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Thread: Ringling College of Art and Design 2013 Hopefuls

  1. #91
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    Hey guys! I'm currently a senior in high school and Ringling CA hopeful for fall of 2013. I honestly wish I knew about Ringling before senior year, but alas.. Does anybody have an opinion on whether it would be best to apply earlier( like mid-December), or wait until January so I can pad my portfolio some more?

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  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tappietu View Post
    Hey guys! I'm currently a senior in high school and Ringling CA hopeful for fall of 2013. I honestly wish I knew about Ringling before senior year, but alas.. Does anybody have an opinion on whether it would be best to apply earlier( like mid-December), or wait until January so I can pad my portfolio some more?
    Make sure you have all of your application pieces filled out. Get your letters of recommendation, write your essays, fill out your fafsa; do all of that ASAP. get all of your ducks in a row. As you finish pieces photograph them and have them organized ready to be uploaded into Slideroom. touch them up o Photoshop, add any final details, and if you are fully happy, put them into your slideroom. just don't hit send just yet.
    I'd say get as much done as possible as soon as possible. That way all you have to worry about IS you portfolio. I'm not sure if it would benefit you to apply early or not, so I would say if you need the extra time push it until the start of January. pushing until deadline would be cutting it close, and it would build a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

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  4. #93
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    @ tappietu: Sending your portfolio in early doesn't really help. But like tmg said, get everything else ready and done ASAP and make sure you have EVERYTHING. Send everything that isn't your portfolio in as quickly as you can and ask to make sure they have everything. After the deadline passes, they don't accept applications for CA anymore for that year. They wait until after the deadline to come together, look at all the applicants and decide who's in and who's out and let us know in March, so I'd just wait until just before the deadline to send your portfolio in or until you are completely happy with what you're sending in. Don't throw in filler pieces just for the hell of it if you're running short on time, it might hurt you more than if you start now and take the time to make some serious pieces that probably will end up in your portfolio.

    @ praemium: no worries! Work hard and I hope everything turns out great!

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  6. #94
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    Since i am gonna re-activitate my application, still do i have to write essay and get updated letters of recommendations?

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  7. #95
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    Nope! All you need to send is transcript and updated portfolio.

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  8. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by themegagod View Post
    I wish I knew about this school back when I was a junior in high school. Lucky you seriously.
    I'll tell you what, if all goes according to plan, I'll get in, and then once you are ready to apply next year, I can come back to the hopefuls thread of that year, and tell you how Freshman year is fleshing out!
    I started doing some hardcore research freshman year, and thought about SCAD for a bit. Now I'm pretty set on Ringling, and hopefully will be going to their pre-college experience this summer!

    That would be awesome, thank you very much!

    Also, @temcampy and @tappietu I can't wait to see your guys' portfolios! I will hopefully be here to cheer you on; junior year is the worst year of high school.

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    Holy moses. There are a lot of folk for the CA program!

    I'm also vying for a 2013 CA spot That is what I'm aiming for anyway, but I would happily take illustration if that fills up. Also applying for a few other art schools.

    How far along is everyone in the application process? I'm still working on my application, but I'm hoping to get that up and sent off this weekend so I can focus on my portfolio.

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    Hi guys,

    I new on here, I just made an account so I can post on this thread. I am also interesting in applying for Ringling CA program this year. And I know it's very tough to get into CA of Ringling, but does anyone know how how many CA students they accept this year? I heard about 80 got accepted last year. Also does anyone knows how many students apply for CA last year? Since only 80 will get accepted, this is a very low chance.

    Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by escaphilia View Post
    Holy moses. There are a lot of folk for the CA program!

    I'm also vying for a 2013 CA spot That is what I'm aiming for anyway, but I would happily take illustration if that fills up. Also applying for a few other art schools.

    How far along is everyone in the application process? I'm still working on my application, but I'm hoping to get that up and sent off this weekend so I can focus on my portfolio.
    Well, if those are your true feelings, you may be in luck! Very often those who cannot fit into CA are given a chance to get into illustration. I was offered a seat in illustration after GAD filled up. I applied last year, so I have to reactivate everything. I'm thinking of calling them tomorrow (Monday) and getting everything activated. That way all I need to worry about is the portfolio. I honestly knocked all of the application work out in a week last year, you you should be able to get it out no problem if you really try. I was rushing because I procrastinated.

    Fudge this AWESOME place!!!

