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  1. #91
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    Pfiou!, finally happy I got to read this all

    I think Equality72521 pointed this out very well: the purpose of this online community, and how well it has managed it so far. So I'm saying "Wow" as well.

    Many interesting opinions have been posted here throughout the 4 pages of this post. This has been a real debate going beyond mere education, and concerning economical obstacles as well. This has made me realize, broadened my vision of college/university and all that goes along with it.

    This post exposes the pros and cons of education, depending on people's backgrounds and situations. But, to be honest, I feel more confused now I've read it!

    First of all, I didn't really know much about USA art schools before coming here, and this post has taught me a lot about schools (Ringling popping up often) and the pros and cons of college, pros and cons of university.

    As a Belgian living in Singapore, going to a french educational system, I am looking for the best possible future education I can get. But sadly enough my parents aren't millionaires so paying for my education isn't easy (especially when looking at Ringling with its 30k a year). Compare it to my brother's 5k/year studies in Belgium.
    But I intend on going to university, if not for art skills, it will be for career availability. Plus, I agree with Equality about self-taught:
    Someone like this also needs to take into perspective that since they don't have a debt from school to payback, they could have a tendency to slack on their progress for a career and therefore lack ambition which leads to apathy which leads to a 30K a year job, etc. I know several people who are in this criteria, always talking and never walking.
    Well I have still a lot of research to do about how to manage my financial side, but I'm going to say this again: This post has been very useful and has helped me a lot.


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  3. #92
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    This is a very, very good thread..for you.
    By "you" i mean people who actually live in countries that by their system can actually help you in taking the right steps. Maybe just creating the path to for you to walk on, but still, there is a path.
    I come from Romania, a country that Jason and Andrew [i think Hussar too] visited some years ago. Actually i believe Bucharest was the first CA Workshop [small but very creative].

    I've been learning almost everything i know from conceptart.org for the past 3 years or so.
    There is no illustration school here.
    There is no multimedia, concept art, vfx, or strong design school here. Nothing. The best of the country is a faculty of Product Design [which i'm attending] and frankly none of these people, mostly old teachers, have any idea about what's going on in the industry. Please do not consider me to be arrogant or unthankful but I'm still waiting to learn something valuable from these people.

    So from the list that Jason posted, i guess i can only assimilate: "Work your ass off!".

    I believe that for people like me, building a strong portfolio is the only chance so if there are people from around my area [or poor/poorly organised countries], i guess this is what we should do.

    And i sincerely hope..that portfolio would surpass a company's requirement for an BFA, BA, etc.
    I really hope companies still hire by talent and hard-work rather than papers.

    Sincerely yours,
    Chris.

  4. #93
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    Ya wanna live in LALA land that's fine. Just be aware of DEBT.



    http://www.ebsqart.com/ArtMagazine/za_39.htm

    More about debt.





    Last edited by NoSeRider; January 25th, 2009 at 02:32 PM.
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  6. #94
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    Life is all about taking risks, including raking up a lot of debt for an education. Is it a risk one should seriously think about taking? Obviously.

    When it comes to going to an art school or not, I think it all depends on what kind of person you are. I go to an art school because I don't have that kind of focus to stay in my room or a library all day, possibly everyday, pouring over books or surfing through forums looking for tutorials and tips. Does that mean I have a lack of drive? I don't know. What I do know is that I thrive when I'm around people who have the same interests as I have to bounce ideas off of and I work harder when I'm around artists who are more skilled than I am (even though the pressure gets really intense sometimes). I need teachers and other students to introduce me to artists I've never heard of before even though I'm always avidly searching for something new.

