"alternate" career (not counting macdonalds cashier)

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  1. #1

    "alternate" career (not counting macdonalds cashier)

    I'm a 2nd year student at OCAD (Canada). I'm not really happy with the schooling environment, or rather, I don't feel comfortable with the idea of doing fine art as a business. Overtime I find myself more interested in fantasy art because I feel more in tuned to share those kinds of ideas. I don't want to give up drawing at all and am considering switching schools that match my needs.

    My parents thinks that if I can't even attempt to finish my degree I have no "face" to switch to another school and that art isn't within my personality. I feel really mixed because the idea of only doing art as a hobby when "I have time" in favor of 9 to 5 job is hard to swallow. I'm perfectly aware how long/hard it is to get an art-related job even after graduation.

    Am I naive (to the factor of a great number) or what?

    I'm just curious what others are doing after graduation regardless if they ever did what they might have intended as a freshman.

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  3. #2
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    But what do you want to switch to compared to where you are coming from?

    I mean, fantasy art requires the same art basics as drawing/painting fine art I guess?
    -So are you talking 3D or something?

    And how long do you have left?

    Fantasy art also includes very nice looking castles and sceneries that you'll need to master... Along with anatomy, even for the big ugly ogre and the gorgeous pegasus...

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  4. #3
    I'm planning to switch into animation/illustration and is interesting in concept art. I don't mind editorials or storybooks either.

    I have 2 years left in my program and it is not a program interested in technical skill because of the contemporary influence. I don't feel confident with my art at all and this is why I feel stressed. I picked this program before because this kind of work was fun during high school but...guess I'm not made for it. At least, the program.

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  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Wakakin View Post
    I'm planning to switch into animation/illustration and is interesting in concept art. I don't mind editorials or storybooks either.

    I have 2 years left in my program and it is not a program interested in technical skill because of the contemporary influence. I don't feel confident with my art at all and this is why I feel stressed. I picked this program before because this kind of work was fun during high school but...guess I'm not made for it. At least, the program.
    Sounds legit. An art education not interested in technical skill seems like a waste of time and money anyway.
    Sometimes the only way to find out if you are made for something is to try it out. Should not be too hard to communicate your wish of changing the program to your parents when you explain that you want to learn actual real skills and your current program does not focus on it.

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  6. #5
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    Sounds like a perfectly valid switch - basically you've tried fine art as your school teaches it, and discovered it's not really your thing, and started to realize that some type of commercial art program is closer to what you're interested in.

    People switch majors in school all the time, it's not naive and it's not a cop-out... A lot of the time students don't know what they're getting into when they choose a major, and discover after the fact that what they really want to do is better represented by a different major than the one they chose. (Schools really need some way to test-drive different majors before you decide, I swear...)

    Better to switch now than to waste time and money finishing a major you're no longer interested in.

    I also find it ironic that your parents object to switching from fine art to some kind of commercial art major, considering that you'd have a better chance at making a living through commercial art.

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  7. #6
    To answer your question about what people did after graduation, Almost all of the people I graduated with (Parsons Illustration '94) found themselves doing something art-related, but not illustration. After 10 years or so, a significant number found their way back to actual illustration, but the majority are still doing other things (some quite cool and creative, some maybe less so). These things include: Textile design, graphic design (print or web), stained glass, video game production, animation, writing, assisting an artist/photog/art dealer, teaching, furniture refinishing, tattooing, etc. I don't think ANYONE ended up doing exactly what they thought when they started the program, and actually I think that's quite natural. Some of them don't make much money, but I only know one who had to move back in with family long-term.

    Of the fine artists I knew in school (and kept some track of), two seem to be making a living from their art, the other two just do it in their spare time and have completely unrelated jobs. Obviously that sample size is statistically insignificant. (FWIW after the foundation year Parsons fine art program definitely pushes students away from academic skills into non-representational work, or at least it did at the time.)

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  8. #7
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    Switch into the Design program at OCAD, it looks like they have an illustration major and I hear OCAD isn't a terrible choice for art. You can still finish your degree in the same school and get more credit for what you've already done. Many of my friends switched departments in University. Heck, half the courses I took for my degree were taken while I was registered in a different department.

    Go see a course advisor in the department of Design and talk to them, they should tell you what to do in order to transfer.

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  9. #8
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    You shouldn't present this to your parents in terms of "I don't like it after all" it sounds finicky and childish, but in terms of:"this program has stricter requirements than the one I am in now, and the students learn more marketable skills." Marketable skills usually make an impression on parents.

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  10. #9
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    At the end of the day, this should be your decision anyway, not your parents' decision. It's your career.

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  11. #10
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    Just don't mention it to your parents at all. As long as your doing art they probably wont know the difference.

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  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by
    QueenGwenevere
    I also find it ironic that your parents object to switching from fine art to some kind of commercial art major, considering that you'd have a better chance at making a living through commercial art.
    My parent's argument was that I just don't want to draw a certain type of picture and therefore I don't love art as a whole. They also present the "oh when I was young I wanted to be a doctor but I never made the exams so I flexibly switched to something else and I need to support the family" argument. This is why I'm confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    OCAD isn't a terrible choice for art.
    Not at all. OCAD is not a bad school, more like it is just confused.

    The school is having a bit of difficulty balancing out and deciding how to organize teaching material because of College -> university switch. This means more people will come and not all of them have their basics all down in squares. The school places technical skill completely on their student's responsibility to learn "on their free time" but this is not always easy to balance. First year doesn't teach technical skill past a Betty Edwards book and any other courses focused on technical skill (like anatomy) are electives. This means limited seats, and even design students are competing for them. This is for the fine arts students. I hear from friends that the illustration teachers are more strict and willing to punish students with a combination of sadism and desire to improve students.

    And secondly, budget issue. Design students get more privileges than fine arts students (for example, free internet for "references", because silly fine arts students are beyond out-of-fashion representational art) because it's the bet on the commercial artists that are going to be making money, if the fact that they care to furnish the Design rooms/floor *nicely* is of any indication. They make up for this by updating students with fine art gallery show times to encourage interest.

    Ocad was a college and it functioned as a graduate thing before, rather than undergraduate.

    Last edited by Wakakin; May 9th, 2012 at 03:01 PM.
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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakakin View Post
    My parent's argument was that I just don't want to draw a certain type of picture and therefore I don't love art as a whole.
    That's silly. Nearly everybody specializes. Do they suggest that heart surgeons don't love medicine because they only work on the heart?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wakakin View Post
    I hear from friends that the illustration teachers are more strict and willing to punish students with a combination of sadism and desire to improve students.
    Then it sounds like Design is where you really ought to be. Switch over. If you don't like it, switch back.

    *** Sketchbook * Landscapes * Portfolio * Store***

    "There are two kinds of students: the self-taught and the hopeless."
    - Dr. Piotr Rudnicki
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