I noticed many of the people who post here attended Ringling School of Art in Florida. I'm thinking of going back to school for illustration (only 23 mind you). I'd really like to find a school that will not only help my drawing but also really emphasize/incorportate the computer as well. I'd like to stay in state, and Ringling seems like the best place down here. Anyone who's attended Ringling have any advise?
I'd welcome out of state suggestions as well. All you Art Center students are doing some killer stuff!
By the way I love the site. I found it yesterday and I'm continually amazed with every click. Thanks!
i'm attending ringling as a computer animation student, but i have several friends who are in illustration, graphic design, and fine arts. basically, because this school is ungodly expensive, the only reason to come here would be the CA department (its more difficult to get into, but they get first dibs on the cash flow and thus have superior equipment/faculty/etc...); the illustration department is good, but i dont think it is as good as what you'll end up paying for. i had a friend who spent their core year here(freshman year that all majors go through unless you have some serious transfer credits) but ended up going to art center in cali. as far as the illustration department goes...or for any other major i guess, is that you'll get out of it what you put in; if you're hard worker and go as far as to sit in on as many upper level classes as you can manage, then you'll come out a badass...whatever. the only thing about the ringling illustration department is that it is kind of...the 'default' major; as in, incoming students that dont know what they want to do when they grow up (astronaut, fireman) all end up in illustration, which means you'll probably end up in a bunch of classes with (believe it or not) people that cant draw and furthermore dont have any interest in drawing. dont get me wrong, there are some extremely good illustration students here, along with a very skilled faculty, but percentage-wise its mostly a bunch of losers. i work out with one of the illustration teachers (shawn barber; http://www.sdbarber.com/ ) and he is one of the hardest working people i have ever met in my life, and is also one of the most talented. but he is one of a few, and if they keep over-filling the illustration classes with gigantic incoming freshman, well, its only going to get harder for the faculty to actually help the students, and its going to water down even further the good student:worthless student ratio. if you have to come to ringling, you might as well be CA since it is seriously the only major worth a damn here (dont even get me STARTED on the graphic design or fine arts losers...which unfortunately make up about 90% of my friends. they love when i dog gic). so, be CA, and if you have extra time (which you wont but we can pretend) sit in or take some upper level illustration classes.
hope this helps, and maybe i'll get some hate posts from some gic losers (keep tracing those fonts, you crazy bastards)
just kidding guys (not really, they are losers, but i kid because i love)
gosh...the above post is interesting...hahaha...considering I went to ringling and studied illustration there...Puddnhead was one of the FINE ART LOSERS you mention....SD Barber was in illustration with me....James zhang was in Illustration...Jim Moore of Factor Five Games studied with us at ringling in the Illustration dept....andrew jones went to ringling(i include him even though he was a Comp Anim major because he sat in the illustration classes and does illustration for a living)...the list is long...i have friends at disney..many game companies...funnybone...you name it...there are just as many successful people that have come out of RSAD in recent years as art center.
THIS SITE YOU ENJOY WOULD NOT EXIST IF IT WERE NOT FOR RINGLING SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN BEING A GREAT PLACE TO MAKE CONNECTIONS...and i would not be a concept artist had I not met who i met there....james zhang turned me on to concept art when he got his job at lucas...i was studying traditional fine art and planned to be an oil painter.
art center is twice as expensive as ringling once you figure in cost of living. you can still get a burger and fries in sarasota for five or six bucks (not mikky Dees)...that same burger and fries in Pasadena will run you closer to thirteen bucks. I had a 2500 square foot four bedroom house with a big backyard...pool...two car garage..etc..in sarasota for 1300 bones. In Pasasdena that house would run you about 3000-4000 a month to rent...considering i could see the bay from my yard you might as well add on another thousand if you lived in so cal. (the same 1300 in so cal got me a six hundred sq foot one bedrm apt)
Sarasota is a town that supports the art students with work on the job boards. I did not have to have a real job all the way thru my ringling time. I did murals..book illustration...fine art...painted furniture...you name it...i found art related work on a FREELANCE level all local to Sarasota. in Pasadena you would be competing with the professionals for those same little jobs and odds are you would get very few of them.
the annual tuition at art center is more expensive as well...as are supplies in so cal..as is car insurance (you can get by without a car at ringling and housing is walking distance away...in pasadena the school is on top of a mountain surrounded by the smoggiest air you have seen. there is no affordable housing for miles.