    $100,000+ tuition is not a joke but if you go through school the right way, you can milk it out for all it's worth. For example, if you want to be a concept artist and just want to get the technical skills and learn all the cool shortcuts of drawing then you don't necessarily need to go to art school. I believe art school is all about the love of learning/trying new things; experimenting, really. I want to be an illustrator but I just started to sit in this fine-arts class (with an amazing teacher who goes into all this theory and philosophy with the purpose of you coming up with the questions, which is the opposite of what illustrators do–– we like to solve problems) and in the future I plan to take all kinds of classes in different majors, like typography, printmaking, letter pressing, script writing, installation, etc. The thing is, you don't really know what will help you in your career (it might be something as random as the time you drew a landscape using a tree branch with a sharpie taped to the end). So why not learn it all? Won't that make you a better artist? I guess what I'm trying to say is that art school helps you to not be narrow-minded (which is different from being focused) because it exposes you people who don't think the way you do or do art the way you do. Of course, art school isn't going to spoon feed you all the information; you do need a healthy amount of curiosity to step outside of your boundaries and take the initiative of signing up for those classes.

    Also, this is my second semester off from school all for the purpose of me being able to re-take most of my foundation classes over again for the extra practice and instruction for free (because teachers here are really cool about that). And I go to as many (free) workshops as I can. What else you can do to really milk art school out? Sit in as many classes as you can (saves a lot of money), badger your friends for personal handouts given to them by their teacher who you haven't had the pleasure of taking and sneak into classrooms from different majors to hear their guest speakers. I'm thinking if I do this for the next three years, I think I'll be set.

    I have friends in my school who already have degrees, and not even art degrees–– they have degrees in chemistry and microbiology. I know a couple of engineer majors, one of them who's twenty-eight and already had a profitable job before coming to the school and he's working hard to catch up to the rest of us. Are these people stupid for giving up potential jobs with good incomes and going through school again, amounting another load of debt? I don't think they see it that way. Art school isn't for everyone, and it's sure as hell not cheap, but before you let the word "DEBT" block out everything else in your head, try considering both sides.

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  8. #95
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    I am trying to find an art college to go to, but I am not sure where. I live in Florida, and I have NO money for college (im going to rely on getting scholarship/grants/loans for it) and I need to find a place that wont kill me with loans. Can you suggest some in particular?

  9. #96
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    I'd like to respectfully disagree on the "degrees mean jack" point made earlier in the thread. It depends on what field you go into. Illustration and freelance, a degree probably isn't neccessary but big CG studios like Pixar and ILM do expect at least a BFA in traditional or computer animation as well as a couple years of experience in the field in addition to a demo reel. Something to keep in mind to those considering skipping college.

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    God... This is a pretty depressing thread for me. =(

    Up until now I've been mostly self-taught. Relying on tutorials only when at my most desperate, just so I could take the theories of the skills they teach and apply them to my own work... But now I'm confused as far as what I should do next...

    I always thought that Art school took your potential and helped you mold yourself into an art Titan... God, now I'm more confused than ever as far as what I should do after High School goes. x_x

  11. #98
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    In our experience jmccampb is right. Maybe it's because too much money hangs in the balance, so getting a qualified person is more important than hiring your nephew.

  12. #99
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    One point has not really been mentioned, and really needs to be.

    This thread started out very well, with spot on advice that I wish had been put up here 5 years ago when I first found concept art and decided I wanted to make the switch from someone who draws on the side of tests and papers to someone who pushes out fully finished, polished and captivating art. 160,000 dollars and what in the spring will be a RISD degree later, I've got mixed feelings.

    Sure, If I was ultra-focused I could put myself in the same position technically that I'm at now. But I know myself, as a child of the 80's and 90's I've grown up expecting everything handed to me, the magic of my instructors placed upon my head so that I might become successful without putting WORK into it. It's the curse of a large portion of my generation, we are able to have marvelously decorated homes, filled with Ikea junk, video game systems and MMORPGS that reward us for having the patience to talk on a general chat where to finish XYZ quest. all for the cost of almost nothing.
    There is a large chance that once I graduate, I will end up working at a fast food joint for years as I myself and my work out. This is something I could have easily achieved without going to RISD (or paying for it) as well.

    3 years of RISD, a year at MICA, a Year at CCRI, 160,000 dollars and a lot of partying and wasted time later I've learned what I can honest to god say is hands down THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT EDUCATION, and it was harder than learning perspective, which I'm still awful at, color, which I can hardly address out of a basic bi-chrome image or any other technical skill out there.

