living in southern california. emphasis on living.

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  1. #1
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    living in southern california. emphasis on living.

    So I've lived in a quiet out of town country neighborhood all 21 years of my life, and have very rarely travelled to other cities. Money just hasnt permitted it. However this summer I visited San Diego (Encinitas actually) and checked out the Watts Atelier of the Arts.

    Now I've decided I'm going to attend the Atelier, but the tricky thing is, I have no real money right now, how the bleepin fark do I survive in the San Diego area where its so god awful expensive? Owning 4 squarefeet on a sidewalk for a box would probably cost more than having an apartment in my town.

    I do have someone I'll hopefully be living with who will be going to college in San Diego, so hopefully we'll find an apartment for around 800.. we might be able to cover that. However, how on earth do I go about paying for school? Watts is a business, so I cant really get federal aid or anything. The classes arent to expensive.. about $350-400 per 6 weeks for one class. But still, I cant pull the money from thin air, and working is a problem for me as I am somewhat disabled. Having a stable and understanding job is extremely difficult for me.

    So I'm hoping someone out there might have run into similar situations trying to find money for schooling and whatnot without being homeless.

    Any thoughts are very welcome..

    - loken
    jtriska @ mcleodusa.net
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  3. #2
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    JOb for living

    loan"s" for school

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  4. #3
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    cheers to that.


    i had to work all the way thru school. had shite jobs for half of it...eventually had enuff skillz to paint murals and do other menial art jobs (clouds on cielings in rich peeps homes). I had to find a way to paint and such during work...otherwise i was just wasting away.

    but...like i said...i had to do crappy jobs...sometimes two jobs..just to get thru...and that included a summer stint working the fishing docks in Alaska.

    its hard..but you got no choice.


    btw...no offense to watts...but there are better ateliers in minnesota. The Atelier run by Richard Lack's students are there...the bougie studio (very nice place to learn)..etc..etc...if all you want to do is learn to draw and dont care about a degree then either of these two places would be my first choice....also another first choice would be the atelier in seattle...guys like tony ryder and some other fantastic teacher/foundation representational artists teach there on a regular basis.

    if you are wanting an atelier style education then that is a good place to do it....watts is a great place too...however they are in the most expensive place in the country (my rent in so cal was 1300 for a six hundred sq foot one bdrom...though i did find a roomie situation when i first moved out for about 500) one bedrooms are more toward 1100 right now. I think you are crazy to do that when you can get the same education elsewhere for less money. if you already lived in so cal then watts would be great...but you are looking at 5-6 grand just to get setup there (apt finder fees...first and last...all deposits...moving truck...gas....then two weeks down minimum til you find work..yikes)

    i dunno....i really think there are more affordable options right now for you.

    in all honesty if i were you i would be patient if money is an issue. if you want to find exactly the same kind of training in a WARM place. the best teacher i EVER had (out of three art school programs) was a painter named jim garrison. Jim lives in Mesa Arizona and is the finest traditional teacher that i have come across. period. mesa is cheap...he teaches at the mesa community college. I spent THREE AND A HALF YEARS studying there with him. I wanted to go to art center badly...was very impatient...but what i found out after going to ringling and the illustration academy was that i actually got a more caring and intensive education with him. mesa comm coll is about a 100 bucks for a semester of class.

    when i finally transferred to ringling i expected it to have better teachers than him...after all he was at a CC and ringling was 16k a year or something. when i got to ringling it was the opposite of what i expected. i realized what kind of a teacher i had those three years...he was fantastic.

    the only advantage a big art school has over the program at MCC was their connection to the job environment. but it takes at least three years of ass busting to get ready for that market anyhow so you migt as well get your foundation somewhere cheaper.

    i went the expensive route after that...ended up with enuff loans to buy a house. I wouldnt suggest that route to anyone until they have worked out all they can at a more affordable place. after all...1500 bucks a class to draw a banana in a bowl is a waste of money to me. you can do figure drawing with the RIGHT teacher at a CC for one tenth the price. finding the right teacher is the hardest part. however i found one and found the place so that can help.


    i really dont think you are ready to do that so cal thing...nor do i think it will be worth your money for the first couple years.


    ive lived and worked there....the cost of living is unreal...and while there are a LOT of companies..museums...culture there..there is also a lot of distraction...and other things that come up that simply get you away from what is important right now...and that is drawing and painting as much as you can.

    working two jobs so you can afford to live in san diego while you go to art school is a WASTE of your time. you are better off being somewhere where you can work less and do a LOT more drawing and painting from life. simple as that.

    how are you going to have energy to do art after working two jobs??



    thats my two cents....good luck with whatever you do...but i wanted to present some other options before you jumped in to something that is a bit deep to swim around in.


    j

    ps..i know what you are going thru wanting to be an artist while living in duluth. i lived in duluth for a year back in hs and spent the rest in a little town near st could. excape is a good word for that.

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  5. #4
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    Jason, thankyou for your sage words.

    Surprising that you lived in Duluth. Haha. No one lives here. No one that wants to do anything anyways. :o

    Anyway, thanks for the perspective. Your right on a lot of those ends. I've only lightly looked at some of the Ateliers in Minnesota, but they all seem very formal and focused on fine art. I'm looking for something thats not so rigid, which is why Watts has appealed to me. However, I think your right on how rediculous of an idea it is to try and just move out there to study while having a job just to live. So I'll try looking into other avenues.