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    Heyo, I thought I'd pop in and say hello since I'm now a highschool senior working on my portfolio. I'm applying to Ringling solely for Illustration and, uh, appear to be alone in this as of now?? Anyway, I don't have any portfolio or recent sketchbook stuff up to talk about, so I'm just going to wish everyone luck!

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    I'm also working towards applying for the CA program. In all honestly, I'm beginning to get extremely nervous about it...I consider Ringling my top choice, but i'm afraid that the quality of my portfolio won't match up to those who are also applying. My grades are fine, and my essay is good, but I'm not sure that'll help much. I'm going to a national portfolio day this coming Sunday, so i'm hoping to get some advice there, but I have a feeling my nerves will be on edge until I find out if I've been accepted or not. I haven't seen many examples of current portfolio's to have a general idea of where my own work stands, only really the examples on Ringling's website, which are very advanced. I'm probably worrying too much, but I really want to get in.

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  14. #102
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    Yeah, that's what I was told If a portfolio wasn't strong enough for CA but strong enough for the school then Ringling gives them other choices. Just finished my application, sooooooooooo all I need is my letters of recommendation. Hopefully I can get those sent to the school this week.

    Do we get a confirmation when our applications have been received and whatnot?

    Cynx, I know what you mean! Even thinking of the wait of hearing if I've been accepted or not gives me a headrush.

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    I think about 200-400 people apply to CA and only about 80 get accepted, including transfers. I think you do get an email if they have all of your application, otherwise I think they email you and remind you? I've had other schools email me about missing stuff, but since Ringling was my no. 1 choice, I had everything done as soon as I could. I know what you mean, when you ask for portfolios of accepted ringling portfolios, they always send you to the general accepted portfolio thread, which doesn't help much XD honestly, waiting for your application to be processed isn't that bad until two weeks before. you really forget until march hits. and then the week of is the worst. its horrible. i would scour other portfolios of everyone who had posted theirs and read what others strongly stressed to put in your portfolio (after i had already sent in mineee ugh) and just compare and be like UGHHHHH I DIDNT PUT FIGURE DRAWINGS AT ALLLLLL OHMYGODDDDDD and knowing you weren't going to be accepted because of mistakes like those just sucks :Y

    but i got it this year <: i will be crying tears of joy this year~

    we got a little over two months left now, CA applicants!

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  16. #104
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    Well, hopefully we'll make those two months count
    All I know, is I'm determined to get into Ringling, even if it means that I need to apply to a different major. Do you think if I'm not accepted to CA they'd let me go into Motion Design? I recall you saying something about them recommending majors if you don't get in to CA? (That is, given my portfolio is good but not "good enough" for CA). I think that would be my second choice. That or Graphic and Interactive Communications.

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  17. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cnyx View Post
    Well, hopefully we'll make those two months count
    All I know, is I'm determined to get into Ringling, even if it means that I need to apply to a different major. Do you think if I'm not accepted to CA they'd let me go into Motion Design? I recall you saying something about them recommending majors if you don't get in to CA? (That is, given my portfolio is good but not "good enough" for CA). I think that would be my second choice. That or Graphic and Interactive Communications.
    Of course I'm not positive about this, but from what I have understood, they often ADVISE motion design for those who cannot get into CA, since it deals with motion also. I believe that the other majors, besides GAD and CA are pretty easy to get into, and for that reason often times the students who apply to but cannot get into (for whatever reason) either are given the opportunity to go into any other program that still has open seats. I may be misunderstanding information I have heard or read, yet what I gather is if you are not accepted into CA, very often you can still get into their courses with more open admission, depending on the applicant numbers of the given year.
    I hope that helped.

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  19. #106
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    Hey Guys. I'm Elizabeth McMahill. I just graduated from Ringling this May. I used to be very active on these boards, and even on Animated Buzz back when I was in high school. These days I don't come by here too much or keep current on things...

    BUT

    If anyone has any questions feel free to shoot them my way!

    Seriously, any questions about applying to, life at, and life after Ringling. I can actually hit the whole spectrum now that I've been through the program myself and seen so many others go through it. You can even ask for portfolio critique if you want. I am not an official representative of Ringling in any way but the Concept Art and Animated Buzz forums (namely the lovely people on them) helped me so much when I was applying myself. In fact, one of the students on these boards was a big reason behind my eventual decision to attend Ringling. The least I can do it offer my experiences and honest perspective to you guys now that I'm in that position five years later.