    The desire to learn, uninhibited from any external forces is absolutely paramount to whatever course any of you may end up taking. This is not something that can be handed down from professors, nor is this something that lurking on conceptart.org or attending the workshops can give. Unless you have this desire when you enter into any such form of education, it will invariably be a waste. No matter how good the professors are, how good the instruction is, how amazing your peers may be, or how well connected any of the above is, without the desire to TRULY learn (and do so without an over inflated sense of self importance or pretense of already knowing the "basics") is moot.

    But isn't that desire obviously being taken into consideration if people are even viewing these threads? Not in the least. Anyone here who has attended art school knows that there are primarily two types of people that these institutions attract. People who are enamored with the prospect of being an artist, and those who are enamored with the creation of art itself. Merely WANTING to be an artist and putting forth the effort to try your best at assignments is not enough. Hell, doing your best for all the assignments you receive is not even enough. To really get something out of whatever path of education you choose; one has to not only listen to the instructor, but listen to their peers, listen to their heart and eye, but also take what you are given in the form of advice, take what you are given in the form of criticism, and constantly and analytically apply them at every point in the creative process that exists when creating a piece. The act of consciously and actively seeking knowledge may be the most expensive thing I've ever paid for, but out of all the money I've spent in my life, should I consider I've gained nothing else (which I have) from art school, it is a purchase I would make again. And in attempting to describe how crucial this seemingly simple concept is, I feel that I can only hint at what such a thing is, because just like everything else in life it is something NO ONE ELSE can impart upon you.

    Jason made an excellent point about getting liberal arts credits out of the way so that students may take art electives in place of liberal arts. This does not mean that taking liberal arts during the time in art school is bad though. and these subjects are helpful to becoming a well rounded and thoughtful artist.

    Overall there are lots of paths to success, but they all rely on an amazing amount of work, networking, intellect, attitude, time, and determination. While there are points to be made for going to art school, and not going to art school; Art school is an experience and while not for everyone, can be very beneficial, even with the price tag. In the end it's what you make of it, just like not going to art school is what you make of it. It will not turn a bad artist who believes themselves above still lifes into a good artist, nor will it amount to anything without an immense amount of work, and open mindedness to one's peers and instructors.
    I c whut u did thar.

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  14. #100
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    on a side note, I think generally any sort of school is a good idea, just based on the fact that it forces us to perhaps do things we would not want to do otherwise. In turn this forms us into stronger artists.
    I c whut u did thar.

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    I will begin the Art Institute of California in July and its always been a dream to attend an actual art school instead of trying to get an interior design degree from CSUS or UCDavis thats in the area. I've talked and know some of the grads from those schools who have art backgrounds and they said they should have gone to a school specifically for art and design. I'm taking as many classes at a junior college and hopefully the classes transfer to the Art Institute. I'm excited, i'm proud, i know i have passion, but i'm so afraid of the debt.

  16. #102
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    On the issue of debt, I think you have to be reasonable.
    If you want to go to an art school that costs 100k, but have no significant means of paying it off, than you have to be honest with yourself and say "Maybe I should consider a different school, or perhaps wait a few years to go."

    Of course, on the other hand, you only live once. I don't want to be 50 years old saying to myself, "Gee, I wish I had just gone for it! I wish I had followed my dream and taken on the risks."

    I think it's also important to be realistic and honest with yourself about your abilities. If you don't work hard through high school to improve your artistic abilities to become good, and I mean truly good, than you have to be realistic about what you expect to get out of an art college.

    I have to say, I think alot of art students have a misunderstanding about what it takes and means to be an artist. I think back at some things Shawn Barber has said on this issue, about kids thinking that art is a glamourous job. He also notes kids thinking art school will be a "magic key" to becoming an amazing artist. It just doesn't work like that, and unfortunately, I think alot of kids find they can't get work when they graduate.

