The Reality of Going to Art School and a basic FAQ for those considering it. - Page 8
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  1. #211
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    It is very heartening to hear that there are people in this industry that do not have any art degrees, yet can still make a living off their art. Not everyone can go to art school.

    I have been drawing most of my life. My aunt still has work hung in her house that I did when I was seven. In high school I took as many art courses and read as many art books as I could get my hands on, and submitted my art to galleries and contests. I kept a sketchbooks and pretty much all of my presents where art-related from my friends and family.

    When I began looking for collages my parents made it quite clear that they would not financially support me or co-sign loans if I majored in art. Even though I had a scholarship, I knew that i would not be able to pay fees, boarding, food, and school supplies with a part-time student job.

    Five years latter I am graduating with a Masters in Bioengineering from Rice University. Don't get me wrong- I love my major, but bioengineering isn't like art- I don't need to do it to be happy and sane. I've continued drawing, taking art classes, and submitting to galleries in that time (I've recently, in a burst of what must be madness, started to try learning digital art), but I feel that I would be a better artist and happier with my work if I had majored in art. It's nice to know that I might have to option to do art latter in my life even if i don't have a degree in it. It's also nice to see kids with parents that support their goals in life.

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    Hello everyone. I'm Hristo from Bulgaria. I'm sorry in advance if this is not the place but I need an advice .If it's a bann worthy spam than bann me from the forum but i wish to tell my story and read a few suggestion. I started drawing an year and a half ago and i think i'm making a good progress... anyway. I want to draw for books,magazines,games,films (yeah yeah big dreams) I want to create worlds and everything inside them. I enrolled in a local university(exam in still life) studying technical design (or in english it might be industrial) but soon i figured that was not for me .One day I woke up very early in the morning and back then (7 months ago) I didn't know what was concept art.So i wrote that and the moment I saw all the drawings of armored warriors creatures vehicles and so on,i realized that was the name of what i wanted to do. Now in a week or two I will officially resign from the university and start my preparation for a school in the U.S. I'm not concrete sure what is the school I want to enroll in .The things I know I have to do are - draw to create an awesome portfolio so I can get a big scholarship since the tuitions are expensive ,study for good scores on TOEFL and gather all the information on colleges(courses and financial aid) places to live and finding a job. Ok- my english sucks I know and it's kinda difficult to understand what I wrote .So I ask all of you here studying and proffesionals please give me all the feedback. I'm a little affraid because I don't know how things work and how to reach my goals. Thank you for reading

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  3. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley View Post
    aryeh you should read the entire thread. I completely value education, so much that I built an art school and have held non profit events all around the world that help artists get jobs, learn the truth of the industry etc... I always say the point is to focus on learning and education...but I am also one to tell the truth and say that it is not a degree from a six figure art school that gets you to success, it is your learning, education and continued efforts to improve. A paper with a gold seal is not what employers care about in art. Going to one of the big art schools is not what guarantees success. Most students in the big art schools will leave school and never do anything art related with the degree. Only a few will actually see great success and few if any will ever ask them to see a degree.

    So point is, your argument is already settled as we are on the same page. Education is important, and I have stated that numerous times in this thread. I just do not believe artists should have to pay 120k for it only to get out and have jobs that start at 45k a year while they suffer student loan payments of 1k a month. That leaves about 1600 bucks a month to live, which is not easy in cities like SF or LA or NY where artists often find the opportunities. If you read the thread you would have seen that.

    Prior to going to a big expensive art school I too bought into the idea that it was somehow more competitive, better, and filled with more opportunity. The truth is I got more out of my community college classes, which were fabulous, and the illustration academy than I did spending all that money to go to a big private art school. I have also tried to hire the professors of a big private art school only to see that they could not do what they were trying to teach. You are suggesting for people to go to a school based on the cost of it. That has nothing to do with it. My community college was 30 dollars per credit hour and I teach what I learned there every single day.

    Anyway your argument is unnecessary as we are on the same page, for the most part.


    Jason
    I'm about a year from graduating community college and I can vouch that it's an excellent opportunity to use. It opens up a couple years of very cheap study that can be used to improve your art. Though, I didn't even get into art until about 7 months ago. I've taken a couple of classes at my CC, and most of it is just drawing fruitbowls....we've done at least 200 still-lifes. Honestly, I feel like I haven't learned much from the teachers -- but rather more from myself, this website, and reading books recommended by the professionals here (and the still-life bootcamp). I'm starting to believe I can self-study for another 4 or 5 years to become professional rather than having to go to ACCD, Ringling, or whatever.

    Do you think it's possible to self-study for that amount of time (in relation to a more beginner artist, one that didn't do anything art-related in high school or from a young age) and come out okay?

    BLAHBLAHBLAH
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  5. #214
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    Jason Manley is offline Administrator Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    The path can start very simply.

    a. find a life drawing class. try to find a teacher who can draw the figure well.
    b. draw and paint from life and imagination. Split your focus down the middle.
    c. research here on CA.O
    d. there are many options...but it all starts with you trying to put in 40 hours a week to drawing and painting.

