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Thread: The Reality of Going to Art School and a basic FAQ for those considering it.

  1. #151
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    Well, thanks. That explains a bit. I'm mainly looking for good instructors + heck of a lot of life drawing to improve upon my foundations. And certainly I don't want to spend $80000+ for this (not that I could anyways ). Everything on the portfolio and imaginative side of things, I'll take care and Improve upon from sites like these.

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  2. #152
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    First off, I'd like to thank Jason and the rest of the people contributing to the thread, for all the great advice you were/are willing to share.

    ~~~No longer relevant~~~

    Last edited by Vatsel; November 12th, 2009 at 04:26 AM.
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  3. #153
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    Jason you couldn't be more on the money.

    I'm a senior in college now, and school assignments aside its all the work and persistence outside of class that is getting me further ahead. I've had the fortune of having some very wonderful professors who've taught me very valuable information, but it was only because i showed interest that i got any answers.

    also, i'm enrolled in a Graphic Design program, but not at an art school. And one of my profs (successfully employed since the early 90's doing design) whom i respect greatly has alot of the same things that you are. It really doesn't matter where you go, because your teachers are going to produce great work FOR you, its all about the work that you put in yourself and your willingness to go find out what you need to when the people whom you should be getting an education from don't have the answers you want.

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    Hello all! I am looking to become a concept artist/illustrator/character designer (NOT animator - there are so many programs in animation but it seems not so many in digital illustration) and wondering if to those of you with experience in the field this sounds like a good education plan. I've been reading this thread and forum a lot and this is the plan I have drawn up based on what I've read.

    Note that I am one of those artists that does really well in a school environment, but despite passion to create seems to not find enough time for it when not attending classes. This is a major reason why I think I would be far better set up to succeed if I do go to school, rather than teaching myself. Note also that I have little interest in working traditionally in a career - digital is the way for me.

    - Jason, if you aren't too busy and wouldn't mind contributing your opinion, I would really value it.

    THE PLAN
    Bachelor of Fine Arts at my provincial university
    -I'm Canadian. The program I would be attending is largely drawing/painting focussed, but I know that students are able to do digital work in it if that is their interest. One of the careers which you are supposed to be able to come out of it into is illustrator.
    -Some courses at an animation school nearby, a good one supposedly, in character design & storyboard, advanced lighting and texturing, introduction to the gaming industry, etc., to supplement my Fine Arts degree and give me more of a background in gaming/film specific-ish art
    -ConceptArt.org workshops, Gnomon DVDs, etc.
    -Subscription to ImagineFX magazine and valued use of ConceptArt.org

    Alternately I could take the 3D Animation or 3D Game Animation program at the local animation school. That's Centre for Art & Technology. It's just that I have no interest in animating and most of the courses in those programs are, logically, animation courses. The thing about them that still catches my eye is that two of the careers which you are supposed to be able to come out of them into are "digital artist" and "concept artist".

    I REALLY look forward to the valuable comments and advice that I know this community can offer me on my education plan. Truly, any time you take out of your probably busy days to respond on this will be sincerely valued. Thanks in advance!

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  5. #155
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    Lots of good advice on here, but I would caution that advice is always bound to be generalized to some degree. Jason Manley is a great example of what you can do without a college degree. So is Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates. They all want to college, but didnít graduate. Subtle difference, perhaps?

    I think itís important to remember that you canít walk Jasonís (or anyone elseís) path; you have to walk your own. Jason is at the very top of his industry, and if youíd like to join him you can. But thatís a long way from saying you will. Maybe youíve got a kid on the way, a sick parent you need to stay close to, maybe you give it a shot and find that California is a little too California for you. Maybe you just love where youíre at, and you want to make it work there. You might discover in the course of your studies that your true calling is something else entirely. If you work hard, you can go anywhere and do anything. I believe that. But thereís a caveat: you canít do everything. Youíre going to have to make choices.

    I did a lot of my art study at a community college, and it was awesome. I also went to a state university, but I lucked out at the community college. I had some of the best instructors to be found anywhere. They had some lousy ones too, but I didnít take their classes. They were old school, they were tough, and they were part of a remarkable history that Iím proud to be some microscopic part of. Now it is a community college, so you get a lot of yahoos who thought they were going to skate through an easy humanities credit, but you get people of all ages. Iíd see older cats whoíve taken the class 12 times because itís fun. And because they get to use the studio, the models, the kilns, and what not. That was all fine and well, but I had to hold up my end too. I would spend all damn day working on an assignment that other people spent a half hour on. I didnít start out a class the strongest, but I often finished that way.

