Why do art students discontinue their education?

Why do art students discontinue their education?

Written by Sarah Vaikul

- Restrictions are overwhelming

In an art school, teachers guide students to express themselves. Artists and teachers are two distinct professions. There is no solid formula to ascertain that a good artist can double up as a proficient teacher. Students may realise conventional teaching methods are not beneficial but detrimental to their existing knowledge. They may also demonstrate innate talent more extraordinary than their teachers. The adequacy of a teacher can prove to limit a student firm about their artistic creation. Additionally, since teachers operate in a regulated environment, it can hinder the creative processes of learning and budding artists.

- Adherence is back-breaking

Art school is tedious. It demands unusual rigour, to which many fail to deliver. Art students go through multiple all-nighters in a week. Some may even report sleep deprivation and extreme stress. Due to a loss of balance, students tend to compromise social relationships. There is virtually no life beyond school. Besides, a demanding curriculum can suck the joy out of creating. An artist, who is emotionally attached to their art, enrols in a school intending to enhance their current skill set. However, an educational institute's technical and mechanical nature ruins the passion for art.

- Tuition is exorbitant

A big reason for students to discontinue art education is the sheer expensiveness of art school. By the time a student reaches graduation, they have amassed a gigantic sum in debt. When coupled with supplies and the cost of living, tuition adds a massive burden on students, especially those paying for themselves. Many end up repaying loans well after graduation. When the money runs dry, students are forced to drop out. One could take up minimum-wage jobs to sustain the school, but the excruciatingly laborious curriculum leaves little time to do so. Passion can only push you so much. A rock-hard plan for after college and ample financial aid will do the rest.

- Uncertainty is devastating

Perhaps, this is the most cited reason for the infamy of the art world. An unstable paycheck is discouraging. Students who usually enrol sans a strong career path find themselves quickly rattled by the uncertainty of the future. The world of art is competitive, and each artist is trying their best to ensure the most profitable space for their work. Outside of the predictable and familiar cocoon of school, students are on their own trying to make a mark. Struggling in a vast pool of talent, students tend to compare their work with peers and lose hope.

- Discoveries are illuminating

Art school is the embodiment of courage and passion. An artist can be anybody passionate enough to endure sleepless nights to create something meaningful and significant. After one goes to school, their idea of art might change at times. They might start to view the world of art in a whole new light. Students take up routes that they deem fit which says nothing about their passion for the art. Instead, it says everything about how true they stay to themselves. Art schools might not meet the expectations with which one enrols. Their interests might manifest in a different form.

male artist painting

Pushing oneself through art school and subsequently building a career is more than just creating "beautiful work." Students can begin with creating a lot of work to experiment with their preferred medium and genre, develop their footing, explore their styles and interests, find their voice as an artist to communicate effectively with audiences and get better in the process. Creating several works allows you to pick the more impactful pieces, document your art in the best light, and become confident in the work you deliver. It is crucial to learn to receive an honest critique and healthily incorporate feedback in your art as a student.

A professional approach to your art concerning tangible arrangements like a website or business cards can go a long way in highlighting your commitment to your work. Your faith in the work you have created is what really matters; hence, choose your words about your art wisely and exude confidence.

In the age of advertising, it is essential to get your art seen in the public domain because it reflects the social nature of your work. Collaborating with peers with similar ambitions, skills, and interests can create a solid circle of creative people that will become beneficial on a larger scale in the future. Keep in touch with your audiences since nurturing these relationships can do wonders for your work. While it is not an economically savvy move in the short run to give away your art as a gift, it can establish your art career wonderfully in the long run by cultivating connections and attracting interest in your work. All of this in moderation while protecting yourself, your art, and your principles. 

As an art student, life will be hectic so ensure you are sleeping and eating well and enough. Steer clear of addictive substances because your mind is more robust than you think. Go outside often, beautify your workspace, and do the most important tasks first thing in the day. 

Remember discipline is more reliable than motivation, and never shy away from asking for help. Nothing gets ahead without some perseverance, so avoid giving up, recognise and work on the flaws, embrace rejection, and, more importantly, own your accomplishments.