    Best of luck,


    Jason


    Quote Originally Posted by HristoSDS View Post
    Hello everyone. I'm Hristo from Bulgaria. I'm sorry in advance if this is not the place but I need an advice .If it's a bann worthy spam than bann me from the forum but i wish to tell my story and read a few suggestion. I started drawing an year and a half ago and i think i'm making a good progress... anyway. I want to draw for books,magazines,games,films (yeah yeah big dreams) I want to create worlds and everything inside them. I enrolled in a local university(exam in still life) studying technical design (or in english it might be industrial) but soon i figured that was not for me .One day I woke up very early in the morning and back then (7 months ago) I didn't know what was concept art.So i wrote that and the moment I saw all the drawings of armored warriors creatures vehicles and so on,i realized that was the name of what i wanted to do. Now in a week or two I will officially resign from the university and start my preparation for a school in the U.S. I'm not concrete sure what is the school I want to enroll in .The things I know I have to do are - draw to create an awesome portfolio so I can get a big scholarship since the tuitions are expensive ,study for good scores on TOEFL and gather all the information on colleges(courses and financial aid) places to live and finding a job. Ok- my english sucks I know and it's kinda difficult to understand what I wrote .So I ask all of you here studying and proffesionals please give me all the feedback. I'm a little affraid because I don't know how things work and how to reach my goals. Thank you for reading


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  7. #215
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    After trying and failing to self-teach myself to draw for years, I decided to apply to TAD and see if it works for me. I've done good with art classes before, so I think it's the structure and accountability of an art school that I was attracted to for my decision.

    (That and the fact it can be taken online, which is what I really need since I can't leave my hometown until my brother who lives with me graduates high school.)

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    if things can be found outside of college


    then why do so many people still go to college despite the ridiculous cost?
    i mean there HAS to be a reason why, right? like sure, a person who goes to a small college but works his ass off doing his own learning on the side is better than a hipster who goes to parsons and do nothing but the assignments.... but there IS a reason why people go to college, like making friends, building connections, peer/mob mentality towards the same goal (to get better). OH and employers and recruiters actually come to the schools, or employers who recognize the school name on your resume can still choose you over someone else with the same skillset.

    do people go to college because it's pretty much a place where all the factors above can be found in one place? despite the ridiculously high cost?
    i am trying to get to an ~*ART SCHOOL*~ but the costs are horrendous, even with the scholarship. i rather not spend tons of money for college degree just because i am a shitty artist, i rather get better AND THEN go to art college with a load of scholarship. but then everyone is vouching college AAAAAA

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  9. #217
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    I am embarking on the way of self-study simply because I cannot afford art school, and because the decision to integrate art in my future career came in my second year of study in International Relations & History, and I am already studying abroad.
    I keep wondering whether I will ever have a chance self-taught- as far as I understand it, school or university gives structure, directions, goals, and most importantly: experts to talk to. So many things are on youtube, in books dating back to DaVinci, but isn't it the contact to the experts that makes school worth a while?

    As for my subject: I could as well get a book on History of the World and say "I don't need a degree, I can read". But in comparison to people with this attitude, I know that my understanding of history is not "more" in the sense of quantity, butinterwoven, and broader. Do you know when JFK was killed? Yes? Well, great for you. But what use is this knowledge if you have nowhere to put it in context?

    I think this applies to art as well, though of course a lot less reading-based and more on study. But then again, because I read more, I understand more. Those who party everyday, learn weeks for an exam, I need a day.
    And yes I read the entire thread.

    Last edited by LordLouis; July 23rd, 2011 at 05:09 AM.
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  10. #218
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    I've been lurking on this forum for a few months but finally wanted to make my first post!

    Thank you for this thread. It was fascinating. I read every post.

    To give some of my history, I have loved art since I was a kid. I love to draw and paint. I took many classes at different schools and felt that I had some wonderful instruction, but I never got a degree. I will passionately agree with those who say that your education is what you put into it. Better to be a really motivated student at a smaller, lesser-known school than someone who just does the minimum required at a more prestigious school. I could say a lot more about that, but most of it has already been said.

    I am mostly here on CA because I love to draw, love figure drawing, and like drawing things from my imagination. I'm mostly interested in doing fine art. I used to sell in galleries sometimes, and after some time away I want to return to it. That's why I'm here, to brush up on my skills and learn new things. There are always more things to learn.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that when I have gotten my work into galleries, no one ever asked me if I had a degree. I was assured by my artist friends that no one cares. That doesn't mean no one ever will, but it's been a non-issue so far. I once was in a group show and one of the artists was a hairdresser by trade. She was so nervous about being in the show, felt "unworthy," because she said, "I don't have a degree!" She had to be reassured that it didn't matter, that the gallery had seen her work and wanted her in the show and that was all that matters.

