how to get in

hey. i have loved art my whole life, but when i come onto this site, i feel like i know nothing about it. is there a site where i can learn the basics of media arts? i’m only a freshmen in high school, but i know that my career is definetely going to be in art. im new to all of this, but i would like to atleast understand the things that go along with it all.

Its great that you are thinking about this as a freshmen; it will give you some time to determine what you really want to do and what you can do to prepare.

First though you need to understand that art and design tend to be very different things. To give you an idea of what Industrial Design is about here is a link to the definition as defined by the Industrial Designers society of America or IDSA. This will give you a sense of what we do. If you have any any specific ?'s feel free to ask; there are many designers here from different fields and backgrounds that can help.

for more general art discussions, you might want to check out

Do you live by any big universities? They often have summer programs in the art department and you can learn more about what direction you want to go. Or look on their websites for senior shows, and talk to the students.

In “Art” you can make something pink polka dots just cause you feel like it. In 'Design" you have to take constraints and research and practical issues into consideration and create something based on specific purpose and intent. For example, a stop sign is red and hexagonal for a specific reason. It was designed to be that way to fit a purpose.

Figure out if you want to be an artist or a designer. Design is a form of art but not just art for art’s sake. It’s art that requires negotiating specific issues. Cost, ergonomics, manufacturability, sustainability, can it be mass produced, the proesses involved, who the audience or user is, etc…


there has been a long historic discussion about the difference and points in common between arts, crafts and design. Personally I think design is not art.

Drawing and sculpting skills can be tools to communicate ideas, but are not and end in the design process. I think part of the confusion is that some Art schools also teach design, and also some schools give a BA when graduating as a designer (I really don’t understand this).

Some of the main differences between art and design can be:

DESIGN: is a process.
ART: is an end.

DESIGN: Provides a service for a client, focusing on specific needs.
ART: Is self expression.

DESIGN: Begins with a user. No matter how nice, is not good if it doesn’t fulfill a need.
ART: Self motivated. Doesn’t require an audience.

DESIGN: Solves a problem.
ART: Points a problem.

DESIGN: Is objective. It solves a problem and can be measured.
ART: Is subjective. Cannot be measured and is not intended.

DESIGN: Is contextual.
ART: Is timeless.

DESIGN: Great design is transparent, sometimes invisible.
ART: Great art is shocking, and not necessarily beautiful.

DESIGN: Affects our lives by changing how we live and experience our environment.
ART: Affects our lives by changing how we see the world.

The better you understand both, you will be able to take a better decision.

I hope this helps!


I would also check out the movie Objectified. It will give a good overview of design, and some of the talents/skills/requirements of the design process.