Hmmm...I get this question so often. I guess that the answer is Yes and No. Yes because you simply have to go to college. It's essential for your life experience, it will give you more to pull from as an artist, and it allows you the most magical time where you're an adult but you still have parents to lean of if need be. And if, at some point in the future, you'd rather have a professional job with no guess work or people judging your heart and soul simply because they can, you can go out and get one tomorrow. However, as an artist, I truly don't think that getting an art degree qualifies you do anything but teach the ideas of someone elses art, which probably wouldn't be what you want to do. People can suggest ideas, but you have to have it inside you as well, otherwise you're just copying what they're doing instead of being your own person. I would reccommend getting a degree in business while taking art classes from working pros or, better yet, interning for those pros and getting paid to learn and see the true action, as opposed to the theory. Photographers and artists can be pretty secretive about their...ummm, secrets, but when they have someone working for them, helping them, the walls just come on down.
Speaking of walls coming down and learning on the job, meet the delightful Ron and his SIX pugs. He wanted a photo for his sweet wife for his anniversary. We had a great time, but if you really think you're going to get a human being and six dogs all perfectly positioned and virtually smiling (see little Portia with her tongue hanging out...I love that dog!) you will love the swampland in Florida I have for a Great Price. Anyway, each and every puppy spent the shoot burping, farting, squirming, sneezing, eating, biting, humping, jumping, and basically dancing the watusi...anything but sitting on Ron's lap and looking at me. What do you do? I tried my typical mating calls, kitty cat sounds, and arsenal of cool but strange noises. Nothing worked. But this man was counting on me to make his wife's anniversary present. So I dove in cut, pasted, positioned, rotated, distorted, torqued, and skewed within an inch of the 243 frames I took. I had 47 teeny tiny layers on this bad boy. 156 mgs. Ouch. My computer was screaming for mercy. One thought to those loyal photographers out there who email me every time I post with tons of questions...here's a question for you...you have this digital accomplishment of epic proportions...something that you pulled off that has you jumping all around at three a.m. What do you tell the client about alllllllll those layers? Allllll those precision cuts and pastes? The only answer? Not a word. They don't care. Do you REALLY care how you receive cell service, or are you just glad as heck that you do? My point exactly. By theway, he ordered two, this one and one with just the dogs, 20x30 Gallery Wraps both. And his wife LOVED them. YAY!