I took a workshop with this leader in my field.
"The school years may be the perfect time to take on large problems, but do you really want to pencil in 'Change Basic Premise of Educational System' at the top of your To Do List?", Ted Orland.
A friend posted this video link and I was blown away...not only by the information within but the artistic way Sir Ken Robinson shares the information with us. I sometimes found myself drifting as I watched him draw and wondered how long it took him to condense this down for the clip. Enjoy and make sure you come back:) (or watch once done reading)
"A degree in art doesn't automatically make you an artist any more than lacking a degree precludes you from becoming an artist."
We need to remember that everyone learns differently though. Some artists will thrive being/learning on their own while others will crave the energy of a room filled with like-minded people. Which one are you? Whichever one you are, do you make the effort to balance your life with the other?
If you are the latter, it doesn't mean you must apply to college, rather that you should be open to alternative learning opportunities. Back in the day artists became apprentices of the masters. As Ted talks about apprenticeships, he points out the obvious, " ...there aren't enough masters to go around."
What is attainable to us all are extended workshops with a top artist in your medium. These offer great one on one opportunities as well as critiques and feedback and comradery with fellow artists of a like passion.
They can be costly so do some research on scholarships offered through guilds or grants offered through local/state art councils. My local council just offered such a grant and my local quilt guild offers a scholarship every year to Symposium.
"Workshops offer aspiring artists arguably the best- and absolutely the most concentrated - of all educational possibilities."
"Moreover, every student figures out sooner or later that the really important discoveries don't even occur during the formal morning or afternoon sessions- they happen in the spaces between sessions, out in the field or over lunch or coffee, or late in the evening when everyone's sharing sketches spread out all over the floor and arguing about the future of the world. These intense and often intimate encounters at the edges of the main event bring another revelation-that finding your friends is every bit as important to your future as learning your craft."
I couldn't have stated this any better! The electricity I feel when working alongside others in my medium can be overwhelming at times. I always come away feeling scattered and focused at the same time. In the last few years, I have transitioned into teaching and that is an amazing experience in itself and I am so grateful to have all of these opportunities.
So go forth and learn! :)