I did a year of art school a few years back. Didn't make it, so that ended rather abruptly.
Right now I'm doing game design and while most don't really consider that something in which art is involved, I beg to differ, so I'm going to share my story anyway. Anyone who thinks a game cannot possibly incorporate art is welcome to fight me.
This study is probably the best choice I've made. The teachers are really good and I think that is one of the most important things. The school can be shitty, but that doesn't matter. I mean, we have a building that doesn't even fit all of us, but that doesn't stop us from learning.
What we learn here is very broad. In the first year we also got some coding and now we work with both 2D and 3D. Even if you are only interested in one of these fields, they still make you understand the rest as well, even if that just makes communicating in this line of work easier. For example; without knowing how coding worked, communicating with a programmer would have been a lot harder. And vice versa. From both sides, it's easy to underestimate the amount of work involved in a project.
It is certainly true that the only way to become better at art is by doing it, but being someone who easily gets stuck in herself, this study is also a way to open up to all kinds of artforms I never would have tried on my on.
And they teach us more than just art. When I started here, any presentation would have left me in tears somewhere in the toilets, hiding away from the rest. Hell, I couldn't even properly eat before a presentation.
And now I've already done multiple workshops voluntarily. We do at least two presentations per project and also focus on presenting yourself like a proper professional.
Then there's the internships. They have really made me grow as a person. It started with the e-mails I had to write to companies. After all, you have to make them want you. If you don't even think you belong there, why would they? It easily feels like bragging at first, but by the time I applied for my third internship I realized I didn't feel like a liar when I said I was actually good at 2D art.
The first one was for a museum that had nothing to do with games, as a way of introducing them to interactive devices in their museum and the second one was for an actual game company, with a very high production rate.
It was not the kind of company where I want to work, as I want to specialize in serious games, but it really showed me just how things go in such a setting.
This year I'm going to another game company, one that does do serious games. I don't think I would have come to all this on my own. I certainly would not have had the guts, that's for sure.
Outside of the study there is the Open Atelier, which is an opportunity for students from all the studies in the school to come together on Friday, from 1 to 6, and learn things that their study doesn't include. I've met people who do graphic design, fashion design etc. and we learn from each other this way.
It has resulted in two projects that I'm now helping with. One is a wall painting of which I'm currently in charge and the other an illustration project.
So overall, being in my last year right now I think I can already draw some conclusions. Because this study gave me a lot more than the skills I currently have. It also helped me build confidence, believe in myself and actually grow a sense of self worth.
Now, I am aware of how depressing that might sound, but I have really come a very, very long way in the three years that have passed.
Now, of course this study is far from perfect. But I am not going to air their dirty laundry. Especially since almost all the lesser things have not had much of an effect on me. Not in the way the good things have.