How To Become An Artist Without Going To Art School

Most people will think that they need to go to art school or get an art degree if they want to become artists. But all these people who are thinking like this are wrong. Because there is no need to go to art school or there is no need to pursue a degree from art college to become an artist. All you need is skills in the artwork. If you have skills in artwork, then you can become a famous and expert artist.

Once you were a child, you used to take crayons or colored pencils and draw some lines or designs. These lines and designs are also a part of art. So before you become a professional artist or start your career as an artist, you unknowingly do some artwork. These things are pretty common in all types of children, and by doing so, the children will enjoy themselves a lot. Sometimes at this age, the child may take steps towards a career as an artist.

How To Become An Artist Without Going To Art School

Do I need an art degree to be an artist?

Most of the world’s artists are self-employed who set their careers as artists without pursuing any degree or going to an art school. Those passionate about art as a career can start practicing arts and get high job satisfaction in the relevant field. So to become an artist, no formal education or no art degree is necessary.

Can you be a self-taught artist?

Yes, of course. You can be a self-taught artist. There is nothing to wonder about in this. If you have a passion for artworks and you are well disciplined, then you can achieve anything. You can create wonders in no time. Formal art training can be restrictive for some artists, but there are no self-taught artists’ restrictions. If you have excellent artwork skills, you can achieve anything that a formally trained artist can achieve.

Do you need college to be an artist?

If you want to become a doctor, you need to go to college. If you want to become an engineer, you need to go to college. But if you want to become an artist, then there is no need to go to college. You don’t at all need a degree in art to become an artist. The art degree does not do anything for you. It simply helps to become a teacher in certain schools and colleges. If you want to become a professional artist, then practice is more important than anything.

Can I call myself an artist?

Yes. You can call yourself an artist if you are creating anything. Because art is a form of expression, whatever you may create. It is an expression of your inner self, or it is a perception of the outer world. As long as you are creating anything, you can call yourself an artist. You can claim that for yourself.

How to be an artist?

There are some ways to be an artist. Let’s look into them:

  • First, you need to develop your drawing skills to begin a successful career as an artist.
  • There is no need to get any degree in an art career. But if you have a degree, then it will be helpful.
  • Before starting your career as an artist, you need to have a separate space or studio to work in. If you have a separate space, then you can concentrate on your art well without any distractions.
  • Visit galleries, museums, and often shows as this may help you get some creative ideas to start with your art.
  • I need to participate in contests to get well recognized. Also, make friends with artists as it may help you to get some tips from others.
  • Sell your artworks in shows as this helps you to develop your network as an artist. It also helps you get recognized as an artist.
  • Also, become a member of a local art gallery.
  • At last, set your business and start your career as a successful artist.

Why are art schools so expensive?

Art schools are so expensive because of so many reasons. If you are stepping into an art school, make sure you have enough money to handle all the costs. The art schools are expensive because of some reasons. The reasons may be:

  • If you are going to art school means you are willing to start your career as an artist. Nowadays, there is high demand for artists. Also, digital art training will create so many job opportunities that help you get paid well in the future. So you need to pay more.
  • In the art school, there will be no local or street artists. Most of the art schools have professional artists and expert artists who demand more. They claim thousands of dollars per hour. To meet these expenses, the art schools will cost you more.

Learn to be an artist

There are some tips to become a successful artist. They are

  • Be your own worst critic
  • Expect nothing but aim for everything
  • Copy the masters
  • Consistency is the key
  • Don’t compare yourself with others
  • Document everything
  • Take part in the art community

Be your own worst critic.

To become a successful artist, you need to learn and improve. You also need to learn how to judge your artwork. If you are your fan, then you will never identify your weakness you need to improve on. If you are getting around the ego, then quickly participate in art competitions. There you will be humbled.

Expect nothing but aim for everything.

If you expect very high as a self-taught artist, you will soon be discouraged because you can’t achieve more without practicing a lot. If you are a self-taught artist, then it tough to achieve greater heights, but practicing can do anything you want to achieve. So keep practicing and aim to achieve whatever you desire.