Museums are close to BOTH schools mentioned...the ringling musuem has some world class paintings and sculptures...same goes for the norton simon museum in pasadena. you can learn from the masters at either school.
as far as the CA dept there at ringling being the god of gods...I have found that the percentage of people working right out of school tends to be about the same for both departments. of the thirty or whatever graduates in the CA dept each year only about five are worth looking at (if that)....same goes for the CA dept at any school.
I have recieved portfolios from ringling CA people for the past few years applying for game modelling..animation...texture positions...do you know how many had portfolios who were ready to work in games? NOT MANY.
do you know how many modellers in the animation dept at ringling there knew their anatomy...ONE-Andrew Jones.
do you know how many had decent enuff color skills to do a texture position? none...same goes for lighting.
how bout animation...there were a couple...though there were better available on the professional market.
I was forced to hire most our people outside of rsad as i could not find people from the CA dept who met my needs on a 3d level...and that includes a recruting trip there two years ago with Justin Sweet back when i was at interplay. we hired andrew jones to draw and paint even though he was a 3d guy at the time (he is now the only north american concept artist for NINTENDO) and Chris Amaral (illustration) who eventually went on to sculpt toys for Todd Macfarlane.
PS...you will have to be self motivated there....same goes for EVERY art school out there. I have been handling hiring for more than a couple projects in the games industry. I am not getting portfolios from any one art school that are better than each other. For every Kchen or Feng at art center there is a Puddnhead or Android at Ringling.
if you live in florida then go to ringling...its cheap to live there..you have people to help you....and you will get the connection to the employers...of which ringling is second to none. (in all my hiring and recruiting i have found ringlings career services dept to be the best by far...and that includes art center whose career dept was a PIA to deal with)
good luck...if i had it to do over again i would not change a thing.
however...Art Center and the schools in the big cities have a lot of great things going...none of what i say takes away from them...you can find quality in all of them...but all have the downsides too.
and finally...in defense of the graphic design dept...brian mah went to ringling and now does film credits. puddnhead got his job at the film studio he works with due to Brians connections and his own hard work and skills he learned via his studies at ringling and the connections he made at ringling. Last I heard they were doing the credits to Daredevil and I saw one of puddnheads matte paintings from the upcoming treasure island. They were doing some stuff for the hulk as well.
i totally agree some extremely good stuff has come out of the illustration department in the past, as i'm sure more will in the future. my main point is that, speaking in percentages, i know a lot of people in illustration (i'm talking the majority) who either cant draw or dont have any interest in trying. it may have been different when you came here, but i am thouroughly amazed by the inconsistency of student work in that department...speaking just from CA, most of the kiddos in this major have an incredible work ethic and know what they're doing and where they'd like to go. and most of the CA people i know can draw better than...lets say 88% of the illustration majors. i have nothing but the utmost respect for those people you mentioned and others that you didnt. the only reason i know about this site is FROM shawn barber himself (sorry to drop his name...AGAIN, i'm probably making a fool out of myself).
my gic loser girlfriend is over and i have to go eat before i die but in closing, yes, california cost of living is nutx (which is why i'm not at calArt) but evan didnt go to art center because all the rap songs are about cali, its because art center has a better illustration department (there i said it). now AGAIN, before i get yelled at, you're only going to be as good as you put in, so in reality you can go study painting at your friendly neighborhood community college and bust your ass and you will be incredible blah blah blah. you may not have as good networking (excellent point that i hadnt thought of earlier, ringling has very deep and far reaching probes) but hey if you're that damn good somebody will see it unless you bury your stuff in the backyard
time to go, thanks, sorry if i pissed anybody off (except those gic folks)
art center does not have a better illustration dept...did you take classes at both schools in both depts? do you hire people from those schools? I didnt think so. I personally know faculty and students at and from both schools. Neither has a big advantage over the other.
the CA dept at ringling is a small microcosm of what is actually going on...how many animators at ringling have work that looks as good as the guys who work at ILM or pixar?
