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Hello friends, it seems as though many of us are in the same boat when it comes to narrowing down our choices for school.
I graduated in 2012 with a BFA in Printmaking. During my time in college I dabbled in various programming, modeling, film and animation software, but not enough to claim to be an expert. My goal is to be an art director, either in games or in film. I feel that I have a workable handle on traditional, basic technical skills (i.e. anatomy, color etc.) but I simply haven't had very much experience with programs like CAD and Maya that seem essential for taking up the reins in such a career.
Also, financially, I am constantly scraping bottom. Theoretically I qualify for financial aid, but I am trying to think as practically as I can (given that I am an art major *eyeroll*) in cautiously eyeballing the top-dollar schools that, naturally, I would want to go to.
Certificate...shorter time to finish, (perhaps) more relevant skills in regards to the career field. Far smaller price tag. Flexible schedule.
MFA...At least two years with hard core expectations including thesis. More options after graduation (including teaching at the college level). Academic klaut and a more intimate understanding of the conceptual and broader visual art world. Costs a boat load of money. Nearly impossible to work while going to school.
Both have their merits. I would love to have a stable career within the next few years, which points to a certificate, but will that be enough in the competitive field?
(Also...should I just forget school altogether and try to teach myself enough to build a portfolio?)
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first understand the universe."
a friend of my brother told me that with art your work is the most important thing. I guess it depends on what type of stuff your doing :-)
I think if you're planning to aim for a career as an art director, people are probably going to be looking for your portfolio and, equally importantly, your experience. Browse job postings for the title you want to hold and see what they require in terms of experience, portfolio, and schooling. Also browse job postings for similar positions that might be a few rungs down the ladder, if you haven't had any of those. From what I've seen, most of them don't really care about the degree or the school name (they're not hiring the degree, they're hiring the talent), it's the work and the experience that matter.
Check out my sketchbook!