    I don't know much about other areas of art but I do know that some people get caught up in the prestige of a degree, to the point of being blinded by it. There are people (like the hairdresser) who assume that they can't be a "real" artist without the degree. There are also people who assume that they are immediately superior because of their degree (not based on what is in their portfolio, but the degree). I realize that in some circumstances this may be the reality, but I was heartened by all that was said on this thread, which confirmed that often it is not. Based on my experience, it's not an issue with fine art. (Though I don't pretend that my experience is all-encompassing!)

    The reason I bring that up is because I think we have to take some attitudes with a grain of salt. There are many people who are very invested in thinking that a degree is a must-have. They aren't speaking from the reality of a particular situation, but from either what they want to believe or have been brainwashed into believing. I think in some cases they feel that way because they suffered and went into debt to get that degree so they cling to the thought that it MUST have made all the difference. Other times I think there is a snob factor involved. Please don't misunderstand, though, I know full well that there are times that it is a must-have. But not as much as some would have you believe.

    What I do believe (which seems to be shared by many here!) is that getting an education and trying to better yourself is the key. If that comes with a degree at the same time, great. If it doesn't, it may not matter as much as some people would have you believe.

    My thanks goes out to those who created this art community and I hope to contribute something to it when I get my nerve up! (You guys are a bit intimidating, but in a good way!)

    Last edited by mariposa213; August 10th, 2011 at 11:12 PM.
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  11. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by artdirector View Post
    wow. as an art director with over 22 years experience working at every major nyc publishing house i have to say: although well meaning this advice is way off. first of all i nor any of my colleagues have ever hired anyone who didn't attend one of those big name art schools. second: if you attend one of those big names, you simply cannot do the work and pass through. chances are if the work sucks you will get booted. first year programs are extremely rigorous and meant to weed out students. parsons for instance, has a 70% drop out rate after the foundation year and also has a junior year review of work from the first three years. if you don't pass muster, you are dismissed and will not be able to attend senior year.

    next, i've seen people come in with books from small "design" schools. they are no match for the graduates coming out of the "big 3" (parsons, pratt, sva). smaller schools simply do not attract the best design professionals, period. it won't matter how hard you "work your ass off". graduates from the very best art and design schools will have you beat by 10 miles. and your parents will have paid for you to draw pictures all day. if you decide to go this route anyway, be prepared with a second major because if you come in for an interview and have a graduate from pratt sitting next to you, guess who wins? the programs at those schools are highly rigorous and the climate competitive.

    these environments breed the best design professionals simply because of their competitive nature. you are only as good as the person sitting next to you. and they are only as good as their professor. it's not rocket science.

    good luck to all of you and choose wisely. i personally knew i could not afford to risk not getting work after finishing. i had to go to the best and i had to BE the best. thankfully it worked out. but i can name several friends who i spotted around town waiting tables. there are more people trying to break into animation/art/design than there are actors! if you are serious you need to be equipped with the very best education you can (or even can't) afford OR FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO. and when you get into your classrooms on that first day, take a look at your neighbor. i'll bet my right arm one or the both of you won't be there on graduation day.

    there is no room for people who simply like to draw pictures. it's real business out there guys and you'd better be able to handle it.

    and p.s.: that degree you don't need? YES YOU DO.
    You sir, are an discouraging naysayer. I and many other young peers, will probably never be able to afford a private art school. If I am lucky, I 'll have the opportunity to afford a crappy public university at the end of the year, with modern/abstract painters as teacher. My father is working his ass off, his health has deteriorated, stands just before a heart attack, and even he can't afford a good school for me. ( I would never even think of urging anything from him. ) And I am NOT the only one out there.
    And guys like you are telling people with dreams to find something else to do.

    That makes my blood bowl because it is far away from justice. But that is how the world is.
    And exactly THAT what you wrote, is why selftaught artists can become powerful beyond measure.

    At your interview I would stand up to leave and give you and the graduate from pratt a wedding present before you can even think of making a choice.

    Last edited by AckermannPhilip; August 24th, 2011 at 08:15 PM.
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    I don't know if the community is aware of the Atelier type of school, but they are extremely effective in boosting artists' skill level. They are small schools, spread around the country (as well as outside the US) who focus on nothing but drawing and painting skills - nothing more, nothing less.

    They are small private school of about 15-20 students studying full time for 3-4 years.

    The Art Renewal center offers information on where such schools can be found in the US.

    Our school, in Georgetown Seattle, is one of those. (We offer a 3 year program).

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    Probably should have posted this earlier, but...

    I'm interested in Industrial Design. I've applied to big names so far, mostly because they're big names. They have reputations, and I go off of that. I've seen student work at some of them that met my expectations for what student work should look like. Fine. Still, I'm not going to attend any of them unless they feel like showering me in scholarship money. My interest as of now lies mostly in SCAD, since they present the lowest cost to me of all the schools I've applied to, and because I've heard good things about their Industrial Design program from one of my teachers.

    But now I want to know, are there any cheaper routes to take? I feel like Industrial Design is one of those majors that needs facilities and materials that might not be available at smaller, cheaper schools. Could anyone give me some guidance as to where else I should apply if I want to minimize my costs and maximize the quality of the education I receive? Location is not an issue, so long as the school is in the US.