    You can email me at lizzybeth_dot_net@yahoo.com (yeah, shut up, I got this address back in 2000 or earlier )
    That's my internet address and I get a lot of spam there, so put RINGLING in caps in the subject or something to be sure I catch it.

    A little background...

    I applied to CalArts and Ringling in 2007 straight from high school. I got scholarships to both. You can see the online remains of my portfolios here.
    I attended Ringling from 2008-2012 for Computer Animation. I was very fortunate to be able to take a lot of extra classes too and took several courses in Fine Arts/Printmaking, Digital Film, Illustration, and even a class in Motion Design as well. I know the CA and GAD majors are represented to a much greater degree on these forums, so if anyone has questions about any of the other majors I'll answer them as best I can.
    I was into a bunch of stuff there. I went to F.E.W.s and Portrait Night for a bit, helped start stop motion club and saw it fade away as we all got too busy, worked in the mailroom, was named trustee scholar for my department/class, volunteered as a student ambassador, and worked every national portfolio day and accepted students day while I was there.
    I've been responsible for making my education happen and handled all the financial aid/loan paperwork myself.
    I'm currently working outside of the animation industry for the time being - but by choice, don't let that color your opinion of the school, it's a personal deal - and I've been doing some freelance as well. Last summer, I interned at JibJab (which was fantastic) and have heard from my good friends who have worked at places like Pixar, Disney, Moonbot, Sony, and more.
    As for work, here's my thesis film (I was part of a three person team) and my personal demo reel. I've got a blog too but it's a whole hodge-podge of things, a little a-typical to be honest. I've got some fantastic friends linked on the side though, definitely recommend link crawling through there if you want to see some great work. Most are CAs but it runs the gamut in terms of majors and includes people who graduated last year through to current juniors.

    Keep calm and keep pushing yourselves. It's a crazy and exciting time for you guys (: Good luck!

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  21. #107
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    Thanks anomalexie! I was thinking they might send a confirmation but wasn't sure =D

    Thanks for the insight Lizzybeth! I may have to hit you up for a portfolio review when it comes time =D That's just awesome of you! Also, that film was one of the pieces they showed for the Ringling's info session down in Houston It was my favorite of the three that they showed and the audience loooooved the "pie baking scene"/when Pete was reminded of his own daughter! So, you guys did a great job!

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  22. #108
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    Thanks escaphilia! After working on the film for so long it's hard to look at it anymore but it's always great to hear that people do actually enjoy it :P.

    themegagod sent me a question and suggested I post my response back on here so other people can read it too. That's totally cool by me. His question was, "I was just wondering, If you could do it all over again, from going to ringling, to studying animation, to interning and so on- what would you do differently and why?"

    To be honest, I don't think I would do anything differently.

    I'm really happy with choosing Ringling, animation, and my current employment. I have conflicted feelings about aspects of all of it - but to be fair I'm usually pretty conflicted about everything, so whatever. I'm satisfied with the path I've chosen and where it has taken me. Here's why:

    On attending Ringling

    First off, I've met/worked with animators from several different schools. They've all been wonderful and have brought different sensibilities and skills to the table. Back in high school it was between Ringling and CalArts for me, it would still be those for me again. It was a very difficult decision for me and would undoubtedly be again as the two are both very strong but very different. Lots of things played in to that decision including money/travel (Ringling - FL is cheaper and I'm from there to start with), campus/student life (CalArts - everyone seems smitten with Ringling's campus, the professional polish of the animation floor was a big turn off for me though - but it's like that for a reason and everyone else seems to love it), student work/aesthetic (CalArts - I've just always dug on their stuff more in general, still do as a whole), Program intensity (CalArts was perceived as being more intense at the time but looking back and knowing more I think that goes to Ringling, but as my friend from Sheridan pointed out, everyone who makes a film participates in the "pain olympics"), Skills taught (very debatable, Ringling wins at 3D and mimicking studio setups), in field Job Placement (Ringling - it's awesome how many people from all levels and skill sets are employed, you could argue this for CalArts too of course, especially with the joke of why no one finishes their degree at CalArts - they get jobs).

