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Next spring I want to move to America and become a full-time art student. I am hoping my savings will be enough, in combination with a part time job wherever I end up, to let me get a serious full-time education for a year or two somewhere. Unfortunately, 4-year art schools with degrees are not an option as I am 100% ineligible for any kind of financial aid or scholarships.
The problem I've had looking into schools is that it seems like most schools are geared towards fine/academic arts only. I'm worried that even if I study at a good fine arts school full-time, I won't get the skills I need for what I actually want to do (illustration). On the other hand, schools geared towards concept art seemed geared towards, well... concept art exclusively and nothing else, so I'd be missing out on other fundamental skills I need, even though this is closer to what I'm looking for since it's at least aimed at people who want to be working professionals making imaginative works. Are there any non-degree schools that have a focus on both fine arts fundamentals AND education for someone who wants to be a professional (non-gallery) artist, or is this just a beautiful pipe dream? I am desperate for recommendations for schools if anyone has any!
Or if anyone has studied somewhere that focused purely on fine arts when they wanted to get into concept art/illustration and could share their thoughts on if they thought the education was lacking and how they made up for the gaps, I would greatly, greatly appreciate it. If I can get all the information I need from a fine arts education and somehow make use of it, then great! But I know my limits and am worried that it would come down to having to learn a ton of essential information completely on my own to make up for what the schools lack, which I don't think I can do very effectively, which is why I want to get a real education in the first place...
I have a couple of schools that would be great fits for what I want, but I am anticipating that I will get rejected from these and want to look at as many options as possible. I know posts in this part of the forum generally just get ignored, but it would mean a lot to me if anyone had any input.
I am willing to move to absolutely anywhere in the USA, BTW, and work as hard as it takes if it will let me get a quality education putting my life on track. Thanks in advance for any advice you might have!