Graphic Design or Illustration?

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  1. #1
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    Graphic Design or Illustration?

    Hi,
    After years of working in a clerical role that requires no creativity or visual skills, I want to do something else.

    I'm torn between becoming a Free-lance Illustrator and going to Algonquin College for Graphic Design. I love to draw but worry about having enough work and I heard that the Graphic Design program is changing into a Web Design type of course. I expect computers to be a heavy part of it of course, but it would be nice to still have some "old fashioned" creativity in there too.

    Has anyone here done either?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luna08 View Post
    Hi,
    After years of working in a clerical role that requires no creativity or visual skills, I want to do something else.

    I'm torn between becoming a Free-lance Illustrator and going to Algonquin College for Graphic Design. I love to draw but worry about having enough work and I heard that the Graphic Design program is changing into a Web Design type of course. I expect computers to be a heavy part of it of course, but it would be nice to still have some "old fashioned" creativity in there too.

    Has anyone here done either?

    Thanks
    Either way you're going to have to put in the hard work and build up a portfolio. Regardless if you want to go into illustration (freelance or otherwise) or design, what proof do you have to show someone that you're remotely relevant? It's all about a portfolio demonstrating to someone willing to hire you for your skills.

    As far as graphic design being more web based- that just might not be the curriculum for you. Realize that a computer is just a tool. To me, it's no different than a brush, pencil or hammer- it's what you do with it that makes it uniquely you. Now if you mean "old fashioned" creativity is more traditional media (gouache, acrylic, oils, charcoal, etc.) then I still don't see how you couldn't incorporate a digital aspect into it. Who's to say you couldn't draw something with pencil, scan it into a computer, manipulate it digitally and output it as finished art? I really don't see the hierarchy or the snobbery towards computers here- it's almost like people who use oil paints thinking they're better than people who paint with acrylic. It's just a different medium.

    And real creativity isn't limited by medium either.

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    I've been a graphic/web/multimedia designer for about 11 years now. I started with illustration throughout my youth/childhood and high school but figured there was no money in it.

    How wrong I was (think: concept design, matte painting and then developing your skills for visual effects and the like).

    Now I'm going back to illustration and painting. I can tell you that if you hone your illustration skills, you'll make for an amazing graphic designer. But not the other way round. And if you get good at illustration, in the now digital (+ internet) age, the possibilities are ENDLESS.

    Soon I'm going to start a school that teaches high school kids how to choose their path in the art/creative/digital world and offer tuition in the various fields.

    Hope this helped!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Storyboard Dave View Post
    Either way you're going to have to put in the hard work and build up a portfolio. Regardless if you want to go into illustration (freelance or otherwise) or design, what proof do you have to show someone that you're remotely relevant? It's all about a portfolio demonstrating to someone willing to hire you for your skills.

    As far as graphic design being more web based- that just might not be the curriculum for you. Realize that a computer is just a tool. To me, it's no different than a brush, pencil or hammer- it's what you do with it that makes it uniquely you. Now if you mean "old fashioned" creativity is more traditional media (gouache, acrylic, oils, charcoal, etc.) then I still don't see how you couldn't incorporate a digital aspect into it. Who's to say you couldn't draw something with pencil, scan it into a computer, manipulate it digitally and output it as finished art? I really don't see the hierarchy or the snobbery towards computers here- it's almost like people who use oil paints thinking they're better than people who paint with acrylic. It's just a different medium.

    And real creativity isn't limited by medium either.
    Woah there! I never said that I didn't like computers, they are obviously very important in this day and age. No "snobbery" here! I just prefer spending some amount of time drawing things out with pencil and paper.

    I've been in communication with a woman in the Graphic Design program and am mainly paraphrasing what she said: The Graphic Design program has been changed drastically; it is focused less on print and more on interactive (web). Some courses like Illustration are no longer offered.

    I just want to make sure that I'll be happier in GD than in my current admin role.

    You are right about needing to work hard to build my portfolio though. I'm working on it.

    Last edited by Luna08; June 27th, 2011 at 10:51 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stayinwonderland View Post
    I've been a graphic/web/multimedia designer for about 11 years now. I started with illustration throughout my youth/childhood and high school but figured there was no money in it.

    How wrong I was (think: concept design, matte painting and then developing your skills for visual effects and the like).

    Now I'm going back to illustration and painting. I can tell you that if you hone your illustration skills, you'll make for an amazing graphic designer. But not the other way round. And if you get good at illustration, in the now digital (+ internet) age, the possibilities are ENDLESS.

    Soon I'm going to start a school that teaches high school kids how to choose their path in the art/creative/digital world and offer tuition in the various fields.

    Hope this helped!
    That's great! Best of luck creating your school! I wish more places had that type of mentorship!

    I'm going to keep working on Illustration. I'm still not sure about taking a three year Graphic Design program, but it sounds like if I do, my illustration experience would still count as an asset, despite the changes in the program.

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    Hey there, I'm in a similar predicament to yours. With most of the graphic design programs I looked at, the first year acts as a fundamental year where you get to explore the basics. This includes some kind of drawing, painting, and probably some computer fundamentals. If you're really unsure about whether or not to study graphic design vs illustration, taking a year of fundamentals somewhere may really help with your decision.

    Any particular schools you have in mind?

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    As you like designing part then you should go for web designing and as it is your interest field and passion then you can give your best in your field. And as computer is not heavy part in recent days so with your interest in drawing or designing , mix this interest with computer and do same designing work on computer then you will not find it hard and you can build best career in graphic designing with new technology.

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