    Attending Ringling was the most difficult thing I've ever done. It puts all that high school overachieving and advanced classes to absolute shame. I went through a lot of personal stuff there too. There's always so much work that needs to be done all the time, everything needs to get better, and you've got to keep pushing your skills beyond just class if you really want to be successful. Grading is tough, there are no excuses, there are no lates, and professionalism in work, attitude, and practice is paramount. Assignments and guidelines are strict, time is short, and it's hard to take creative risks or explore new ideas in your work when every assignment matters. There's this weird fine line of how far can you push your work aesthetically and/or technically without burying yourself too deep. All the while you're working directly with feedback from all sorts of sources that can conflict, doesn't always make sense, can make things better, can make things worse, and you've got to sort through it and apply it in the best way for your work. Also, learning maya and managing different styles of workflow is easier said than done. I was really frustrated at times with working in that system and also fighting the computer. It's a good thing though because it's like industry bootcamp. You learn everything through your work at Ringling, the tools, skills for the whole pipeline, fundamental ideas behind the moving picture and entertainment, where you can and want to go in the industry, and how to get along just fine once you make it out there. It prepares students really well and that's why so many of us are working. It's only four years though - you wont learn everything. The scope wont be very wide, there will be holes that you need to fill in yourself, areas that you will have to push yourself further in, and lots more to do and learn. It's like that with any school, and they really cram a lot into the four years at Ringling. I couldn't wait to get out of the school, because after that work is so much easier. You get nights and weekends to do whatever you want and can focus all your efforts on your work instead of having them torn across five different demanding projects.

    Sure school and I had our moments. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

    On studying Animation

    My problem is I like everything. I had a hard time deciding between illustration, animation, even computer science. In the future I'd like to get a degree or equivalent in math. As much as those analytic subjects interest me I had seen how I was able to work on images all day long and not really tire of it. I figured if I was going to be doing something 40 hours a week for the rest of my life it had better be something I liked that much, so I went the art path. A lot of people who get into animation do it because they really love Disney films, television, or games. I love all that stuff, don't get me wrong, but that's not why I chose to study this field and I guess I'm a bit of an odd duck in that way. I got into animation because I was interested in the medium and perceived it as a greater challenge. I had been pretty much self taught in my art, so I figured I could keep getting better at image making on my own. Animation was more of a mystery and greater challenge for me and built on that already present foundation of skills. I was also fascinated with acting through characters and storytelling and animation was the best outlet for those.

    Having studied animation is great. You learn the whole pipeline. You can go into just about any role at a big studio, small studio, or work independently. You can go into CG or push your way into 2D or stop motion, the ideas are all the same. What's more, you come out understanding narrative, rhythm, appeal, mood, working with an audience, film vernacular, and the aesthetics that go into entertainment - that is a broad skill base and people who are good with those are in high demand. From animation you also have the skill set to communicate ideas visually (and usually quickly) - a raw skill that will serve you well. In my work now, even though I'm not working directly in animation those last two sets I use constantly in my work. Those are things that extend into all the arts and any creative application or experience creation. They're also being intensely directly and abstractly applied in the process of creating a film.

    While other fields still interest me animation with it's versatility, demand, and the fundamental lessons it teaches, has served me well. I am glad that I studied it and would do so again.

    On working

    A lot of work goes into getting a job, and there's a lot of jobs out there to get. It can be tough to figure out what you want to do and where you want to work when you realize how much it out there. I learned early on that at a studio things are very specialized, you do just one thing like animation, texturing, or lighting. With me loving so much darn stuff that path wasn't too appealing. So I really set out in researching the smaller companies and studios where you could wear more hats, have more creative input, and be less of a cog. I also really like more experimental stuff and all that is funny, so my junior year I targeted JibJab as the #1 place I wanted to intern for the summer. I was having a rough time with interviews that year because my stuff was a little all over the place and not what most places want to see, but they liked it, I got an offer, and I dropped all other applications everywhere else and ran with it. I am so glad I did, it was an amazing experience, I got to meet a lot of wonderful people, work on lots of very different stuff, and learn all the while. What's more, it gave me some very different work that I wanted to do and set my portfolio apart in a way. It was different in that it had a lot of stuff that wasn't cg, but it was all kind of off the wall/funny and that ended up holding it together. People responded really well to it.

    Right now, through a bit of an odd turn, I'm working at a small place that does crazy creative engineering work for various installations or advertisements. All I did really for the past four years was animation/film and coming out of that I felt the need to get some perspective, get away from the computer for a while, and figure some stuff out personally. So when I got the opportunity for my current internship I took it and cancelled all other applications. It's been great. I'm seeing a very different side of the entertainment industry right now, where things are very independent and job to job. It's the way most of Hollywood operates. I've also had the opportunity to make some new connections I never would have expected, do pitch art for big name clients, and take on some freelance. It's fascinating to see the other models of earning a living in entertainment and realize first hand the value of having artistic skills. I don't know what I'll be doing a year from now, I may very well rejoin the animation ranks, but right now I am getting that perspective that I so needed.

