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Thread: Senior Year

  1. #1
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    Senior Year

    Howdy,

    My name is Jim, and this thread is going to sound kind of funny. I've been dabbling in concept art throughout my entire college career and a bit in high school. I attend the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and I am in my final year as an Industrial Design BFA student.

    This year the seniors are required to partake in a Degree Project. For this project, one is to choose a topic that is ones passion or major interest, and problem solve / research it. Throughout my quest in the industrial design department, I have designed shower heads, water pitchers, backpacks, and other miscellaneous object that provide little interest to me. While I did not particularly enjoy the topic of previous projects I have learned a solid amount of what it takes to be a designer.

    What brings me to this thread is that I want to focus my degree project on 'CONCEPT ART'. I have not yet figured out what this means though. The problem is that is it such an abstract topic. I would like to look at how designs and concepts are incorporated in video games, movies, books, cartoons, any type of entertainment (maybe even theme parks!).

    The reason I wish to focus on concept art/design is my passion for it, and my motivation to jump into the industry next May after i graduate. I hope to develop a great portfolio piece to show that what i am capable of.

    So currently, i am to begin researching my topic of choice, just to collect a huge amount of information and eventually I will analyze all of the data and move from there.

    I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to where i should start / more specifically what i could do for this project. I am at a complete blank for ideas and i don't really know how to write myself a brief on the topic. For instance, should i collect all of the information i can find on Fantasy Sci-fi worlds, and design characters and devices that solve problems the environment imposes on its inhabitants?

    any and all other ideas / comments / critiques are MORE than welcome.
    Thanks for your time
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  4. #2
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    This isn't a direct answer to your question, but: I'm a junior, but right now my plan for a senior project is similar to your initial idea. I'm going to create a realm, and do concepts for every aspect of it; environments, characters, creatures. I'm going to write a story, and explain my theme. In my case, I'm hoping to end up with a finished short graphic novel, although the final product could be anything really. And all the while, I'm going to keep side notes on why I'm making the decisions I'm making; why I decided to use a certain color scheme in one village, why I chose a certain design for a logo, etc., etc. Not only will that give good insight into how I think, it will also allow me to better analyze and hopefully improve my process.

    Dunno if that helps, but it's my plan. :/

  5. #3
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    that sounds like a great project liffey. Have you read the book 'the skillful huntsman' ? its produced by design studio press. It features scott robertson teaching three students (one of them the now famous feng zhu). They take the story 'the skillful huntsman' and create visuals from the text. It is really great, and it has inspired my project a lot.
    I think what is putting me off about doing this as my degree project, is the first semester is designated for 'research'. I think it would be most beneficial to speak with my teachers and see if they could make suggestions on how to accomplish my goals.
    thanks for the input and good luck in arts kool!
    Do not, ever, under any circumstances, not have fun.


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  6. #4
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    Never heard of it, but I will definitely check it out! But yeah, definitely talk to your art teachers, and keep seeking input on CA. Oh, and if you're thinking of incorporating story or any kind of universal realm into your project, make sure and give Alan Moore's Writing For Comics a read (it says for comics, but it's really about creating worlds in general). Pretty inspiring stuff that will get your mind moving.

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    Does Feng Zhu go by more than 1 name? His gallery is very interesting but the Skillful Huntsman artists, book is in my lap, are Khang Le, Mike Yamada and Felix Yoon.

    Very good book, and I'm looking forward to getting the Alien Race also.

  8. #6
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    I just purchased Skillful Huntsman, along with Mechanika: Creating the Art of Science Fiction with Doug Chiang, and John Howe Fantasy Art Workshop. Should be some great food for thought as I begin thinking about my senior project early!

  9. #7
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    @Bill

    DOH! i was thinking feng zhu but meant kahng le i guess hahaha
    buying Alan's book right now Liffey
    Do not, ever, under any circumstances, not have fun.


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