    So does it matter? It depends. Like Jason, no one has ever asked me about my degrees. But just because your education (or lack of it) didnít come up in conversation, doesnít mean it went unnoticed. It can make a difference at the interview table. Does it make you a better artist. Not necessarily. There a host of factors. It comes down to this: having a degree from a name brand school wonít make up for a weak portfolio, or a disagreeable personality.

    Unlike Jason, I am no where near the top of the industry. But I've beaten out hundreds of people before, and not because I was better than them, although I'm sure I was better than some at least. I got the job because I went the extra mile. I outworked them. I've taken jobs away from people, and again, not because I was better than them. I wasn't. But I had a better attitude. I was easier to work with. And I never stop learning and trying to improve.

    Sine timore.
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  7. #156
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    Great thread. I see that a few posters here are 15-18, still in high school and generally much younger than myself (23). If I can give you any advice from my personal experience it's that when it comes to education, 'you get what you pay for' is absolutely null and void.

    My first two years of college were at Pennsylvania State University, where all but 1 maybe 2 of the instructors I had in my art curriculum were horrible - there were elective classes I actually enjoyed more to be honest. At many times I felt like they really didn't give a damn about art, have any experience in the field, or were even very skilled themselves. I dropped out, headed back home and started rethinking things.

    I heard about the local community college: LCCC. Luzerne, on the other hand was full of great instructors, talented in their own respects, who would hang with you for hours after class and just talk about the field and really anything you wanted to know. It's being around those kinds of people that will really reinforce your passion and keep you going. Even after graduating, I keep in touch with the some of them on almost a weekly basis and they still give me great advice and teach me things. Surround yourself with these folks.

    What I got from PSU was two years of a shitty over priced university that I'm still seeing a bill for - and will for a few more years. On the flipside, I had three amazing years of growth as an artist from a community college which was PAID OFF almost immediately.

    I'm not saying I'm a great artist by any means, but when I see where I was before/after PSU and then before/after LCCC, it speaks for itself.

    Now, it wasn't all 100% fluffy and dandy at the community college.

    I started at LCCC in their 'Computer Graphics' curriculum which is basically their 'Animation' major. Unfortunately, because it's a smaller college it didn't really have the computers to handle Maya or 3DS, in fact they used a much simpler program called Bryce, and they could barely handle that.

    I took a lot of classes in graphic & web design, as well as advertising (also very interesting to me) and landed a job in that field which is basically paying for me now to buy books and DVDs here and there to get me to fill the gap in my animation knowledge, and start considering moving out to California to take classes in concept art. If I make it big I can promise you I'll be putting some money into that community college to get their animation program up to par.

    Overall, I have to agree with what Jason said about artists being 'homogenized' by art schools these days. I definitely think ConceptArt.org is going to be setting the bar awfully high for the rest of these institutions: Workshops around the globe, streaming classes at your fingertips, the Atelier, a great online community, DVDs and downloads, and for a fraction of the cost of what they offer.

    This new 'style' of education will be a much more rewarding experience and is going to mold some truly interesting and unique artists. Mad props.


    -bill

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  9. #157
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    well thanks buddy ....your tips would be prove effective to face my councilor..and hoping for few more tips in future

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  10. #158
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    Thank you so much Jason! Personally, when I was studying at University of Illinois @ Urbana Champaign. I've learned almost NOTHING from my professors and classes, most of them did not have any interest in commercial art and did not know how to teach. Most of the students didn't have any motivation either. I've learned far more by my self through the internet (mostly CA.org). I want my $40,000 back

    "He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast." -Leonardo da Vinci

    Sketchbook
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    I've always been a big fan of this thread. Here's a bit of my own advice, and I hope it gets some criticism too, so it's as accurate as possible.

    If and when you go to school, you may have some standard classes: i.e. Art Fundamentals, Drawing 1 & 2, Painting: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced.

