Portfolio/Game Art Questions
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  1. #1
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    Portfolio/Game Art Questions

    I'm a junior in high school and I wanted to know when is a good time to start working on portfolio pieces? I draw and study everyday, but I have specific things planned to go into my college application portfolio and I want them to be as recent as possible to deadlines so they reflect my most recent skill level.

    I plan on applying to at least Ringling, Sheridan, and CalArts, and possibly DigiPen?

    Also another question. I ideally want to be a concept artist, but I'm also interested in the other aspects of game design. Would Ringling's GAD program or DigiPen BAGD be preferable? What other schools offer Game Art programs?

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    I've been accepted into Ringling's GAD program, starting this august, so I"ll help as best I can with what little I do know.

    The first year of GAD should be a foundation year, lots of art fundamentals. then you start with the more game oriented work from that year on.
    Ringling's GAD program is supposed to cover a lot of ground, but it stays primarily with art- if you are more interested in design and programing, there is very little focus on those areas in that program. It seems that many GADs of the past focused primarily on environmental art, level creation, texturing and lighting, yet following many of their blogs, and asking it seems that there is a good deal of character, game creation, concept art work, and some minor animation (but nothing compared to Ringling's CA program). I'm pretty sure that GAD eventually focuses in on working in a 3-d digital realm - Yet before this deters you, it is a newer program, and from what I understand, many students eventually sort of "gear" the program to fit their aspirations. I'm not sure how focused you can be on concept art, but it MAY be an option.

    In order to be a concept artist, don't rule out illustration programs either. I'm not sure what would best suit your needs, (only you would know that) so also find out if illustration programs show student work more as what you are looking for.

    With my portfolio, I sort of fell into a crunch time. After graduating high school, I was a bit lost, but when I finally figured it out, I sort of burnt myself out working a full time grave job and then working at least 3-5 hours a day on art over the course of about 6 months. Most days I slept about 4 hours...
    If I could do it again;

    My advice would be maintain. Do a bit of art everyday, whatever is most comfortable- but keep at it. Just work towards your goals everyday, from now on, and keep knocking out good studies when ever you can. Start taking figure drawing classes as soon as you can, and just keep doing it. sketch everything whenever you get the chance.
    In other words, start now.
    The truth is, a lot of what the school seems to want to see are studies and observational pieces so I'm not sure how bogged down you want to get on having concrete ideas for basically a concentration. I'm not sure if that is really what they are looking for in applicants' portfolios. And yes, as time goes on you will get better, but you may make a piece tomorrow worthy of being in your portfolio so don't be afraid to at least try to get started.
    Think of it this way, If you make a piece early, and you find you don't like it, you can just make another one as your skills get better of the same subject matter. It will be easier and quicker the second time around, and you would have learned a lot from your first attempt. If you begin your portfolio too late, you may miss dead lines, or have to rush in order to meet deadlines with no "tweek" or do over time.
    That's what I did, and it's why I sat on the waitlist last year. .

    Being a junior you do have time, but if you decide want to get things started, try and get your current portfolio to things like portfolio days and get it reviewed. I'd also say if you can afford it, and you do decide that ringling is one of your top choices, look into its precollege program, as I've only heard good things about it.


    okay. so I think that's my rant of the evening XD. I can't think of too much else at the moment; maybe because I should be asleep right now- but all in all I hope I was able to help a little bit.
    good luck in whatever you decide to do! Hope to see you around the halls!

    Last edited by themegagod; January 12th, 2013 at 12:45 AM.
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    I got in last year but I decided to take a year off, so I applied again this year (just submitted my portfolio today)

    My advice is to make sure you have a lot of observational drawings, not only of people, but of architecture and still lives. Also they love seeing a process of something, so if you have a work in progress, that you like enough, use it.

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    Thank you so much for all the help It really clears things up. I want to include a bit of everything in my portfolio so I've stressing over trying to learn everything at once lol. And I'm currently getting my immunization records for the PreCollege program, its was my birthmas present.

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