Cartoonism in College- "its not art"

Posted 5 days, 20 hours ago by Novellacarnate

Why do colleges refuse to acknowledge Cartoonism as an art?
i went to a review today and put some of my design concepts in there along with other art that i dont really care about
but colleges prefer art that is like
abstract and still lifes and things like that.
WHY is cartoonism not considered an art to them? its what im best at and its what brings me the most joy so why?????

idk im just
really irked right now


1) Because old people are cranky and stuck in their ways. A hatred of anime can be sourced to Imperialism, xenophobia, and/or racism, but general cartooning is just old fogey issues. Disney-styled gets either a hard pass or an excessive dislike just because of it being mainstream.

2) Because a lot of young artists who draw cartoons tend to have skipped the entire fundamentals stages and instead of drawing from the knowledge of life, they are stuck in drawing simple symbols because that's all they know. It's not hard to tell the difference between shortcuts and rules that are knowingly broken.


i see, but why wont they at least TAKE THE TIME to learn and understand modern cartoonism and how it influences society? its incredibly disturbing and depreciating
my cartoonism is what expresses me the most
not some portrait of myself or 3 colored pencil apples


Kana it is Converse college
they were like "Most people wont like this" and im just offended????????
jeeze it hurt the way they said it 


Because cartoons are commercialized, flavor of the day, for kids, and low-effort. That's what it boils down to. Traditional "high-brow" art where pieces go for thousands, prints are limited and go for hundreds, and are done completely in traditional media are the only thing that matters. Like I said, old farts are stuck in their ways. They don't want to learn because cartooning is excessively broad and changes constantly. There's no "contemporary art history" classes featuring people like Disney, Schultz, and the like, because cartooning is still a "modern" concept from the past century and as such it doesn't matter.*

Also if you're taking fine arts classes, cartooning is the total opposite of fine arts. Try looking into illustration, design, or animation courses if you want to do cartoony stuff and have your teachers like it. Teachers want your portfolio to reflect what they taught you. Going against their grain is going to tick them off.

*please note I love cartoons and this is just feelings I picked up from curmudgeons and don't reflect my own views


Honestly this is so annoying, but fortunately not always the case!

I started my college at a community college and my art teacher there was THE BEST like no joke she was the most encouraging, uplifting art teacher I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She taught foundations without restricting her students to still life and whatnot. Heck, my perspective drawing was a prismacolor drawing of a bunch of my OCs, and she loved it! And guess what? It still taught me perspective!!! *gasp* (I mean I rarely if ever use linear perspective now bc aksjsk it's a ton of work but ya know...I know how it works) One of our projects was making a comic, and again, she loved everyone's work. Honestly her attitude is a big part of what inspired me to be as encouraging as I can to all other artists because we need it! :')

But then I transferred to university and had to retake drawing class because the one I took with her didn't transfer. My gosh was my professor the most polar opposite to her you could get. He was THE definition of old cranky art professor who only wants HIS way. Slightly crooked line? Make it perfectly straight. Without using a ruler. Etc etc... Honestly all I really learned in that class was that I BETTER make straight lines. 

My former professor's artistic freedom based way of teaching taught me SO much more than he did. I really wish more colleges and universities would see this... ;;


I know my college was fine with cartoonism- as long as you had some other art styles to counter it! It really will depend on the school, and the professors reviewing your portfolio. 

Like pepperly said as well, many people are going to look for the traditional since its typically easier for them to work with and help to develop, its more well known by the professors how to teach students who start with some drive and knowledge for the classic 'basics' rather than try to create a whole new learning system and expectations for people who draw cartoon styles, when its basically a totally different art form that they might not be as experienced in themselves.

In my experience many will as well look for variety. If you ONLY do cartoon work, and your portfolio as a whole is super 'monotone' - they might be turned away simply because it doesn't seem like you're willing to go out of your box. I saw plenty of classmates flunk out based on the fact they would only draw anime- even when given a specific task that doesn't allow for it. (and it wasn't necessarily a style thing, they just refused to draw realism because they thought they should be allowed to interpret it their own way and missed the entire point) 

Usually once you get accepted and get further in your art path and developing your own style, it seems like they generally get more lenient about it and let you have a little more free reign. My professors gladly encouraged drawing whatever you wanted after you got past your basic drawing classes 

It really does depend on the circumstances and if one doesn't work out, trying another might be a good option

**edit: as another example- I had a final portfolio presentation in my last year and WASNT going to put my cartoon work in at all, but my professor actively encouraged me to include some of it to expand my variety and because he liked my color uses and creativity in them and thought it was a good way to make myself stand out. 


Sixbane i can definately do more than just cartoonism, but it is my strength when it comes to art so i feel like im at a disadvantage


Novellacarnate Of course, but thats why practice and doing more outside your comfort zone is a good idea!

 It may also depend on the program you're going for/what kind of degree. There are specialized programs for character design and cartooning but they'll be harder to find and generally are a lot more competitive. My personal degree is in fine & studio arts, so that's where a lot of my experience comes from.

It just plays in to 'appeal to your client', in this case appealing to your client is appealing to the college for the program you want, so you'll have to gear your portfolio towards their expectations to get the best results. Even if you don't think its your best work, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. 

I keep one larger portfolio, and when applying to new places or freelance jobs i just take out what isn't applicable for that specific one/doesn't fit the styles they're looking for 


its not necessarily colleges are anti cartoon art - there definitely is a chance that professors/individuals are but if you need to submit a portfolio, the college is looking more that you understand the fundamentals of art and so they can get a good feel of where you are skillset wise. i definitely had some “anime-esque” art in my portfolios when i went to national portfolio day and my actual portfolio for application to my current college - however it was only 2-3 pieces in comparison to 10 life drawings and etc.

depending on your school, some value self expression a bit more than others. however in general, most colleges that aren’t specialized seem to have more professors who disregard certain styles because they dont think its abstract enough or whatever. the professors ive had acknowledge anime and think its a valid style, they just want you to have the good foundation to make them work.


Your teachers are there to smarten up on your weaknesses. Like, just because you're good at algebra doesn't mean you can magically do calculus. If you find drawing from life is a struggle, that's all the more reason to practice. You want to warm up and do a few stretches before you go do a 50lb lift.

The basis of cartooning is still lifes, draw-from-lifes, and color studies and having the knowledge to break the rules of anatomy in well-thought out ways. All the classical cartoonists that are well known (Disney, Bluth, etc) are traditionally trained. They can do all that, it's just basic art.

In college, nobody knows if you've formally learned the basic principles of art and design and it's necessary to get those down if you're pursuing a career in art. that's why you have different courses. Drawing I is not for cartooning. It's for learning how to see, learning about light and shade, about rendering things realistically, about learning composition. You need to have this breadth of experience to improve. You can still draw your cartoons, but that's not the purpose of your class. You have to do basic studies, not "express yourself", as that's not the purpose of your classes. Express yourself at home, study at school.


@heteridont and Pepperly very very good points <3 thank you