    These titles don't describe at all what you'll be doing. I got straight into Intermediate painting Freshman year, but it may as well have been called "aimless painting class", where we were handed materials and told to paint. The only instruction came in critiques afterwards, which were a mix of patting each other on the back and "let's everyone try to think of something intelligent". Needless to say, there was a lot of silence at those times and it was like pulling teeth.

    I skipped on art my sophomore year, painting on my own, and then took a beginner's "Art Fundamentals" class that was so much better, with a much better professor, where we did a series of exercises that explained the core principles of art. That's what got me motivated to want to teach.

    Senior year I took a similar fundamental's class in Italy (year abroad) and went into print making, and had a blast.

    Then I spent another year at the Museum School in Boston, and picked out as many technology based courses as possible - I wanted as many demo's as possible to learn new tools for art making, and what I could start a career with. I took 2D & 3D animation, figure sculpture, jewelry making, photography, a "material meaning" sculpture course, and a similar one for painting. I was dissappointed with those last ones because, again, there were no demo's. We were only handed something each week and told to be creative. Then we'd get a teeth pulling lecture from the professors who didn't have much to say (they never gave any technical advice), and I found I wasn't really on their wavelength anyway. One of these was the professor who said illustration isn't art.

    Here's what I'm trying to say. In college, there are some professors who feel they are teaching you when they spout out their opinions - opinions on art, life, what you should dedicate yourself to, what art you should make and what it should mean, etc... Some of them may be very wise and worth listening to, or at least on your wavelength.

    Then, there are teachers who say, "Here's a material, here's technique one. Here's technique two, here's technique three. Now master these techniques and do whatever you want." I've found these teachers to be much, much, much better.

    I can always search out people later for their opinions, outside a college setting and the exorbitant costs.

    Last edited by TASmith; February 4th, 2010 at 02:23 PM.
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    Hey guys have been reading this thread. All I can say is listen to Jason. Have been in the biz many years. The advice he's penned here is spot on.

    I will add that even if you go to a great low cost program, or say even the school Jason is working on... You have to consider a very important factor.

    What you get out of an educational program relates to how much work you put into it. So if you have to work 40+ hours a week at a non art related job to pay the bills while you're in school, or if your work ethic is not 100%. Reconsider your plan or do whatever it takes to get better, faster, and stay interested in your work.

    The 2-4 years of sacrifice will pay off. I walked int Art School without ever having painted before and was fortunate to find good instructors. Unless you eventually want to teach at a fancy university or private school where a masters, bachelors or PHD is required you can bypass a degree program.

    Take business development skill classes if you're hell bent on a degree program. Your bank acvcount will thank you for it a few years down the road.

    Good luck!

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  14. #161
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    It's a good idea, in general, to see things through. It will send the message, if you quit, that you can't stick with things once you lose that spark of interest. As a professional you'll almost certainly have to work on projects that don't particularly grab you, and or to work through periods of poor motivation. This discipline is quite vital to the undertaking. I would caution anyone about jumping ship without having something equally seaworthy to jump into.

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    valkyrie57: are you in nova scotia?
    do NOT attend center for arts and tech
    you will learn absolutely nothing from it, and will end up paying 30k for a year long program that consists of "here is an instructional book about maya. read chapter 1. do the assignment
    read chapter 2. do the assignment.

    the book is 60$ on amazon, a much cheaper route

    i also currently attend NSCAD and I am not happy with it in the slightest.
    They are completely biased against digital art
    the dean of foundation actually looked me in the eye and said "i don't use color theory when i use digital tools, i just pick and choose intuitively, it's not the same as using paint, paint you think about color theory"

    there's an illustration prof there who is straight up terrible
    like his work reminds me of shit i was doing a good 10 years ago when i was in high school
    it's not worth your money, they are not about commercial artists at all, they are very into things like installation, performance art, and gallery worthy fine art.
    try telling any of them that you're a digital artist and they'll basically scorn at you
    yet they'll turn around and go do an "art walk" which is where they basically just walk around and call it art.

    and yeah yeah i know, that shit is all Art and whatever... but it's no good for someone who wants to get into commercial illustration

    my boyfriend is doing design there, he's in his fourth year and he basically has no respect for any of the teachers. none of them seem to have a clue as to what they're doing.

    they still use paper for signing up for courses for crying out loud
    they just this year got email for students
    so as you can imagine, you say digital art and they say "oh you mean you copy and paste some pictures in the photoshop?"
    you say "hey i want to actually make some money after i leave this school that i am paying for" and they will think you're a hack.

