Will an education at Gnomon be worth it?

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  1. #1
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    Will an education at Gnomon be worth it?

    So I recently graduated from University.. the school did not have a proper 3D program, so I did my best to construct a program and ended up graduating with a BS.

    However, I think that decision was a terrible one as I don't feel like I am prepared for the 3D industry at all, nor do I even have a proper demo reel.. my class list was all over the place and very unorganized. I guess the only benefit I feel is the extra factor of being able to write that I have a BS. I went to this University because I had the silly belief at the time that a 4 year degree was mandatory for finding a job..

    After doing more research I have decided that Gnomon would be a great opportunity for me to build my skills and develop a proper demo reel, while being a rich artistic environment filled with a bunch of connections into the industry. I am prepared to work as hard as ever if I am to attend this school, but I am having a hard time deciding as I have already made a poor decision once, and it is also my parents who would be help funding me.

    A big part about this is that they don't believe that going to Gnomon will help me find a job in the industry, but they still support my decision financially. That being said, it's not really easy for me to take their money and go for it when they don't believe in the cause.. I guess it's making me doubt the cause myself.

    All the research I have done tells me that Gnomon is well worth the time and all their instructors are highly qualified, but at the same time it is hard to make a decision my folks don't support.

    Another possibility is to go to a cheaper school, but basically anything that get score me a degree my parents don't support.. and I feel like working super hard in a reputable school increases my chance of successfully finding a better job than going to just any school. I guess I have confidence issues, go figure. I know the sticky says that you can get cheaper educations, but is there really no extra knowledge or value in paying more for a reputable school and going for it?

    I guess I'm at a crossroads and I don't know where to go from here! If anyone please shine some light on this situation I would greatly appreciate it.

    Last edited by Pngwyn; May 9th, 2012 at 01:36 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pngwyn View Post
    After doing more research I have decided that Gnomon would be a great opportunity for me to build my skills and develop a proper demo reel, while being a rich artistic environment filled with a bunch of connections into the industry. I am prepared to work as hard as ever if I am to attend this school, but I am having a hard time deciding as I have already made a poor decision once, and it is also my parents who would be help funding me.

    A big part about this is that they don't believe that going to Gnomon will help me find a job in the industry, but they still support my decision financially. That being said, it's not really easy for me to take their money and go for it when they don't believe in the cause.. I guess it's making me doubt the cause myself.

    All the research I have done tells me that Gnomon is well worth the time and all their instructors are highly qualified, but at the same time it is hard to make a decision my folks don't support.
    Whether Gnomon will be worth it is up to you isn't it?

    I would think Gnomon would be one of the best places to go for a focused education in entertainment production or concepting. They certainly have industry leaders as far as DVDs go...don't know about the actual school though. Connections and friendships developed at a top school are definitely a plus. Might look into Red Engine Studios as well...or TAD.

    The question I would have is how did you get through any program without developing a solid reel? I guess I could see a situation where a bunch of classes that don't really apply might just get in your way...IDK, I'm not big on excuses though.

    You may want to consider a degree in Industrial Design from a top school like Art Center. A bit more applicable in a wider variety of fields yet still very useful in entertainment. Parents might be more supportive of that.

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  4. #3
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    Thanks for the response.

    My schooling was just really messy.. I was really into graphics design classes at the local technical college, and I had found a way to attend the classes even though I was still in middle school. I really loved it, but my father eventually talked me into becoming a programmer for Microsoft like himself. I originally transferred into the Univ with a bunch of Computer Science credits via a High School program called Running Start, but ultimately decided I did not want do that for the rest of my life and much preferred a more creative artistic career. Funny how a running start can be a setback.. I feel like I was just too young to know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life at the time.. but I don't want to make excuses, some bad decisions were made of my own.

    Unfortunately even though I made this decision, the school did not have an actual program for what I was looking for, so I ended up going through an Individualized Studies program. It was legitimate in that you could earn a BS or BFA depending on your credits and have it officially notarized by the dean and what-not.. but the program's curriculum was based on what little I could scrounge up of useful classes, and a bunch of pre-existing credits. At this point, I was just trying to get out with a degree ASAP, as I was learning a ton of random things that I had no idea how to apply in cohesion, and most of the art classes were more artsy discussions than technical skill improvement.

    I think my parents are supportive of anything that will help me successfully land a job in the industry. Whether they are supportive of what I do now seems a bit less controversial so long as it's a step in the right direction. I guess I was just hoping for some confirmation as to whether or not it is before I make the dive.

    Industrial Design sounds interesting, though I'm not 100% clear what it entails after Wiki-ing. The thing is, I don't want to settle on something just so my parents are happy with the decision.. I would love to get into entertainment/commercial production and if Gnomon could help me accomplish those goals, I'm sure that my parents will ultimately support my decision.

