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Should I go to art school?

Should I go to art school? It’s a question you’ll be asking yourself if you want to join a big-name studio, work on AAA video games, blockbuster films or a groundbreaking TV series. Is a degree the best option, or would it be better to teach yourself through online tutorials and courses?

We’ve spoken to artists who have lived through that decision, and come out the other side with great advice on which choice might be the best one for you. Whatever choice you make, though, you’ll need a killer design portfolio, and you might even find a dream job or internship over on our design jobs board.

So how do you decide?

Usefully, Lauren Panepinto, creative director and VP of Orbit Books, has created a tongue-in-cheek flowchart that can help guide you towards an informed choice.

Click to enlarge (Image credit: Lauren Panepinto)

But if that hasn’t quite helped you make up your mind for you, here are some more words of wisdom from successful artists. 

Daniel Tal Firefighter

The formal path worked for artist Daniel Tal (Firefighter) (Image credit: Daniel Tal)

In 2016, Daniel Tal graduated with a BA in applied arts animation from Sheridan College in Oakville, Canada. He’s since been employed as a story artist with Pipeline Studios in Hamilton, so the formal path clearly worked for him. Yet he has a startling admission. “I realised about a year or two into college that the entire curriculum, more or less, “was doable on my own,” he recalls. “Almost everything school teaches you, you can learn yourself through books and the internet.”

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