    Thanks

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    Hello i'm Robert and i'm a sophmore in high school. I have read all the post in this thread and to be honest i'm more confused and distraught than i was before i came here. I live in a small town on the olympic penninsula in washington, I'm very poor and it will be hard going to college. i want to be a concept artist in the video game industry but i have no idea weither to go to college like digipen, art insitute,cornish college,olymipic penninsula college or just self teach myself and hope i can get a job into a video game developer like EA,Activison,Bioware,bungie,343.etc

    this is something i'm losing sleep over and i don't want to have my dreams crushed and live the rest of my life poor and hateing my career choice for the rest of my life. please help me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sithlordawesome View Post
    Hello i'm Robert and i'm a sophmore in high school. I have read all the post in this thread and to be honest i'm more confused and distraught than i was before i came here. I live in a small town on the olympic penninsula in washington, I'm very poor and it will be hard going to college. i want to be a concept artist in the video game industry but i have no idea weither to go to college like digipen, art insitute,cornish college,olymipic penninsula college or just self teach myself and hope i can get a job into a video game developer like EA,Activison,Bioware,bungie,343.etc

    this is something i'm losing sleep over and i don't want to have my dreams crushed and live the rest of my life poor and hateing my career choice for the rest of my life. please help me.
    What exactly are you asking to be helped with?

    If you want reassurance that your dreams won't be crushed, there really isn't much to tell you other than work very hard (and smartly -- meaning don't just practice like crazy, read and gain knowledge of your craft) and hope that you have the cognitive ability to understand the technical principles behind art and apply your creativity.

    But it's hard to reassure you and qualm your fears -- I see the number being tossed around a lot, "95-98%" seems to be the chosen range. This is the percent of graduates coming from art majors that do not work in anything art related 5 years after graduation (presumably because they weren't talented enough or didn't have the work ethic). I think it's one of those things where you're going to try and have to not think about failing and just go into it confidently. Study hard and see if you can do it, because you can certainly make it self-taught. Half the working artists I've read about are self-taught, if that's any assurance for you.

    BLAHBLAHBLAH
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    Reality of Going to Art School

    The only thing that disappoint me more from this discussion is that absolutely NO ONE told me this when I first started "studying" art at college. That is why so many graduates are obsessed with making it and their skills are sub-par compared to pros because they actually work hard on their given assignments rather work hard for themselves.

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    I'm also looking for answers to this - so far, for industrial design, my professors have been pushing Art Center, but looking at that heartpounding tuition rate, I just want to know other possible options...

    But more important than the cost is if there really is a payoff. The idea of busting ass and spending all that time and blood, to get out with $1k+ payments every month and possibly no guarantee of being prepared for a job (or just, no job at all) is freaking me out a bit. I keep hearing conflicting reports on ACCD grads getting out and either kicking ass and taking names, or that a good percentage of the graduating student body in ID are just unable to find work.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobgross View Post
    Probably should have posted this earlier, but...

    But now I want to know, are there any cheaper routes to take? I feel like Industrial Design is one of those majors that needs facilities and materials that might not be available at smaller, cheaper schools. Could anyone give me some guidance as to where else I should apply if I want to minimize my costs and maximize the quality of the education I receive? Location is not an issue, so long as the school is in the US.

    Thanks


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    Wow, i've read all the posts here, and they're very insightful! Sadly, I'm just as confused as ever.
    My story: Graduated with a BA in Theatre, on a scholarship. Will have 30k of debt coming out of school. Not bad, not ideal. Did acting mainly but then fell in love with costume design & conceptualizing. I've loved drawing my whole life but have been mainly self-taught. My first drawing class this year was brutal, & I was mediocre at it. But I learned a ton & I'm hungry for more. While I was mediocre in my drawing class I excelled in my costume/set design class. I guess I have a knack for design & hope to do something about that.

    HERE'S THE THING (why I'm so confused). I'm 21 years old and think it's too late to get the training I crave. I have some costume jobs lined up so far, so there's a sign that my positive attitude, design concepts & acting training aren't in vain. But there are so many options & price & time matter to me! I'm still young, so I REALLY want to know if you've had experience with these programs, let me know! My endgame/dream job is to be a storyboard artist or concept designer for animation.

    1) Animation Mentor - I've heard this is amazing & the price is designed to make you pay off the 18k eventually. I know it doesn't teach you drawing but with my acting training, perhaps this path would be a good one.

    2) Atelier schools -- Just learned about this and VERY intrigued. I lack basically any techniques, & being taught master techniques for 14k sound a lot better than my 50k CalArts pipe dream.. I've read countless interviews from all the big recruiters out there, and they all seem to basically say "We can teach any monkey programming, but a fine arts foundation is key." These ateliers seem to be the strict fine arts training I crave.. and a lot of the early Disney visdev people I've read about were expert draftsmen on top of their imagination. This may sound thickheaded & I don't mean to offend Illustration/Concept Design majors (how I envy thee!) but it seems to me that learning the European Mastery Techniques, you have to really get a mentor; Imagination is an easier self-taught tool. I can be very, very wrong, correct me if I am.