    Again, with my career path, as with everything else, I wouldn't change a thing.

    Anyways, I hope that sheds some light on things. Five years takes you places you'd never expect :P

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  24. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzybeth View Post
    Thanks escaphilia! After working on the film for so long it's hard to look at it anymore but it's always great to hear that people do actually enjoy it .

    themegagod sent me a question and suggested I post my response back on here so other people can read it too. That's totally cool by me. His question was, "I was just wondering, If you could do it all over again, from going to ringling, to studying animation, to interning and so on- what would you do differently and why?"

    To be honest, I don't think I would do anything differently.
    That was better than any response I think I could have asked for! WOW.

    Thank you so much for taking the time for that, and I hope that others find it as helpful.
    I found it funny how you mention enjoying doing a bit of everything. That's a lot like what I'm thinking of. It what "turned me on" to going into GAD.
    I've been really worried because I DO want to do everything and I'm afraid of boxing myself in, but your response has just helped me in more ways than just preparing for school. LOL. You have just given me some solid life advice, and that is priceless.

    Fudge this AWESOME place!!!

    My SKETCHBOOK: please critique! i can take it!

    To limit one's maximum knowledge is to maximize one's limits.

    Sanity is wasted on the boring.
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  26. #110
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    Hello again! I thought I posted something a while back, but I don't think it got through. Anyway, still learning how to use this site, haha!

    @tmg, I'm excited to hear about freshman year when I'm on here again next year!

    Also, @lizzybeth, thank you for coming back! I remember reading some of your posts from earlier years, it's nice to see you again!

    Good luck to every one applying!

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    @Lizzybeth: I see that your portfolio is very colorful (great portfolio btw), would it hurt us if we don't have that much color? Most of my life drawings are b/w :I
    Also thank for you taking your time to write all that out How did you deal with the financial aspect of everything? I really want to go to Ringling, but I'm not even sure where to start going to for loans if I get accepted. I'm scared to get stuck in a really bad loan.

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  28. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by anomalexie View Post
    @Lizzybeth: I see that your portfolio is very colorful (great portfolio btw), would it hurt us if we don't have that much color? Most of my life drawings are b/w :I
    I know I don't know nearly as much as lizzy, but I was told at a portfolio day last year (or was it the pior year? IDK), when I showed them a painting done in coffee as an experiment, that it isn't a bad thing to experiment, but in the portfolio you send in, they would rather see the mediums you are strongest in. If you are really not comfortable with color, Don't add in too many color pieces, if any. Should you be practicing? I don't think there should even be a question in your mind that of course you should be; but, In your portfolio, I don't think they are as concerned with color or not, and are much more concerned with seeing your technical skill and ability to capture life, through gestures and figures.

    Now might a good color piece give you an edge?
    I think again, of course it would. If you can make a color piece that stands out, that "pops" and makes you stand out in a crowd as memorable, then absolutely you should do it; remember your portfolio needs to stand out as one of hundreds. If there are 100 seats and 400 applicants you only have a 25% chance of getting in- so imagine your portfolio is a job application for a job with equal hiring percentage. You want to put the best job experiences, things that make you jump ahead of the other hopeful applicants, yet, nothing like a job you only held for one week, or somewhere you got fired for being belligerent. Something good can make you stand out, but something mediocre can hurt A LOT more than help. With only 10-15 pieces you need to be able to showcase how much better you are than all of the others vying for seats. one bad piece could be all it takes to drop you out of the running.

    I think...

    Fudge this AWESOME place!!!

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    @tmg: that makes sense :I I just have a lot of charcoal pieces that aren't like RAINBOWY pieces. I played with color charcoal pastel sort of things and I have a few in those, but :I you're right. I need more color D: TO THE DRAWING BOARDS~

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    Hey guys, got another question from themegagod, "How saturated is the computer arts/ cartooning/ animation/ gaming world that most of us are looking into? You seem to say there are a lot of jobs, but do they seem as though they will last - With Ringling alone graduating hundreds students a year, who are all trying to find work, and not to mention the countless other schools- is there really that much work out there? "

