Paulo Aguilar writes; Hi Lisa! I’m a huge fan of yours. Your artworks are so amazing and inspires me a lot. I use your techniques like all the time. But my question is I want to go to college with a fine art degree. But my parents wants me to be an engineer or doctor someday. And they always say just make it as a hobby or a part-time job. Can I be a good artist without having a fine art degree? I’m still 16 and in 11th grade and posting my drawings on youtube (mostly speed drawings).

Unlike being an engineer or doctor, you don’t need a degree in art to be a fine artist. An art degree doesn’t do much for you unless you’re getting into teaching at certain types of schools.  There are a few points to keep in mind;

  • The art degree in NO way determines how skilled you will be as an artist.
  • I don’t have a degree.
  • Most of the successful artists whose work I admire do not have degrees in art.
  • If you want to improve your skills as an artist the main thing you have to do is practice.
  • I know of SO many artists who got degrees in art but didn’t really learn how to paint or draw well until they got out of school.
  • When I was teaching my own classes I used to hear from those who went to school for art that they learned more from me in two months than they did in 4 years of schooling.

To be clear, I’m not saying that art school is bad or a waste,  I’m just saying it’s not necessary for most artists to become successful either in skill level or in their own business.