If I Don't Attend An Art School
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    Question If I Don't Attend An Art School

    I'm at the point where I need to choose a college but I'm totally torn on the art front. I'm not going to attend an art school since I also want to study CS, so I've been left wondering what sort of art education would be best for me. These are the two schools I'm choosing between, BUT general input on art education, degrees and concentrations would be very welcome. Essentially I am looking for helpful information other people may have found. OR if your an industry professional what sort of degree/program you would prefer to see/favor/find impressive on someones job application.

    NYU: Gallatin School of Individualized Study
    This school doesn't offer specific art courses (although it does have a few general ones on like game design and development) instead I would be taking a fews classes from the OpenArts program from NYU's Tisch college and then taking whatever Studio Art classes I can from NYU's Steinhardt college. The reason I applied for Gallatin is because there I can take classes from the other schools and thus take my CS classes from NYU's College of Arts and Sciences while taking the art classes I described above. The school doesn't offer specific majors, instead students just list a "concentration." I would be allowed to have a minor at this school.

    Boston University: Double Degree College of Fine Arts/College of Arts and Sciences
    The Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) is really impressive. They have a conservatory style program and they're an excellent art school within a major university. But, the college only offers majors in Sculpture, Painting, or Graphic Design. I wouldn't really get the chance to do a lot of digital work or any sort of 3D modeling or experience with a lot of programs. (The Graphic Design Major uses Photoshop but they work primarily with things like Branding or Poster Design, etc) So while I really like the school I don't know if it would give me the sort of experience, portfolio or learning I need to work in the industry.

    I really really want to work with video games. Concept Artist would be my DREAM JOB but I would be fine working with some other aspect of art or design within the gaming industry. I realize that's a really large umbrella of jobs and positions that each require a different sort of experience. But, in general, what sort of art education would be most beneficial if I'm looking to get good jobs right out of college?

    Sorry for spamming with information and being overly specific but general advice about what to focus on during art school or as I approach my career is also welcome and I think other students have similar questions on what to study or look for in arts programs so I hope any answers I get could be helpful to others (even though I've listed two very specific schools and programs)

    Okay, whew, that was a lot but I'm totally torn between art schools and stuff.

    Last edited by Goblingirl; April 16th, 2012 at 05:18 PM.
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    Arshes Nei is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Most jobs want to see a good portfolio more than a degree when it comes to art. That doesn't mean that a degree isn't a worthy goal but there have been people with a degree in art from for profit colleges with mediocre portfolios, and there have been people who have dropped out but built spectacular portfolios where they got a job.

    I'd also check out the sticky thread in this forum btw

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    I've never heard of anything of any note coming out of NYU's fine arts department. Paying NYU prices for art credits seems like a total waste to me.
    If BU's art department really impresses you, lack of digital experience shouldn't be an issue. If you can really paint, you can paint digitally.


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    The way I see it, if you also want to study CS (computer science I'm assuming) you're going to have a really difficult time balancing CS studies with studies in game design or any sort of digital industry-centered art field. I'm getting ready to go into animation myself, but I have plenty of friends who have already been through all the hoops years ago and are working in jobs like this in California. If you're getting a degree in game design/animation/modeling/etc. you really won't have time to study anything else, let alone have a social life. They are all incredibly intensive degrees that will require 100% of your time and focus.

    The way the economy is now, the only "art" jobs you're going to possibly get directly after college would be digital art geared toward business/advertising. This includes graphic design, web design and mobile game/app design/development...especially the last job there's a HUGE demand for. Research jobs and pretend you're about to apply for them; go on Monster.com or any other job websites (or even a game/animation studio's website) and check all of the career openings, see how many openings there are for what you want to major in...that should give you a pretty good idea of what's out there.

    Read the job descriptions. Many want 5+ years of experience in the industry, and with plenty of amazing animators/game designers/concept artists still alive today who have worked on huge movie and game franchises like Star Wars or something, they're naturally going to be top choice since they're already well-known and have proven their worth. The thing with these majors is that you have to be just as good or better than the talents already out there. When people say art careers are competitive, they're not kidding. You can make it, but you gotta work hard and sell yourself.

    Whether you're in concept art or game design or animation, you have to be prepared to be kept for the contracts duration (a few years in most situations) and then let go to make room for other talent. Isn't always the case, especially if you show a lot of promise and a ton of talent, but when you're starting out after college and aren't well-known, it'll happen. So it's essential to have a backup job that you can make decent money with for periods when your contract is up (assuming you don't have another job already lined up)...which then brings in the question "should I study CS which is in demand and will make me a stable living, or art which is mostly freelance and contract-based, but something I really love?"

    The reality of art careers isn't always pretty, but if you really feel like it's the only thing you're passionate about you gotta go for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reddles View Post
    The way I see it, if you also want to study CS (computer science I'm assuming) you're going to have a really difficult time balancing CS studies with studies in game design or any sort of digital industry-centered art field. I'm getting ready to go into animation myself, but I have plenty of friends who have already been through all the hoops years ago and are working in jobs like this in California. If you're getting a degree in game design/animation/modeling/etc. you really won't have time to study anything else, let alone have a social life. They are all incredibly intensive degrees that will require 100% of your time and focus.

    The way the economy is now, the only "art" jobs you're going to possibly get directly after college would be digital art geared toward business/advertising. This includes graphic design, web design and mobile game/app design/development...especially the last job there's a HUGE demand for. Research jobs and pretend you're about to apply for them; go on Monster.com or any other job websites (or even a game/animation studio's website) and check all of the career openings, see how many openings there are for what you want to major in...that should give you a pretty good idea of what's out there.

    Read the job descriptions. Many want 5+ years of experience in the industry, and with plenty of amazing animators/game designers/concept artists still alive today who have worked on huge movie and game franchises like Star Wars or something, they're naturally going to be top choice since they're already well-known and have proven their worth. The thing with these majors is that you have to be just as good or better than the talents already out there. When people say art careers are competitive, they're not kidding. You can make it, but you gotta work hard and sell yourself.

    Whether you're in concept art or game design or animation, you have to be prepared to be kept for the contracts duration (a few years in most situations) and then let go to make room for other talent. Isn't always the case, especially if you show a lot of promise and a ton of talent, but when you're starting out after college and aren't well-known, it'll happen. So it's essential to have a backup job that you can make decent money with for periods when your contract is up (assuming you don't have another job already lined up)...which then brings in the question "should I study CS which is in demand and will make me a stable living, or art which is mostly freelance and contract-based, but something I really love?"

    The reality of art careers isn't always pretty, but if you really feel like it's the only thing you're passionate about you gotta go for it.
    It's not necessarily a matter of getting a job in computer science or in art. There are a whole lot of jobs in the animation and games industries that require both an artistic eye and programming skills. Shader writing, look dev, tools development, particle effects, and so on. And while there are a lot of very talented, experienced artists and a lot of very talented, experienced coders, there are relatively few people good at both. If you can produce both art and code at a professional level (not easy to do, of course, as it's a tough balancing act) you'll have studios begging you to come work for them.

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