Sequential Arts/Comics Programs, Lots of Questions!
Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Question Sequential Arts/Comics Programs, Lots of Questions!

    I've had an account here for ages, but never posted anything! So, hey, everybody.

    I'm a junior in high school looking for a future in making comics, but I'm totally lost as to putting together portfolios, applying to schools, etc. Is it alright if I just ask some questions? I'm looking to apply to RISD, SCAD, and the Center for Cartoon Studies right now. CCS is my first choice, just because I'm not a city-girl, and would really prefer a small town and small school atmosphere.

    1. If you're applying to a specific program at a big school, is it preferable to include things specific to that program? Should I include comic pages in my portfolio alongside all the figure drawings? Or will the admissions people just not care about that sort of thing?

    2. Should portfolios be mostly traditional work? Basically, I go to a really tiny technology/math/science high school right now so our art program basically sucks. I didn't even take art this year (the only course they were offering was sculpture, and not like classical, art history, clay sculpture, like making a model of the solar system out of cardboard "sculpture") so I have basically nothing of those painting/drawing assignments art kids usually get out of their art classes! Most of my work is digital. I'm a fast worker, and it's not like I don't have time to whip up some traditional work, but I really need some guidance.

    3. My advisors and parents are really pushing me to enter a program where you get a BA or a degree or something other than a certificate, but is this really important? Frankly, I couldn't care less about pieces of paper, I just want to do my best to learn, you know? But they seem really heart-set on it... not than any of them have any experience in the art world, though.

    My advisor is also pushing me to abandon my interest and just go into like, Foundation Studies or something so I can get a taste of different things and figure out "who I am." The thing is, I'm really not interested! I'm positive that I want to do sequential arts. I've mucked around in a bunch of things (printmaking, photography, sculpture, different types of painting, filmography) and I just don't have a passion for anything but comics! And it's not like most of those media can't be incorporated into sequential arts. They're not mutually-exclusive... However, is this outlook being too hard-headed?

    Thank you profusely if you read all of that! I'd love to hear just generally of people's experiences from these schools, as well.

    Sorry if this doesn't really fit the theme of "concept art", I've just been lurking around here for so long and everyone is so knowledgeable!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Detroit, MI
    Posts
    1,637
    Thanks
    34
    Thanked 141 Times in 85 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by mickequ View Post
    I've had an account here for ages, but never posted anything! So, hey, everybody.

    I'm a junior in high school looking for a future in making comics, but I'm totally lost as to putting together portfolios, applying to schools, etc. Is it alright if I just ask some questions? I'm looking to apply to RISD, SCAD, and the Center for Cartoon Studies right now. CCS is my first choice, just because I'm not a city-girl, and would really prefer a small town and small school atmosphere.
    Realize that ALL of these programs are relatively small in comparison to a major university. Art colleges are small by nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by mickequ View Post
    1. If you're applying to a specific program at a big school, is it preferable to include things specific to that program? Should I include comic pages in my portfolio alongside all the figure drawings? Or will the admissions people just not care about that sort of thing?
    You obviously need to show that you an understand the foundations such as figure drawing, drawing from observation, perspective, light/shadow, mass, etc.. And the comic pages will show your passion but do NOT show Anime or things that you've aped from looking at other comic sources. It's been done already. Admissions people want to see your creativity and not your ability to rip off other people's work.

    Quote Originally Posted by mickequ View Post
    2. Should portfolios be mostly traditional work? Basically, I go to a really tiny technology/math/science high school right now so our art program basically sucks. I didn't even take art this year (the only course they were offering was sculpture, and not like classical, art history, clay sculpture, like making a model of the solar system out of cardboard "sculpture") so I have basically nothing of those painting/drawing assignments art kids usually get out of their art classes! Most of my work is digital. I'm a fast worker, and it's not like I don't have time to whip up some traditional work, but I really need some guidance.
    Don't discount sculpture. It can show you volume and mass especially if you're doing figurative. And just because you work fast doesn't necessarily mean it's good. Yeah, I get the fact you want to run with the big dogs now but you've barely begun to walk. Do you even understand anatomy, inking, typography, color theory, and all sorts of other things that go into producing a comic book or a graphic novel yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by mickequ View Post
    3. My advisors and parents are really pushing me to enter a program where you get a BA or a degree or something other than a certificate, but is this really important? Frankly, I couldn't care less about pieces of paper, I just want to do my best to learn, you know? But they seem really heart-set on it... not than any of them have any experience in the art world, though.
    The BFA pretty much shows that you attended. It doesn't guarantee you're any good; that's something you have to prove daily in your studies. What the BFA experience does give you is a peer group that's in it for the same reason you're in for. They'll push you and support you. And depending on the school, they'll also have a large network of alums to call in.

