‘There are three good reasons to be a teacher - June, July, and August.’ ~Author Unknown
Both of my parents are/have been teachers of Sociology/Psychology, and both grew tired of their jobs. Its not the students they dislike, in fact both speak of the joy they get out of providing knowledge and support. What grates on them is the mix of admin and managers. I can’t imagine how difficult it is teaching any subject and I have respect for anyone who chooses the profession. Kudos to you!
'Why spend three years teaching folk what we already know?'
Warren Spector, GDC 2006
Because, Warren, us folk don’t know. I have only just noticed what a pants art education I have endured. I ended up teaching myself how to render, how to draw in perspective and how to plan a project. In sixth form we had no teacher for our first year and depended on a temp to get us through. The most I have to thank my A-level art for is a small dose of colour theory, but that was only after I complained about having no teacher and asked a knowledgeable supply to show me the basics! I accept this is probably an extreme case, but I’m also guessing the average art student lacks most of the basic skills in drawing.
In Fine Art courses, you are encouraged to make art that is stylised. Unless you make it your task to learn the fundamentals of drawing and base your art around real life, you won’t gain the skill’s you need to be in the industry. So here lies a problem. If students are leaving college with limited talent in art, where do they learn how to technically draw?
A liberal arts education is a good thing to have. It can create a well rounded person with a strong mind. Having knowledge in a range of subjects, I believe, accentuates the imagination and creativity. It also equips the skills needed for leadership and problem solving, both of which are important in the industry. But it doesn't teach you to draw with accuracy. It doesn’t explain to you what the chaos of buttons do on 3DS Max. It doesn’t teach you how to learn from criticism.
A quote from the Skillset website describing the DMU Game Art course:
“The course enjoys input from leading industry professionals to ensure that the experience is relevant, realistic and incorporates the latest developments. In year 3, students undertake professional briefs and a major personal project that fully prepare them for industry”
Well that solves it then.