    unless you have a lot of experience doing digital work under your belt, and want the foundation drawing and stuff that comes with studying fine art, then i do not recommend this school at all.
    even then i don't really recommend it
    i'm sitting here trying to do detailed life drawings that help me better understand how the form is constructed so i can.. you know... apply that to commercial art and they're like "no no no, be more expressive... don't just draw what you see, you have to sort of work intuitively"
    and then someone draws a horrible scribble on a page and it's like "YES THIS IS PERFECT!"
    "...but that does not look at all like the human figure... the proportions are terrible"
    "but it's so expressive!"

    can you see that i am jaded by this place?
    i am terribly terrible jaded.

    --
    Alexandria Neonakis
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  17. #163
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    A very informative thread.

    I do have a question on personal matter though:
    My approach to art, so far, has been rather unorthodox.
    I am currently studying my Masters-year at university in the Netherlands,
    I study Arts and Culture, which is a very broad field in which
    philosophy, history, management and marketing (amongst others) are embedded.

    Now my goal was to secure a job that would help me have some secure place in society
    from which I could go on creating my own pieces of art, outside of work.
    The problem which I face is however: do I have enough time to develop my own skills and artistic vision if I take this other career seriously too? (I also have two bands on which I am working as a musician)

    To round up: I'm 22 now (almost) with my Masters degree in Arts and Culture, I play in two bands, but I haven't drawn a single serious thing in about a year, while becoming an artist was always something that came very natural to me.
    I was always very afraid of the negative image of the artist as being a fuzzy, weird, outside type of person, and I still am (considering the artists I have met through my studies).

    What am I to do? Finish my masters degree, find a job and cultivate my artist-ness at the same time? Or do go to an art school and become a full-time artist?
    - Should I become a Professional Amateur, or just a Professional?

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    Thank you for this post!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spawn2 View Post
    A very informative thread.

    I do have a question on personal matter though:
    My approach to art, so far, has been rather unorthodox.
    I am currently studying my Masters-year at university in the Netherlands,
    I study Arts and Culture, which is a very broad field in which
    philosophy, history, management and marketing (amongst others) are embedded.

    Now my goal was to secure a job that would help me have some secure place in society
    from which I could go on creating my own pieces of art, outside of work.
    The problem which I face is however: do I have enough time to develop my own skills and artistic vision if I take this other career seriously too? (I also have two bands on which I am working as a musician)

    To round up: I'm 22 now (almost) with my Masters degree in Arts and Culture, I play in two bands, but I haven't drawn a single serious thing in about a year, while becoming an artist was always something that came very natural to me.
    I was always very afraid of the negative image of the artist as being a fuzzy, weird, outside type of person, and I still am (considering the artists I have met through my studies).

    What am I to do? Finish my masters degree, find a job and cultivate my artist-ness at the same time? Or do go to an art school and become a full-time artist?
    - Should I become a Professional Amateur, or just a Professional?
    You don't have to be socially maladjusted to be an artist, nor are socially maladjusted people necessarily any more creative or intelligent than any given person who interacts well with others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spawn2 View Post
    I was always very afraid of the negative image of the artist as being a fuzzy, weird, outside type of person, and I still am (considering the artists I have met through my studies).
    I don't think there really are too many of those people, although that generalization is certainly prevalent.

    I was just visiting relatives over Christmas break and my uncle and cousin, who are 56 an 27, both cracked jokes about the "freaks" that go to art schools. However, 99% of the people I've met at Ringling are as normal as can be.
    I'd like to think that artists, being generally introspective and socially observant, would be even more "normal" than others. Maybe I'm wrong.

    Moreover, why should we care what other people think?

    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowercase View Post
    I don't think there really are too many of those people, although that generalization is certainly prevalent.

    I was just visiting relatives over Christmas break and my uncle and cousin, who are 56 an 27, both cracked jokes about the "freaks" that go to art schools. However, 99% of the people I've met at Ringling are as normal as can be.
    I'd like to think that artists, being generally introspective and socially observant, would be even more "normal" than others. Maybe I'm wrong.

    Moreover, why should we care what other people think?
    I'm pretty sure that Ringling, with its focus on the commercial arts, tends to attract more "normal" people. There are quite a few very odd people at CCA, though they are still firmly in the minority.

