Art School, University or Self Taught – My Worthless 1st Class Degree

Art School, University or Self Taught - My Worthless 1st Class Degree



hello everybody Bolin here in pursuit of heart I want to talk to you guys today about art school or university versus being self-taught now I've had the privilege to be on both sides of the tracks so I can hopefully give you guys a good idea of what it's been like for me and what I hope it won't be like for you okay so this video is gonna be pretty much incredibly biased I'm gonna say this right now before I start because my experience has been incredibly biased when I went to university I received absolutely nothing of what it was supposed to be giving me and when I just started doing things on my own and switching to a more practical way of approaching stuff I'm pretty much getting to where I want to go to I'm not there but I'm I'm seeing progress every single day every single week every single year when I used to go to university I was not seeing remotely any not just progress but even any application in any remote imaginative sort of weird abstract context that might ever happen so if like awk octopi or just giant fish invaded the earth and then just sort of bombed everything with some weird goop that only like a great abstractly weird non-trained artist could fix maybe it might be useful then but that's not what I signed up for now let me just show you my degree really quick so you know this is all legit just open up my webcam so I hope you guys can see it this is my name over here and then we have over here my Bachelor of Arts with honours first class degree and then my course when I signed up for it actually was called digital arts but then they changed into digital culture they could have actually changed it to no shoe-shining and monkey hair picking or whatever whatever literally it would have made no difference and I graduated 2011 that's important because I'm going to show you some work from 2009 just one look one thing really cuz I don't have a lot to show from then and a lot of the stuff from my ear 3 when I'm supposed to be grand master art man everything so I'm gonna just quickly show you for those that haven't seen any of my videos before 2013 beginning of 2013 I decided that I'm gonna try and become a self-taught artist I just pretty much eliminated any other options or at least tried to put it out my head that I'll be doing anything else I stopped going for jobs or anything like that I just focused on doing this one thing and I just wanted to see where it would go so this is the end of my first year of doing stuff I did that and if you haven't seen how bad I was before well you get to see in just a second when I show you stuff from university you get to see how my academic training will really help me so this is a master study that I did at the end of my first year this is another one and another one not as detailed or looser trying out some new stuff and one copying slash slightly imaginative sort of painting now I'm not showing you these to show off or anything like that I'm not particularly proud of any of them I'm showing you these just so you guys could see that there's improvement a lot of improvement especially when when you see just in a sec what my work used to be like it's obviously a lot of problems there's all kinds of stuff going on too literal translation of forms just plastic feel of just not not not a lot of mastery but it doesn't matter all it matters is that it's showing tremendous improvement compared to what my skill level used to be like so let me just show you where I started off I'm sure I'll show you actually I show you something in my third year of university so you guys will know that I've already had some amazing training under my belt so this is my third year of training and I have over here my course curriculum you guys might not be able to see but I will read it for you I was taking this is after two years of again my course was called digital art and this is after two years of digital esthetics digital imaging and also computer animation and web design so digital imaging in digital art right that sounds like digital painting like photography like all kinds of cool stuff you could be doing this is my work in my third year so almost about to graduate if you check out the data over here this is 26 to February we study till whatever April or something May so I'm about to graduate I'm um I can't wait for my awesome potential just about start contributing to the larger world with my visual skills that are acquired in university so let me show you some more stuff from my third and final year this is another one show you over here so this is February again 2011 as you can see I've done some awesome progress I'm moving into color and I'm getting really good and some more stuff this is actually yeah this is well I've started it's just a post graduating so this is July of 2011 I've already received my degree my pijl arts degree and I've actually come back and made some significant improvements in February of 2012 after I've you know kept practicing and getting really good I managed to do this thing pretty good painting right there now you can see this this is 2012 again so this is me doing professional development after I was then I was trying to acquire the style of someone else so I did this masterpiece thing okay I don't really need to show you anymore I don't think I'll show you some perspective practices well this is now this is perspective practice okay perspective obviously being a complete fundamental of art right so incredibly important now let me show you the date if you didn't see it before this is after graduating okay awesome I'm learning basics after graduating how awesome is that I'm still learning after I've learned so many things at university already mm-hmm lovely now I might you might say that I was just like hit on the head or something and I just somehow made it through this but that's not really true cuz check this out again I am first class first class means that only me and let's say two or three other people from the whole year of graduating people of that course there's only us special ones got the first class degree okay we are awesome so this was my experience of going to university for digital arts they might ask how could this possibly happen and I'll try and explain what I think goes on now a lot of people when you say art they would just say that anything is art right self-expression any collage and dead leaves with a monkey tooth and also just sprinkle some sprinkle some corn flakes in there and this will be the metaphor for Kellogg's taking over the world and monkeys dying right so when you say art in some people's minds that gives huge huge space for potentially very bad consequences for you when you say art most people just completely ascribe that to a field that's completely unrelated to any type of human endeavor just anything turns out to be art so when you make anything so mushy and squishy that just anything goes then there is absolutely no training you can provide for that and the strategy of my university was to basically hire people that have had zero relevant experience or knowledge to teach people that just sign up for something that are obviously unclear about what they'll be doing because there's no way that any person that was clued in on what the world was like and how business worked or anything that they would have stuck it out for three years now I was in there too now how is it that I did that well it's