Hi, i just discovered Concept Design Academy in Pasadena, and was thinking about attending some classes there before i graduate high school. It has many instructors, including people who have worked on the God of War games and movies like I Am Legend, and Terminator. One instructor is actually part of this website: Prostate Sunrise.
If any of you have been to any of these classes, please give me your opinion on the school and the classes. If you havent but know someone who has gone there, please direct me to them. I am really interested in taking some classes there. Even if you have heard things about the school, i am curious.
I would've liked a longer stint on Head Construction, but that's just me
Depending on your skill level, actual in-class drawing time may not be enough to practice what was taught during the lecture portion and have Kevin or the TA sit down and go over your progress.
I wholeheartedly recommend Kevin's class IF you have a certain degree of foundational knowledge under your belt, or, if you've spent a significant amount of time racking up solo pencil mileage. I went in the class having already taken 10 weeks of 2D anatomy along with taking a gesture drawing class at the same time I was in Kevin's class - when he talked about anatomy I was already in synch, same with gesture, so, most of my time focused on deciphering perspective and construction.
Take a look here for Kevin's in-class demos done for the Spring 2008 quarter: LINK. If what he's doing in the demos look inline with what you've learned in the past, the class should be a natural expansion of your figure construction skills; if not, feel free to PM me and I'll do my best to point you in the right direction to get your money's worth.
I am certainly very biased, but I think it's a great school. It's got a cozy atmosphere, is a terrific place to network with talented students and professional artists, and is staffed by knowledgeable and helpful teachers.
If you are just starting out, I recommend you enroll in the foundational classes, which would primarily be Kevin Chen's Analytical Figure Drawing and probably the Dynamic Sketching class with Peter Han. Sketching for Environments with Ed Li would also be a good primer if you want to begin designing environments. If you have some experience with painting, the Intro to Figure Painting class with Stephen Schirle sounds excellent, as does the Gouache Landscape Painting with Jackson Sze.
In my honest opinion, I would defer any and all design classes until you have a solid grasp of the fundamentals and can draw with a fair bit of confidence out of your head. Each week you will be asked to exercise your creative muscles, and if you are not accustomed to doing so, or you haven't built up a large enough visual library, you will have a rough time. Trust me - I speak from experience.
If you think you are ready for the design classes, then take two, possibly three at the most if your schedule allows. Be aware that the instructors give a lot of homework and hand out a ton of information. You run the risk of spreading yourself too thin if you take on too many courses.
The school is set up in such a way that the traditional, foundational courses serve as stepping stones to the digital, more advanced design classes. For example:
then you can answer this question (im gonna give a little bit of bacround info first): My mom is now saying that she doesnt want me taking any classes there while I am in high school, but she might allow me to take those one-day classes or ceminars....can you give me all the info you can about those? pros and cons? what theyre like? etc?
The workshops are typically five hours long and usually set up in the following manner:
• 1 or 2 Hour Lecture
• 3 or 4 Hour Demo
It really depends on the guest instructor though. Someone like Bill Perkins will lecture nearly the entire time, while another artist like Khang Le will cut down the lecture in the beginning to do a longer demo. The workshops are so varied, I'll have a difficult time giving you a breakdown of pros and cons because each are unique in their own ways. Some workshops are geared towards fundamentals and thus are perfect for students of all levels, while others might be more appropriate for intermediate and advanced students. Read the brief for each workshop to get an understanding of what they offer and whether or not it can benefit you as a student.
Some of the things I like about the workshops at CDA are: 1) being able to meet some of your favorite artists face-to-face and hearing from working professionals about what it's like to be in the entertainment industry; 2) networking with talented students and professionals; 3) picking up tips and tricks to enhance your painting techniques and workflow- both analog and digital; 4) portfolio critiques (if the guest instructor has time).
If you're interested in attending the workshops or classes, make sure you drop an e-mail to email@example.com this week to get on their e-mail list. Enrollment is going to open next week and some classes fill up extremely fast (e.g. Environment Design, Analytical Figure Drawing). You can wait on the workshops a bit, since they tend to fill up a little slower, but they nearly always sell out eventually.