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I'm the kind of guy who thinks. I like to imagine, and create images in my head. I picture scenes out when someone asks me to create something or when I'm bored. When I'm listening to Nujabes and taking a walk outside, I look at the sky or a tree, a new image forms in my head that I want to digitally paint.
That's the creative side. I hate thinking about reality, but it's a must if I want to make it out in this world. What should I learn while in college? I plan to be well rounded in many courses, but still focusing my main career on concept artist. I realized that it's VERY competitive out there, so I'd like to know. I plan to learn more on 3D, Web Developing, Photography, Graphic Design, Story writing, Illustration <on everything from vehicles, characters, to architecture) and Digital Painting. In general, all of these courses have something I can apply into my eventual career. (e.g. Lighting, color, composition, scripting functionality, etc.) Currently I'm in an IB English class, which I find deep and actually somewhat intriguing. Other than that, I loathe my other classes, but I'm still able to maintain my grades. (Before wrestling, I had a 4.0. Now it's a 3.6. Should I still stay with wrestling?)
But I wonder, what school is right for me? I don't want to end up in a greedy school where I leave with nothing. I'm currently thinking either AI Russian Hill or Academy of Art Institute, both in SF. (I live about an hour away.)
So please, help me out. I'm only a Sophomore in High school right now, and it's worrying me nuts to the point that I almost annoy my teachers with questions about college. Our guidance counselors always stress going to a UC, which I don't really want. Also, should I stay with a BFA or go for an MFA? Either way, it's the portfolio that matters when getting a job, right?
If you'd like to see my dA gallery, it is here. http://sen-kun.deviantart.com/gallery/#_featured
I know I haven't really mastered the technicalities, but I'm getting there. People have told me that I have potential.
I am open to any suggestions, and will happily do whatever I can to learn more in the art field. Thank you all.
Itís fine that you have some of these apprehensions and thoughts about your future. You might as well ask questions now and at least be informed prior to taking steps toward your future.
One thing that I tell people who are looking into going into concept art is that youíd better have a passion for it. Itís not just a job- it had better be something you absolutely love doing, because itís not about the money, prestige or fancy titles on the business card. What you want here is a career that youíll be doing for a very very long time and not just a 9 to 5 job.
Thatís not to say you canít go down a path, discover some of the not-so-pleasant things about it, and change career objectives. Thatís perfectly okay but again, whatever path you choose should have some sense of passion to fuel it. Anyone that is truly happy with their chosen career has some little fire or spark in them that makes them come into work early and stay a little later.
What I would do if I were you would be to look at someone you admire. What is it about their profession that sparks you. Is this something you can realistically emulate? What path did they take? Did they go to a four year art school? Was it trade schools? Was it a ton of workshops? Were they solely self taught? How did they break into the industry? Ask and then use that as a template to guiding yourself down that path.
After looking at your online portfolio, yes- you do need some more work with your drawing. Look at objects and draw from life. Get a sketchbook going. Draw constantly and donít worry about how good it is now- it will improve over time but youíve got to put in hard hours into it in order for you to improve. Look at some of the prospective colleges that youíre thinking about applying to and check out their student gallery section. Those people are your competition. This is the level of work that you need to attain in two more years in order to even apply to those places (the better your portfolio, the more scholarship opportunities too). And once youíre in college, itís time to look at the professional ranks because thatís your next level that you need to attain.
College is important but also realize that itís only a stepping stone onto what is your career which will last you a lifetime. Choose a school that can support your dreams and a place where you feel as though you can thrive. Donít just be overwhelmed by the place or its reputation; what works for hundreds of people there just might not be right for you. Youíve got to come up with whatever makes you feel right about being there. It could just very well be a gut call as to why you like one place over another.
Realize that being an artist is a life long journey. What I did in high school is nothing like what Iím doing now. All of that cumulative experience of college, work and life in general has made me what I am today- same will hold true for you. Soak up all of that experience and be the artist youíre supposed to be. Your cumulative knowledge will make you unique and thatís what will separate you from other artists, but what runs through all of us is that passion to make an image to tell a story and to make a mark on this planet of ours.
Of course...I feel practically depressed in school right now, particularly about motivation to work. But the job I want must be a job that I'll love. A job to wake up to and feel good about it, or else it will feel just like school again. I've looked at those galleries, and wow, must I be a prodigy in order to get into those schools?
Of course every art school would love it if you came in a superstar, but realistically they'd be more than satisfied with someone who understood the basics of drawing & perspective. Most schools will be glad to take someone who can display some drawing from life skills, can draw the human figure with some sense of realism, understands light & shadow, and all of those little nuances of drawing. Once you're in their program- they should be able to help you elevate your game (of course you got to want it badly and be willing to bust your butt too).
But this could also be the wake up call in letting you know where you stand skill wise. Are you cut out to be an illustrator of any sort? I'm not saying you can't be in a creative field but you just might not have the chops to fulfill certain criteria to compete. I would never say that you couldn't achieve it but a LOT of it will also depend on how much are you willing to sacrifice to attain those necessary skills. To some people it looks like magic to be able to draw and paint like that but it's also a skill honed over a lifetime of observation and understanding how it's done.
Hm...What sacrifices are there to be made? Is it a time committment? I'd be willing to bring a laptop and tablet from home and sketchpad + pencil just to practice while not in class.
The fact that you're asking these questions shows you really haven't thought this through much or done your research.
It takes sacrifices of every kind. You may have to move to get to the place you want to be (school or work), you may have to work shitty jobs for years while you hone your skills or to afford school. A time committment is essential — a HUGE time committment. Sketching at school every once in a while is not going to get you anywhere. They say it takes 10,000 hours to get good. If you work on art 40 hours a week, it'll take 4 years to become 'good'. That's a full time job. That means frivolous activities will have to be sacrificed. Games are gone, who knows what else is gone. That's a personal choice.
This is serious...if you want to be the best, then you have to be willing to put in the work, because I can guarantee that you'll be competing with people out there that ARE putting in that time and effort, and if you're up against someone like that, I wonder who will be chosen.
Yes, I suppose you're right. Well, thank you for opening my eyes more to reality. I guess I'll just go for the more "safer" careers, before I destroy my future.