There are faculty members from both schools who contribute regularily on this site. There are people that have made huge success from both schools.
on another note....the depts at ringling have rivalrys to a certain degree which is where i think the confusion comes from.
when i went there my illustration friends would bag on the fine art dept...yet puddnhead was in fine art and sd barber sat in with that crowd...while we were painting advertising and editorial illustrations puddnhead was making life size figure paintings of whatever the hell he wanted...granted he did catch flack from the people making glitter footballs and rocks covered with rice and such in their attempts to find new ways of expression...he still maintained his ground and stuck it out.
the fine art crowd would bag on the illustration crowd...and back and forth thru all depts. but the closer we all got to graduating the more we learned from each other and the more we depended on each other....my photo friends helped shoot my portfolio...I helped them with value composition...my fine art friends helped me with my personal work...etc..etc..the rivalry eventually disappeared.
you will find incredible talent in all areas of the art schools programs. Ringling is a decent place to study both CA and traditional medias.
how hard you study is up to you.
Im going to be coming to ringling to look at 3d portfolios in feb. I will most likely have quite a few positions available. Andrew Jones and I will also be there to do a workshop with FEWS. We are going to be looking at portfolios and will be doing some serious grilling.
mr pavlovich...i can see the hands in the drawings on your website...you should pay less attention to how the illustrators are drawing and more attention to what you are drawing.
btw..pav...your comment about "the only reason i know about this site is because of sd barber" was funny....my response is that you should be lucky to have such good teachers...after all SD Barber is in the Illustration Dept. He just exposed you to a professional group that you would not have found as soon without his help. you should thank him.
Ive been looking at portfolios for four years now from many different art schools. In all honesty I do hope that your class of 3d people are as strong as you suggest. I will be hiring soon and would love nothing more than to hire people from ringling.
well said, i'm sorry if i knocked illustration a little hard (although that wasnt my intention...so much). as far as the rivalry goes, you're absolutely right, and this being my sophomore year here (i have an associates degree thats not worth much but it was a good start) its probably a little more pronounced than it should be. if i wasnt doing CA i would be in illustration, but thats about as far as i'm going to go with that. i wish i had time (or had the balls to make time, i guess) to attend fews more often, my figure work has gone downhill since i've started actually getting into the CA workload. so i'm an ass, illustration rocks, but i will never have a kind word to say about gic
but seriously, thank you, i get your points, and i'm looking forward to seeing you once you get here, hope i didnt piss anybody (you or whoever) off too much, i've been working 50 hours a week at a shitty job all christmas break and its starting to wear on me. nobodys fault but my own i s'pose but money has to be made (it may not be cali but it still aint cheap)
Thanks for the information. It was certainly more than I was expecting. This site's memebers seem especially good at encouraging other artists and giving honest but constructive crits. I'll be posting some of my work soon. I look forward to hearing from you all.
Ringling sounds just like what I'm looking for (competitive enviornment, quality work, good job placement...etc). I've met a few graduates from there over the years at life drawing classes and have always been impressed with their work. Art Center sounds great as well. I've seen the beautiful work that comes out of there. But if the two are on similar ground I'll choose the first for location and cost of living.
Personally I see validity in all the artistic directions mentioned, although I'm partial to 2d illustration and fine art myself. Seems ridiculous that people take the time to merit arguing over the worthiness of one art form to another. But I suppose that's what people end up doing when they get bored.
Thanks Pavlovich, J. Manley for your advise. I'll keep it in mind when deciding.:chug:
art school is gravy compared to the professional world.
its a lot of fun too...great people..lots of students doing inspiring stuff.
the deadlines in art school are silly compared to the deadlines you will face as a pro. the CA dept at ringling gets at least half of their senior year to do a short animation. In the pro environment they might get three weeks for the same thing and it would have to be better than that.
the illustrators get two weeks for a painting...sometimes a week. During the conceptual art pipeline at troika I was doing 8-12 paintings a WEEK.
Puddnhead will tell you the same thing...same with mr jones...art school is a party compared to what is expected of you on a professional level. enjoy it people..it only lasts a few years...and then its on to the fat checks and car payments!