I was reading this crazy blog post recently – it said 7 of the top 10 most expensive schools in the U.S. (after scholarships and aid) are art schools. What about law schools? What about medical schools? Doctors and lawyers are traditionally considered very well paid careers, so I thought those would be the majority of the top expensive schools. But NO – it’s ART schools. I didn’t know whether to cheer “Yay! Go art schools! Art schools are #1,” or to ask the question, “Why do artists have to carry the highest school costs?”
I met this guy who sells cars at a dealership near my home. He went to a well-known art school, because he wanted to work as a comic book artist. He chose the school because the recruiters talked about how so many graduates went right to work in their chosen field. The only comic book jobs available for him when he finished school were super-low-paying positions – so low that he wouldn’t even be able to afford to pay off his school debts in a reasonable time. He’s been selling cars ever since – which is great. What is NOT great is that he is NOT MAKING COMICS.
You are a creative artist. As a creative artist, you need to be creating art. Don’t let anything keep you from creating art. My friend at the car dealership is NOT making comics, because no one is paying him to make comics. He is also angry at the school for not telling him the LOW starting pay scale for his field. AND he’s embarrassed about the amount of his school loan pay off, so he doesn’t even draw for fun anymore. He has fewer opportunities NOW than he had before his art education. Why? Because opportunities happen to creative people when they are creating. I’ll say that again, you will have ‘dream’ opportunities when you are already in the process of creating. Don’t wait to create. Don’t wait for the school to tell you that you are an animator. Don’t wait for someone to pay you to be an animator. Create NOW. Every piece of content you create makes you better at your art.
Our goal as animators and story creators needs to be about getting from idea to completed content, and doing it again, and again – and AGAIN. You will become more accomplished and more open to opportunity with every cartoon you complete.