obvious at that time I didn't know anything about anything so what were some of the things that they actually taught us while I was there what were what were the courses that they were teaching us okay so first of all I describe University or going to university well my experience my very limited experience only with art related degrees and only in one university only in one small place my experience of that and how I describe it is if you go to a restaurant and you order a steak and some potatoes and then maybe some cake for dessert okay that's all you want simple basic available everywhere easy okay and the waiter comes back and they bring you a little poodle on a plate and the Pulu is just dancing is doing all kinds of stuff it's like all shaved all over you know like those fashion poodles and it has like the little ball weird tail thing and it's just sort of dancing around like really smoothly and just sits there and looks at you and just breathes right in your face you're looking at this thing like what is that what was my steak where's my potato why did I pay ten thousand pounds for that like what is that for and then the poodle is just oh it's just so amazing so cool art this is all art okay why would anyone go to that same restaurant once you've gone and this is what you got would you pay then that if you just wanted your steak and potatoes and whatever and you got that that might be cool and fun but is that worth having to pay years of debt afterwards over now what makes no sense at all in terms of economics is that what you're paying the university or art school whatever this what you're paying them for is for them to give you a skill that you can then use that skill to pay off what you pay them so in a way you're investing in being able to earn money right you you're not just throwing money away or you're not just it's like it's not like roulette where you just throw it and maybe you might win you're supposed to be making the smart investment that likely or parents or almost everyone around you would agree that it's like a good investment you're supposed to be doing that so you can earn for the rest of your life and that pays off that skill that you acquired pays off there's definitely a point to paying for stuff you should be paying for stuff that's useful tutorials out there mentorships whatever that is incredibly useful if you find the right teacher and it's absolutely useless to pay any amount of money to a person that knows nothing can't help you doesn't know why you want to do it and can't understand what you'll do with it after that most of the people that I learned from were exactly those people they're not bad people but they are providing a service that is useless if I were 80 years old and terminally ill and I just wanted to go and just make my brain work on something that's fine I'll take it and I'm not saying that I got nothing out of it I got loads of stuff out of it most of it being don't ever listen to people they just put you in a place and you some things are supposed to happen don't ever stay in a place that you think is purposeless or useless and third one most importantly don't ever pay for that why would you do that yeah I'm sorry I'm getting excited okay and to keep this level-headed let me just say that if you are in a place that is teaching your relevant skills that you are feeling like you're growing like you're learning like you're doing stuff like this is actually useful what I want to do in my head I can actually put pen to paper now and I can get it done if I spend five hours in the classroom and then I spend another ten hours afterwards just doing and doing and doing I'm getting things back I can feel it I can do stuff for other people what I do is valuable when people see it they want to have it now that is a valuable skill if you're in a place that can give you that that is awesome don't ever leave stay there make relationships with the people that teach you be friends after you leave University get to know them personally how did they improve what the day they get to know your instructors like make them your friends because you'll want to those are worthy people you want to spend time around them but if you have people that are bored don't care know why you would do that and it is just basically it's a stick okay they get money for what they do people go to them so they give them what they can give them that's it if you get 10 people and those 10 people will each cuz now tuitions higher at least over here might produce whatever people are paying nine to ten thousand pounds I here and if you only get like ten people to sign up that's like a hundred grand so it makes sense that you'd get the guy to just you'll hire someone to teach for let's say 10 to 20 grand it makes sense that you would do that you get 80 grand left over then of course you pay for rent utilities whatever whatever it is these universities pay for let's say that you even blow like more than fifty thousand you still get twenty thirty thousand left oh it makes sense that you would do it so as long as people are signing up for it for the bad service that will keep doing that it makes sense financially to do it but it makes zero sense for you to put your money into something that is a whole okay you're not getting that relevant skill that you'll be using later on you're getting a huge hole that you're just gonna jump into being encouraged and and applauded by everyone around you all your loved ones just like is it going to hole go in the hole is awesome no they're not doing that out of malice that's what the world used to be like when your parents were growing up your grandparents the world used to be different now over the last twenty years with the internet and everything else nineteen ninety-four I think they said there was one website on the Internet is billions of them now things have changed so much like things that you have to go to the store for or drive to go get you can now just on your phone you don't even have to go on the on the computer on you don't even need to turn anything on you can just like order you can just text it now make granny alive again you just text it and it's gone and your granny is like on your doorstep the next day were like flowers and candy and she's baking stuff me like I love you granny you're so fat I love you that's what university offers you will give you your granny's dream so your granny could be happy but that's not what you now I said University I'm sorry that's what my university gave me and I'm not being bitter I'm not saying it at all like that don't take it like that I'm saying I want to be able to help you guys make good decisions what you need to know is that art is a skill that is used to contribute value so then whatever you're working on is gonna produce value by people wanting it so when you're working on videogames what you contribute let's say let's say for video games or films whatever it is it you want or even if you're selling your art whatever it is you are producing something that someone would want the idea of people not having your painting or not having your art is more painful to them then then parting with whatever it is that you're charging for actually giving more than you're taking you're saying like take this painting it's so awesome and I'm only you're only half you only have to pay this much for it like this is basically what it is that's really what it is this is not cheating this is not stealing from people this is not tricking people into something it's I