No Job For You! just the bill?

Posted on October 14, 2011


More really bad news for an education in the Arts or Lessons in Greed by Chris Kirkham

It seems that Wall Street Giants invested in and own many for profit Schools?

Like the Arts Institutes of America. Seems they Pray on  disadvantaged students for profit. Leaving most of those students with the bill for an education that isn’t what was promised. The crushing debt which many of these hopeful Artists are burdened with will surely derail their dreams of a career in the Arts. For many it may derail their financial future for a life time.

Still students are in line to sign up. Hoping they will be the exception. Hoping they will be the next great (Fill in the Blank)? But most will not be anything more than slave to the debt they incur trying to pursue the dream.

This is the suffering of Artists today. 

Oh and it isn’t just the parasites at the For Profit Schools that are looking for the next victim. Just ask almost anybody that graduated from almost any Art School; How’d it work out?

My Point is Simple

I want to save you from the hurt and pain of crushing debt while you endure the pain and suffering of being an Artist. Yes being an Artist is painful enough without the DEBT of student loans.

Oh sure there are occupations in the arts that you can study that do have better odds at landing a job or career. Most of these jobs are in Arts Management or Support related occupations. This is true for the visual or performing arts. For every Actor on the Big Screen there are hundreds of people behind the scenes working to bring that oscar winning performance to a theater near you. Including the guy selling popcorn.

The same is true in the visual arts. Learning to be a Picture Framer may offer far better odds at making a living than painting the picture.

The New big area of Art is Computer Graphics. The World of War Craft. Yes many young talented minds are hoping for a shot at becoming a Digital Jedi. The Art Institute’s of America is counting on your Dreams to make their dreams a reality. They dream about Your Money!

If you are MIT bound that is a different discussion. MIT, RIT and AIA or IT Tech are very different schools? Oh and you could go to MIT for about the same price. If you have real talent maybe even for less money? Google it Jedi.

Ok so you get it. Now What?

Put that creative brain of yours to work. Yep, if you want to be an artist of any kind think your way through the process. Remember a required skill you will need to be a successful artist is the ability to continuously learn. Another skill you will need to develop is personal discipline. Once you have mastered these two skills you can do anything your creative mind can think up. That’s it, that is the formula for success in case you wanted to know.

How does that work?

First I would urge you to develop a good knowledge of history in any field of art you are interested in pursuing? This is a knowledge of where those who came before have been, what they did, what ideas they had and what events shaped their success or failure. Yes failure is a big part of succeeding in the arts or anything else. If you want to be a leader in any field you have to be willing to fail. We learn our most important lessons through our failures. Trust me.

Second learn the technical skills you need to turn or ideas into reality. Want to be a painter, learn painting techniques. Want to be a computer graphic designer, learn to use computer graphic programs. Want to be an Actor, learn acting.

But don’t I have to go to school to learn these things?

Maybe? Not necessarily or at least not in the traditional sense. You can learn these things on your own if you have the discipline and the desire. Don’t get me wrong school is good, just not all schools. If you decide to go to school do your research your homework and pick a good school. One question you will have to answers is, Do I need a Degree to work in the field I am interested in?

If you plan to be an Artist I would say the answer is NO! If you plan to be and Art Teacher I would say Yes!

Over the years I have developed a skeptical opinion about how Art or the Arts are taught in colleges today. We developed the MFA a Masters of Fine Arts as a terminal degree. Terminal in many senses of the word. In short a teaching degree. Why because degree’d Artists couldn’t find work. So with the MFA they could teach. You see really you don’t need an MFA to be an Artist. Most of the technical skills you need can be learned in a 2 year degree program, not four six or seven. Fact is many community colleges offer 2 year programs that offer you all the foundation courses you will need to pursue your career as an artist.

They also offer you fully equipped facilities.

Want to be a Potter, Painter, Actor, Filmmaker or a Computer Graphics Jedi? You are going to need equipment and in some cases lots of equipment, very expensive equipment.  Price the cost of a professional digital video camera or a fully equipped Potters Studio. In fact you should be looking at the cost of setting up your studio your work space before you even start school.


Because you are going to be going it alone if you are going to be an independent artist of any kind. Equipment and work space are expensive. If you are in debt up to your eye balls you won’t be able to give yourself with the equipment you need to work. So why not invest in the equipment you need instead of another 2,3,4,5,6 years of college? Get the foundation knowledge you need and get to work.


Everything you need to know from ancient history to the most advanced skill and graphic arts programs are available somewhere on the internet.

Adobe offers free or nearly free training on all of their programs. Buy the ADOBE Creative Suite and then sign up with Lynda ( Adobe give you as a perk free access to thousands of online training videos with certificates of completion after you have completed the course. You can continue on your own even after your free access expires for small dollars a month. The Premium subscription is $37.50 a month! They offer state of the art how to use the newest software on the market education. Of course the Adobe Creative Suite costs 2500 bucks. But you are going have to buy it sooner or later anyway. I’ll even bet that if you research the school you are going to attend. You will find out they don’t train you on the latest software.

If you learn Creative Suite you will be able to get a job.

Lynda is just one education service ADOBE offers. You can also attend seminars, workshops presented in your city or cities close to you. You can attend online also.

Microsoft also offers free or nearly free training on their software platforms too! Ever heard of Microsoft Engineer. Well ask an IT Guy. Microsoft offers online training and certification.

Fact is you can find anything on-line from Acting to software design classes and workshops. Where you can get advanced state of the art information and training in the field of your dreams. From experts in almost any field of interest.

Fact is you can learn more in 1, 2 or 3 weeks by taking short intensive workshops than you can learn in a semester at most schools. And you can learn for a lot less money.

So maybe that’s not the idea of your education, you have?

To far off the “Beaten Path” for you. Well Ok. I just want to urge you to think outside the box. Think outside the traditional methods of education if you don’t have the money! You can still get where you want to go if you take a different road is all i am trying to say. Get Creative.

Remember This

Two of the most successful and creative minds of the last century where college dropouts

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

So Stay Foolish and Stay Hungry

And Stay out of Debt!!!

So you want to be Visual Artist, The Real Truth About a Life In the Arts After Graduation

Posted in: Art