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Here is a link to the 2013 animation portfolio that APW student Melissa Cho whipped up with us:
Melissa Cho Sheridan Animation Portfolio 2013
Sit back and enjoy looking through her work.
I was wondering if ~beginners~ (I'm not entirely a beginner but I feel like I'm less experienced than students coming into your workshop) are fit for taking APW? In the future I would like to apply for Sheridan's Animation program and am strongly considering signing up for APW instead of their Art Fundamentals program. I really want to better my drawing and be a better artist overall. However, I'm just intimidated that the mediocre skills I have are not up to par with most students that go into the workshop. Is this okay?
Thanks so much.
Let's do a bit of discernment to start us off,if you don't' mind....please forgive if the questions seem somewhat overly simplistic, but I find this process of analysis quite helpful when one is trying to make a decision like this one.
Is your passion in life to become an animator?
What grade are you in at the moment?
Let's start there, and we'll address the rest of your questions once we've sorted my couple of questions out.
I'm actually just finishing up my first year in university (making me 18 y/o). I've always had a passion for art and would love to be an animator especially since being inspired by cartoons. Being at university was partly motivated by my parents' expectations and partly to be on the safe side. However, I've realized quite recently that I'm always gravitating towards art and drawing which has led to the decision of hopefully pursuing Animation in Sheridan. The thing is, I really need lots of practice and I'm not sure if my skills are not up to par to fully benefit from your workshop.
Not sure what else to add but hopefully that was somewhat helpful? Thank you so much.
Last edited by nothingrly; March 13th, 2014 at 11:56 AM.
O.k...thanks for your post.
Here is what I think.
Your "skill level" as you call it is really irrelevant to the consideration of whether you are going to take steps to do something to get better at drawing, or better at anything for that matter.
What matters is your desire to work at and learn everything you need to know about what ever it is( in this case drawing skills to lead to working as an animator ) and then simply devoting yourself to the work you have to do unconditionally ( ie ' I'm not stopping until I get this ')
I always tell my students 'drawing is identical to digging a hole, and it feels like it too....you get a tool, figure out what to do ( which is fairly straight forward ) and then the really hard work has to be done.....which is persistence at digging.
The deeper you dig, the better the hole....whatever you do, don't stop and dig everyday to keep all those digging muscles working'.
That's it, no rocket science involved in this process, just repetition of stuff once you know what to repeat.
So all this is to say, don't worry about having a "mediocre skill level "
The most important thing is - TO START NOW, in this moment, don't wait ...ten years from now, if we've trained you well ( which we do ) you will be reaching for another level in your work, even though you have 10 years of drawing under your belt...the key is to always reach higher, BUT NOT at the expense of your self esteem...ie 'if I keep telling myself I'm no good, I'll keep reaching'.
We don't want that, because that's damaging to yourself....you see where I'm going with this.
Better to say 'I love to draw, and I love it so much I always like to dig deeper, go farther',and skip the damaging personal self judgments and comparisons of your skills to those of other artists.
That kind of negative energy actually throws a wet blanket on all that good energy you have that drives you to grow and learn...you are in effect undermining your confidence in yourself.
Focus on your deep love, your passion for the art....,good things come of this.
So, drop the ' I'm mediocre , I'm not good enough mindset' and concentrate on your desire and passion to grow in your work....as far as I've been able to deduce so far, we only get 'one kick at the can' in this current manifestation we call life, so do yourself a favour.
Honour yourself, trust yourself, respect yourself and build yourself up...this is your life, and you ain't getting another like this one, so go for it!
.....basically, you are ready to study with us, simply because you really want to - that's the prerequisite - the passion!
There, I've spoken to you like I would speak to one of my own students.....please forgive the familiarity.
As far as taking the Workshop, or art fundamentals or whatever...the beginning of this thread has plenty of input on that topic from students.
Art fundamentals courses are great for introducing people to general areas in all the idioms of visual art.
The Workshop is fantastic for people who are trying to concentrate on really building observational drawing skills, and also on making a portfolio to get into animation schools.
If you decide to join the Workshop, you will be most welcome.
If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to mail me.
Here is another portfolio that was made with us during the 2013 Workshop.
This one landed former APW student Mandela Smith into the Sheridan animation program for 2014.
Follow this link:
Mandela Smith Sheridan Animation Portfolio
and take a look at a selection of some great work.
I took APW's program couple years ago and I can say, It helps your improvement especially If you are a beginner but also, I have to say some bad things about the program. Well to be honest , I was actually disappointed about APW...
-First of all, It is a totally over priced program for what they are offering there.
-They give the course in an old church and church can be really noisy some weekends because of religious ceremonies.
-Another thing, you even have to carry the easels every class from downstairs to upstairs by yourself which I found it really ridiculous because they should do these kind of things... They make thousands of dollars and can't afford to buy decent materials.
-Also, Some instructors and teachers talk too much about nonsense things and they waste from the class time, well when you pay that much of money , you want to get 100% performance and I think, It is fair to expect that.
-Breathing exercises were totally waste of time.
-Another annoying thing, some teachers and instructors were late most of the time.
Thanks for your post.
Glad to hear that you feel the Workshop helps students improve their drawing practice, I have to agree with you.
Sorry to hear you were disappointed with certain things about the Workshop.
I'd have to say, I disagree with your assessment of the Workshop as being overpriced for the content and especially the quality of the program that a paying student receives.
