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Hey, so I'm currently in the midst of teaching English in Japan, but I finish up this July, and will be moving up to Vancouver...I'm looking to find a good school to go to, with the end result of working as a matte painter/concept artist, ideally in film.
I'm also an old guy (32) with a computer science degree and 10 years of work experience in databases, but that's another story...*grin*
I *want* to bust my ass. My art background is mostly photography (was a part time fashion photographer in NYC) and not painting, but I've done quite a bit of CGI in Vue, and I know my way around photoshop.
Check the programs at all the Vancouver schools. Vancouver Film school comes to mind. Too bad you aren't moving to Toronto!
I don't think we have any schools in Vancouver that teaches matte painting or concept art. You'd be better off learning on your own or you can travel East and look at the illustration program at Sheridan's. There's also the Art Center in California. Some famous concept artist that went there is Feng Zhu and Ryan Church.
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Check out Capilano College Animation. It's a government run college in North Vancouver. Quite a few concept artists have come from there. It will save you about $35,000.00 over VFS and about $110,000.00 over Art Center. It also has a good fine arts program that will give you credits to UBC, Emily Carr or other Universities. Very pretty campus as well.
Emily Carr is a good place as well - on par with OCA and also has degree granting status. It has both mechanical design and fine art which is good for concept artists. It's in a cool location on Graville Island in Vancouver.
Sounds like a great idea. Take a look at some of the schools listed here: http://www.aicad.org/ There are some not too far from you as well.
(And age does NOT make a difference. One of my best students who recently graduated and is making it huge in LA is your age and has kids to boot.)