    As of now I'm reading up on the CA.org tutorials & plan to audit art classes from my old school very soon. I may be melodramatic (sup theatre degre!) but I feel ancient at 21 trying to take my technique/draftsmanship seriously. Can I at least say I have the advantage of acting/directing/writing training, plus some training in design? But aside from this, will the 2 options above help me? I'm not ready for any MFA really, & while a CalArts BFA sounds lovely (let's not kid ourselves, self-taught people), I don't have the $$$. But I do believe that some structure in my art education IS beneficial.
    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamishgirl14 View Post
    Wow, i've read all the posts here, and they're very insightful! Sadly, I'm just as confused as ever.
    My story: Graduated with a BA in Theatre, on a scholarship. Will have 30k of debt coming out of school. Not bad, not ideal. Did acting mainly but then fell in love with costume design & conceptualizing. I've loved drawing my whole life but have been mainly self-taught. My first drawing class this year was brutal, & I was mediocre at it. But I learned a ton & I'm hungry for more. While I was mediocre in my drawing class I excelled in my costume/set design class. I guess I have a knack for design & hope to do something about that.

    HERE'S THE THING (why I'm so confused). I'm 21 years old and think it's too late to get the training I crave. I have some costume jobs lined up so far, so there's a sign that my positive attitude, design concepts & acting training aren't in vain. But there are so many options & price & time matter to me! I'm still young, so I REALLY want to know if you've had experience with these programs, let me know! My endgame/dream job is to be a storyboard artist or concept designer for animation.

    1) Animation Mentor - I've heard this is amazing & the price is designed to make you pay off the 18k eventually. I know it doesn't teach you drawing but with my acting training, perhaps this path would be a good one.

    2) Atelier schools -- Just learned about this and VERY intrigued. I lack basically any techniques, & being taught master techniques for 14k sound a lot better than my 50k CalArts pipe dream.. I've read countless interviews from all the big recruiters out there, and they all seem to basically say "We can teach any monkey programming, but a fine arts foundation is key." These ateliers seem to be the strict fine arts training I crave.. and a lot of the early Disney visdev people I've read about were expert draftsmen on top of their imagination. This may sound thickheaded & I don't mean to offend Illustration/Concept Design majors (how I envy thee!) but it seems to me that learning the European Mastery Techniques, you have to really get a mentor; Imagination is an easier self-taught tool. I can be very, very wrong, correct me if I am.

    As of now I'm reading up on the CA.org tutorials & plan to audit art classes from my old school very soon. I may be melodramatic (sup theatre degre!) but I feel ancient at 21 trying to take my technique/draftsmanship seriously. Can I at least say I have the advantage of acting/directing/writing training, plus some training in design? But aside from this, will the 2 options above help me? I'm not ready for any MFA really, & while a CalArts BFA sounds lovely (let's not kid ourselves, self-taught people), I don't have the $$$. But I do believe that some structure in my art education IS beneficial.
    Thanks!
    I've been lurking CA for a while and if you want to become a better draftsman... You really just gotta draw. You think 21 is ancient? I'm 23 and I graduated with my BA in Japanese and I started taking college-level courses during my last year. I've been on the fence about going to schools, but as it's been said, it just comes down to knowing what you really want and just putting in the time to draw.

    If you really want to go to school, you better start saving, but while you're saving, work your ass off at improving with foundations and imagination. I've definitely improved in my draftsmanship over the two years that I've started studying, but I know I have to devote more time and effort. Ultimately, I've decided to just take the self-taught path. The answer'll be clear to you with time and work.

    I'm gonna win this uphill battle.
    >>Mein Sketchbook<<
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  20. #228
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    Jason, and all of you, thanks for all this valuable information.

    I'm in a pickle at the moment, and really need some insight from others, just from a different perspective...

    I'm a 20 y.o student currently studying animation at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia and am in my second year.
    I have a diploma and am studying my advanced diploma at the moment.
    The thing is, I chose this course to eventually get a degree.
    We have what's called a "pathway' course, where you do a TAFE route and then get placed in final year of a degree course.
    So I'd have one year left really after this year.
    Meaning I'd still end up with a degree...

    Thing is though, I really want to learn more, art wise.
    I want to draw and paint traditionally a lot more, which is what I thought I'd do a lot more when I started this course, most of it is digital.

    I'd have the first 6 months of next year off and start mid-year, and I'm not sure if I should work my arse off and save/practice art at my own accord and via online learning and maybe an art lesson each week, or to do short courses - 6 week courses - in all these different art fields, from painting to sculpture to illustration to metal work... Each course being about $300 AUD.

    My goal is to work in the film industry as a matte painter/animator, however I haven't done a great deal of artwork in that area because of my course, a lot of it is filled with web and games programming which I really find hard to learn, and spend way too much time trying to figure it out where I could be producing and practicing what I enjoy, but you do what you've gotta do I guess.