    Also on a corporate front, if you ever decide to work for a company- they might want to see a degree. Get it now if you have the drive and gumption now.

    Quote Originally Posted by mickequ View Post
    My advisor is also pushing me to abandon my interest and just go into like, Foundation Studies or something so I can get a taste of different things and figure out "who I am." The thing is, I'm really not interested! I'm positive that I want to do sequential arts. I've mucked around in a bunch of things (printmaking, photography, sculpture, different types of painting, filmography) and I just don't have a passion for anything but comics! And it's not like most of those media can't be incorporated into sequential arts. They're not mutually-exclusive... However, is this outlook being too hard-headed?
    It's fine to have a passion, but what you've missed out on is how "printmaking, photography, sculpture, different types of painting, filmography" and other art forms can aid in your comic book making. You seem to brush them off as being useless and ask anyone who does it for a living- those are the things that enrich their picture making. And for those of us who do comics/ concept art for a living, we WANT to get back to these skills.

    So "hard-headed"? Maybe a little, but what I see is you wanting to get to the destination and totally forgetting about the ride. Understand that working professionals have accumulated a lifetime's worth of knowledge and haven't stopped learning OTHER things to supplement their skills. Realize how these people work, how they went to school, what they studied, what materials are even out there...

    It's literally a non-stop learning experience for us working folks. You're just at the beginning of that journey. Slow it down before you gloss over something that one day you might suddenly realize you'll really need in life.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Totally agreeing with the guy above me, on basically everything. But, to toss in my two cents:

    2. I've been in the same boat with the whole portfolio deal, since I went to an equally tiny vocational/agricultural school where I studied kennel/business management and dog grooming, and didn't have any art classes at all. Digital work is fine, but really push for traditional observational studies. They don't all have to be 18x24" still lifes - even if it's a small sketchbook filled with quick gesture studies, it's going to help a LOT. Play around with other mediums - pencil, charcoal, ink, paint. my friend did some scratchboard for hers. If you want to include some comics, try doing 1-2 pages where you really play with panel layout and typography. Keep it you, but experiment. Most schools are looking for people who are constantly trying/refining new things, especially this early on.

    3. Get a degree. You're paying money for an education, a BFA can only help, and is kind of a standard for jobs no matter what field you're in.

    As far as a BFA program, you're basically going to be in a giant art thinktank for four years. There will always be classmates around to give you critiques and bounce ideas off of at every moment of the day, and once you graduate, alums and faculty are more likely to contact other alums for possible shows and jobs.

    4. Doing foundation studies is by no means abandoning your interest. I love comics myself, but I also love figure drawing and painting, poster design, and surface design. Whatever else you learn can help make you stand out in the comics field. Film is particularly invaluable for comics, as it's essentially the same thing as comics (telling a narrative through a medium and time), and film storyboards are practically identical in purpose to comic panels/timing.

    And, financially, devoting yourself to comics is basically hoping you'll always break even. One of my teachers works for DC, was praised for his inking on a recent Green Lantern run this summer, but still teaches at my college in order to have a steady paycheck (Paid by page, he made roughly $4 an hour). Not only this, but you're not always going to be able to get a break with a larger comic publishing company, and self-publishing can be expensive as well, so being able to adapt to other jobs can only help. I would suggest emailing various comic artists/professors and asking them questions about the field and their own personal, biographical experiences; so long as you're polite, artists are generally very open and happy to talk about this sort of thing.

    It's only the very start of art school, take your time, work hard, and enjoy it. If you're interested in comics/narrative, check out Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell and Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •