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  1. #1
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    Illustration or drawing and painting?

    So I'm looking into a career for concept art. I'm heading off to university next year (see: OCAD), though I'm curious wich degree would prepare me more for a career in concept art. I originally started taking a liking to this school when I was looking into it for graphic design. They offer two programs which I think would both be applicable to concept art: Illustration (degree in design) or Drawing and Painting (degree in art). Does anyone with a similar program experience have an opinion on either? Thoughts to how it applies to concept art? Thanks guys.
    -Jordan

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  3. #2
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    Be sure to ask exactly what courses you get in each degree. You will need a
    mix of high level traditional drawing and painting skills, illustration skills, and concept specific courses and related computer training.

    For a start, which program provides design and composition, life drawing, perspective and structural drawing, rep painting (oil)? Many fine arts programs have a bias towards conceptual art and are not interested in teaching skills. Be sure you know what each program is all about! How many studio hours do you get?

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    They aren't a perfect major fit, but I would definitely say Illustration with some courses out of the other two (which should happen anyway in your foundations).

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    Mirana, we have a student who transferred in from what will remain an unnamed BFA program. In fine art, first semester, they had no design course, no painting and no life drawing!!! That's why students have to ask lots of questions. They need to know what studio courses they'll have each semester, course content, and who the instructors are. If they have a path such as concept art in mind, they need to know what skills they'll need to break in to that field.

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    First semester? At a 4-yr accredited US school kids are required to take some general core courses. Those are typically massed in the beginning. Some students are going to have nothing but math/science/english/history when they start out. You can usually move things around if you speak to your registrar/advisor though (I did at both schools I went to).

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    Talking specifically about OCAD, looking through their student work I see little of the sort of drawing or painting development that would be required to work in concept. Even the Illustration work is more geared to the current modern art and trendy magazine editorial market.

    A quick look at the Sheridan 4th year Illustration Gallery has more representation of the sort of work closer to concept work. Recent class work I've seen from Sheridan Animation students was actually far more advanced than what I saw back when I was a student at the college -- granted, the work was from its comparatively newer fourth year rather than the third year stuff I was seeing way back in the late eighties. One year can make a huge difference.

    I've also heard good things about Seneca, particularly it's 3D gaming one-year program, but you'd need real drawing and painting fundamentals before really doing well with that one stream.

    Based purely on what's out in the GTA right now, a 3-4 year stint in Sheridan Illustration followed by the one year in Seneca's 3D program might be best for getting you exactly what you need.

    Good luck,

    ~Richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirana View Post
    First semester? At a 4-yr accredited US school kids are required to take some general core courses. Those are typically massed in the beginning. Some students are going to have nothing but math/science/english/history when they start out. You can usually move things around if you speak to your registrar/advisor though (I did at both schools I went to).
    At Sheridan there are no science/history/english/math courses in first year. There is only one breadth course a semester which are usually under the social sciences. First year it is Composition and Rhetoric then Psychology, Art History and Research Methods in second year, and more choice in third year such as Criminology or 20th Century Dictatorships, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyerOrdStar View Post
    At Sheridan there are no science/history/english/math courses in first year. There is only one breadth course a semester which are usually under the social sciences. First year it is Composition and Rhetoric then Psychology, Art History and Research Methods in second year, and more choice in third year such as Criminology or 20th Century Dictatorships, etc.
    I didn't say all schools, but even so...perhaps I am misunderstanding? Comp & Rhet=English; Psychology, Criminology=Science; Art History, History of Dictatorships (what??)=History. I'm really confused when you say there are none in the first yr, and then list one(s) that is first yr.

    At my uni they just tried to lump all the core courses at the beginning with no (and then later, few) art courses. At the private art college I transferred to, I know that they would give freshmen two core courses and one studio art course each quarter (eventually it being 2 studio, one lecture). As I said, it's only some students.

    Last edited by Mirana; December 5th, 2008 at 08:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyerOrdStar View Post
    At Sheridan there are no science/history/english/math courses in first year. There is only one breadth course a semester which are usually under the social sciences. First year it is Composition and Rhetoric then Psychology,
    comp&rhet IS english... i just finished it (i'm in sheridan illustration too), i've been referring to the class as english all semester. i dont really see how you can consider it anything else.

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    The plus of a school like Max the Mutt is that we opted not to apply to become degree granting. As everyone knows, that's as much as i can say! Take a look at our web site for the curriculum for the 4 year diploma in concept art.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridz View Post
    comp&rhet IS english... i just finished it (i'm in sheridan illustration too), i've been referring to the class as english all semester. i dont really see how you can consider it anything else.
    It's part of the same category as an English class, but it's not really English. English encompasses literature where you read and discuss works. Comp and Rhetoric is first and foremost a class where you learn to argue your point. It's really more like a debate class with writing. Just because they teach to write an argumentative essay doesn't make it an English class. In fact, from what I remember there was only one essay and it had nothing to do with literature or even grammar.

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    Thanks for the responses guys. I was under the impression that at OCAD the only none art related class is liberal studies? I'm not sure about Sheridan as I haven't looked much into them, but it's another option for me. Honestly you'd think there'd be less of that kind of work since it's a college and not a university. Though from what I've heard most of the work relates back to the curriculum in some manner.

    With applications comming up soon I've been having second thoughts about choosing concept art over graphic design. It's a bit of a toughy for me but I think I'll be applying for both GD and illustration at OCAD (if that's even possible) and illustration at Sheridan then go from there. I'm not sure if my work will be up to par with others going into illustration though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyerOrdStar View Post
    It's part of the same category as an English class, but it's not really English. English encompasses literature where you read and discuss works.
    I'm sorry, but your "logic" does not fit in any way I could imagine. English is reading AND writing AND research AND debate, so and so forth. If you look at it's classification, it's always in the English department. I'm not even sure how you came to this conclusion...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flash_Jordan
    since it's a college and not a university.
    What....? Do you mean a "private" college and not govt-run college?

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  15. #14
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    Of course it's in the English department, that's why I said it's in the same category. But, it's not a full fledged "english" class like I remember from high school. There is no literature, grammar, etc so the only parts that make it an English class is the argumentative essay part. I figure if only 1/4 of the class is part of English, it's not truly an English class.
    ANYWAYS, that's the only one in first semester first year, so whatever it is, an English class or not, it's the only one.

    The illustration program at Sheridan is a Degree so even though Sheridan isn't a university the program itself is, so they have some requirements that other colleges do not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyerOrdStar View Post
    The illustration program at Sheridan is a Degree so even though Sheridan isn't a university the program itself is, so they have some requirements that other colleges do not.
    Oh snap you're right. It's not a problem though, I meet the academic requirements for OCAD and Sheridans illustration programs.

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    So double post alert.. I was thinking about taking art fundamentals first before illustration at sheridan, does anyone have any experience with this program? Thanks.

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    The only reason people would go to fundies is if they don't get into illustration.
    Personally I'd just take a year off and work on my portfolio.

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