    I'm not sure if I should even bother with getting a degree in animation, I feel it would be more a year wasted, it would be good to fully dedicate a year to a single project and really fine-tune it, but I'd love to learn more about painting and illustration which is what I love.
    But I feel there's more work in the animation side of things... I just don't want to face plant and live on hard times with little cash... I want to know I can get a job... I know many who spent copious amounts on art school and 3-years later are working at McDonald's... I don't want to end up like that, I've been in hospitality for 5 years (was doing a chef apprenticeship at one stage but just couldn't continue for I hadn't the passion)... I want to have a job I'll enjoy and that I can support myself and a family one day, not one like my old man who is in his field just for work, and to support his family, but which he direly hates but won't admit.

    I just need to figure out some direction I guess.

    I think I should do the animation degree myself, I got this far, why stop?
    And during the 6-months do the short courses and on-line training along with work...

    Any input would be gratefully accepted, any criticism... anything.

    Kinda cleared it up a bit in my head just typing it up...

    Thanks.

    www.travismillar.com

    Ever just woken up and gone "shit, does the world around me exist"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley View Post
    Every year, this forum is filled with posts and comments about the realities of going to art school. I thought it would be smart to build up an FAQ for those who are going to be attending, created by those who have attended art school already (ie an faq which is created by people who have experience).

    I will start.


    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.

    2. If you go to a big name school and just do the assignments, you will leave school with very little of value.

    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.

    4. The schools will not hand feed you the information. You will have to take it from them. If one instructor doesnt know the answers, go find another one and get the answers from them. My best biz advice came from my illustration teacher and from the teacher who helped me to learn color theory. You never know who will have the answers...but you must push to find the questions that need to be asked. Dont expect it to be given to you with a silver spoon. It does not work that way.

    5. What you do outside of school (outside of the student assignments and on top of the student assignments) is what will get you where you need to be. After school you will work four times harder than you did in art school so you might as well pick up the pace your freshman year and push as hard as you can.


    6. One does not have to spend 100,000 dollars (which is what most end up spending after their loans are paid off) in order to get a great education.

    7. 95 percent of what can be found at the big art schools can be found at the state and community college level and the other five percent (specific connections and work experience) can be found in places like conceptart.org (see employment section) and cgsociety amongst others. Of course one's major area of study will dictate where they must go to find the information. If any information is lacking from the less expensive education route it can be supplimented with great programs like the Illustration Academy and or the ConceptArt.Org workshops.

    8. Degrees mean jack squat to an artist unless they plan on working overseas (required for the visa) or teaching full time at the university level. No one in my entire career has ever asked if I graduated from college. I didn't...but I did do six successive years in art school. I did not even graduate from high school. Now I own two international art companies which lead in their respective fields. However, my education was valuable. But, one can be educated away from a degree system and end up just fine. Degrees in art are mostly for pleasing your parents.

    9. Art school is a blast. Don't let it distract you from being as great as you can be. Becoming a professional artist takes nose to the grindstone work. Art school can distract from that (oh it is so tempting to go to those all night parties where all sorts of debauchery is happening) but limit yourself there...if you are going to art school..spend the time doing art.

    10. Art school recruiters will say anything they think you want to hear in order to get you to go. The best way to find out the truth about where you are going to study is to visit the school.

    11. Ask to see the faculty work of those whom you will study under. If you blindly attend because of reputation you may find that you have instructors who cannot do anything of the sort that you wish to learn yourself. ie if your instructor is a fine artist who makes everything out of balls of rice, you are going to have a very hard time learning composition and color theory from them. Find out who you are studying under before you spend six figures on an education...that even applies to the more affordable solutions at the state or community level.



    what else??....I will leave it to the rest of you to add your thoughts.

    Hope this is some help to those who are getting started.
    Thank you very much for this. I have been having a stressful time trying to decide what route of education i should take to learn art. I'm still confused about some choiced that I have to make. But this makes me feel better and reminded that the most important thing about drawing is actually doing it- no matter where it is.

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    I'm not going to school. I had the chance, but instead I am taking a year off to study. I want to work my butt off to be the best I can be. I critique every piece of mine to see what I could do better, and see what happy mistakes I may have made. I try to explore, but master one thing at a time. Sketch every day, and paint every chance I get while not working. I'm giving myself the year. A year of hard work and dedication to see where I can get without school. Looking for exposure - I won't get anywhere if no one knows my stuff exists. This is my plan. Art school and or Video Game design School is what comes after if I don't succeed in the slightest.

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    my art school was horrible it was advertising art school not a popular one
    i learned like 3 percent of all of it and the things that they teach us , i already know and ,the things i know i ran after it basically i worked super hard
    and learned lessons they teach us in the 3rd year or on not even in our course
    all u need to do is learn theirs is no need in 1000 painting challenges or any insecure shit , i did it and learned many things but one thing i learn is no matter how many paintings u make if u don't learn from each one of it
    its all useless ,sooo best weapon observation and application

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  24. #232
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    Another piece of advise: Don't expect to get that dream job or a job in art right after college.