    I'm really no expert on the state of the industry. I'll take a stab though and say that it's probably growing or at least staying about the same. You've got your feature houses like Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, BlueSky, Sony, Laika, and Cinderbiter. Just take a look at 20 years ago - who was making animated films? It was pretty much Disney with the others transitioning into effects or just starting out and a few smaller places releasing films sporadically. CG effects and post effect have exploded and doesn't look like it's going away. Commercials? Everywhere, and with a good deal of animation/CG. Games? Also exploded and growing even more since this past decade with the rise of the casual gamer, social games, web, and mobile. Television's also been around steady. There's Nickelodeon, Disney, and Cartoon Network, not to mention a myriad of other networks that show animated programing. And those are just the mainstream routes. People say the economy is so bad right now, but entertainment, at least in my eyes, has at least been holding pretty steady on average. Everything you see has been crafted and made and it was someone's job to do that. With our increasing visual culture I don't think that trend is going to change anytime soon. Yes studios close, but studios also open. Shows end and shows start. This industry isn't as stable as others, in that sense. There continues to be work - but sometimes you have to move around with it.

    Yes, there are a lot of potential jobs for people in this industry, and I think they will last. There are also definitely a lot of people going to schools to enter the industry. The Entertainment industry is notoriously competitive and continues to be so. You've got to be good at what you do to really make it. You've also got to find an appropriate job - and that's not easy. One of the great things about the industry and the growing platforms of web and mobile is that as this industry has expanded it has also diversified. There's a lot of places doing lots of different things, in different places, and in different styles. They all have different needs in what they're looking for, just as you will when you go on the job hunt. It's not just about being the best at what you do, a lot of it is finding a good match that hopefully meets your employer's goals and yours. Everyone wants to go work for Pixar, and because of that it's not easy to go work for Pixar - but there are a lot more opportunities out there for those who are willing to search them out. Back to the growing number of animation schools and students. A lot of for profit schools and private schools without solid programs have popped up to capitalize on the growing demand for artists and the growing desire of people to become artists, but they don't reach the caliber that Ringling does. There are also lots of other great art schools out there that offer animation programs, but a lot of them are more fine art based or experimental, they're not really geared toward industry practice like Ringling is. Ringling is so geared toward toward the industry and preparing you for it that it feels like a trade school at times and the rigidity of it all was particularly frustrating to me while I was there. But that is why I went there and that is why I would go there again. It does a fine job of preparing you to work in the real world. It's one thing when a school touts how many of their students are at big name places - those students where usually top students to begin with and would probably be successful no matter where they went. What has amazed me more is that students who aren't in the top still get jobs in the industry, right out of school. That's awesome. It speaks volumes about the caliber of the school and the skills acquired there. You may not be able to work anywhere right away, but you should be able to work somewhere if you search out the right place.

    Also, another note. Because of its caliber, Ringling's program is not easy to get through, it's a lot of work. If you slack off and don't meet the demands you will be out. If you struggle and just can't make it you'll probably fail that year. It's not uncommon for people to take an extra year to complete the program. There's usually a couple per class level that just don't quite make it and need to repeat a year or semester (I would guess 0-5%) - and that's OK. If you're not passed on it usually means you can't meet the current demands, would struggle even more the next time, and that you will benefit from having an extra year of practice to get better and catch up. This idea applies to the application process too. If you're not accepted you're probably just not ready yet and would struggle to meet the demands of the program. If you take that year until next round to really push your skills you will be that much more successful once you are actually in the program and benefit more from your time there.

    And from anomalexie, "@Lizzybeth: I see that your portfolio is very colorful (great portfolio btw), would it hurt us if we don't have that much color? Most of my life drawings are b/w :I
    Also thank for you taking your time to write all that out How did you deal with the financial aspect of everything? I really want to go to Ringling, but I'm not even sure where to start going to for loans if I get accepted. I'm scared to get stuck in a really bad loan."


    Portfolio

    Not at all! B&W rules! But seriously black and white or color is irrelevant. They want to see your raw drawing skills. Can you effectively communicate forms in space, convey life, etc. For this reason realistic/life based work that is observational in nature but emphasizes some of the gestural qualities will probably serve you best :U. But like seriously, don't worry about color. I learned freshman year that I didn't know anything at all about color and neither did most of my classmates. Good thing we were taking an observational color class :P. The reason why a lot of those pieces were in color was because I was on this kick for CalArts. My Ringling portfolio wasn't work that I made to get into Ringling, it was work I had made to get into CalArts, which is really where I wanted to go for a while. You've got to be at this whole different level to get in there (though this may be leveling out, I'm not too sure these days) and seeing all those guys' works scared me so much that I got into figure drawing, media switching, drawing faster, and critiquing my work hardcore. It was such an intense period that it fundamentally changed how I drew and thought about drawing. If anyone cares, that chapter still lives on thanks to the internet. But yeah, switching things up and using color and mediums like chalk pastels were more tools to push the way I thought about and interpreted the figure. This critique on someone else's work on there from '08 sums that method up pretty well, "fiddling with mediums is fine and dandy, but generally using different mediums is just a gate to start thinking about how you portray your subject, which changes by medium since they're all different. And it's this that I think you should really focus on. Your stuff is solid but pretty similar all around and doesn't have that personal expressive flair that calarts likes to see."

