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HeckSarah Envato team says

I’m not sure how many people this will effect here but reading this story resulted in a very loud “FINALLY!” in my household.

The debt to income ratio for students leaving schools such as this is unreasonable, unfair and leads to many of them not being able to practice the art they went to school learn and if they can… it may result in living well under the poverty level.

I’m a trained artist, holding 2 degrees in art (which doesn’t make me an artist at all, trust me.) When I was ready to continue my education a few years back, I shopped around schools like Art Institute, Brooks, Art Center and states schools.

What I learned about Art Institute and Brooks was that they were pretty much art mills. No GPA requirement, no entrance exams or portfolio reviews. I applied and I was in, all they needed was my money ($40-$100k a year depending on where I went).

I’m curious to hear what other artists feel about the article (posted below) and the schools that churn out artists? Maybe you went to one of the schools mentioned and you have a different take? I’m keen to hear what everyone thinks about art and art education and the tactics used but some of the schools I mentioned.

Here is the link: http://petapixel.com/2011/09/02/us-gov-sues-the-art-institutes-for-11-billion-fraud/
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Ivor Envato team says

:(

\\

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HeckSarah Envato team says

My Internet consists of a squirrel and a hamster wheel. No wonder I am so far behind.

There is another article from last year.. I guess getting sued didn’t make a difference for the paper mill as the continue to whip out artists :(

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/13/45603.htm

:( \\
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digitalscience says

My Internet consists of a squirrel and a hamster wheel. No wonder I am so far behind.

That can’t really be an efficient internet connection haha No portfolio reviews sounds like madness.. I applied to an art college once and didn’t get in cos my pencil drawings were horrific.. but then I discovered photohop :)

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Ivor Envato team says

From Wikipedia: Beginning in August 2011, EDMC has been involved in a United States Department of Justice investigation and lawsuit alleging the use of illegal recruitment practices by EDMC schools, including The Art Institutes, and fraudulent receipt of $11 billion in federal and state financial aid money. As of May 2013, the lawsuit was unresolved. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_Institutes

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Ivor Envato team says

This is all I could find :(

\\

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jonathan01 says

Well ouch on the date :) but it really doesn’t matter based on your question – it’s a valid one and one I feel strongly about.

The fact that people think they can go to college to become an artist (of any level or type) just isn’t the case – you either are, or are not. The only thing that increases your ability as an artist is to practice your profession, as practice makes (nearly) perfect I believe. Now you may be given information to help you become better, but in the end it’s a personal ability thing.

That’s not saying that this method isn’t the same for any job or industry, we all start as a beginner, novice, etc but the more we do something the better we become (generally). Some people can try to do things all their life and will never be awesome at it, some will always be terrible and some will fall in the middle – it’s the ceiling height of your abilities as a person in that field – nothing wrong with it at all and it’s human nature – this is why we have professionals and not so professionals at everything.

Now I believe the issue lies with companies and hiring. I’ve been in the fortunate position to own companies, work for companies, been in management of companies and also a freelancer – also note not all have been in the web design / print design / animation industry all my life.

As background, I went to college many many moons ago to get a degree in art, which I did, then didn’t go in to ‘designing’ in anyway for literally decades later. The issue is companies and their hiring processes demand college degrees. I have no idea why, as it means nothing and it’s about time they changed this model for certain industries – I say certain industries because if you wish to be a doctor then yes you need degrees, no one will hire Joe Smith because he says he can do a heart transplant obviously – but with our professions, experience is the thing people want to see, a portfolio, a spectrum of abilities and the software used etc. Anyone can do this with the internet these days, what with Tuts+ and every other learning website, you have everything you need.

A college degree basically means you spent a whole chunk of money to get a piece of paper that states you attended. It doesn’t mean you are good at designing websites, or print – just you attended and paid.

