Cal Arts: Why do people Hate it?

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  1. #1
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    Icon Cal Arts: Why do people Hate it?

    Okay, so recently I made it into Cal Arts.

    Now, just to tell you a little bit about the school....it's a REALLY good school. People like Tim Burton and the creator of the Powerpuff Girls both graduated from the school.

    I recently made it into the Character Animation program...which isn't very easy. just to give you an idea....most of the people that apply there DON'T get in until they've already completed other art school (so a good chunk of the students are like...25). This year, 300 people applied and 45 made it in. 45 is a LITTLE more than they usually accept...which is around...30ish.

    Anywho, before my actual application to Cal Arts, I'd mention it to people and they'd be like "OH, you're going to Cal Arts? What a WASTE of talent, you should go to the ART CENTER. puh!".
    Which like...made me want to smack em across the face because....I've been trying for Cal Arts since I was in the 5th grade.... So it means a lot to me.

    Apparently, that negative sentiment isn't uncommon. ON another art forum, I mentioned that I got accepted to the school. They told me that a lot of people hate Cal Arts-especially the animators and that all they ever do over there is pump out "expressive slick shit".

    So this all got me to thinking... obviously there's SOME sort of negativity in the air about Cal Arts that I'm just not missing. Most people that I've spoken to about CalArts, say that it's a great school. It's one of the only schools in america that still teaches traditional animation and everything.

    So if you know anything about Cal Arts, why is there so much negativity about it?

    Designin' Characters all summer. Check it out.
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  3. #2
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    Well I've heard the same for the Art Institute as well.

    I can't really say other than for the fact is that a lot of artists I've met are self-taught. Now, I am not saying that pursuing a higher degree is bad at all. However, there are a lot of artists that are thinking that they can teach themselves and why waste the money and get stagnated into a college. This is what I get from some of the artists that scorn school in general.

    Another bit of it is that sometimes they hear of bad experiences as well as experiencing those personally. Perhaps they were at an Art Institute, Cal Arts, etc of which the cirriculum or the faculty wasn't nice to them, whatever. I honestly don't know, but being around artists, that's the range I get.

    However, I don't care to say that artists that don't go into a college are jerks either, it just didn't work for them and I do understand that some people get locked in the ivory tower of academia and therefore die creatively and that could add to the aversion towards schools.

    Honestly, I've found whatever you do in life it is what you choose, regardless of education or not. I've found wonderful artists both college-educated or not do great work, as I've found others that do crap. It's what you do with it really and as long as you have the lifelong commitment and drive, I don't think you'll go bad.

    Just concentrate on yourself with that Art Degree. I think it's great you got accepted. Make the most of it, as like any opportunity. Unfortunately, you will always run into people that will look down their noses and go, "Well, you've got a long way to go." So what? We all do in some ways whether we're technically brilliant to creatively limited or all spans in between.

    Again, go for it, cut out the negativity. Focus on your own stuff. You'll be happier and saner for it. It's not that you shouldn't ever listen to input, but don't take it personally.

    "I like doing stuff that interests me. What is it? Just anything that is new and different to old and traditional. There has to be an interesting aspect to things, but not same old run of the mill. There, I've told you everything, and it denotes nothing. Basically, give it a try. Give it a go. At least once. You know you want to. "

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  4. #3
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    oh I definatley will!

    Blowing off Cal Arts is like...winning the lottery and saying "no thanks, I don't need it".

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  5. #4
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    Two words.

    Brad.

    Bird.



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  6. #5
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    I've never really heard any negativity about CalArts. It's a great institution, and there is some very real talent coming out. Check out the blog of Lorelay Bove--http://lorelaybove.blogspot.com. She just graduated a year or two ago, and she's been featured on the character design blog, works in Disney's visdev department, and has been commissioned by Disney to do a Toy Story storybook. I don't even need to mention the classic talent that has come out of the school.

    However, the industry has changed. There may or may not be a return of traditional animation, but as things are now, there is little to no market for the medium in film. Animation is animation--it doesn't matter if you learn it with a pencil or with an expensive computer program. Even still, if you look at ratings for animation schools, CalArts is no longer at the top. There are other schools teaching 3D that have surpassed it. Historically, CalArts is very great. Currently, IMO, there are better places to become an animator.

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  7. #6
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    Well I think that there will be a revival, I really do. LOL. People miss it too much and I believe that the demand for it will be there in a few years.

