Art School vs Online Courses: The Pros & Cons

Dorca Musseb & Ryan Summers

So you want to be a motion designer. To go to art school or not? There is a healthy debate over whether or not a formal education is worth your time and money. Especially now with the proliferation of online courses, many aspiring designers are wondering if art school is still worthwhile, and today we’re diving into the topic with Dorca Musseb and Ryan Summers.

Dorca and Ryan have been in the field for many years and offer a wealth of experience and advice on the topic of arts education, and we get deep into the pros and cons of different arts educations. Dorca is a designer and animator based in New York and Ryan is a creative director at Digital Kitchen. 

In this episode, we discuss the importance of going to art school to learn design principles and make important connections, but also the limits and the false expectations that these schools leave their graduates with. We go on to discuss how the proliferation of online classes has changed the game, but also its limitations. If you’re thinking about going to art school or taking a course, this episode is a must listen!

Did you go to art school or decide against it? Was that the right decision for you? Let us know in the comments below!

In this episode

  • Where art schools fall short in providing a thorough education for motion designers and where they provide the best value
  • How education has changed now that there are more online courses available
  • The consequences of the homogeneity that art schools foster and the advantages of diversity
  • Why personal and professional connections are perhaps the most important part of having a thriving career


“The thing that I see the biggest dearth of is schools not teaching people how to be a working professional artist. They’re not teaching people how to become a freelancer. I think it goes even a step beyond that, just how to work well with others. These are the soft skills that I don’t see a lot of people coming out with.” [12:46]

“I’m excited about where the online classes are going because now people are starting to realize that this is something that they can actually do and more voices are coming in and more voices are being heard.” [34:54]

“If you don’t have people in a creative industry I don’t think any amount of education, any amount of software knowledge, any amount of raw talent will really get you through your career and get you where you want to go.”  [46:45]

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