Everyone gets to a point where they wonder whether it’s better to get a degree in graphic design, illustration, or whatever fine art they offer. I’m always going back and forth about whether I’m doing the right thing. I’ve been in art school for 3 years, working the entire time, and I’ve noticed many things.
I work so that I can fund my many art school purchases and eat daily while also saving up a cushion in case I can’t find a full-time job out of college. While working, I usually have to spend 3 days of my time at the job and 2 days in class. I become exhausted quickly from working on homework, leaving little time for sleep due to the early wake-up time. Several times, I have cursed my jobs for making me wake up so incredibly early. I don’t get 8 hours of sleep very often. However, I have a fairly steady income and don’t have to rely on my parents for school supplies.
I’ve also become 100% fed up with the theory of homework, as I’ve been spoiled by my jobs. I do Graphic Design work, but I don’t take it home with me. I despise staying up late doing homework because the classes couldn’t provide in-class work. In general, I feel that the education system is lacking. It’s also quite expensive, from the “affordable” colleges that cost about $8,000 per year to the exorbitant $50,000 per year at NYU’s Tisch BFA. I’m somewhere in the middle, managing to pay off the rest after financial aid. It’s pretty depressing.
The only good side to all this is the large amount of practice and teachers. In the more expensive schools, you get teachers that are high-up in the industry; they can lead to great internships and networking leads. I managed to line up a special class thanks to my hard work.
It takes a lot of perseverance to finish, for sure. Thanks to the lack of a thesis, I should finish school next May without too many problems. All I have to worry about is a final portfolio. I think art school was a good idea for me, but if you really despise homework, dedication, and/or carrying large things home, it’s time to start looking for a new major.
In this panel, we will hear from Staff and Principal Designers who’ve managed to stay on the IC track while growing their careers. We’ll get into some of the day-to-day nitty-gritty of what it means to be a Staff Designer or Principal Designer, and how to make this role a reality within your organization.