Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA - any info?
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Thread: Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA - any info?

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    Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA - any info?

    I've been having a hard time finding information about Cornish straight from people who have actually gone there. Does anybody here know anything about the school, particularly the fine arts majors?

    From what I can tell, if I decide to go to college in-state, Cornish is my best bet, because I certainly don't want to go to the Art Institute. I'm slightly hesitant because my interests lie mainly in illustration, and Cornish doesn't have an illustration major (from what I can tell, the best I could do would be to major in painting and print art).

    I'm just really hoping for some insight into whether it's a good school. I'm intending to go to a tour of Cornish and go to the National Portfolio Day event held there, but I'd like to hear from students. Any help is appreciated.

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    I myself don't go, but I live a few blocks from it and have a lot of friends that both currently attend and have graduated. Based on what I've seen and heard, I would be very careful/hesitant about enrolling. Nearly all my friends that have graduated from their fine arts and related programs have almost nothing good to say about Cornish in retrospect of finishing, and have expressed a great deal of disappointment in what they got versus what they paid (not so much with friends that have graduated their theater and video related programs, though). On top of that, very few of them actually have ended up working in an art related field after graduating, even now, several years since doing so.

    Furthermore, I'm not entirely sure about the specifics but I do know there has been some serious issues in regards to getting loans and this somehow being related to the schools accreditation, especially when it came down to trying to transfer away or get more money to finish in the last year or two of their program.

    As for the artwork that gets produced by the fine art students there: I've been super impressed, but again I hear about a lot of extra hoops they make you jump through to graduate (a good chunk of my friends have had to do stuff like take yoga classes taught at the school as an elective because there wasn't enough space in other more relevant elective classes, year after year). A lot of extra hoops that end up being incredibly pricey and totally unavoidable. Tuition for Cornish is pretty insane for what they put on the table.

    (also, this is more petty than anything, but brace yourself for a super stereotypical student body. It's joked about around the surrounding area that Cornish is where they keep all the art world cliches for storage)

    With all that said, I don't mean to dump on them. Year after year I am impressed with the technical quality of work being produced by the fine art students, it's just the culture of pretension and school politics that adds an unpleasant layer to it. Might I recommend also taking a look at Gage, on the north end of Capitol Hill? They don't offer a full on program like Cornish, but you could easily condense the relevant parts of their fine arts program into a few years and walk away with a very considerable amount of money saved.

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    Hey there, thanks so much for responding! That's the kind of verdict I was worried about, but was expecting. Cornish seems to be as good as it gets when it comes to art schools in Washington, but it's beginning to look like it simply wouldn't be worth it.

    I must say I'm rather fond of stereotypical art student types, so I don't think that would be too much of a problem. Haha.
    I've heard a lot about Gage and I've been considering the possibility of waiting a year before going to college and taking some classes there in the meantime.

    I did go to an art and design open house at Cornish and emerged with some doubts about the school. The staff were pleasant and I really like the area, but there seemed to be a bit of a focus on having freshmen dabble in numerous disciplines rather than focusing specifically on one art form. I certainly think that can be beneficial, but I feel I've already gotten enough of that, attending an art-based high school. I'd like my college experience to be more focused than what Cornish seemed to have been offering.
    Additionally, I hate to sound rude, but I found some of the student work I saw to be rather questionable...some pieces were great, only a few were stunning, but there were some so alarmingly mediocre, I just couldn't believe they had been produced by students at an art college. I didn't get to see a very large amount of work, so I shouldn't judge too harshly. I'd just like to have been more impressed with what I did see if my parents are potentially going to be paying an absurd sum of money for me to attend, y'know?

    Overall, Cornish does seem too expensive for what it is. I think I'm going to apply anyway, just in case going to college out of state doesn't work out - because, again, I'd hate to go to the Art Institute instead. Haha.

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    Appologies...

    Quote Originally Posted by foxes View Post
    I've been having a hard time finding information about Cornish straight from people who have actually gone there. Does anybody here know anything about the school, particularly the fine arts majors?

    From what I can tell, if I decide to go to college in-state, Cornish is my best bet, because I certainly don't want to go to the Art Institute. I'm slightly hesitant because my interests lie mainly in illustration, and Cornish doesn't have an illustration major (from what I can tell, the best I could do would be to major in painting and print art).

    I'm just really hoping for some insight into whether it's a good school. I'm intending to go to a tour of Cornish and go to the National Portfolio Day event held there, but I'd like to hear from students. Any help is appreciated.


    Hey there, This might be a bit late I dont know if you are still looking to go to art school or if you have already registered. But I figured if i could help at any point I should at least give my two cents. :-P

    So my wife went to Cornish the school itself is pretty nice, expensive, but nice. And the reputation that you get just for completing the school is obviously a benefit. With that being said, out of the 12 or so people who graduated with her that she has kept in contact with, None have been able to make money in their feild of choice. To be honest, its a hard gig to be an artist out in the world. For this folly I dont blame the school itself, and certainly not the lack of skill or commitment of the artists who graduated from there.