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    Food for thought. Great posting, thanks for this ^^

    I am planning some kind of augmenting education to improve my skills.
    Attend school as a ready professional and you will get everything you need.

    Art is Experience, Experience is Art

    MY CA Sketchbook
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    This is a great discussion, thanks to all who have contributed!

    Check out my 5 star rated free video series to learn about the professional world of the Concept Art industry, this will help you know what to study while in school, or before starting. Topics have included Concept Artist Realities in the working world, and the Top 5 Concept Artist skills studios are looking for when hiring.

    Upcoming topics will include Education, Design Principals, Art Technique, Promoting Yourself, Full Time vs. Freelance, Lifestyle of a Concept Artist, and Building Your Empire!

    Click the link below, then "INERTIA: BECOME A WORLD CLASS CONCEPT ARTIST"
    http://fusionfilter.com

    Talk to you soon!
    James DonVito

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    Question

    First, I would like to thank Mr. Manley for posting this thread. I'm very fortunate to read this very early.

    I'm a senior in highschool and the top 2 schools I want to go are VCU and MICA. I want to major in Illustration and become a concept artist/character designer/game designer. MICA seems to have a very prestigious program in everything, but their tuition makes me hesitant to go there. VCU also seems to have a strong art program, but I'm not sure if it's going to teach me enough to make myself improve. VCU's tuition is really great, but I don't know if I'm good enough to get a career right after I graduate since VCU is not that well known. Since MICA is a big-name school, the chances of getting me a career is possibly higher than VCU.

    I'm still conflicted with these 2 schools, I hope I learn ALOT and acheive my goals when I go to MICA or VCU.

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    i really love this forum. i just joined conceptart.org and i'm taking what everyone said into deep thought. i'm a junior in highschool and i am very and only interested in doing something in the art field. i want to become a concept artist for movies, but after reading the first few pages i'm pretty sure i'll have to work up to that for a while. i googled a lot of the colleges mentioned, but i'm not sure if anyone said anything about the art institutes. i was considering the art institute as my number one choice for college. though i've heard some not too good things about that college. does anyone have any information or advice on that? or recommendation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerrrymonster View Post
    i googled a lot of the colleges mentioned, but i'm not sure if anyone said anything about the art institutes. i was considering the art institute as my number one choice for college. though i've heard some not too good things about that college. does anyone have any information or advice on that? or recommendation?
    The Art Institutes are generally considered to be bad schools.

    Cole Eastburn describes them as "a place that you walk in and hand over 50,000 dollars and then kicks you in the mouth and says...'thanks for stopping by'."

    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...118736&page=28

    He also adds this on his website:
    "I attended The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale after graduating highschool, which I dont reccomend anyone ever doing if you want to become a serious aritist because they are only interested in money."

    http://www.topdollarpawn.com/

    Patience is a virtue, but who wants to be virtuous?
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    There are many, many threads about the Art Institutes in this forum, in addition to the one lowercase linked to. The general consensus is that the AI schools aren't the best option, but they also vary greatly from location to location and program to program.


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  30. #174
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    Oh wow am I glad I found this thread.

    A big thank you to Jason and everyone else on this thread, I'm stuck in between... places and I'm not sure what to do.

    Jason, I'd be glad if I could get your opinion on the matter.

    I am 23 this year and live in Singapore which does not have a fantastic art school base. We have Digipen and a couple of fine art schools but that's about it. I have done a 3 year diploma in Digital Media Design, specializing in animation. However it's more of an extremely basic foundation course of everything.

    They teach a little bit of everything and there's no real focus on any particular subject in my opinion and many of my peers graduated with half baked skills, unable to get about in the working world.

    I've been working for 2 years now and have held one art job for a startlingly short period of time; the art department completely dissolved two months into working there. I'm currently at my second art job as an illustrator but I do little to no drawing at all.

    I have been considering going to art school for a while now but cost has always been the problem. Since there are no schools in Singapore for illustration, I am forced to go overseas to seek other means of education. I was interested in Art Center and SCAD but both are very expensive and I'd need a scholarhip/study loan to cover everything.

    Reading this thread has made me confused and I'm not sure where to go/what to do next. I feel that I need a mentor/guide/teacher to guide me along the direction I should be taking. I want to do conceptart/illustration/character design.