    I think Anders made a good point earlier, about soo many kids out there that like the idea of being an artist. Not actually being an artist. They think it would be so cool to work at Pixar or Dreamworks and get to work in the movies! It would be so cool to work on next-generation computer games at Blizzard or be the next huge fashion designer in New York! They would love to tell their friends about these things. But the glamour side is a tiny minuscule part of the job and is certainly not why you should try to become an artist.
    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?

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    very true, lowercase.

    I agreed strongly with Jason Manley too over these two points:

    1. Where you choose to go to art school is less important than bringing an attitude of "doing whatever it takes" to learn about art to where you are studying.

    3. If you go to a little bitty school that anyone could afford and no one ever heard of but work your ass off, you will end up miles ahead of the brats at the art schools who are only doing their assignments and the normal minimal workload art schools require.


    Over his words, I'm reminded and was pushed to think all over again to decide between two schools: ringling, illustration and london college of communication (LCC): graphic and media design course, major: illustration.

    I find that between those two schools, ringling is much more stronger in the area of illustration than lcc in terms of work showcase and the lecturers there but i think it is up to the individual like again, this:

    1. Where you choose to go to art school is less important than bringing an attitude of "doing whatever it takes" to learn about art to where you are studying.

    So I'm thinking should I just go to a school that is not well-known for illustration as long as I do whatever it takes to learn about art? But on the other hand, it would be a bonus if there are good lecturers around to guide you.

    Other factors that I'm considering lcc are that it is a 3 years course and I can go together with my bro who's going to lcc at the same time.

    Would like to hear your view/advice on which school should i go to considering those factors mentioned above. Thanks very much.

  18. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishandchips View Post
    Would like to hear your view/advice on which school should i go to considering those factors mentioned above. Thanks very much.
    My advice?
    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?

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    lowercase, yes please. Anyone is welcome. I believe the others would like to know your view too. Thanks.

  20. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxine Schacker View Post
    In our experience jmccampb is right. Maybe it's because too much money hangs in the balance, so getting a qualified person is more important than hiring your nephew.
    Of course, you help run a private art school. Truth is, half the successful artists I know in the field did not go to the big name private art schools. The name on the degree has little to do with whether the portfolio is going to be killer in this day and age. Granted, there are places in both the expensive and cheap schools where the art programs suck. Just as there are great programs which are affordable and expensive.

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  22. #107
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    fishandchips,
    I'm honestly not sure what college you should attend. I wish I could tell you, but it's just not a black and white issue like that.

    But as far as my thought process goes, and I am certainly no authoritative figure, I would consider a few things...

    Every person is different. We live in different places, have different amounts of money, have different levels of abilities, etc... so perhaps Ringling might be a good thing for you, in your circumstances, but not someone else. Same thing could go for LCC. So in the end, only you can really decide which college is better for you.

    But if money is not an object, and I were you, I would probably go to Ringling as it appears to be your preference. I am not sure how costly LCC is, but if it is cheaper, and money is an object for you, I might consider it instead or even a whole slew of other colleges. It depends on your circumstance.

    However, I think in the end, whatever college you end up picking, it should satisfy your desire to get a job after you graduate. You shouldn't go to a college just because your brother will be there too, or because it'll be quicker. College is first and foremost a vessel for learning and to get you from high school graduate to working professional. That should be your main focus.
    Sure, college is a great experience in and of itself, and while you are attending it is important to soak up everything college life has to offer. But that is secondary to getting yourself prepared for a career.

    I think alot of people get caught up in the college "experience". They go and get caught up in all the fun and excitement of being independent and making all these new friends. But they forget the main purpose of college, and consequently end up graduating and having no means to a professional career as an artist.

    Anyway, perhaps I'm starting to ramble, so I'll just end this by saying take into consideration everything that is important. Consider your circumstances, and make the decision that only you can decide.
    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?