    - loken
    jtriska @ mcleodusa.net
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  6. #5
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    Im tellin ya...jim garrison in mesa arizona will teach you everything you need to know. he has been teaching art for 35 years or so and has it DOWN.

    i do what he taught me to do every single day.


    someday i will move back there to study with him again.


    jason

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  7. #6
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    San Diego

    The first rule of Diego club is -- you don't talk about Diego club.

    The second rule of Diego club is -- you don't talk about Diego club.

    The third rule of Diego club is -- when at a stop sign or leaving the driveway, low car insurance is over.

    Fourth rule is -- only 2+ bucks / gal for regular.

    Fifth rule -- must own at least one working car.

    Sixthrule -- no steady income, no place to stay.

    Seventh rule -- bad economy, grid lock, crowded areas, extremly high cost of living, lasts long as they have to.

    Eighth rule -- have substantial savings, and live cheaply.

    Nineth rule -- 1000 applicants for every single job opening, regardless of job type.

    Tenth rule -- for any lame activity, there are 10 other fun activities

    Eleventh rule -- you don't need a jacket, winter happens elsewhere

    And the twelveth and final rule -- if this is your first night
    at Diego club, you have to party.


    Other rules . . . living inland has cheaper places. Get roomies if you can.

    5th rule is key. Public transportation is the lamest. North County (like Del Mar) has LA style gridlock traffic.

    Also watch out as there are tons of fun stuff to do here. You could get sidetracked (ask the students who dropped out from SDSU out of my inital major class only 20% finished).

    Someone mentioned another Atelier school somewhere else . . . I'd go there. The cost of living is cheaper. That's what kills about SD, its so frickin expensive. Even Hawaii doesn't touch SD.

    $2.14 for gas?



    It's great living here. Other than that inflation is super high, and rent is up there.

    Jobs are tough: 1) double whammy bad economy + gray davis & crew messing up the cal state budget (which trickles down the city).

    2) you have excess numbers at all skill / education levels. From doctors to immigrant farm workers. All vying for positions you're going for.

    They opened a new Target store, and 3K people applied for 250 of the positions. 1 K of those ppl were very over qualified.

    I just finished a BS from SDSU in Info Tech. SD's the place where there's a coffee job awaiting every college grad! Nice degree. I just got laid off from fixing PC's with the City of SD because of the budget crises.

    And everywhere where I interview at there's 300+ more people with 6+ extra years of experience and certs up the wazoo, and willing to take a half pay cut to land the job.

    SD is all about image. It's a fricken tourist city. Self Dubbed America's Finest City, that decided to built an extra sports stadium instead of upgrading their library to the 21 st century (can you say borrow Photoshop 7 for 30 days???), using the treasury savings and tax payer dollars to keep a baseball team that made losing fashionable.

    Hey if you need any help, I can see what I can do like in terms of good places to live etc.

    There is some truth in your fiction and some fiction in your truth. To know the truth you must to risk everything
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  8. #7
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    Hoku,

    True, true.
    I'm really only here for the surf.

    ..and Jason, You back history never ceases to amaze me...you've been everywhere! I really wish we couldv'e worked together!

    Take Care

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  9. #8
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    Not to add rain to the parade...

    I live in SAn D. and I CANNOT wait to get me and the family outta here. It is the most OVER-rated city I have ever lived in and I've resided in a LOT of places... San Diego is by far my least favorite. The waeather, by the way, which is supposedly San Diego's claim to fame SUH-HUCKS... @ months outta 3 months out of the year it's a "little too cold" 2 months outta the years it's a "little to overcast" (June/July Gloom) and the other 7 months it is NO BREEZE and freakin hot. OCCASIONALLY it is perfect weather. BUt not enough to justify it's rep for year around comfort. Even the house builders buy into it with no AC. NO AC... And EVERY single time I've gone to the beach... they are crowded, dirty and the friggin waters COLD. Gulf SHores ALABAMA has kick ass beaches in comparison. If you're coming here because "it's San Diego"... DON'T.

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  10. #9
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    Good thing I changed idea when I had this dream of moving to California a few years ago. Ahh.. the refreshing naïveté !
    Now as for Arizona hmmm.. I need to get a move on. It's hard when you're afraid of drastic change.

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  11. #10
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    If you are looking for a change of environment, I could suggest Sarasota.. I live in Bradenton the town which is directly north of Sarasota (ringling is like 10 minutes away) and attend MCC the local communitiy college..

    I wanted to go to Ringling, but Ive decided for the $60,000 it will cost me to go there, I could get a great education for ALOT cheaper. One of my teachers at MCC is actually a teacher at Ringling (how funny is that, the same teacher for $750 less per credit hour)..

    I am happy with waht Ive learned at the CC and for about $150 a class you cant beat the price..

    Living here is relatively inexpensive too.. I had a friend who paid $500 a month for a 1 bedroom appt..

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  12. #11
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    :)

    too bad we all couldn't have parents or relatives with really OLD MONEY lying around....or maybe even parents of political and financial stature......easy peasy......silver spoon up my ass....no thanks....screw "the Man"/....
    3b.....

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