    Mr Hans Bacher, former Disney artist, did mentor me for two weeks but that was about it. I have also visited Feng Zhu's School of Design which proved interesting but was very design-y and I'm not sure if it's my thing at all. Though he did suggest I go to art center, like I said, the price is very offputting.

    Suggestions, anyone?

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  31. #175
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    [QUOTE=Samuel Gravina;1755529]That's right. I'm the parent of an art school student, one of your young members, and I want to buy my daughter an art school degree.

    The other advice was good too. Thanks.[/QUOTE


    She is lucky to have your support.

    If parents can afford to spend that kind of money then by all means. Better than buying their children a new Porsche and Gucci wardrobe I suppose. It should be known that more than a third of that money paid will not go toward anything directly related to the education of their loved ones who attend those programs.

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    I remember I took a course at a leading game art school, to find out how it was, and I found myself drawing better life drawings then the actual teacher. I had students coming to me, asking my progress. So to second what has been said in this thread, make sure to check the instructors work and the students work. Or maybe do a trial like I did, and take a part time course for about 600 bucks or more. Another funny thing is, when I was in high school I was searching for art schools to attend. The first school I checked out, was Art Institute of Vancouver, recommended by my crazy animation teacher. I almost laughed out loud at the lady who interviewed me to get into the school, she asked me, why I want to go to the school, and for a short answer I told her, art was my life, and I love drawing and painting etc...She told me, because I said I love art, I am accepted, when do you want to apply. I laughed all the way home, and never went back again. She never asked for a portfolio or anything...and from my research before hand I already knew the school was crap. After checking out numerous schools all on the same path, I told myself, I wasn't attending, unless It was an amazing school. Concept art Atlier, and now TAD seem to go up to my standards, since they actually teach you how to be good. Being self taught up to present, I am better then most of my friends who have come out of art schools, they have told me 80% of the time they don't even get to draw...So seriously make sure to check places in your area out. Or self teach yourself, learn from conceptart.org, or go to a school that will actually teach you how to draw good. Your time and money is valuable, make the most of it. I am so happy TAD has happened, since I too want to attend this amazing potential.

    ~JB

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    The more I think about it, the more pissed off I become. People are dishing out 150-200g in loans to make a salary of 40g. Unless you're stripping in vegas or pushing cocaine through college, thats bogus crap. Not a good investment at all. I know I'm going into art and shouldn't expect to be rich, but if I'm paying that much money for a degree I don't think I should have to worry about food stamps or make annual trips to the salvation army because of loans.

    In my universe, if it's likely that you're going to make shit money with your degree, then you should have to pay shit money your education. No more, no less.

    Last edited by sleepiehead; March 14th, 2010 at 08:17 PM.
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    Art Center finally lets the general public easily access its student portfolio:

    http://www.artcenterillustration.com

    I see little difference between the entertainment design at Art Center:
    http://www.artcenterillustration.com...tainment-arts/

    and the entertainment design program at San Jose State University:
    http://www.shrunkenheadman.com/illus...llery.php?g=32

    Those are just hard facts staring you right in your face. So why pay more?

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    point 3, 6 and 7 are very true here in Australia. Id also like to add to Jason's bible of art school truths

    when Both in and out of your schooling- network,network,network! relationships get more work than degrees.

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    in my personal experience

    As an artist and illustrator who Is self taught I have to say this.

    I feel that not having a degree has been a detriment to my career. It isn't that I can't illustrate, it's just that breaking into the industry these days is proving to be very difficult. I have to fight harder than credentialed artists, because while the job description doesn't say "BFA required," it always seems to be preferred. Or they say "equivalent experience," well that's just the old catch 22 isn't it? Freelance work isn't often consistent. Illustration doesn't seem to be enough anymore, i am continually asked if i know 3D (maya, z-brus, 3d studio...)

    Never mind that having someone to teach you and fellow artists all around you to is tons easier than going it alone. I am hoping to find an art school to attend this fall (and hoping even more to enter in as a softmore, specifically because of the cost) I have been told by advisors that i may simply be able to bypass many lower level courses with a portfolio.

    It isn't that being self taught is any less legitimate a path to artistic skill (some of the greatest artists of all time have been self taught) it simply is much more difficult to face the trial by fire.

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