Why Do Art Teachers Hate Anime Art? Or Do They?


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Why do art teachers hate anime art, and why is it that anime art is still considered somewhat of a “bad way” to do art? I’ve been drawing anime art as far as I can remember and keep getting commission requests to this day. So clearly, there is demand for anime art, so why is it that it’s still a bit of a hot topic among art teachers? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • In art universities, education tends to be based on the fundamentals of art, and anime art tends to twist and even break art fundamentals.
  • One of the biggest reasons why art teachers probably dislike anime art is because of cultural differences.
  • How anime art is acknowledged can differ based on the country you live in.
  • Anime art is a highly appreciated art form in Japan and Asia.

The Culture of Teaching Art in Universities

A common stereotype that many future art students worry about is that art teachers hate anime. But is this true? Do art teachers really hate anime? 

In reality, it’s a misconception based on the culture of teaching art in universities. Here’s why this came to be. 

Art Classes Have Specific Milestones

Art is different from math or science. It’s much more subjective. People without any formal art education can make one art piece that instantly sells for millions, while art school graduates might struggle for some time. 

That’s why art schools have specific milestones, rules, and criteria that students must achieve to pass. Anime art doesn’t usually conform to these criteria, making it difficult for typical universities to grade students equally. 

Focusing on Art Skills and Knowledge Instead of Creativity

If you think art universities are all about teaching you creativity and self-expression, you’re in for a surprise. The majority of art universities focus on equipping you with the skills you need so that you can be as creative and self-expressive as you’d like after graduating

This is why art curricula help you master skills, understand the principles of art, and familiarize you with aesthetics and design. 

Since anime art is more specific, it would require a different set of skills and curricula to be taught correctly. 

Cultural Differences When Interpreting Art

Art interpretation comes down to cultural differences. 

For example, in several Western art universities, anime art is not taught or even considered a form of art. In Japan, on the other hand, anime art is highly appreciated. In fact, tons of schools are dedicated to the art of drawing anime

When interpreting any form of art, it depends on the type of art and the cultural background of the interpreter. 

Western paintings often emphasize scenes and drawings that are as realistic as possible. Studies show Western cultures have more rational, logical, and intellectual approaches to their artistic interpretations.

Chinese paintings, in contrast, are more driven by aesthetic knowledge and nature. It is reflected in their interpretations. 

One point worth mentioning is North American schools can often be biased toward American-style animations and cartoons. That means they prefer Disney-style animations over anime. This is often reflected in North American art schools’ bias against anime art. 

Anime Art as an Art Form

Anime art is a distinct art form with unique aesthetics, characteristics, and variations. It involves drawing characters with vibrant colors and usually large, bold eyes. 

Some variations are simple, like Kawaii, chibi, and moe. Other forms of anime art are very realistic.   

Regardless of how it’s drawn, anime art is a form of artistic expression that has been incorporated into countless movies, series, and even video games. It’s used in all genres and can be adapted for different age groups. 

The techniques and art skills that go into anime have been used in Japan for centuries and have recently been influenced by Western and North American culture. 

It’s normal to see a character drawn with exaggerated features like big eyes, a pointy chin, or a big head. This can subtly convey certain character traits and qualities that other art forms usually wouldn’t be able to express without animation. 

For instance, a wide-eyed girl with a small body and a big head can convey a sense of innocence, lightheartedness, or purity. This is one of the things that sets anime art apart from other art forms. 

How Anime Art Is Appreciated in Different Countries

In Japan, anime art is one of the most appreciated and highly-regarded forms of art. In fact, the Japanese Ministry of Education officially declared anime art as an art form and considered it a major form of artistic expression for Japanese culture. 

Anime art is slowly creeping its way into Western culture. People all over the United States love anime, and this is displayed by the hundreds and thousands of cosplayers that dress up for events yearly. 

However, it’s unlikely that anime art will be as popular in the United States as it is in Japan. 

The good news is many art schools in America have programs dedicated to anime art, such as The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, The School of Visual Arts in New York, and The California Institute of the Arts.

There are also tons of online stores in the U.S. where artists can display and sell their anime art to collectors and fans. FineArtAmerica and Redbubble are one of the most popular e-commerce platforms for anime art. 

Anime is also highly appreciated in the Philippines and China, although the art form is somewhat limited in China due to problems with content accessibility and anime viewing restrictions.



Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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