do this this is what I do this is what I put my time in and someone comes over and says that's awesome I love that can I take it you can say of course this is how much it costs because my time by training my everything I don't need to pay bills and all that so this is how much it cost and they say that's awesome I would love to pay that to own this you might think that's impossible that's because most of the time you just get tricked into buying stuff you don't need like this okay like my degree I don't feel tricked I don't feel like I don't feel better I learned loads of stuff from it I'm just trying to save you guys money I'm trying to save you guys time I'm trying to make you productive with your lives and what you're doing I don't want you to there's no point in getting stuck in a stupid hole I don't want you to be in the hole yeah you can dig your way out yeah you get valuable lessons from it but you can get even better lessons from having a good life and just doing things for other people which I hope at least some degree these videos are doing for you guys okay so after the whole of art school and all that stuff and what it used to be for me let me just show you some hopefully hopeful prospect images for you so yeah one I already showed you guys so self thought for me at least has been what's called a path of mastery so basically you just stick with something and you just do it sort of no matter what really regardless of whether you think you're talented regardless of what do you think you can do it or not you just sort of begin and you just jump right in and you learn as you go if instead of spending your money on something that is not going to be useful to you invest it in books you're invested in teachers and mentorships on DVDs on courses whatever it is that you feel is useful and you just think about what you're doing and you just try your best to improve all the time you will get better so this is your two now year one was just learning how to copy just basics fundamentals of art and then after the basics and fundamentals just applying them so the whole second year was almost pretty much spent and just refining in becoming better and all the time just think what's useful what's not that's pretty much why University for me again for me was sort of a waste of time but this stuff has been so useful because I get to see a point to it and then this is more stuff from here to all of this stuff it's gonna be from here to let me just pop these layers out close this there we go so all of this is from your – nothing special nothing incredible nothing earth-shattering or anything like that but just compare these compare them to here we go three years of training paid for approved by an academic body and over here second year of just doing things trying to understand just being practical about everything applying fundamentals applying fundamentals trying to do it on my own a little bit nothing special nothing incredible nothing even creative or inventive just just doing things just practicing just Dave it doesn't matter like the work to me what it actually is but it really doesn't matter I'm not I'm not impatient anymore I'm not at the stage where I just need to get it just this thing whatever it's not really that important what's important or what I would like to think is important to me is being the help being there to help other people out to hopefully whatever bad decisions I've made to hopefully use them to help people out now these are some 3d now so this is all just learning 3d now instead of 2d so on my own to the 3d ZBrush Maya Photoshop all kinds of different ways of doing things photo bashing or matte painting or doing things completely on my own meaning just painting from scratch painting over photos this is from scratch just anything it doesn't matter doesn't have to be it's not really that difficult things are said many many times yes it is difficult but what I mean is that it's not impossible and it's also what a teacher does what a teacher does is they accelerate you that's what that's why you paid for university this is because they're supposed to have the knowledge and they give it to you once you pay for you acquire it from people that give it to you in a well-thought-out manner that is gonna serve you they want to serve you if that doesn't happen then you shouldn't pay for it that's pretty much it a good teacher will help you to get better and accelerate your rate of learning because you can take their mistakes you can take what they've done wrong and you can use it and I'm hoping that this is doing it for you not just in art but also in other decisions that you might want to make in your life okay I hope this was helpful I hope it wasn't too long let me know what you think let me know if you're thinking of going to art school let me know if you've been let me know what your experience has been like if it was great perfect awesome again this is not bashing art schools this is saying what you should look for you should interview your teachers you should go and you should look for what are the students producing talk to the students do they understand what it is that they are doing do they know why they're doing it when they're producing something even if it looks amazing to you ask them how they did it maybe maybe it was an accident maybe it was just a couple things that put together like photos or something and you just thought it was amazing but it's actually easy and they don't understand the fundamentals of it interviewer teachers interviewed the peers just go and do this as that is a promise thing that I've had you do this no matter what is gonna work out no matter how stupidly I do it no it won't it will not it will not I swear to you it will not and I have to swear I just know it it will not work out that way it never has it never will do you have to think about what you're doing you have to be strategic and you have to go for the things that are useful to you no one is gonna put you in a place where oh this is the place for me no one will put you there you need to go there so that's it at least that thing that's it for now let me know what your experience is like let me know if this has helped you in any way let me know what you think also let me know what you think about just about learning in general for me when I was just starting out it was very difficult to find any sort of useful information there's loads of stuff for high end people but there's very little things for beginners and what I've been playing in my head recently is to maybe start some sort of other just lessons or mentorship or just anything there's anything that puts out fundamentals and I want to teach beginners I think pros and advanced students have loads of things to go for almost every teacher out there almost every professional puts out things that are pretty much for other professionals they're like it's sort of horizontal like there isn't too much vertical to like people just either look from the people that are up top and they just try to get there but the thing that they are sort of saying is for the people up here whereas when you start over here at the bottom there's very little that you can actually use from what they're giving you just because you don't know how to implement it so I might be thinking of doing some private lesson soon or some sort of mentorship or maybe just a program I haven't really thought about it too much it's just something that I know is needed out there and I hope this helps you okay I'll see you soon

25 Comments

  • Dr.Feelgood's Lab says:

    00:40 When i see the picture in the background and when i see the dog covering the foot, i'm really annoyed by that…
    The dog could have been ANYWHERE ELSE except covering the foot, why is that ?

    – Problem drawing feet ? This sounds familiar to me… Maybe because i do the EXACT same thing. XD

  • Json says:

    Self taught all the way.

  • Doll China says:

    You are not go to the good university and metoo :v That's why I dropout in the second year and selftaught…I feel wasting my time and cost lots of money everyday while studying in the university.

  • Eli z says:

    Tell me what you think of this please. My teacher doesn't tell me my mistakes what I can improve on. Just tells me to try to copy a reference. I tell her I want to study the fundamentals , she tells me it's not necessary. I don't feel like I am learning and that I am growing. All I do is sit there and copy the picture she's given me to make.

  • Necroface says:

    it all comes down to how you persue it. Art school changed my life and made me way better lmao. experience varies. Its mainly your Mentality.

  • BakiWho says:

    wise words… i still wanna try some art courses in the future tho

  • MomoDash says:

    I've had this intuitive feeling since I was a kid that school and university to me would become (assuming a best case scenario) a plan B.. turns out I was right 🙂 (:

  • Wimsem - Tekenen & Knutselen says:

    I don't go to artschool to learn how to do art, I go there for networking, experiencing, getting out of my comfort zone, seeing different kinds of art. You always have to learn yourself anyway.

  • BeepBop Boop says:

    Get. To. The. Point.

  • Chanella imaani says:

    What programm do you use for digital art and photoshop?

  • lil kñight ii says:

    The Thumbnail 💀

  • Ejej8 says:

    I'm going to an online school called The Academy of Art it's in San Francisco, I feel like I'm not learning what I want to learn but what the teachers want me to learn I'm thinking of withdrawing from the school, I just started this month and I have no time to myself or to get other things done, what should I do I don't think I'm learning anything there!

  • Peach Plastic says:

    I'm near the end of my four year joint liberal arts degree. Not only do I feel like I learnt nothing relevant, I also feel that they don't encourage any level of originality. I don't want to reproduce the same ideas and the same aesthetic, I don't agree that stripping a thing to its barest minimum and dropping it on a white block before giving a pretentious talk on the result is art. I feel like the only thing I was actually taught was how to talk bullshit, and when I started to reject that (because I think the ART should BE the TALKING), I started getting poor grades. They don't care for fresh ideas and experimentation. They may talk a lot about experimentation, but when you just want to try to find your own voice and share your stuff in ways that you personally enjoy – don't waste your sanity, time, energy and then years of considerable debt on art school. Unless your idea of fun is living in the apple store.

