Should I go to art school? Do I need to go to art school to work as an artist/ illustrator?
I’ve seen this question asked a thousand times on-line. I thought I’d write down some thoughts about my personal experiences when I was doing a Bachelor of Fine Arts over 10 years ago. I never got my degree (university politics, plus not wanting to go back and do another 6 months for a piece of paper ).
In most ways, I’m not an organised artist.
Like many artists, I tend to drool over studio set ups. I even have a board where I collect beautiful inspiring images over at Pinterest. Sadly, my painting and desk area come nowhere close to any of these.
Back in art college, when I was not in my shared uni studio space, I painted in my parent’s garage. Living in the subtropics, a metal doored, windowless room is hardly the studio of champions. But it was my space … when the car was not parked in it.
When I bought my own apartment with a spare room, I figured that would be my new studio. I disassembled my massively heavy table to get it in the room, dragged up my easels, set up my space…
And painted in the lounge room.
Then at the kitchen table.
Then on the sofa.
See a pattern here?
Anyway, this is my current setup for painting water colours
This isn’t about deadlines, nor is it about hourly rates. It’s about providing estimates (timeframes) to clients for how long you think you’ll take to complete their commissioned painting. In particular, it’s about taking on private commissions when you have a day job, and some of the things you need to factor in when working out how long you’ll need (and possibly how this might affect cost).
I often see artists ask the question “How do I know when I’m ready to offer or accept paid commissions?” Whether you’re starting out, or just beginning an art career online, it can be both exciting and slightly terrifying having someone ask you if you take commissions.