While attending fine art school I learned of the delicate balance between believing in your artistic ideas and pushing yourself to develop them further. Among a myriad of other things to learn, this is the huge benefit of fine art school. In it, you work alongside many talented creators who are also learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Fine art school is like life: there are the one’s who push their minds to make things that matter, and the one’s afraid of what they might have to sacrifice to do so.
I think a reason why many people are afraid of attending art school is the thought that other people might push back against their “unique artistic vision”.
Yet, it is a rigorous push back against our work that causes us to make better work. In art school, I saw people floating by, making work that was neither compelling nor original. I also saw a handful of people who stood out because they wanted something more out of their art education. Art school can spark in someone the quest for self-examination.
Self-examination requires discipline and stamina, and being able to examine what we say, how we say it and why we are saying it- is the most important quality we have as artists (and I would argue, as human beings). The only way to do this is to avoid complacency at all costs- as if it is a fatal disease- because it is.