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Going back to Uni - Art School - Retrain - a.k.a. Midlife crisis

(11 Posts)
artyfartyfourty Fri 17-Mar-17 19:23:22

Has anyone here gone to Art School in their 40s? I already have a degree from the days of yore but secretly I always wanted to go and study Art.... would this be a massively self indulgent and expensive potential error? Would love to hear anyone who has done it, if there were any job opportunities afterwards or if it's just fun whilst it lasts. Prior to this I've been a SAHM for years but the last one small one goes to school in August and I'm really feeling like entering back into adult life again.

Can you really kickstart a new career in your 40s?

Any inspiring/encouraging stories would love to hear 'em

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amberdillyduck Sun 19-Mar-17 15:29:15

What career do you intend to go into with an art degree?

IDismyname Sat 25-Mar-17 16:35:24

What kind of Art degree are you looking at?

You will be more employable after completing some, than others!

littleflowershop Sat 25-Mar-17 16:41:21

I have an fine art degree from Central Saint Martins, and trust me, they aren't worth the bit of paper they are written on.

If you are studying art for a personal interest then brilliant but please don't do it if you are looking for a career in it.

My classes were full of talented, ambitious people and not one (including myself) are doing what they envisioned when they decided to do a degree.

littleflowershop Sat 25-Mar-17 16:42:51

*posted too soon!

However, the three years I spent at Art school (four if you count a foundation diploma in art and design, which you will need for most entry requirments even as a mature student) were the best of my life!

artyfartyfourty Sat 25-Mar-17 17:09:11

Hi flowershop! Really great to hear your point of view... what subject did you do, are you a florist now (just because of your user name! i love flowers). Thats not very encouraging to hear that not one of your peers has ended up doing what they thought..despite being from CSM! Gulp. Even though you loved the actual time you were there, if you could do it all over again, would you?

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littleflowershop Sat 25-Mar-17 17:45:03

I did fine art, with a specialism of 2d so lots of painting, drawing and photography work. I am retraining in September on a level 2 course in Floristry (another way to utilise my creative tendancies!)

It may be that as 19 year olds we all had over ambitious ideas...for example I wanted to be a curator however didn't factor in that realistically you need an MA afterwards, the ability to speak french and work experience!

A lot of my friends went on to study MAs, the rest are travelling. I think there is a lot of people who want to work in galleries for example, but not a lot of positions available so the criteria for hiring is quite high. But there really is a diverse range of careers you could do with an art degree - art therapy, counselling, teaching, your own business. I think its also quite an intense work load, so greatly aided me in future employment with balancing workloads!!

I would do it all over in a heartbeat, and if at the time I was told that I could have an amazing time studying but may not have the career I wanted, or to study a degree I wasn't interested in and end up in a stable job I would choose the art degree every singly time!!

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sat 25-Mar-17 18:07:12

I started one aged 50, also after being a long-term SAHM. It's not retraining, it's just something I was always good at but didn't pursue first time around. The colleges bang on about employability but realistically no one's going to give me a job just because I've done a degree in Fine Art. Even with an MA, same thing applies at my age, and living as I do in the sticks.
If I'm persistent and lucky I might be able to build up to selling work regularly, but I'm conscious it's a pretty saturated market and I may well end up with a large body of unsold work.
I started when my youngest started secondary (circs weren't right to do it before then), and I'd say your stage of life will be easier in some ways bit more difficult in others, but that's not to discourage you. It's challenging and frustrating at times but I'm glad I can now talk about and understand art in so many forms, even if I don't become the next Tracy Emin!

Wauden Sat 25-Mar-17 18:09:38

Just to say, that sounds great, if it is for yourself. But who knows what it could lead to?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sat 25-Mar-17 18:09:51

I studied a degree in another creative subject, with employability in mind, but struggled to establish a career and gave up completely after a few years. I do wonder how things would have turned out if I'd just followed my heart.

artyfartyfourty Sat 25-Mar-17 21:03:37

It's not retraining, it's just something I was always good at but didn't pursue first time around.

Shotgun, this is exactly me too! So delighted to hear that you've gone for it...

Flowershop - thanks for your honeat answer, good luck with the florist training too sounds fab xx

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