    Putting your portfolio together you just want to show the best work, nothing else. Only show the minimum amount required because you are only as good as your worst piece. Also, show your best work in regards to what the school wants to see. They don't care about change or range, they just want to see your relevant skills as they stand. It's the same idea when you get to job applications, only for that I would add that you want to include work that people respond to. Having technical skills is great and essential in getting a job, but showing unique work with impact that gets you noticed and remembered goes miles I think. Those guys aren't just looking for the technical best, they're looking to build a team. (But ditch that idea for college apps! Just show the good work! :P)

    Finances

    Money, debt, and wages are such touchy subjects to get down to details on. It's weird... I don't mind too much talking about them myself though and you guys should DEFINITELY be thinking about them. It's lame, but it's binding and it matters. Again, with this being such a weird subject for people to talk about with each other I'm only familiar with my own situation and can only really speak from that perspective.

    I was really fortunate to get the scholarships I did. That helped a lot. But if I was super worried about money I would have gone somewhere else. Still, between scholarships from the school, the state (since I stayed in FL), and some federal programs, about half of my cost of attendance was covered. The rest fell on me. I consider myself really really really fortunate to have that other half taken care of though. I had pretty good work and really good grades but my parents didn't make much and would not be able to contribute anything and I had no college savings at all. My mother was very financially conservative but my father had declared bankruptcy before they divorced. Thankfully the history on that had passed just enough years to where it no longer marred her credit and I was able to take out my loans with her as my cosigner, which she was very very very reluctant to do with such a large sum of money after going through all that financial stuff from my dad. I handled all the paperwork, crunched numbers, read through all the loan agreements, and since her name was going to be on it I made her sit through it too. She'd get really angry with me sometimes and be like, "Elizabeth, you had better get a job", to which I'd respond "Well that's why I'm studying here", and cross my fingers.

    I maxed out the federal loans all that I could (not the plus loans). The rest was private through Wachovia which became Wells Fargo. Wachovia's rates were pretty good at the time. I don't know how Wells Fargo stacks up, but I know my rates for them were even higher, despite the prime rate dropping several points, and I just plain hate banking with Wells Fargo >:V. Suntrust is probably a good alternative as are many other large banks. Research what you can on their rates. It's really hard though since you don't know what rate you'll get until you apply and repeatedly applying to loans will show and affect your credit report supposedly. Stupid system.

    Right now I hold about $90,000 in combined debt. And I think that's pretty alright. Like I said, I consider myself pretty fortunate in all of this. My payments are going to total about $1,000 a month when they start up this month. Yeah, that's a lot of money. So is a mortgage. I signed up for this and worked for the past four years to prepare myself to get a good job in a field I enjoy. I have no regrets on my debt and even though I may qualify for reduced payments or longer terms I have no plans to apply for them unless I absolutely cannot meet my obligations - which is not the current case. Wages in this industry are not insane, but they are pretty decent unless you're facing special circumstances or just plain being taken advantage of. Like I said, my parents don't make tons of money, but seeing that the entry level rates that I was looking at were on par with or more than what they were making was kind of a nice reality check. As stated earlier, I took this weird part-time/freelance path for the time being, which makes me less. Though I know things aren't going to be financially easy, I at least feel pretty confident that they are going to be OK.

    One thing that I can not stress enough: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you will be able to pay for all four years. Lots of people go to Ringling but a surprising amount don't come back because of money problems. I guess it's not all that surprising considering the high cost of a private art education, but it really sucks and shouldn't happen. Some people go to school on a savings that runs out and so they just stop. Some people take out loans for the first couple years and then can't get approved for any more so they stop. It sucks so bad to be in the hole $100k and not have a degree to show for it. Don't let that happen to you. Paying for Ringling is expensive and scary but it can be done. PLAN PLAN PLAN. Don't just go for a year or two and expect to be able to figure out the rest. Know what path you're going to take. Crunch your numbers and do your research to know that it's feasible. Keep in mind too that costs are on the rise - not just at Ringling but everywhere. While I was there tuition started out around 24k a year but has been rising about 1.5k a year and recently broke 30k. Looking back at CalArts tuition was 32k a year when I was applying. It just broke 40k. This is just tuition. I don't know why the tuition costs are rising everywhere at the rate they are - it's disproportionate to inflation and any other rises in fees or costs of living. Be aware of it though.