    The stuff that I see come out of other schools as far as 3D stuff is just....not as great as the traditional stuff I see come out of Cal Arts every year. And I'm not just saying that because that's the school I'm going to. lol. I mean, really a lot of the stuff I've seen from other schools just doesn't compare. And it's not the medium at all, it's the story telling and the overall aesthetic to the whole thing.

    From the people I've talked to about the whole 3D vs. 2D animation thing, a good amount of them have said that generally the people that go from 2D to 3D are better than the people that go from 3D to 2D-and not only that, but the people that learn 2D know more about animation than the people that do 3D. A lot of what I've heard about 3D animators is that, in most cases and in a lot of movies, the majority of the people working on the movies aren't artists, but more technical people and yaddah yadddah yaddah.

    I don't know MUCH about the business so I could be wrong and of course all I can go off of is the opinions of others, lol.

    Always breaks my heart when people bad mouth a school I've given a lot of effort into getting in. DX
    Specially when they say that Cal Arts kids don't have any drawing skills at all.
    :/
    blaaaaaaaah.

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  8. #7
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    I recently made it into the Character Animation program...which isn't very easy. just to give you an idea....most of the people that apply there DON'T get in until they've already completed other art school (so a good chunk of the students are like...25). This year, 300 people applied and 45 made it in. 45 is a LITTLE more than they usually accept...which is around...30ish.
    That would indicate to me that CalArts would be harder to get into then Art Center....and I think it is so.

    I think people that treat CalArts with contempt is because they think 'cartoons' is beneath them.....and yet they'll worship people like Mark Ryden and Jeff Soto?....da wah?

    I just dislike Cal Arts and Art Center because I hate that $ 100,000 tuition. It seems like a lot of money just to do some social climbing.

    I don't believe Art Center and Cal Arts are teaching some sort of alchemy.

    I like to think there's more to being an artist then just being a social butterfly?
    Eh, maybe there isn't.

    However, I've been told that CalArts is becoming less traditional in their art program and more expressive......that's the exact same thing people complain about the UC State College System about.

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    Well the thing is that a lot of people that go to cal arts get CRAZY good connections... and that's why most people go there. LOL. Though I"m NOT sure if that's like...worth being in debt for the rest of your life.

    I think Cal Arts is just a great place to get connections and when you're a film maker, your connections are mega mega important. Not only that but Cal Arts is one of those schools that really almost enforces you to interact with non-animation-like courses like Music Comp and Dance.

    I think that it is that whole "ew, cartoons" attitude. One of my friend's father (who's a super asian dad that wants his kid to go to a UC school and be super wonderful world commander number one) scolded me for wanting to go to school for animation and said it was a "waste of time and money". I will say that people that usually said "ew, cal arts" were people that wanted to go to the Art Center and major in illustration. Which is heavily ironic because it's NOT like the stuff they do over there isn't just a hop skip and jump away from animation at all.


    I can see that Cal Arts may be turning in a different direction that it has in the past. They're still like HEAVILY 2D animation all the way, but I can't help but feel that sometimes that 41k isn't worth it.

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  10. #9
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    Most good animators - and directors- will tell you that life drawing with an emphasis on gesture, form and weight, and classical animation training are necessary prerequisites for 999 out of 1000 people trying to become 3D animators. That is, if animation matters to us as an art form.

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  11. #10
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    And Cal Arts is like...mega Figure Drawings alllllllllllll the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmourFonce
    I think that it is that whole "ew, cartoons" attitude. One of my friend's father (who's a super asian dad that wants his kid to go to a UC school and be super wonderful world commander number one) scolded me for wanting to go to school for animation and said it was a "waste of time and money". I will say that people that usually said "ew, cal arts" were people that wanted to go to the Art Center and major in illustration. Which is heavily ironic because it's NOT like the stuff they do over there isn't just a hop skip and jump away from animation at all.
    It sounds like you're getting the typical "what a waste" reaction to art school. I wouldn't consider that as real negativity toward CalArts. If you're in the art (especially the animation or film) world, it's silly to say that CalArts is a bad school. Don't take what they say too seriously. I got a lot of similar reactions when I announced that I was majoring in animation.

