrudgingly passed me, and I didn't paint for years after that.

    Older and wiser now, I can see that she was wounded herself. She wanted to make art, but instead was teaching. She was unhappy, and even jealous, I think. There was some amazing talent in that class. I remember talking to one girl who was a painting major, and she admitted that she had not yet thought about how to keep the lights on after graduation. I was speechless. Still don't get that one.

    Long story short, I never did earn that art degree, or any degree for that matter. But I am an artist. A working artist. Just getting myself back some 15 years later, but back just the same. I guess my position in all of this would be to be wary...wary of those teachers who are not teaching for the love of it, wherever they may be found. I eventually did find a mentor, in pottery, who had been making a living at it for 30 years.
    I still call her my "mother, sister, friend" and I learned more from her about art, life, business, being a woman, a mom, having employees, and hard work and discipline that I use on a daily basis than I ever did shedding all those tears. Cause what I have learned is that REAL artists support one another, not tear each other down. Which is why I totally support Whitney for president!

  27. Anonymous8:35 PM

    I just happened to come across this blog while looking up information about a potter's life. I'm finishing my second year of college and I'm feeling pretty bleak in a major I don't enjoy. Also, the art program at my school isn't very good and I'd really just love to dive into real work. I am extremely organized and have a lot of life skills that I know would allow me to succeed. The problem is, I have no idea how I'd even go about finding an apprenticeship.

  28. Great topic Whitney, and one close to my heart.

    I'd love to take an apprenticeship too. I live in the UK, and when I was 16 I was refused entry into art college. 20 years later I am still bitter about that, but I have recovered enough now to start exploring art again. Even then I knew I wanted to work with clay, and now that I have started again I realise my passion hasn't changed.

    I thought art college was for education? I still don't understand how one man could decide that I wasn't even good enough to be taught. How insulting is that?

    Now I feel it's time to prove him wrong, although I am very sensitive to the feeling of being held back in any way. I'm taking evening classes but I get very upset when my tutor tells me I can't do something!

    I wonder now if the person at the art college did me a favour - I didn't even fit in when I learned hairdressing at college. I don't think I'm really a college type. I think that's why I would do better learning hands on with someone who loves their trade and loves to pass on what they know.

    I have learned so much from art blogs that sometimes I have had to take a step back to digest all the information! I love learning from people who are passionate about what they do.

    I have a friend who got a BA in fine art at university and she suggested that I could get a degree in ceramics, but I resent the suggestion that I won't be any good without it - like I need some grumpy old professor with his own issues to tell me if I'm worthy of having their precious piece of paper or not. Does my work have no value without a degree? I'd prefer to just do what I love. I have eyes in my own head, I know I'm not up to standard yet, but when I am I'll know that too.

  29. carterthepotter6:02 PM

    Great topic on your always interesting blog. Abolishing art school educations might be a bit hasty though. I admit I had a dreadful time earning my MFA, but I had only agreed to go if it was getting paid for by the school. If I hadn't gotten a full scholarship I would not have been able to pursue my interest in art at the time. Your friend's dilemna is serious. A $70,000 commitment on the whims of a 17 year old is a lot to stomach when it may turn out that art school wasn't the right choice in the first place. I started my college as an english major, gave that up in my first year, became an anthropology major, and then in my senior year found I had so fallen in love with philosophy that I added a minor to my degree. Of course I went to grad school in philosophy, but halfway through my PhD coursework I stumbled on a non-credit night class in pottery, got hooked, dropped out of the PhD program after the third year, and was invited into the university's MFA program in ceramics. All of this is to say that it is hard to know what you want when you are that young. I had been prepared during school with the little tid bit of trivia that on average people change their CAREERS (not jobs) 7 times during their lives. Perhaps this 17 year old needs to prove a commitment to art before dumping all that money in someone elses pocket. If it turns out art is the thing that makes him/her happy, then it will probably be a good investment (if any higher learning is these days at those prices). A well known potter once told us in class that of the many people getting degrees in ceramics only a few are able to fully support themselves with their art. I am happy I enjoy teaching so much, sharing my passion for clay with others, that I am not unduly stressed by having such a marginal income from selling pots. I have found what makes me happy, and I am glad the university was there to help me hone my skills. I would never have enjoyed it so much if I were making someone elses work or the same things over and over. I guess my commitment is to exploring my romance with clay, not clay or art for its own sake or for the sake of making a living.

  30. Well, I went to art school. And while it was an invaluable experience, I am left with lots of debt, a surly attitude, and an inability to survive in the "real world". I have a BFA in photography and spatial arts. (Spatial Arts is ceramics/sculpture/jewelry/new media) To be completely honest, currently, I hate photography. All I wanna do is be a potter. And do yoga. And cook awesome vegan food. But because of my student loans, and for some reason, they think I should be able to pay way more a month than I actually make, I am left working a soul crushing, mind numbing, zombie inducing job to attempt to make ends meet. Which in turn, leaves little to no time or energy left over for the creative process...
    So enough rambling... If by chance, I happen to move out to California... Can I be your apprentice? Please :)

  31. I think most art school graduates posting here don't realize how insane tuition has gotten since they graduated. You may give different, and in IMO, better advice if you saw the amount of debt. I graduated from CCAD. In light of this discussion, I wanted to know what CCAD is currently charging per year now.


    So after 4 years, paying 6.8% interest for 20 years and you're looking at $184,345.....assuming you have no loan fees (lol) or have to defer for any reason....

    RISD is now at a cool $53,520 per year! Can you imagine being a fine artist looking at $393,000 in loan debt!!!

    Virtually all art schools now are basically $30,000 a year. Yes, that's $120K in tuition. But let's see the BEST case scenario of what you REALLY pay.

    $120K paying the standard 6.8% student loan interest for an average time of 20 years and now we're looking at $219,841. cough cough.

    And that's not taking in account of loan fees, living expenses and most importantly, the reality that tuition is rising at an annual pace of 7% each year. So by time you're a senior, that $30K a year has ballooned to $37,000 a year!!

    So in reality, if you take in the account of the 7% tuition inflation, you'll actually be paying $133,300 in tuition. With standard school loans you'll actually be paying $244,208.

    So seeing that almost all art schools charge around $30K a year, remember, that means a quarter of a million dollars in school loan payments when the day is done.

  32. The hard numbers here should give anyone pause. Unfortunately, I think the people who need to think the hardest about what an art school commitment means to their future earnings-- young students-- are the least likely to give this proper consideration. And not because they are stupid or don't understand how to think long-term, but because they are so hopeful and believe that their desire and ambition will overcome all obstacles.