Show me someone who started to learn before leaving school, created a portfolio, built their own site and knows what I mean when I mention industry terms and I would hire them (and have) over someone with mediocre abilities and a college degree – that person that went out on their own, studied on their own, built things on their own is a go-getter. They understand what needs to be done in the real world and how to do it – that is priceless and I believe those people should be given tax breaks because of this – like money back for taking the time to just go and do it.

Jonathan

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HeckSarah Envato team says

Not bad Ivor, this one is probs more accurate.

We would all be so fit…


This is all I could find :( \\
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HeckSarah Envato team says

Right? Photoshop helped me tons and we have been going steady for about 15 years. Phew, I’m old.

No portfolio review is what stopped me from going to a trade school like AI or Brooks. It scared me that they put no stock in my ability but were cool on making sure I got loans for insane amounts at the tender age of 25.


That can’t really be an efficient internet connection haha No portfolio reviews sounds like madness.. I applied to an art college once and didn’t get in cos my pencil drawings were horrific.. but then I discovered photohop :)
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HeckSarah Envato team says

I completely agree with you, Jonathan. I hold a degree in design and I can tell you with 100% honesty I learned the most practical skills as a Graphic Designer my first year OUT of college. Lucky for me, Crusader12 (the hubs) and I ran our own business and we were able to teach each other here and there. What you should read in that last sentence was HE had the experience of owning his own design business and he took his lady under his wing.

I do agree that art is either in your or it isn’t, I do think you can learn technical aspects of it. You might be a robot at whipping out logos but … it’s easy to tell when you love design.

I did the whole Cal State route. Walked away with minimal debt (It’s still too much), a well rounded art history background (and other skills like, you know, math). I could have easily gained a lot of my design experience with internships at firms and print shops.

Schools like AI and the like CAN be okay, if you have the money drive and little time. I warn everyone I know, though, to look at state schools and community colleges if they can.

Thanks for sharing your opinion!

-S


Well ouch on the date :) but it really doesn’t matter based on your question – it’s a valid one and one I feel strongly about.

The fact that people think they can go to college to become an artist (of any level or type) just isn’t the case – you either are, or are not. The only thing that increases your ability as an artist is to practice your profession, as practice makes (nearly) perfect I believe. Now you may be given information to help you become better, but in the end it’s a personal ability thing.

That’s not saying that this method isn’t the same for any job or industry, we all start as a beginner, novice, etc but the more we do something the better we become (generally). Some people can try to do things all their life and will never be awesome at it, some will always be terrible and some will fall in the middle – it’s the ceiling height of your abilities as a person in that field – nothing wrong with it at all and it’s human nature – this is why we have professionals and not so professionals at everything.

Now I believe the issue lies with companies and hiring. I’ve been in the fortunate position to own companies, work for companies, been in management of companies and also a freelancer – also note not all have been in the web design / print design / animation industry all my life.

As background, I went to college many many moons ago to get a degree in art, which I did, then didn’t go in to ‘designing’ in anyway for literally decades later. The issue is companies and their hiring processes demand college degrees. I have no idea why, as it means nothing and it’s about time they changed this model for certain industries – I say certain industries because if you wish to be a doctor then yes you need degrees, no one will hire Joe Smith because he says he can do a heart transplant obviously – but with our professions, experience is the thing people want to see, a portfolio, a spectrum of abilities and the software used etc. Anyone can do this with the internet these days, what with Tuts+ and every other learning website, you have everything you need.

A college degree basically means you spent a whole chunk of money to get a piece of paper that states you attended. It doesn’t mean you are good at designing websites, or print – just you attended and paid.

Show me someone who started to learn before leaving school, created a portfolio, built their own site and knows what I mean when I mention industry terms and I would hire them (and have) over someone with mediocre abilities and a college degree – that person that went out on their own, studied on their own, built things on their own is a go-getter. They understand what needs to be done in the real world and how to do it – that is priceless and I believe those people should be given tax breaks because of this – like money back for taking the time to just go and do it.

Jonathan
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