    Other things that you should know are that, like Maxine said, any successful 3D program does teach the traditional basics. For example, I go to Ringling, and while the school is renowned for its CG program, I still have to take 2 full semesters of traditional animation. Also, figure drawing is important for anyone interested in animation (2D or 3D), and if there is a program out there that does not include a lot of it, it probably is not very successful. CalArts is also not the only school that has strong industry ties. Ringling, SCAD, and Academy of Art, and a number of other programs are highly recognized by recruiters. I know that the mantra of this forum is, "it doesn't matter where you go to school as long as you work really hard." This is true to some effect, but there is certainly something to be said for the connections you obtain through your school.

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  13. #12
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    Here's an entrance portfolio to Cal Arts:
    http://artofjen.blogspot.com/2007/03...portfolio.html

    Here's an entrance portfolio to Art Center:
    http://nick-artcade.blogspot.com/200...portfolio.html

    You'd think they'd go crazy over my portfolio....but I get the feeling they
    want my money.

    Personally, I think it would be harder to get into the Conceptart.org Atelier.

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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSeRider View Post
    Here's an entrance portfolio to Cal Arts:
    http://artofjen.blogspot.com/2007/03...portfolio.html

    Here's an entrance portfolio to Art Center:
    http://nick-artcade.blogspot.com/200...portfolio.html
    ...
    ... Did someone say it was hard to get in?

    I got into my current animation school with probably less, though. lol.

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  15. #14
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    What?

    hard to get into what?

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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmourFonce View Post
    The stuff that I see come out of other schools as far as 3D stuff is just....not as great as the traditional stuff I see come out of Cal Arts every year.
    This might or might not be the only factor, but a big part of why very few student 3d films aren't great is that the animators don't have the technical crew backing them that high quality 3d animation nearly requires. 2d animation is basicly one job (though for long pieces it will be split between many people), while 3d animation requires a variety of disiplines, most of which the student will never work in profesionally.

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  17. #16
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    That's very true.

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  18. #17
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    I gotta agree with the sinfulsaint,

    I don't think it's Calarts itself, but art schools in general. I'm sure you guys get that whole "what waste" thing a lot, but...wow, say that in a latino family and it's as if you've you've committed a crime.

    I think it's just uncultured people really. I just came back from ASD at Ringling and man...what an amazing place, the galleries, the people, they look like they actually care about art and it's importance in life to embrace it; a shock for me.

    Anyway, dunno much about the politics of art schools, but...Calarts looks like a very cool place. Art Center is nice, but...between Calarts and Art Center; Calarts hands down (for the animation industry).

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  19. #18
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    hey-

    I am a character animation student at Calarts currently and this is my opinion.

    From what I gather in this thread is that Calarts is 2d, Ringling is 3d, Ringling prepares students for the real world, Calarts creates film makers, blah blah blah.

    This is what I think of my experience with Calarts so far. Calarts gives you an incredible opportunity to find your own voice in film making. True, it tends to be more 2d focused, but there is no one here who is going to force you to work within a certain medium. You can do 2d, 3d, stop motion, paper cutout, sand, trash, rice cakes, etc. Any kind of animation is appreciated as long as it best serves what you want to do. The nice thing is Calarts has the facilities (for the most part) to do any of this. But of course, I think Ringling's CG facilities are light years ahead of Calarts.

    Calarts works you to the bone in everything having to do with animation from initial story writing, all the way down to sound design and video editing. Ringling probably does the same, so correct me if I'm wrong.

    All your fellow students are extremely dedicated to their work. Slackers don't survive here. From what i gather from Ringling, it sounds the same. Sleepless nights are almost the norm for animation students.

    What I gather about Ringling is that yes they produce good CG animators with 2d backgrounds, but what else? Sure you can get a job out of school with your "real world" training, but is getting a job the most important thing in your post-education? The reason I chose Calarts is because you can see the students live a legacy outside of their education that you don't see at many other schools. Students like Brad Bird, John Lasseter, Tim Burton, Craig McCracken, Genndy Tartakovsky, Stephen Hillenberg, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Glen Keane, just to name a few, went on to contribute enormously to the animation community. You don't find that kind of company in many other places, which is why Calarts is so special.

    I don't know if this answers your question, but if I were you I'd choose a school based upon what you want to accomplish in life rather than just getting a job.

    Also, I don't mean to sound like I'm bashing Ringling. If anyone has more information about Ringling or other school alumni who are doing awesome things, please let me know.

    -bloaty

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSeRider View Post
    That would indicate to me that CalArts would be harder to get into then Art Center....and I think it is so.
    ..ridiculous
    how can u compare such different colleges ?
    (also different majors)

    metalclay is right
    between Calarts and Art Center; Calarts hands down (for the animation industry).
    they're known for different majors..
    calarts for character animation; accd for trandes/illu/ent design.
    both universities have awesome alumni.