    Second point to bring up is AIS. I am a currently a student at The Art Institue of Seattle. To me the differences in these schools are really Apples and Oranges, they are both fruit but cleary quench different thirsts. I came to AIS because I wanted to create Game Art, Cornish didnt have anything comperable to what I wanted to do, and DigiPen, being a great school too check out as well, wanted me to put a few qtrs of Community College under my belt which I didnt really feel like paying for. So with the Art Institues, like any tech school, they have a pretty shitty rep. Which I for the longest of time bought heart and soul, and to be honest the rep isnt too far from the truth. But then again, they are a business, so when you go into the school, or any school for that matter, remember that their key purpose is to make money... Again the school itself. As for the teachers, they are there generally because they want to teach you how to become the person you want to be. Thats where you want to investigate, I know that both Cornish and AIS have teachers who currently work in the feild. Unlike Cornish AIS will attempt to help you find a job when you graduate, they have an entire department in the school whos job is to do so. Also, they treat you as tho you are already on the job, making art for a specific reason. IE to be put into a game engine, or animation or what ever the actual assignment is. Here is where i feel the main difference is, as Cornish is a Fine art school, as long as you kind of meet the requirements it didnt really seem like they had any real way of grading or judging your work. Granted in their defense art has got to be nearly impossible to judge or grade. I know I wouldnt want to do it.

    The end all thing that made me choose to go to AIS was a simple thing, Art isnt really something that can be taught. The process of how its done, or what path you take to get there. Or even helping someone to see "correctly" these things can be taught. But no one can sit you down and talk you into the artist you will one day become. That takes time, and hard work... To be honest, you dont even need to go to school to be an artist, in any feild. You really just need to sit down and do the work, over and over and over and over again, until you dont feel like you could possibly do the work again... and then do another 1000 drawings to make sure. Its all trial and error, every feild. So with this in mind I followed my art school check list.

    1.) Interviewed some of the teachers, asked em some questions, then looked em up online.
    2.) I tried not to let Reputation get in the way. Its a hard thing to do.
    3.) Research the school. Try to find out if there is a reason for the bad reputation or good reputation. Do their graduates find work after they get out. Is there even a campus to go to.
    4.) If it sounds too good to be true than it is. No school will make you an artist in three months.
    5.) Remember that you get out what you put in. This will change your life.

    Now I know these things aren't for every one, and if this sounds to be siding on AIS's side I didnt mean to do so. I figured you had some beef against it and to be honest I see no difference in Cornish or AIS, except one is commercial art and the other is fine art. Infact my department director graduated from Cornish as well as a few of my teachers.

    If you do decide to go to Cornish: A back ground in traditional art will help you immensely in the illistration world. Every thing you learn how to do traditionally will improve your digital work and give you a leg up on those who dont have that specific skill set.

    I hope this helped.

    I have respect for everyone who comes out of both those schools. Neither one is easy to graduate from.

    Other schools to look into around the area I have found for art work, mainly in the Game or Animation art feilds are:
    FuturePoly - Amazing, amazing, school. But more of a tech school... 3 month qtrs and only about a years worth of classes, but they know their shit.
    DigiPen - Another amazing school, hard to get into, even harder to graduate from, but is worth it.

    Theres also a school that just opened up beneath the Space Needle. I wish I could remember its name but it is a digital art school and I have heard amazing things about them as well. Again tho, reputations are spread by those who go to the school or have been asked to leave the school. Not always the most reliable.

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    Hey, thanks for the advice! Don't worry, you're not too late at all. I'm still early on in the application process.

    I apologize for the fact that I seem to be insulting the Art Institute. It's good to hear your experience there has been positive. My graphic design teacher, who is very talented and whom I very much admire, went to the Art Institute, so I guess it's probably not as bad as I think it is. The reputation still worries me nonetheless, and I'm not certain I'll apply there.

    Interesting that you point out fine art vs. commercial art - when it comes to a future career, I believe I'd like mine to be more in the realm of commercial art. Another attendee at the Cornish open house asked if Cornish provides the skills/guidance needed to work in the commercial art world, and the answer she received was pretty vague. Most of the people on the alumni panel were doing gallery work, if their careers involved art at all. Now that I'm thinking about it, Cornish isn't looking like the best path to take if I don't want to try to make a living out of fine art.

    I have an acquaintance who goes to DigiPen for animation. I'm glad you mention it, because I haven't really considered going there - mainly because I'm still a little torn between majoring in illustration and majoring in animation, so I want to go to a school that offers both.
    It does, however, look like DigiPen has fixed their website up significantly since I last saw it, and the program for Digital Art and Animation looks promising. I recall a DigiPen representative came to one of my classes during my freshman year and showed a very impressive student film. I think I may have to reconsider and apply there as well.

    Thanks again for your very informative reply!

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    I have spent years pondering what school in Wa to enroll in and Cornish just diddent seem to fit the bill mostly when looking at the classes they expected to take over a 4 year period.

    There are some others like digipen, International Academy of Design & Technology and in the end for now I went for Everett CC and their Digital Illustration program as it is the only one that is focused on that in paticular.

    Consider going out of state? Try the Douglas education center ( http://www.dec.edu/pages/programs.html ) the digital illustration and fantasy art programs are the ticket for me.

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