4. Q&A: Is it necessary to have a college degree to be an artist?

A: Short Answer:  No, it is not imperative to have a college degree to be an artist.

A: The More Important Answer: It is strictly a personal decision whether or not college will suit you. I went to college because I felt it was really important for me to learn more about my specific field of interest as well as getting a well rounded education.  I have made long-lasting friendships with fellow colleagues as well as with my professors.  This has been quite beneficial for my creative process, career, and my mental well being.  Admittedly, it is tough to know at seventeen or eighteen what the "right" program or school will be.  But your college years are the beginning of your adult journey as a person and as an artist, and no "mistake" in your college choice is irreversible.  If you're on the fence about college, or about what school will be the right "fit," here are a few things to consider: does the school have a portfolio review?  These can be intimidating, but are generally an indication of quality instruction.  More on this to come in future postings.  Are there other artistic resources in the area, i.e. museums, galleries, artistic communities?  Look at the faculty profiles online.  Do any of their bios excite you about meeting them?  What have they published or produced?  And of course, what is the cost?  Cost should not necessarily have to be a deciding factor in going to college.  But as an artist, you probably won't be rolling in cash right after graduation.  At least, not if you're continuing to pursue your artistic goals.  With that in mind, your college choice needs to include a price tag that will be manageable, where you can see yourself paying off your loans while still pursuing your dreams.

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