    Quote Originally Posted by HunterKiller_ View Post
    ...
    ... Did someone say it was hard to get in?

    I got into my current animation school with probably less, though. lol.


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  21. #20
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    I'm gonna make it plan and simple.

    Mark Ryden and Jeff Soto Art Center Graduates:

    Per AmourFonce
    I will say that people that usually said "ew, cal arts" were people that wanted to go to the Art Center and major in illustration. Which is heavily ironic because it's NOT like the stuff they do over there isn't just a hop skip and jump away from animation at all.
    Right now there's something called the Lowbrow art movement going on, which deals with pop culture. A lot of the time 'it' deals with comic books and cartoons.

    Art Center seems to be encouraging that mentality, instead of encouraging 'traditional' art.
    Anne Field, head of the illustration department at Art Center, has been deleting traditional classes from the Art Center curriculum, such as anatomy [ A class that Burne Hogarth use to teach, in tradition of George Bridgeman ].....and I know some former ACCD instructors that are pissed off about that.

    These Art Center Alumni Illustrators were featured in November 2007 CYMK Magazine.
    http://travisschooley.com/main/home.html
    http://www.ericnyquist.com/index.htm

    I'm basing my decisions on observations and proof per the above URL's.

    Both Schools offer life drawing classes, and personally I think both schools teach life drawing poorly.
    http://www.laafa.org

    LAAFA has awesome alumnis too....some teach at ACCD.
    But LAAFA teaches life drawing more intensely.

    pnt, I want you to get mad at me, because if I'm gonna spend $ 100,000 for school.......I want somebody that is so impassioned, they'll go out of their way to PROVE IT! I want somebody to tell me something that is substantive. I don't have a silver spoon in my mouth, and whatever money is spent for school will be my money.

    Here's an entrance portfolio to Cal Arts:
    http://artofjen.blogspot.com/2007/03...portfolio.html

    Here's an entrance portfolio to Art Center:
    http://nick-artcade.blogspot.com/200...portfolio.html

    Personally, I think it would be harder to get into the Conceptart.org Atelier.


    Last edited by NoSeRider; April 23rd, 2008 at 08:04 AM.
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  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloaty View Post
    Students like Brad Bird, John Lasseter, Tim Burton, Craig McCracken, Genndy Tartakovsky, Stephen Hillenberg, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Glen Keane, just to name a few, went on to contribute enormously to the animation community. You don't find that kind of company in many other places, which is why Calarts is so special.
    I suspect this has as much to do with the age of the CalArts animation program as its quality. I suspect Ringling will have a similarly impressive list in a couple of decades.

    Of course, regardless of cause, CalArts is great for networking.

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    hiya, Calarts alumni here Character Animation Dept

    It was the same 10 years ago. The calarts name brings lovers and haters. I've encountered this a lot. Usually the people who hate it didn't get in. The animation program there is know to be one of the hardest, if not the hardest programs to get into. Its simply the top animation school there is, im not talking 2d or 3d I'm just talking animation. While I was there alot of the instructors were industry pros, working in the industry at top studios while teaching. You also learn a ton about story telling, story boarding, layouts, ect the list goes on and on.Its a great place , the halloween parties rock, the pool is clothing optional (or was) and overall a great learning env. Have the time of your life , While neversleeping because there is sooo much to do in such a short time.

    Goodluck!

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    My New Neglected Sketchbook
    You Ain't no Nina!.....

    "Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
    "My mind is made up. Don't confuse it with facts." -- Terence McKenna
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSeRider View Post
    trying not to derail this thread i have posted this link in another thread, lets talk about it in one of those thank you.

    and dont say ewww you "should" like this video IMO.

    now lets get back to the the "haters" topic.

    Last edited by Zazerzs; April 28th, 2008 at 06:15 PM.
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  26. #25
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    lol...wth are you two talking about?

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  27. #26
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    looks like a mis_post thats all :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay View Post
    lol...wth are you two talking about?
    awnser the last question the best i can.

    I had made a few posts about The Barnstone studios in a few threads. My guess is that the fellow who posted the link in the calarts thread did so by mistake, maybe he had a few windows open and replyed to the wrong one,(my guess) ,thats all.

    back to the calarts stuff

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  28. #27
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    Cal Arts is great!

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