    Last edited by Pngwyn; May 9th, 2012 at 03:09 AM.
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    You should take the opportunity to go. I got a BS in game design. The school taught us a little bit of everything (design, modeling, art, animation programming). Just enough to get our feet wet you know. They don't focus on just one thing. Anyway I graduated a year ago and I don't feel that I am ready for the industry. I as well see Gnomon as my salvation. I am currently going to SVA to take traditional art classes so I can prepare a portfolio so I can be accepted at Gnomon. I would love to become a 3D modeler. In my opinion all of those demo reels coming out from Gnomon are from students who are well rounded in both traditional and digital art. Like I mentioned, take the opportunity to go. Gnomon is a great school. But be sure you are ready for it. I think the people who do well there have a traditional art background. I could be wrong. Just prepare yourself and do some life drawing.

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    I totally agree with you, traditional art background definitely helps, and I do have a background, but I'm not completely sure how in-depth the knowledge has to be for them to accept you. I hope I can get in!

    Most of my latest drawings have been action poses and basic sketches since I have been doing more animating and less drawing.. I need take out the sketchpad again! I just really hope going to Gnomon is a good option, and not just marketing.

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    Your parents are willing to pay for your art school? Twice? Geeeeez, lucky ducky.

    I would make your choice based on their financial situation. If you are middle class or lower and they are approaching retirement or have other financial worries looming, it's a little selfish of you to expect them to pay for all it. If they are well off and it honestly won't hurt their quality of life, then take advantage of your luck.

    I would research less expensive options first, or consider part time work to help pay for some of it yourself (frankly, you'll have to get a part time job on the side anyway to pay for your life expenses since you aren't ready to go pro yet, right?)

    Last edited by PuppyKitten; May 9th, 2012 at 08:37 PM.
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  9. #7
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    I already feel extremely lucky, though I wouldn't consider it art school twice. The University I went to is relatively cheaper than most art schools, and I ended up with a BS not BFA.

    I definitely plan on working part time if I go down, and ideally I would want to find an internship at some point too, I think. The great thing is that California seems to be the place to be when looking for those types of jobs. I am already looking for ways to pay some of it off myself, and probably could even put 10-20k down myself by the end of schooling.

    I guess my family is a little better than middle class, but not to the point where 50-100k is chump change. It's still relatively expensive and it would change quality of life in that there would be less spending money, but in terms of getting by and living a normally, there shouldn't be any issues... I guess all these aspects are why it's not an easy decision for me.

    I'm also wondering if most jobs in the industry recognize Gnomon as a reputable school? My father doesn't believe that co-workers at Microsoft in the gaming/animation department would know of Gnomon.. but I think I disagree.....

    Do you guys have recommendations to other reputable schools I should check out? I kind of tunnel-visioned on Gnomon because of all the intriguing info on their website, and just having known of their reputation.

    Last edited by Pngwyn; May 12th, 2012 at 08:21 AM.
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    Hi hey hello, I currently go to gnomon full time.

    I'm just going to summarize as fast as possible: I had a BFA beforehand with a large handful of debt, still decided to make Gnomon happen. Expect to pay more than the tuition, LA is a very expensive place to live. I don't want to sound like an advertisement, but all I'm going to say is that I'm so so so so so glad I didn't choose to go to any of my backup schools. I just don't have any complaints besides the debt. Be prepared to work more than you've ever worked in your life. But you'll learn so much so fast, and meet so many people of all parts of the field all the time. If you have specific questions about the program and whatnot from a student's perspective, send a pm. Otherwise, good luck to you!

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  12. #9
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    Thanks for the responses. I have also read some people saying that Gnomon is better for people already in the industry for touching up their skills? Is that true, if so for what reason?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pngwyn View Post
    My father doesn't believe that co-workers at Microsoft in the gaming/animation department would know of Gnomon.. but I think I disagree.....
    Of course they do. Have him search the Corporate MS Outlook Address Book by title for "Artist" and find a few people. He can arrange a "Hello. My kid is into what you are doing and would like some advice about schools and careers. Could I bring him by to chat with you for a few minutes some time?" Chances are it will be easy to find a few people.

    Do you guys have recommendations to other reputable schools I should check out? I kind of tunnel-visioned on Gnomon because of all the intriguing info on their website, and just having known of their reputation.
    Check out DigiPen. They are in Redmond and offer undergrad and graduate programs. (Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with them in any way but a few friends have gone there and a few have taught there.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mischief! View Post
    but all I'm going to say is that I'm so so so so so glad I didn't choose to go to any of my backup schools. I just don't have any complaints besides the debt.
    This is so true. Go for the best school you want. Don't worry too much about the money. The cost for an education should hopefully be an investment to increase your well-being (financial, emotional, etc.). You are taking out a reasonable loan on yourself and your future earning potential, not taking out a second mortgage to blow $100k at a casino.

    Be prepared to work more than you've ever worked in your life. But you'll learn so much so fast, and meet so many people of all parts of the field all the time.
    These are the best parts of school. Learning, being driven by yourself and the program, and being with and learning from others. Don't ever be intimidated about going to a school that you think is out of your league (in terms of what you can get out of it, not necessarily the name recognition). It will lift you up higher than you can imagine. You don't want to be in a situation where you are better than the program or everyone else. Students learn more from their peers than people realize, and nothing sucks more than instructors who can only say, "That's great! I got nothing. Next?" or "How did you do that?"

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