Copy the masters

Sometimes the best way to achieve anything is to copy the techniques from the masters. This will help you better understand the problems they faced while drawing an art. It will also help to select the overall colors that are used for the art. The objective if this is not to replicate the steps he is performing while drawing an art. It is instead to get the feel of how the artist worked.

Consistency is the key.

If you want to become a professional artist or a successful artist, you need to practice for many hours. Unfortunately, this is the most challenging part of every self-made artist. Most people have jobs, and they spend their time doing their desired hobbies. So you need to find some time to practice your arts to become a successful artist or a professional artist.

Suppose you are spending more time practicing means you need to be focused and dedicated towards your art. If you do not have any interest in art and practice for many hours, it does not make you a professional artist or a successful artist. You can also compete with time by aiming to complete art in the preferred time.

Don’t compare yourself with others.

Look at the professional artists to get inspiration, like how they started and how they emerged as successful artists. Don’t start comparing your arts with the professional arts as they will be best in any part. Also, you need to know that professional artists or successful artists are also novices and matured at some part of their life.

Document everything

All the artworks you did need to be saved or documented carefully. The best part is to share your artwork on social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. With this, you can also compare your old artworks with newer ones and find how you emerged as an artist during that period. Also, documenting every art you draw helps you notice the weakness you may not notice when you look at the artwork individually.

Take part in the art community.

Also, it is advised to take part in the art community. The best part of this is to voluntarily involve yourself in art competitions, exhibitions, online art forums, and art demonstrations. If you get actively involved in this art community, you will get recognition and get some other professionals’ tips.

Getting into an art school – Things you need to do

After taking so many art classes now, you decided to join an art school further to develop your art skills further. Applying for an art school is like applying for a typical educational institution. But you need to know some tips before applying for an art school. Here we are providing some tips that will help you.

Do a lot of research.

Before stepping or choosing an art school, you need to do a lot of research in finding the best art schools. Due to the increase in technology, it will be easy to find the best art schools near you. So you need to surf over the internet and find the best art schools. There you will get a lot of information like directories, school reviews, and their rankings.

Before applying to an art school, also make sure about the budget. Always apply for the art schools that are recognized and offer scholarships.

Apply to multiple art schools

If you apply for only one art school, there is no guarantee that you will get a seat in that school. So make sure to apply to many colleges. This will help you to get a seat from any one of the schools. Before applying to many art schools, create a list of the different schools, their rankings, and their courses. From that list, select the schools you want a seat from.

The first school you created in the list will have a lot of admissions. So there will be no chance of getting into that school until you are lucky. Don’t get discouraged by this as this is the fact that the number one schools will have a lot of admissions. Like this, apply for fifteen to twenty schools. Also, select the schools that are typically less selective and likely to accept your standards.

You can be happy because any school from the list you have selected will send you an acceptance letter. If more than one school sends you an acceptance letter, choose the best school with good academic standards.

Prepare a strong portfolio.

A strong portfolio is needed before applying for an art school. A perfect portfolio not only communicates your technical skills but also helps the audience to inspire. So make sure that your portfolio includes your best works that communicate with you.

As you apply for many schools, you need to improve your portfolio from institution to institution to best match the admission requirements. Another essential thing to have a strong portfolio is to highlight your skills and goals.

It would be best if you also visited the art school’s admission pages to double-check whether your portfolio meets all the requirements.

Prepare for the interviews.

Some art schools take interviews, while some art schools do not. If you have applied for the school that takes the interview, there is no need to sweat. How you strive to get admission into the best art school, the art schools also strive to give admissions for only the students who will fit for their courses.

Be prepared for the interview. You need to be honest during the interview. Also, you can talk about your honors and praises that you have received for your artworks. This helps the management get confidence in you, and they will provide you admission into the school.

Consider off-campus opportunities

Art school or college is a great way to develop your artistic skills and get some long-lasting connections. You also need to know that attending an art school does not give you instant success. Before choosing your career as an artist, you need to research what opportunities you have outside the campus.

Alternatives to art school

Most people dream of joining an art school. This dream will remain a dream because most art schools are so expensive that they cannot be affordable. So nowadays people are looking for alternatives to art school. Here we are providing some alternatives that will help you.

Take some online classes.

