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Dislocating Education

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Art Schools

If you have always had a flair for art and are interested in making a living doing what you love, there are many art schools available that will allow you to hone your skills and to turn your passion into a career.

However, if you prefer to pursue art as a hobby, many art schools offer part-time recreational courses for those who pursue art as a pastime. Some art schools are specialized and focus on one area, such as film, graphic design, or fine arts. Other schools offer over a dozen majors in almost every area of art.

Some fine art schools are dedicated to “art for art’s sake” whether it is sculpting, painting, drawing or photography. Other arts schools have more of a vocational focus and are geared toward teaching the artist to use his or her skills in the marketplace.

Common offerings at art schools include:

~  Animation
~  Fashion
~  Graphic design
~  Photography
~  Interior Design
~  Film
~  Fine Arts

The length of the course depends on what kind of degree you are looking for. Some vocational art schools will award a certificate after a year or two, whereas some art schools and programs at colleges and universities offer a full BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) or MFA (Master of Fine Arts) to those who have already completed an undergraduate degree.

Animation courses these days draw heavily on digital animation, and some of these courses are online and can be completed in your home.

Fashion design will teach the student to bring a fashion concept to paper and then to actual clothing and accessories. Some fashion courses will also teach marketing techniques for those who want to directly sell their own work.

Art schools usually combine some classroom and practical work, although this depends on the program. Graphic and Interior design might involve more lectures, whereas fine art and film might focus on encouraging the students to create their own original work.

There are two main approaches in film or fine arts schools. Some are more academically oriented, and teach the student principles of art through learning from the masters. The course may begin what an art or film appreciation course and the student will eventually develop his or her own work as final project.

Some art schools will place a camera or a brush in the student’s hand from the first day and will encourage him or her to first create new work and then to receive feedback. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages, and which school to choose is up to the student.

Most art schools will ask for a portfolio before accepting an applicant, but some very basic courses will not ask for a portfolio. The candidate is usually invited to an interview and he or she must have completed high school or at least a GED, or a high school equivalency test.

The most prestigious art schools are usually the most competitive and students who attend these institutions usually have the greatest chances for success. However, not all successful artists attended the best art schools, and it is possible to attend an “average” art school and to do quite well in the art school.

Some students who were initially rejected by a particular art school often apply again after a semester or two at another school and can gain admission.

Usually some financial aid is available at art schools, and usually this is need or ability based. Students who choose to attend art school full-time often require scholarships or loans, but some students prefer to work and attend school part-time. Many students are able to pursue work-study, and to work in art-related fields while working towards their degrees.

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