    Oh, and again with questions, it's best to email me or I might not ever see them :o

    Last edited by Lizzybeth; November 9th, 2012 at 04:21 PM.
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  32. #115
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    Hey, how's the process going every body? Nervous yet ( I sure AS HELL AM!)?

    Just wondering is there any good sites to find out more about taking out college loans, etc? just some straight unbiased information. I seem to keep finding information from one bank or another telling how their loans are the best, and I just want to find out more about the whole process: average interest rates, co-signers, payers, payees, average payments and so on. There's so much information needed, but it's hard to find it. That or you need to be a finance/ economics major to understand what you're reading!
    But I'd hate to do all of this work to get accepted, then find out that I can't afford it!

    so if anyone comes across any links to loans and finance information, that would be greatly appreciated.

    Fudge this AWESOME place!!!

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    I went to a national portfolio in Philadelphia today. I got there at 12:30 and waited in the line for Ringling until 3:00. It was insane! And then the representative only spent about 4 minutes on my portfolio :/ I understand, considering there were so many people, but still. I feel like I didn't get very much out of it. It was extremely rushed, but from what I was told, they don't want to see many studies, more so completely finished works. When it came to my figure studies, he told me not to include too much, one of my pieces was "too simple", one was "too stylized", and one was "too sketchy". Also, extremely exaggerated poses are preferred. He told me not to worry about including multiple medias if they're not as good as what you're comfortable with. For example, I included an oil painting, but he told me he wouldn't advise including it in my portfolio because it seemed that I was more comfortable using pencil. He said having a portfolio completely in pencil is fine. So all in all: the majority of your portfolio should be finished, fully rendered, background-included works of art in you strongest media. Thought you guys might want to hear about it if you can't all get to a review yourselves. I might post my portfolio sometime soon and try to get some more advice.

    “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness.”
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    Portfolio! http://dreamingcosmos.blogspot.com/2...cation-to.html
    Tumblr! (NOT necessarily art related, I warn you.) http://cnyx.tumblr.com/
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  35. #117
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    ive only made a few sketches. i maybe sweating this too much but ill give it my best shot.

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    Hey guys! Just wanted to jump into the conversation! I've been working on my portfolio, but I'm definitely nervous about my prospects, as I don't have a single figure drawing. Since I'm still in high school, and I'm taking a general drawing/painting class, I've gotten about 10 pieces over the past few months that I'm thinking about putting in. Problem is that none are figure drawings. I've got landscapes, portraits, still life, animals, hands, a skeleton...but no figures. If I had access to figures to draw, I'd be all over it, but there aren't any resources at my disposal. So would I be completely out of luck if I turned the portfolio in without any?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAndrews View Post
    Hey guys! Just wanted to jump into the conversation! I've been working on my portfolio, but I'm definitely nervous about my prospects, as I don't have a single figure drawing. Since I'm still in high school, and I'm taking a general drawing/painting class, I've gotten about 10 pieces over the past few months that I'm thinking about putting in. Problem is that none are figure drawings. I've got landscapes, portraits, still life, animals, hands, a skeleton...but no figures. If I had access to figures to draw, I'd be all over it, but there aren't any resources at my disposal. So would I be completely out of luck if I turned the portfolio in without any?
    I'm assuming that it would depend on what you are trying to major in, and I think in any case you aren't entirely out of the running.
    But advice I was given; unless you live alone, in an isolated world, there are always figure available. True, not all will be naked, but any person, who you can get to sit/stand still for about 10 minutes, is a figure. If you can get your mom, or sibling to spare an hour in good lighting all the better, but it's really not necessary.
    your figures don't have to be naked. In fact I've heard that a nude figure is actually a bit easier.
    so if you can knock out some really good dressed figures, it may be perfectly fine.

    Fudge this AWESOME place!!!

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    Hey everyone!
    I was just accepted into Ringling's Digital Film department, and wanted to check out how other applicants are doing! Good luck! Applying's a lot of work, but it's really worth getting that letter!

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