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  24. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    fishandchips,
    However, I think in the end, whatever college you end up picking, it should satisfy your desire to get a job after you graduate. You shouldn't go to a college just because your brother will be there too, or because it'll be quicker. College is first and foremost a vessel for learning and to get you from high school graduate to working professional. That should be your main focus.
    Sure, college is a great experience in and of itself, and while you are attending it is important to soak up everything college life has to offer. But that is secondary to getting yourself prepared for a career.
    To be honest, i actually did thought of going to college just because my brother will be there and that it is quicker. I thought that it would be good as long as I portray the right attitude towards learning process at college but then maybe it is kind of hard to say as I would not know what the environment is like as in the influence of competition that will push me to a higher level, the helpfulness of the lecturers and other circumstances. Then again, you are right I should know what is my main focus.

    Tough choice.

  25. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishandchips View Post
    To be honest, i actually did thought of going to college just because my brother will be there and that it is quicker. I thought that it would be good as long as I portray the right attitude towards learning process at college but then maybe it is kind of hard to say as I would not know what the environment is like as in the influence of competition that will push me to a higher level, the helpfulness of the lecturers and other circumstances. Then again, you are right I should know what is my main focus.

    Tough choice.
    Right, and you have to keep in mind that college is only 3 or 4 years. So even if you had a comfortable environment at a college, it doesn't last very long, and soon you will be looking for a job.

    You also bring up a good point with the fact that other students at a college will either push you forward or pull you down. It's easy to say, "I'm gonna bring a great attitute and push myself 100%", but as one year, two years, three years go by, it will become increasingly difficult to stay focused and increasingly difficult to push yourself.

    I have a book with a collection of notes from d Vinci, and he noted that the best environment to learn is in an atmosphere where you are surrounded by people, in a class setting, that are better than you. I can attest to that. I've been in both a cirumstance where I was the best, and where I was the worst, and you will learn alot more being the worst.

    But anyway, good luck with your decision.
    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?

  26. #110
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    I'm surprised to hear people say that they need debt and/or fear to make them do their best! I really think you need passion and drive and discipline to excel at anything. When you really love it (for me it's painting), you are driven to get back in there and do it again and do it better. You are hungry for information and searching to grow and change even after 30 years.

    Think again if you don't have the hunger to learn and improve. When you've go that hunger even the pain and frustration of seeking and not quite getting what you want is pleasure. It takes you to some space you need to inhabit.

    When you're forced to give it up for awhile, it's as if part of you is missing.

    Don't get into debt if you don't have the drive.

    Also, think about programs like the atelier Jason's company runs, and other schools that may get you less in debt and give you the skill base you need...but especially for concept art, don't do it unless you know this is what you need to pursue and you're ready to give it everything.

  27. #111
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    This is such a great thread!

    Here is something I have heard a few times from three different people: a professional artist, an art teacher, and a good friend of mine.

    "College is where I learned to learn."

    Basically, even after you graduate or finish with college/art school, you will (have to) keep learning and learning. Especially if you want to grow as an artist/person, excel in your career, and stay on top of things even if it means just keeping your job. (Of course there are many other great reasons that this can apply to.) Don't think that once you get a degree and finish your "learning" that there isn't more learning and hard(er) work to be done.
    Going to an art school/college can get you on the right track, but it is up to you what you make of it.

    And for those of you who may feel even more confused or torn with ideas and not sure what to make of your future, I have good news...

    YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK!!!

    Just the fact that you are searching and learning about the many options you have now in order to pursue your dreams, is a great thing. Be glad you know this now and not 3,4,5 years from now when you are 100k in debt or decided to give up on art or whatever dream you had. Don't worry, you are on the right track.

    Anyways, keep on posting people! Great, great things in this community.

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  29. #112
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    This is honestly the most important thread i've seen on this whole site.
    well maybe besides Mentlers !

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    http://images.businessweek.com/ss/07...t+--+d-schools

    San Jose State University was in the lower top 50 of design schools.
    Arizona State University School of Design was rated number 1.
    As presented by BusinessWeek Magazine.

    Worldwide....
    These are public design schools. More like $ 20,000 tuition schools.
    Last edited by NoSeRider; February 18th, 2009 at 02:44 PM.
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  31. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSeRider View Post
    http://images.businessweek.com/ss/07...t+--+d-schools

    San Jose State University was in the lower top 50 of design schools.
    Arizona State University School of Design was rated number 1.
    As presented by BusinessWeek Magazine.