    Yea, there are a few that do but for the most part, you don't. Unless you either get lucky or you are some kind of art prodigy. You might need to take jobs that you might not like but you can't be so picky choosy, especially in this economy. Spend the time to work on your portfolio during your free time and keep improving.

    Also, don't let teachers persuade you in a specific drawing style direction if that is not the path you want to go down. That's what happened to me and it's taking me a long time to do the art that I want to do. It also helps if you know exactly what you want to do. For me, I wanted to do illustration but didn't know what field. Even if it changes, that's fine but at least have a game plan.

    Last edited by Istmin52; February 5th, 2013 at 05:01 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlyhazard View Post


    But it's hard to reassure you and qualm your fears -- I see the number being tossed around a lot, "95-98%" seems to be the chosen range. This is the percent of graduates coming from art majors that do not work in anything art related 5 years after graduation (presumably because they weren't talented enough or didn't have the work ethic). I think it's one of those things where you're going to try and have to not think about failing and just go into it confidently. Study hard and see if you can do it, because you can certainly make it self-taught. Half the working artists I've read about are self-taught, if that's any assurance for you.
    Excuse me? Didn't work hard enough? That's fucking bullshit. I know for a fact I worked hard. I think my issue was I didn't know how to study art until a year ago, literally. If someone taught me the right things and gave me a more instructional path, that would have saved me time. But I didn't have the right guidance when I was in art college. A part of it was also because I didn't think I was "talented" enough to do the things I wanted to do. No one told me it will take time to improve and that you can get up to that level. Unfortunately I was surrounded by prodigies or by people who already had 8 - 10 years of experience before entering art college.

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  26. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by Istmin52 View Post
    Excuse me? Didn't work hard enough? That's fucking bullshit. I know for a fact I worked hard. I think my issue was I didn't know how to study art until a year ago, literally. If someone taught me the right things and gave me a more instructional path, that would have saved me time. But I didn't have the right guidance when I was in art college. A part of it was also because I didn't think I was "talented" enough to do the things I wanted to do. No one told me it will take time to improve and that you can get up to that level. Unfortunately I was surrounded by prodigies or by people who already had 8 - 10 years of experience before entering art college.
    I don't know what your obsession with the word prodigy is, you're probably describing people who are more focused and hardworking than you. You don't find art prodigies in your average art school, actual prodigies are extremely rare. You claim you've worked hard, but have you really put in your greatest effort? Are you saying you worked hard, but really only spent a 1/4 of your free time on art and the rest browsing the internet/partying? If you really tried hard, you would have been asking questions to everybody that's doing better work than you, and searching for better ways to improve. You can't just draw mindlessly and hope to get better at your craft, art doesn't work that way. I think your work would be a lot sharper if you really were trying hard and focused on art, so I'm not sure I believe you.

    I didn't have 8-10 years of experience, in fact I've only been drawing for a little over two years and I'm attending art college in the summer (Art Center), and was given a pretty good scholarship to boot (despite a bad GPA/no FA need, and I might be getting it upped a lot). You can see my work in the accepted portfolio thread. I'm not talented or exceptionally focused, but I do work fairly hard at drawing. I still need to work on it more, but I'm going through other problems as of the moment. I've met students at the school and have seen their work, and I can say that I don't think I saw any prodigies and whether they had 8-10 years or whatever was irrelevant. If you don't put in a lot of work, and FOCUS it into the right topics of study, you're not going to get far. I'm sad that you weren't guided correctly in college, but a lot of that kind of thing is brought about from your own curiosity and drive. You didn't ask questions/search for the best ways to improve your craft? That was the first thing I did, starting out a couple years ago. I've made fantastic gains ever since because I kept searching out the best ways to learn, and it simply came down to a mixture of studying theory/drawing from life/putting in the hours of work.

    Did you not draw from life at all or something until the last year or so? Honestly, your biggest issue seems to be the spoon-feed mentality. You have to be a 'go-getter.' You can't just stand idly by and expect people to spoon feed you the information you need.

    Last edited by Deadlyhazard; February 6th, 2013 at 12:06 PM.
    BLAHBLAHBLAH
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  27. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlyhazard View Post
    I don't know what your obsession with the word prodigy is, you're probably describing people who are more focused and hardworking than you. You don't find art prodigies in your average art school, actual prodigies are extremely rare. You claim you've worked hard, but have you really put in your greatest effort? Are you saying you worked hard, but really only spent a 1/4 of your free time on art and the rest browsing the internet/partying? If you really tried hard, you would have been asking questions to everybody that's doing better work than you, and searching for better ways to improve. You can't just draw mindlessly and hope to get better at your craft, art doesn't work that way. I think your work would be a lot sharper if you really were trying hard and focused on art, so I'm not sure I believe you.

