General Question

xTheDreamer's avatar

Is there a study that involves art or design without having to go to an art academy?

Asked by xTheDreamer (840 points ) January 10th, 2011

I’m at my last year of pre-uni/secondary highschool, I want to study Fashion design.
I’ve applied for several art academies in the Netherlands but I wanted to know if there’s a study(major?) that I can enroll for, which has to do with art/design/drawing etc. without having to go to an art academy.

I want to have a back up plan if I don’t get accepted to any of the art academies that I’ve applied for.
I don’t want to study something that I don’t like/love, the only studies that would please me should have something to do with art.

Also, the school that the study(major) falls on should be able to accept me if I have graduated with these following school subjects: Algebra/Math A, English, Spanish, Dutch, Art, Geography, History.
This is because the Dutch school system would accept a student in that study/major if their graduated highschool degree subjects has something to do with the study/major.
e.g If a student wants to study becoming a doctor his/her graduated highschool degree have to consist the following subjects: biology, physics, science, math b, English, Dutch to be able to get accepted in the medical school.

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6 Answers

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submariner's avatar

In the US, you can study many art- or design-related majors at a regular university or college. Most do not require portfolio submissions to enroll in those majors (?), but the best ones might. Most major American universities offer the BFA (bachelor of fine arts) degree as well as the BA and BS.

lemming's avatar

I know in Ireland there is a college specific to fashion design and millinary, it’s called ‘The Graften Academy of Art and Design’, so there should be one in the netherlands. Research it, maybe contact one of the Art shcools and see if they have any contacts with the kind of school your looking for.

anartist's avatar

Fashion design is almost exclusively to be found in art/design schools. One thing you could do if you are unsure of your choice or don’t have the moolah is go to fashion houses and offer to apprentice/intern/work at a low-level job there, AND get involved with the fashion scene as much as possible. I also remember from my art school days that, unlike the fine art or film students, fashion students always dressed to the 9s, making their appearance a work of art.

General university BFAs in the US do not usually include industrial design, fashion design, landscape design or architecture, although they might include graphic design and some limited digital media design.

Pratt Institute, Parsons school of Design, Fashion Institute of Technology [all in NYC and 2 in the garment district—facilitating internships and actual garment trade involvement], a couple of schools in London, and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium and probably a school or two in France and Italy. Not a lot of them around.

check out fashionschools.com

You are asking too much to try to get a fully rounded liberal arts/science degree and also pursue a dedicated and highly specific design course. You should maybe try the apprentice / intern experience. I left art school because I wanted the liberal arts. Not all credits were transferable.

A friend of mine, with an English BA thought he wanted to become an architect so he applied for a job with a good architectural firm. After a year or so, he knew he wanted it, he had some understanding of the field, and the recommendations of his bosses. He now has his own firm.

Earthgirl's avatar

If you are truly passionate about Fashion Design you should pursue it. I am not going to say it’s easy, and there I am speaking from firsthand experience. Today I think it is possible to get into the fashion business by learning to illustrate and not know much about actual patternmaking and construction. That wasn’t the case when I got into the fashion field years ago. I went to The Fashion Institute of Tecnology in NYC. We had to learn how to drape and make patterns and the basics of sewing. We did drawing from the live model as well as Fashion Drawing.
Nowadays so many companies work by sending sketches overseas to China, Indonesia, etc to be made. Instead of designers who know how to actually make something with their own hands, you have “Product Development Managers” who work with “Technical Designers” to source and create the line. Since a lot of the developement process is done by email you need be computer literate. Many companies use computer illustrations for presentation to buyers and for line developemnt. The sketches for sending to factories will have notations about measurements and sewing construction to give as much information as possible. These type of sketches are called “flats” and are often done in Adobe Illustrator or another one of the software programs geared more specifically to the fashion industry. It depends on the company what program is used, but in the United States many companies use Adobe Illustrator.
You may want to be a more hands on type of designer. I know I prefer to be :) Since you don’t want to go to Art School I would see what kind of Fashion Design program you could get into. You don’t say whether or not you have any sewing experience or how good your drawing skills are. What is the reason you don’t want to go to an art academy? Would you want to have your own business? Some of your options could be limited by your financial resources, although there may be scholarships available. What brands and/or designers do you admire? How many years are you able and willing to devote to your training? Understanding the basics of business is important if you wish to pursue creating your own line and starting a business.
You also mention having a “backup plan”. I guess this is because you realize how competitive the Fashion industry can be and are covering your bases when it comes to supporting yourself. I think a business background is always a good thing to have. I think maybe this answer is getting too long! I hope it is helpful and sorry to answer your question with so many questions, but you need to explore the options and think about what would make you happy! Good luck and follow those dreams!!!

marcrapp's avatar

If you want to work for someone specifically, study somewhere well-known. If you think you can make a change, progression or have something greater to contribute to the industry as a whole–do not be afraid to go at it on your own. Gain work experience. Art, Design, Fashion–anything creative, is a blue a collar sport. You learn by doing, not by being told what to do. And as you probably know, it’s something that you’re going to do anyways.
Wether you’re paid or not.

Initially, maybe you should look around for an internship and navigate that aspect of the business first. Employers often provide benefits to new recruits.

You will be surprised by the amount of support you receive from people and colleagues.

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