When you cannot afford art schools, it is best advised you take part in online classes. These online art classes will help you to develop your artistic skills. Also, when compared with art schools, these online classes will be affordable. Also, join local art groups to get some knowledge.

Visit museums

Spend some money by visiting the museums that are available in your locality. Many museums have a lot of art that will help you get inspired and draw your art. These museums are also affordable when compared with costly art schools. You will get the motivation to draw an art of your desire.

Buy and read some books.

It is recommended to read some art books that will surely help you to increase your skills. If you don’t want to pay money for these books, you can also read many articles about art.

Study other things

You can also study other books like English, philosophy, psychology, science, history, literature, business, etc. all these books will help you get motivated and start drawing an art relevant to the subject.

Join forums

You can also join online art forums and share your arts there. You will get appreciation if your art looks good. If not, they will help you by giving some tips that help you to discover your weakness.

Famous self-taught artists

Some so many artists became famous without having any degree in an art school or college. They learned the art by themselves. There are so many self-taught artists in the world, but we can’t cover all of them. So here we are providing some self-taught artists that are very famous.

Henri Rousseau

He is one of the most famous self-taught artists in the world. He does not have any degree in artistic skills. He began his artistic career only at the age of forty years.

Vincent van Gogh

He is also one of the most famous and influential self-taught artists. He doesn’t like to go to school and study. He worked as an art dealer’s assistant. One day his brother discovers his arts are great, and the rest is history.

Frida Kahlo

She is the daughter of a German photographer. First, she taught me to do a course in medical school. But she met with an accident at the age of 18, and from there, she started her artistic career.

Bill Traylor

He started his artistic career at the age of 85 years that is ten years before his death. He was born into slavery, and he didn’t receive any formal education in anything. During the time of his retirement, he was homeless. To meet the needs, he started drawing small arts with the materials he found. A young artist saw his arts and supplied fresh items, and this changed his whole life.

Grandma Moses

She does not have any formal education. But from her childhood, she started practicing arts by using the colors from grapes, lemon, etc. She will get these colors by squeezing out the juice from these fruits. She called her arts lambscapes. As she grew up, she started producing some fantastic artworks used by her parents as decorative items. She has produced more than 1500 works. She got fame when an art collector discovered her art in a drugstore.

Henry Darger

He is also a self-taught artist. He was sent to an orphanage at the age of eight. Later he started working as a custodian in Chicago hospital from 1930 to 1973 until his death. During his leisure time, he mainly spent by drawing and writing whatever he gets in mind.

Yoko Ono

Her father is a musician. So he ensured to see her daughter also as a musician and made her get trained in piano. She does not have any degrees in art. But she studied philosophy at a well-reputed university in Tokyo. Later she discontinued the course as their family moved to Newyork. There she pursued a musical degree which led to many offers to compose music for famous artists, poets, choreographers, and musicians. She started to draw some simple arts. Her artistic career grew up when she married one of the world’s famous musicians.

Thornton Dial

He was born in a black sharecroppers family. He did not attend school until he was thirteen years old. At this age, he got embarrassed to go to school, and he skipped school. He worked in a factory until it was closed in the year 1981. At this point, he began art as a hobby, and soon he emerged as one of the famous self-taught artists.

How to become a professional sculptor?

There is no need to get a college degree or a university to become a professional sculptor. However, many professional sculptors have had some degrees. If you don’t have a degree, you need to practice more and have skills like creativity, self-confidence, accurately working with chisels, etc. Some professional sculptors will earn $48,600 per year or $24 per hour. Nowadays, an expert or a professional sculptor has a high demand. So it is also good to choose your career as a sculptor.

Some famous sculptors in the world

  • Michelangelo (1475 – 1564)
  • Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598 – 1680)
  • Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917)
  • Constantin Brancusi (1876 – 1957)
  • Henry Moore (1898 – 1986)
  • Sol LeWitt (1928 – 2007)
  • Louise Bourgeois (1911 – 2010)


If you dream of starting your career as an artist and worrying about handling all the art school expenses, don’t worry as most famous artists do not have any formal degree in the arts. Some of them even do not have formal education either. So if you are worried about this, then don’t worry. You need to concentrate on your skills. Also, it would be best if you had a lot of practice to improve your skills as an artist.


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