  • Laurence Hyde says:

    Actually you are not suppose to an artist after Four years. Only an Idiot would believe that especially if you are not paying attention in class.You are suppose to pursue your art outside of class as well. Go to museums take a trip to Florence, Paris to pursue being an artist. Your ego has gotten in the way of your pursuit of Art. Shame on you for being so pompous and constantly whining.

  • Martsuha says:

    I really want to go to a school that would teach me exactly the skills I need for the field I want to go in (animation/comics), but the thing is, despite college visits to schools that pique my interest, I still don't have a good enough idea of how it's like and if it's worth it. Like, I thought if I went to SCAD an expensive school they could guarantee me job since that's what they pride themselves in. I'd be paying for the connections and skills, but after talking to some graduates that seems false. Now I don't know where to go or what to do to get where I want.

  • TA Lindsay says:

    I worked my ass off first term doing applied Art program at college and then saw fellow classmates sh*t they turned in for projects and they got same mark as me. Really ticked me off that I was working so hard for same grade. I felt like my school only wanted my money for next 2 years. I have been following my own art journey and feel I am growing more from that, learning more from YouTube and online courses than what school is teaching me. I don’t think I will go back for next 2 years. Art school is all about conformity. Replicating their lessons, step by step. All about specs and sizes of finished pieces. Don’t fear be unique.

  • consistently inconsistent says:

    Hi there i live in scotland and just this year i moved to dundee to attend abertay uni for a 3 years course in computer arts. The course had been really good at showing me how use 3d software like maya and zbrush at an advanced level. In just 4 months ive already learned alot about 3d now my education background before this was animation and digital painting mostly environments for visual research. The issue i have with my course is that it is really pushing me into the games industry and thats where all the gradutes go. However my goal is to setup my own 3d modelling company something like an amazon for people who collect 3d models. My lectures seem to be discouraging me from that idea. Im very much willing to learn all the creative trade secrets that this course has to offer to better myself especially if i want to provide a service to a market. But they really want me to grind away for someone else. And call me stubborn but that really sounds like hell for me.

  • regalfae art says:

    Haha! You're awesome lol. I love the sarcastic humor.

  • Blue Wolf says:

    In both art school or on your own you're learning by yourself, artschool is just another tool to learn, you can learn nothing from it, or improve a lot, it all depends on how much focus you're putting in it.
    If you go to artschool and on your free time do nothing to improve you're not gonna improve, and if you study on your own, but do so once every month you surely arent gonna improve anything…
    Either way I think it all depends in two or three big factors:
    1. How you want to learn: some people dont focus on something enough when they are in their free time, so by going into artschool sometimes it helps them a lot, its mostly about preference.
    2. If your art school is free or not: ok, pretty self explained, you gotta see if its worth the investment for you, if you are sure its gonna help you or not. Mine luckily is free, just have to buy my own materials ofc.
    3. Well idk if this is in every artschool, I only know the one im gonna start next year, but you can choose your own teacher, and there is a ton of teachers who are shit and are gonna slow you down a lot, and there are some teachers that will teach you a lot and help you on your progress.

    In the end, I dont think nobody needs to go to artschool at all, but its a good optional tool for those that feel they need it.

  • theartistisgod says:

    Thing is, you aren't actually there to master your craft; (Say whaaaaa) you're actually there to get the piece of paper that makes you a more desirable hire for higher paying jobs. At my workplace those with a degree earn more for doing less work than those without. In other words, get your fkn degree kids! Get your degree so you can make more money while you teach yourself art. It's not all or nothing!

  • Uncle that hurts says:

    I loved drawing when I was 7-12 (I was very good for my age) but stopped because I was convinced that I would be useless doing art.
    I am thinking of going back now that I am 18 but I feel like I have Lost that talent please i need advice.

  • Moonspiritart ByCindyHill says:

    I am self taught and I watch YouTube

  • Sports PCF says:

    Many art instructors are whack jobs who produce terrible work with a great deal of confidence and loony arrogance. They sell their “teaching” the same way they sell their artwork: with bold unrealistic confidence. And suckers continue to buy because they have no discernment. Self taught artists are almost always better at producing work that matters and is relevant.

  • Lzbet Grice says:

    I see what you're saying. I suggest doing a meditation to let things go. I also did, though in a different subject.

  • Donn Mac Fhionnghaile says:

    You're only as good as you push yourself to be, ..but yeah college would help

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