Well worth a read and with some good free resource links.

When people approach me with questions about art school, specifically “Do I have to go to art school to make a living off of art?” I’ll always make the point that “no, school isn’t for everyone.”

It was great for me. At 19 I didn’t have the self discipline nor awareness to teach myself everything I needed to know about art and animation (or build a community of peers and mentors which was, I believe, one of the most important things I got out of attending Sheridan). Also, animation school gave me access to a ton of professional equipment and art programs that I wouldn’t have been able to use outside of school unless I had the connections at a studio to let me try them out.

While I’ve never had to show my diploma to get a job, (every job I’ve received has been because of my portfolio and reputation) it’s the peer and mentor group I gained attending Sheridan that was crucial for getting my foot in the door in the first place. And for being a constant support group to this day.

Canadian art school tuition is also nowhere near what it is in the States, and I was living at home, so I was able to get out of debt within 2-3 years of graduating.

The timing of Noah’s article struck a cord with me, as my little sister Hesbell graduates from highschool (today!) and I know everyone in her year has already been pushed well in advance to make decisions about their future and attending university/college now now now! It can be a really stressful and uncertain time, and if you’re dealing with this now, I totally feel ya.

Like Noah says… think long and hard about your options. The internet 10 years ago wasn’t what it is today and there is an enormous amount of free resources out there, from tutorials, to mind blowing archives of inspiration. 

But that might not be for everyone! If you want the guidance of a structured teaching system, access to professional equipment, access to industry professionals and teachers, daily interactions with a class/support group, and you can afford to take on the debt? GO FOR IT!!!!! 

Just know that there is always another option.

Extra: Toronto concept artist Bobby Chiu also weighs in on Noah’s article  with some good points if you’re interested in further reading on this subject.