Im so confused, anybody lend me a hand?

so im an 18 year old student studying art and design at level 3 diploma grade in the UK. However in this course they have me doing things I have no interest in doing. I love sculpting and prosthetics and I know this is what I want to do as a career. I feel like this course is not beneficial towards me at all. Ive spoke to my teachers about working in clay and other mediums I primarily use  and they have told me they will briefly look at it, which is so discouraging for me to hear as I want to work with these mediums all day and everyday. I was hoping to study at university level but after seeing so many of my friends come out of university and my brother also, and not land a job has really put me off even going for it. Is it going to be worth my time or beneficial for me to stay in college and then go onto university or do big time companies such as stan Winston and weta workshop and so on not focus on grades that much. This has puzzled me for so long and im stressing out so bad trying to decide whats right and whats going to be the most solid way of me landing a career in sculpture and prosthetics. ANY tips are welcomed.


  • Well this is really a hard question. Not one that I think you should take anyone's answer on, but that you need to figure out from yourself.

    University is expensive, so you need to do something that makes you feel engaged. I'd find an art school, that offers a post high school level education, and go there. Here is the thing about art schools though. You are going to have to learn things that you have no immediate interest in. Why should I have to do all of these still life studies in watercolor?! They suck! Well, the key to them isn't the medium, but in training your brain and eyes. At an almost imperceptible level, your brain is recording what things look like in different situations and adding it to your internal database for future use when you are trying really hard to design a creature in clay or trying to paint said prosthetic.

    Never be afraid of learning more methods of expressing yourself through art. It will only make you a more creative, better artist. :)

    That said,  when it comes to your future take everyone's answer w/ a grain of salt and do some soul searching. :)
  • so assume that you working life time is going to be about 43 years or so. The average highschool graduate makes $27,000 a year, the average BA grad makes $51,000, the average MA post grad makes $71,000 a year and the average cost of an instate university is about $21,000 a year.

    Let figure out if college is a good investment.
    4 years of college = $84,000
    6 years of college  = $126,000
    Working lifetime salary:
    HighSchool = 1,161,000
    BA = 2,193,000
    MA = 3,053,000

    you can see that by getting your bachelors you will earn almost a million dollars more on average over you working lifetime (2,193,000 - 84,000 - 1,161,000 = 948,000) 

    and by getting your masters you will earn almost two million dollars more (3,053,000 - 126,000 - 1,161,000 = 1,766,000)

    College is ALWAYS a good investment. 
  • I'd say that it is a good investment as long as you know what you want to do. It's not a good investment if you get there and flounder because you don't know what you want in life. :) That said, once you figure it out, it is most definitely worth the investment! :) 
  • speaking as a High School graduate that has achieved a salary more in keeping with Christopher's listed MA average.. I can tell you, it was NOT easy.. and took FAR more than six years. Much of that time spent working 70+ hours a week. It also involved opening my own business. Granted that I am in a different field than you are looking at, but I can tell you that if I had it to do over again I would definitely have gone to college. Especially given life's little surprises.. in my case I am no longer able to work due to severe brain injury from an auto accident. Sitting in my shoes, under slightly different circumstances... without a degree, my only option would be to start over, with a degree I would have a much better chance landing a job in keeping with the salary I am accustomed to.

    Will College necessarily prepare you adequately for your desired occupation? Maybe yes, maybe no.. but that degree will open doors that having nothing more than a high school education would slam shut. And to get through those doors without it, prepare yourself for a serious fight.
  • Hi, I want to address your question / comment about having to do things your don't see a need for.  Like you, I was all about the sculpture.  I spent all my time sculpting in class.  I never joined the rest of the art class in life drawing sessions or painting.  I can sculpt very quickly which is very useful, but to draw something takes a bit of effort for me and more time.


    One of my first job interviews was in London in 1988 with a company called Spitting Image.  Even though I could sculpt faster than those they had working, they made the comment that if they are doing a design of a character, they can not send a sculpture through the fax machine.   I did not get the sculpting job.


    Yes, I am dating myself as times are not like that anymore with digital photography and the internet, but the point I am trying to make is that you should push through tasks you think are not worth your time.  All experience is good.  It is what rounds you out as an artist.  It gives you that little bit extra to draw from say 10 years from now.

    I also agree with college as a good thing.  You make contacts that you will need in years to come.  And again, you enhance your abilities and knowledge base as an artist.

  • I agree with all of the abovementioned. Art is art. Expression of said art needs a database to call from. I find sculpting helps me to draw better and drawing helps me to  sculpt better. They all are intertwined. That being said, you should also find a school that has a curriculum that will suit your needs. And, I can't stress this enough, business classes are always helpful. The more you understand how a business works and flows, the more of an asset you will be in most regards. It also gives you the ability to contract yourself or start your own company one day.
  • Thom, Good comment on the business classes. These classes can help to focus your mind on tasks ahead. If you are bidding for a job in the future, you need to be able to work out the supplies you'll need, workspace rental needed, your own pay for the job as well as the pay for those working with you. You may start out in an entry level position, but everyone wants to advance in their career. You will want to grow in the things you do. You will be asked to take on more responsibility and you will need something to draw from. I want to also point out that education does not stop after college. We learn new things all the time. When I started out, there were no computer effects like today. I ended up taking courses in animation and digital modeling, not because I wanted to do them, but because I was in a position where I needed to work with these artists to help bring a client's ideas to reality. I am able to steer them towards the best way to achieve a given effect for their budget.
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