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Hello! I'm newly registered but I have been keeping tabs on this site for years. I never wanted to post work because I felt my work wasn't at a high enough quality to do so. I may start posting my work now (if anything, just to learn where I can improve), but I figured I would make my first post an inquiry on advice on actually making it to art school.
First, a little information on myself:
I am a 19-year-old male who has been out of high school for about two years.
I grew up in the middle of no where (Mississippi, USA). Art and artistic careers are fairly unheard of.
My family never really had much money so my parents never have been able nor will they ever provide me with any financial help in attending a school.
I've always wanted to do concept art or illustrations for comics, games, movies, etc.
I am engaged (happily) with a girl who is actually interested in this exact same thing.
Knowing that, I would like to ask for advice on actually making it to the point that I can attend an art school. Currently I am looking at Ringling in Florida.
Portfolio wise, I think I have the potential to get accepted. I am mostly worried about being able to pay for it and making it work.
My fiancee and I both are interested in attending Ringling. Advice on how we can both attend and live together would be welcome. I am not sure if the dorms there (or anywhere) would allow a married/engaged couple to stay together, so that's another issue.
To sum this all up in one big question: Is it possible, and how?
For reference, this is my deviantART site.
What's on there is old, but you are welcome to check it out and give advice on where I can improve with my work to get an acceptable portfolio. Must of what you will find there is anime, yes, but you don't have to tell me to drop it. I could never fully drop the influence of what got me started drawing the in the first place, but I do understand the need to know other styles and have been working with them.
Do you have any examples of more recent work? It's hard to tell you what you currently need to work on based on work over a year old. Looking at your deviantart gallery, I'd say your biggest need is figure drawing - there isn't a single image that *isn't* manga-styled, and art schools don't look particularly favorably on that style as a foundation to build from.
And study some anatomy - you can never go wrong with more anatomy.
When I was looking at schools back in 2000, Ringling did have dorms for married couples (I'm sure meaning you have marriage license, not just plans to do so). Do some more research on their site in that area.
You (and your fiancee) need to fill out your FAFSA forms to find out how much the govt expects you to contribute to your educations. If your parents make too much money (independant of whether they think they can/will provide help for you), the govt will not give you much in the way of loans to pay for school. If you wait until after you are legally married, have a child or are 25 the govt will consider you "independant" and base your available loans on your income alone.
Take a look at the classes required for the Ringling major of your choice. Take a look at a local uni and what classes they offer that are similar. The both of you enroll at a local uni for up to two yrs and take AS MANY of those classes as possible (math, science, english, low level art). You should be able to transfer these so long as the classes are alike and Ringling believes you can demonstrate a portfolio otherwise (they aren't very likely to challenge "core" math/science/english classes, though). Talk to the reps at Ringling (or research in their handbook) to get the best fit. Taking those classes at uni will make your cost per class very, very low, allow you to stay local to your families (and hopefully spend less money on living expenses), give you more time to develop your art skills to apply for art-based scholarships, and take core courses at a school that will give you quality learning in those areas.
Art development wise, do more observational stuff. Do some "life drawing" where the two of you pose for each other so you can draw figures. Both of you work on a still life together. It might be boring (personally, I think life drawing is hella fun...even better when it's your signifigant other ), but not only does it give you traditional foundation stuff for your portfolio, it actually does help your choosen art style flurish greatly.