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Non traditional - post bacc fine arts - question

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Hi all!

I graduated in '16 with a Bachelors in Science in Business and IT. When I was first looking at schools, I was interested in pursuing an art degree but my immigrant parents heavily influenced my decision to pursue a technical/business degree.

Long story short, my grades were barely high enough to graduate. After graduation, I miraculously landed a job with a large software company and relocated cities. After some time, I moved to New York ( a city I always wanted to live in) and began painting while still working my job remotely. The experience of being surrounded by like minded indivuduals, galleries, and culture in NY has really changed my life. I have always drawn and written but never had the opportunity to pursue visual arts because I went to an engineering school.

I've been painting intensely, teaching myself the technical aspects of drawing and painting, studying art history, going to gallery openings, sketching, trying new mediums, and working on building my portfolio. Since I live in NY, I've been lucky to get opportunities to work for art galleries and to assist painters.

I have an evident natural talent (my mom and uncle both used to be a figurative painters in Russia). But, I feel very much an amateur and my natural talent is just not enough. I crave to get a comprehensive arts education, network with other artists, learn how to properly draw & paint, and get on-going critique. There is so much to learn and I want to become a master of my craft. 

I want to eventually get my MFA and either teach or become an artist (I know it's sounds like a pipe dream but I can't help but dream). I've never felt so passionate about anything as I do about painting, drawing, and expressing myself creatively. I really can't imagine doing anything else and I wanted to dedicate my life to the arts. 

I've contemplating getting a second BFA degree but then I discovered that there are post baccalaureate certifications in fine arts. And it seems to be perfect for someone like me! So the question is:

- What are some notable post bacc art programs? (MICA and SAIC come to mind, but are there others? Preferably in NY?)

- Should I consider getting a BFA?

- Should I continue doing what I'm doing and just apply to residencies instead?

I've also been learning Illustrator and digital arts. I was thinking maybe I can design in Illustrator from home to supplement my income and do some technical writing on the side. Basically, I'm 25 and I really don't want to spend anymore time doing IT work that I have no future in (even though it pays considerably well).

Thoughts, opinions, comments, and suggestions extremely welcome!!!!

Thank you!

Edited by innavolo

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I don't think it really makes sense to go back and get another bachelor degree if you already have one, but you can def work on your own and cobble together some classes  to build a network and learn about art.

If you want NYC has a ton of amazing schools that offer night/ part time art courses. Could you post some of your work? That might help people advise which schools you should look at. You might want to look into taking classes at or doing a drawing marathon at the studio school. https://nyss.org/about/ They emphasis drawing from life and really teach you how to look and draw. 

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Hey @innavolo I work in IT (SEM, actually so not directly IT but under the general umbrella) part-time, from home while supporting my arts career and young family. My partner is employed as well and we can keep above water and I feel that I have been able to improve my practice in this way. I did not study art in undergrad and I got into a few mid-level and good MFA programs last year, unfortunately without any funding. I am re-applying this year.

It comes down to what you really want. SAIC's Post-Bacc program is very expensive but it pretty much guarantees you a spot in the MFA. You also get the opportunity to continuously make art - you just have to, because the school demands it. I think at 25 you are pretty young and if money is not a problem, and if you really feel it will build connections for you and get you in the general atmosphere, you should do it. 

I don't think there is a 100% right formula but you may also be well off just doing what you are doing already, go on residencies, focus on your portfolio, etc. I would go to open houses for schools you are really interested in (I know travel can be a pain, but it is worth it). I think it will help put your specific position into perspective.

I also love @peachgray's advice. Looking at other people's work and taking continued education classes may do the job for you! 


Best of luck! 

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