The 38 week program of six hour classes works out to $120.00 per day, and I think that for the ratio of students to Teachers/ T.A's / T.A's in training per class hour, and the attention that students get with regard to learning how to draw and putting together their final individual portfolios, it's really quite good value for the money spent.
This year we had myself, and Vince Peets my Co Director, as well as 3 teachers, two T.A's and two T.A's in training all personally assisting with the selection and construction of the final portfolios for every student in the class...I think we dealt with about 30 students in total...so all in all, I'd have to say that compared with the constructive attention I got as a student in the post secondary schools I went to, and the attention students got in the various post secondary schools I taught in, the Workshop has a really high batting average for the tuition we charge...lots of attention to students and a really focussed curriculum that's helped a lot of people get where they want to in the past 14 years of doing this..
When you say the APW course is overpriced for what we offer, I'm just curious to know exactly what program you're comparing the Workshop program to that has a better value for the money?
We actually don't offer our classes in 'an old church ', we rent most of the attendant building that belongs to St. Mathews United Church in Toronto.
We use a variety of rooms to accommodate our students, a gym, other large well lit rooms that can hold up to 50 people at a time, although we only accept half that number in a class.
I know other people rent space in this complex as well....and yup, they are noisy at times, no doubt about it.
So far, we haven't had any problems having ' decent materials ', the easels all work fine and the drawing horses are standard issue, like all the other ones I've used as an art student, or the same as what my students used when I taught them over the years at Sheridan etc, so other than that, we don't have any other materials really.
We do have the T.A.'s in training setting up the rooms and commandeering putting all the equipment back in the storage room.
For the most part, over all the years we've been doing this our students have always helped out, grabbing a horse and a board out of the storage area
and setting up their spot in class....sorry you didn't like doing that.
I'm also really curious to know what kind of ' nonsense things ' the instructors are talking about that you feel we were wasting your time with.
I have to say I definitely disagree with respect to breathing exercises as being ' totally a waste of time ' in regards to drawing practice.
I have found it to be the diametrical opposite - that any kind of relaxation exercises designed to slow a person down, calm them and sharpen their overall focus to be quite beneficial in terms of optimizing their overall drawing performance, especially when working on drawing exercises where one has to focus on and depict the action, weight and balance inherent in the human body....and oh yes, those exercises come in quite handy when one is freaking out over getting the portfolio finished up at 4am lol.
I'm really sorry to hear you had some unpleasant experiences with us.
Thanks for posting, I appreciate the input.
Last edited by Gerard Sternik; March 24th, 2014 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Spelling
...update on availability for spots in the 2014 Spring Session that starts in 5 weeks.
As of this morning there are 4 spots available, so if you're looking to do this, I would make haste.
We accept on a first come first serve basis.
To give you an idea of how fast things can go, 4 spots got filled yesterday, and as people get the results back from the various schools they have applied to, the pace at which classes fill up increases exponentially.
.....we will be posting current portfolios from the most recent 2014 Workshop group for your viewing pleasure.
Lindsey Rosenow, a student from the most recent group, posted a nice blurb on our blog page about her experiences with us, which you can read the full version of by going to the 2014 Portfolio Review Page
Here's an excerpt from Lindsey's comment:
"The portfolio workshop is hands down the best drawing class I’ve taken thus far, and I’ve been through a few. I enjoyed it so much I actually enrolled twice – once in the 2010-11 year, and again in the 2013-14 year.
There are many art classes and programs that advertise ‘you’ll learn how to draw’ and then spend their classes handing out assignments and critiquing student work without ever teaching students how to best approach the assignment in the first place. That’s where APW stands apart. They *teach* you how to draw...."
As I said, you'll get a chance to view the portfolio that Lindsey used to land her a spot in the Seneca Animation Program, her first choice for post secondary animation training.
The 2014 / 2015 Spring Session is full and enrolment is now closed for the session starting May 3rd.
We have opened up a waiting list to run a second section that will start towards the end of May to accommodate the group of students who were unable to get into the session with the May 3rd start date.....
Please visit our Website for details
Here is a link to the portfolio of Vlad Mokhov, a recent APW grad.
Vlad was accepted into Sheridan and Seneca with this portfolio, and chose to go to Sheridan
Vlad Mokhov Animation Portfolio
The additional Spring Session that we have opened to accommodate the students who could not get into the regular Spring 2014 / 2015 Session is now half full.
Follow this link for info about the New 2014 Spring Session that starts up on Saturday May 24 2014, should you require it.
As I promised in one of the posts previous to this one, you can follow this link to view the animation portfolio of one of our recent grads - Lindsey Rosenow:
Lindsey Rosenow Animation Portfolio
Lindsey decide to attend Seneca College to complete their Animation Program starting in the Fall of 2014.
Enjoy perusing her portfolio.
Just a note to let you know that the upcoming Fall 2014 / 2015 session is starting at a later date this year, contrary to the info previously posted on our website.
This year's fall session will kick off on September 20th, 2014.
See you there.
In answer to the questions we've been receiving via our website and through users of Concept Art in regards to the upcoming Fall Session of the Workshop...the answer is YES, there are still spots available for the upcoming Fall session......
Go to this link:
ANIMATION PORTFOLIO WORKSHOP
to get more detailed information.
I'll keep you posted with updates.