    Worldwide....
    These are public design schools. More like $ 20,000 tuition schools.
    The schools are listed alphabetically, not by rating.

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  33. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley View Post
    Of course, you help run a private art school. Truth is, half the successful artists I know in the field did not go to the big name private art schools. The name on the degree has little to do with whether the portfolio is going to be killer in this day and age. Granted, there are places in both the expensive and cheap schools where the art programs suck. Just as there are great programs which are affordable and expensive.
    And I believe YOU run a competing school yourself Jason Manley. Look, nobody is saying that you "buy" talent, passion, and ambition. I do see that statistically speaking there are certain schools that produce far more successful graduates than others on a regular basis. The tuition rate is sometimes high because it takes more money to pay the salaries of the caliber of faculty needed to generate those results. There seems to be some kind of desire here to peg all schools as being equal, with money being the main separator. This isn't true. In fact, it is the opposite. Every school is unique. Visit them in person. Ask questions. You will know when you find the place that you belong.

  34. #116
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    Thanks for this information.

    When I was looking for a University 3 years ago it was based on that I did not know what I was doing with my life. So I just chose the closest University. I have to say I do regret slightly my views back then, wishing that I should have put more effort into finding the right place. But by not doing that I have met some fantastic tutors, with wacky sense of humours, and the lack of facilities and teaching has made me stronger; forcing me to self-teach myself.

    I think art schools can be a buffer between school and professional. I have grown up a lot while at University, both professionally and technically.

  35. #117
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    Watch out for ratings. There are too many variables. If possible visit year end shows. Judge by the work of the majority of students, not the stars. Ask to be put in contact with recent graduates and current students...and remember that most of it is up to you. Too many people think that if they attend the class they should magically become great artists. They don't really understand what focus, dedication and hard work are. They often underestimate what it will take to acquire the skills needed to express their creativity, ie they want to play at Carnegie Hall before they learn the scales.

    Becoming an artist builds character. One has to deal with delayed gratification, frustration. Although there are great moments of satisfaction, there are also periods when you are working hard and don't seem to be progressing. You also need to take responsibility for your education. You need to THINK and bring what you've learned in one course, to the next course. You are building a skill base to help you problem solve. The mentality that looks to pass a course and then leaves the content behind, holds students back.

    The school IS important. Courses should connect and reinforce each other. The quality of instruction is important. However, the quality of the students frame of mind is equally important. Interested, focused, hard working students are inspiring to instructors and get the best out of them.

    I'm not sure that our culture is developing the fame of mind that students need in order to maximize their development. I agree with Nicolaides that talent is everywhere, but just as most acorns don't grow into oak trees, most of this talent doesn't realize itself. Students have to ask themselves what qualities of mind they need to develop to help themselves succeed.

  36. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Maxine Schacker For This Useful Post:


  37. #118
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    Very helpful tips. Thank you!
    Last edited by GatoGirl12345; February 20th, 2009 at 07:50 PM. Reason: Adding the thanks! :D

  38. #119
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    What i wanted to ask now for a couple of months...im now 17 yo and am studying in a small gymnasium of art in Lithuania.next year ill be graduating and im thinking in going to study in the Conceptart.org Atelier. I dont know probably anything about the pro artist llife but im willing to find out this while studying there. Jason, do you consider Atelier of CA being an expensive art school or not??? when you guys say that someone is spending 100 000 dolars on theyr education - my hair stands.But know the mane question is that will i get a diploma or some graduation note that will show my education as an artist because my dad asked me if im goint there to a privat art school that wont give me a graduation note. So thats one question another is- Do all those artists who come to study in CA atelier have some jobs or something to earn some money and stuff like that?Sry if its sounds maby not important but i just want to know couz studying somewhere like atelier of Ca is a huge step of my life and i may not have a second chance to do it again ;/

  39. #120
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    Thank you
    this post was very enlightening and
    i will especially be taking it into consideration since
    i am making my final college decision in a few weeks
    (:

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