(Closed) Any advice on an MA in Visual Studies vs. an MFA?

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
1398 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I am an artist as well, and there are very few MA schools with my degree so I understand. I did not think an MA was necessary for me. As an artist, there are many colleges you can teach at as a guest artist, and I know most of my art school teachers do not have MAs. I believe you need them for teaching elementary or highchool art though, so it depends on what you want.

As for developing a portfolio, you will always be improving, so why not see what schools accept you now? Or ask an industry professional where they think your portfolio is at. I was able to get my job when I graduated, but I am not a fine artist so I can see why that would be more difficult.

Do you even want to teach? Is that your ultimate goal? Or do you want to make it as an artist? What is your speciality if you don’t mind me asking?

Post # 5
Member
1398 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

My emphasis is computer animation and illustration, so my degree was in CA and I am self taught in illustration.I currently paint as a texture artist on animated movies.

I think part of your dilemma right now is that you’re doing everything. The MA program sounds really cool, but you end up becoming a generalist – a lot of random skills and no specialty. I found that once I stuck to one thing, I could focus on becoming the best I could at just that. And even though computer animation sounds focused, for my thesis I focused even further on only texture painting, which got me my current job.

If you have any inkling which field you’d like to really step into, go for it. But the MA sounds like its just a good time. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to do any sculpture or oil painting classes when I went to school, but I wouldn’t have my job now if I didn’t focus.

Art is such a large field I think we can get lost in it. Doing the MA sounds good if you want to do elementary education, where you can teach a bunch of this stuff. Universities would require you to have an emphasis. But you could do so much with photography, I know amateurs that make thousands a week just by posting themselves and their services on craigslist! And they don’t even have an art education so I imagine you could do quite well.

My sister is graduating in illustration so I know she’s feeling the same way, unsure of her direction or where she wants to end up. I hope I was of some help! Being an artist rocks, but it does take some serious buckling down to get anywhere. I’ve been spending the last 10 months redoing my portfolio website, creating a new business plan for myself, the business side of it is harder than the art! Good luck!

Post # 7
Member
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I’m getting a MFA — in another art area. The MFA is usually a better credential for teaching as it is a terminal masters (in most cases…though, the academic landscape is changing and PhDs are becoming the status symbol for the job market). The MFA also gives you a better chance at teaching a variety of levels — from elementary schools, to community centers, to colleges.

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