    I didn't have 8-10 years of experience, in fact I've only been drawing for a little over two years and I'm attending art college in the summer (Art Center), and was given a pretty good scholarship to boot (despite a bad GPA/no FA need, and I might be getting it upped a lot). You can see my work in the accepted portfolio thread. I'm not talented or exceptionally focused, but I do work fairly hard at drawing. I still need to work on it more, but I'm going through other problems as of the moment. I've met students at the school and have seen their work, and I can say that I don't think I saw any prodigies and whether they had 8-10 years or whatever was irrelevant. If you don't put in a lot of work, and FOCUS it into the right topics of study, you're not going to get far. I'm sad that you weren't guided correctly in college, but a lot of that kind of thing is brought about from your own curiosity and drive. You didn't ask questions/search for the best ways to improve your craft? That was the first thing I did, starting out a couple years ago. I've made fantastic gains ever since because I kept searching out the best ways to learn, and it simply came down to a mixture of studying theory/drawing from life/putting in the hours of work.

    Did you not draw from life at all or something until the last year or so? Honestly, your biggest issue seems to be the spoon-feed mentality. You have to be a 'go-getter.' You can't just stand idly by and expect people to spoon feed you the information you need.
    My problem was that even though I was working hard, I did draw mindlessly. Nobody told me this is the way you should be doing it. But I honestly didn't know any better and just honestly thought I just wasn't able to do that kind of stuff. I didn't know what questions to ask and I didn't actually realize what I wanted to do until my last year.

    I did a lot of life drawing but because no one taught me anatomy in depth, I didn't know what I was drawing.

    But to say I'm not working hard enough, you really don't know me so you have no right to say that. If you looked at my sketchbook you would see that I am working hard. Now I spend as much time as I can while working full time learning the skills I need to get to where I want to be.

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    Okay, well best of luck to you. Hope it works out in the end.

    BLAHBLAHBLAH
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    I'm just going to ask for some advice on my situation since everyone else is doing so. Bear with me please.

    I graduated highschool and took dual enrollment at the same time, I ended up getting my AS in Graphic Design in 2004, around that time more or less. I was trying to get ahead of the ball game so to speak, I had an interest in art, not so great with the computer side of things, but I wanted to learn how to improve my drawing skills most of all and with the 2d illustration classes, I got a jump start to improving my art skills that would last me till now, though I'm still not at all where I want to be.

    You see, while in college, I was a very quiet boy, I didn't make many contacts and such nor realized the importance of them back then. I had a vague dream to be a storyboard artist at Disney but I believe around that time they closed up their 2d animation shop so I just let that dream slide to the way side. Also, being a kid, I don't feel I took my college experience as seriously as I should have. The things I know now today I wish I would had used back then, but it's too late for that now.

    I've been working in retail for a while now, selling some of my art on the side, and only within the past few years have I been really into it so to speak. I've had a few deaths and family problems I've had to shift through so that didn't help either. I am trying to decide if I should go back to college, or just try to network a bit more everywhere else and work on improving skills with computer software on my own. I'm not in a position where I can move at the moment so my dreams of working in a studio somewhere else are kinda not looking good, though I would like to go into self publishing comics someday, attending local art shows and doing work for childrens books and such.

    I'm not sure if I should go back to college or what. I mean I got a degree, I just don't feel like I have the skillset anymore to be worthy of it. I'm not sure on the next path I should take. I just turned 30 last month and only now am I really certain what I want to do with my life. I feel like I wasted my youth because I wasn't mature enough to see the big picture in time.=/

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    Hoping this thread could provide me with a little advice.

    Currently studying a BA in Illustration and animation in the UK and looking for a career in concept art. Not getting what I expected from uni no real study on fundamentals, no contact time and a lack of enthusiasm from tutors with very little in the way of organisation. I've wondered about changing uni's or maybe changing course or missing out on the degree all together and trying it on my own, studying on my own and possibly doing online courses.

    I've left it a bit late but have a possible fine art degree option at a local college affiliated to a uni and Ive still got the option of sticking out the Illustration and animation course in hope it will improve.

    Any advice, suggestions?

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    Sounds like my art school and all others I have visited( I'm studying illustration btw). I'm not bothered by it anymore though, I'm enjoying myself quite a bit actually thanks to my fellow students. Maybe you're expecting too much like I was. Big mistake! Never expect anything from school. Art school is more like a test for the real world. You can do the bare minimum and suck up to your teachers and get a degree in art, but the real test is to see if you have enough drive to do your own thing even though no one is asking for it. You have to put in thrice the effort. I don't think modern art schools are there to teach you technique anymore. They are just bullshitting schools now, but that could be the best degree for an artist. They teach you tenacity and bullshit. Technique is something you can only learn on your own, but bullshitting is an art only others can teach you.

    I suggest you stay at your uni to see if it grows on you. Going to another school is just more of the same, unless your school truly sucks even by art school standards. Art school is as good as you make it to be, but you have to put the effort in. It is hard though, playing the game. If you do go looking for a new school, look for one with nice/fun students. Teachers don't matter at all imo.

    Good luck. Maybe someone else has some good input?

    My sketchbook Please drop by. :-)
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