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I read Seedling's advice about getting the most out of your art education...
but what if I cannot exactly follow his advice as much as I hoped I would?
My situation is, I'm taking this course that has several disciplines which are all counted as a major. It has web design, photography, video production, 2D and 3D animation, computer aided visualization and design all tightly squeezed into one year divided into three terms, excluding the "fundamentals" they seem to teach which are color rendering, free hand drawing, technical drawing, art history subjects spread out into another year plus my first year for general education subjects.
So I pretty much think the school sucks. I can't argue my way out of a subject that I "need" to take, as dictated by the school AND the Commission on Higher Education (the governing body of both public and private higher education). Where I live, the art education is not as good as it is in places like...ACCD.
What should I do? I'm very unhappy. I feel like my time is being wasted in 50% unnecessary education in my course when I really should be studying art fundamentals that would get me a good place in the entertainment/games industry. I can't exactly move to another school because I'm in my third of four years, (where the majors JUST started, like I said, it's squeezed into one year) and my family is..financially unstable.
Seedling's original post here:
Hmm... A transfer would be ideal, but if that's not possible... Assuming you won't have a lot of time for side projects while you're in school, you might have to finish up what you're doing in school and get whatever you can out of it, and then take a year after that to "woodshed" it: that is, try cramming on fundamentals on your own after school; if you have any vacations or breaks, you could try using those to cram as well.
I don't suppose there are any small classes or workshops in your area where you could at least do some life drawing or other fundamentals? (Community Colleges are good places to look; and sometimes local galleries or artists have workshops.) If there are, that could help with self-teaching without getting too horribly expensive... At least an open life-drawing session, or something.
First off, can you suck some useful knowledge out this course? Just because you don't see how it immediately applies to what you want to do doesn't mean it's useless. Photography can get you reams and reams of reference photos and textures. CAD will serve you well if you have to design props and environments. Web design will help you with marketing and presenting your portfolio. Being a well-rounded artist won't hurt you.
If you can't get anything useful out of the course, can you pass it with minimum input from you? If you can, you can spend the time in the lectures doing life drawing. You're surrounded by students. Draw them. You don't need a person at the front of the class carefully explaining fundamentals to you, you CAN just look them up and work on them.
If you can't find anything useful in the course and you actually have to work to pass it and you can't transfer then there's not much to be done. Use your free time to learn all the stuff you're not learning in class and be glad you're at least getting some kind of art-related schooling rather than taking bullshit management courses.
I would try to manipulate the courses I wasn't interested in to cover the fundamentals I felt were lacking. Don't care for photography? Focus your assignments on learning about composition, focus, values, light. Not interested in web design? Design an aesthetically pleasing and functinal site that profiles artists you find inspiring, or work on your portfolio. With your individual assignments and projects, look for the wiggle room that allows you to be creative. Make a list of the fundamentals you won't cover, and try to apply a different one or two of them to every subject.
Also, I'm a big fan of taking courses that are outside of your interest area. You can find great inspiration from things outside of the core art world. I took a disease class once. When I design anything related to monsters or scary creatures, you can bet I'll fall back on all the parasites we covered. Some of that stuff will keep you up at night...
Yeah - excellent advice from dpaint, and others. Don't worry about it too much - work in what you can, do some on your own and just stick it out. Be glad you have access to that kind of tech as well. Hang in there!
Thanks, you guys. I'd love to transfer, but then I guess you made it really clear that it isn't the school that matters as much as what you learn on your own. But being taught personally by someone in the field is always where the most juice can be squeezed out from. I watch all the videos that I can find online, and am happy learning a lot from them. I try to keep my hands busy with drawing as much as I can to not remain mediocre.