General Question

NinjaBiscuit's avatar

As an artist, what degree should I get?

Asked by NinjaBiscuit (605points) August 19th, 2010

I know I don’t want to be a graphic designer. My husband does that for a living and I just don’t have the patience for more of the typography-based stuff. I do mostly illustration and character designing for really small projects and commissions here and there.. but I’m finding it really hard to pinpoint exactly what I need a degree in to get my foot in the door to be a character designer for, ..let’s say a movie company like Dreamworks or Pixar. There aren’t really degrees in character design specifically, so would someone with a Bachelors Degree in just art or along those lines be able to get a job like that? Or is it more based off of not really what degree you have but how much talent and if you just took SOME sort of art program in college? I’m 25 and a married mom and really wondering what to do. Drawing is my passion and I’m always wanting to learn more. I want to go back to school.. but for WHAT exactly? Help?

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9 Answers

anartist's avatar

Specialized education might help. At an ordinary university a simple bachelor of arts would have to do, but at an art school like Pratt Art Institute or Corcoran College of Art + Design you can get more specific degrees that would perhaps be more helpful.—for example: BFA Digital Media Design

brotherhume's avatar

Most art related majors fall under BFA as in Bachelor of Fine Arts even though it may not be exactly “fine arts.” For example, I’m majoring in Advertising and Art Direction at Pratt and I’ll graduate (hopefully) with a BFA. A lot of people joke about the degree saying anyone with a BFA will be a poor, starving, beret-wearing artist. I say that it depends a lot on what school you choose to pursue the BFA and what specific major. If you are passionate about character design, a major in Illustration at an art and design college would be very helpful in terms of job opportunities.

Every art student wants to work at Pixar so expect to compete against an unbelievably huge tsunami of talent and ambition. Seriously, I will fight you!

anartist's avatar

this school in California offers EXACTLY the training you seek and many graduates go on to work at Pixar, Dreamworks, etc.

SundayKittens's avatar

What @brotherhume said.
BFA over BA. Specialize if you can….follow the above advice! Become a world-famous biology textbook illustrator! I’ll be so jealous.

hug_of_war's avatar

I think if you’re going to do art go all out – definitely a BFA program. Get really good at a specific area is better than being okay at a multitude of things. Networking in art is HUGE. Having connections can be the difference between being unemployed and making art a career. Art schools love students because they can rip you off and you’re left with a huge debt so you really need to do your research and make sure you aren’t falling into something that sounds better than it is.

SundayKittens's avatar

I think you have a consensus!

NinjaBiscuit's avatar

@SundayKittens @hug_of_war @brotherhume @anartist Thanks everyone for your input! The answers really helped me out. <3 <3

SundayKittens's avatar

Let us know what you decide. And if you have any questions, feel free to message me!

GeorgeGee's avatar

If you specifically want to work in animation/character design, your best bet is to pursue a degree in that specifically. Art schools like The Art Institute, Ringling College of Art and Design, and Savannah College of Art and Design are all regionally accredited colleges that offer specialized degrees in animation. In a conventional college or university you might only have perhaps two courses in animation, whereas in a specialized program you will have about 30, thus you will have much better skills and a much better portfolio when you finish.

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