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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Canadian Colleges For Concept Art/Illustration?

    I'm coming to the end of my high school years, and it will soon be time to start picking out post secondary programs. I really want to get a job in illustration/concept art but I've been searching the internet and I'm having a hard time finding a good school for what I want to do. There's a few places that I have looked into, and I'm trying to find the best one for my interests.

    ACAD - I've heard good things about this school, and I've read somewhere that there visual communication program (The program I would go into) is pretty impressive, not to mention the cost of going there would be the cheapest option for me out of every school on this list. But the thing is that the school is very old and not very known. The campus is supposed to be kind of terrible and I think an important thing if you go into an art school is getting connections so you can get jobs after, and i'm afraid that this school won't do that.

    OCAD -I'm putting this in the list just in case somethings changed, but I heard the illustration program is absolutely terrible,

    Emily Carr- This school is a little more well known, but I've also heard that they tend to produce a lot of "art farts." Where people graduate but can't find work afterwards. I also heard that the school focuses to much of the technical, history side of things instead of learning and creating art in studio. But the campus is located in Vancouver, which is supposed to be beautiful, but expensive.

    Sheridan- This school is well known for there animation program. Even though I'm not planning to go into animation, this would still be one of my top schools on my list right now. I haven't heard a lot of bad things about this program, the worst I heard is that it was a little out dated. I think the tuition plus the price of the dorms might be a little on the expensive side for me though. ( I know that its cheap compared to some other schools) So would the price be worth the education?

    Like I said it was really hard trying to pick out schools because it seems that the best schools are all in the U.S, which are all way to expensive. I know you don't have to go to an art school to become an artist, but I really want to have the experience. Does anyone have any first hand knowledge about any of these schools? Or know people who have went to any? Or even have a suggestion of another school that could be a better fit?


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  3. #2
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    The Bachelor of Fine Arts, Illustration Major aims to:

    • equip students with the necessary critical, theoretical, research, and studio practices to become engaged citizens through the fine art of illustration;
    • impart advanced knowledge of illustration practice, application, and exhibition within visual arts culture;
    • foster conceptual and technical knowledge through a studio-based education reflecting the diversity and complexity of the illustration genre;
    • prepare students with a contextual understanding of illustration as an art and a skill within the creative and commercial sectors so you may enter these competitive knowledge-based economies;
    • foster a dynamic illustration and communications culture and community within Vancouver, British Columbia, and Canada, as well as strengthen it regionally and globally.

    This is from Emily Carr's Illustration degree page. Anything seem off about it to you? Maybe that learning to DRAW is not mentioned on the list of goals?
    If you want to do anything illustration/concept art related you need to be able to draw and paint at a high level. That's not negotiable.

    Emily Carr, OCAD and ACAD all sing the same song of Creativity. But looking through the faculty and student work leaves only dissapointment. Underneath all the artsyness there's actually very little drawing and painting skill being demonstrated. I flipped through some of the alumni and faculty work of all three of these and didn't find one person that looked like anything truly concept art related or conventional drawing skill, though I am sure they are all lovely people and very creative.

    That's pretty much what you need to do. Research deeper than just the websites. Talk to current students, and look for the actual faculty that will be teaching you and see not only what they are currently doing, but what have they done in the past? Many times you will not find a regular, honest to god, decent drawing to their name.

    I've heard that Sheridan has a pretty rigorous art fundies program and from their website it looks promising. To be perfectly honest this is the only school on the list I would even consider based on their website. But like you said, it's really expensive. Is it worth it? I would visit and sit in on some classes if possible.

    I'm an art school skeptic. I'm an art major at a university in the US and I got fucked over and wasted a lot of money. I wanted was to be taught to draw and what I got was bullshit. I should have left immediately but I didn't. Don't make the same mistake! Making shit like this is pretty fun, but it's not worth your life's savings (and then some). It's just not.

    Name:  a925ec3634542f87ea8eab33380ee6cc.jpg
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Size:  56.2 KB(emily carr student work)

    That's just my 2 cents. I'm not saying don't go to art school. I'm just saying learn to draw and beware of art flavored bullshit.

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeCowan View Post
    Emily Carr, OCAD and ACAD all sing the same song of Creativity. But looking through the faculty and student work leaves only dissapointment. Underneath all the artsyness there's actually very little drawing and painting skill being demonstrated. I flipped through some of the alumni and faculty work of all three of these and didn't find one person that looked like anything truly concept art related or conventional drawing skill, though I am sure they are all lovely people and very creative.
    Most art schools went down this drain. Representational art is hard, it is hard to learn and hard to teach. I've met a fistful of recent OCAD graduates, and they cannot draw, cannot paint, do not understand light and shadow, colour, perspective and composition. The decent OCAD grads I know, are old, from the days that OCAD was still OCA. This is a bit of a pattern, I'm afraid: the downfall of an art school often goes with the upgrade of the name with something 'Design'.

    I've heard that Sheridan has a pretty rigorous art fundies program and from their website it looks promising. To be perfectly honest this is the only school on the list I would even consider based on their website. But like you said, it's really expensive. Is it worth it? I would visit and sit in on some classes if possible.
    I'm not sure about about the Sheridan Art Fundies program, it seems to be the drain where everybody rejected by Animation is flushed through, so groups are massive, and expectations are low. I've seen the same at Max the Mutt, where it took about two years to weed out the unmotivated students. From 34 Year 1 students, a grand total of 5 graduated, while the others were just hanging around, listening music, eating, drinking, chatting, and sabotaging the program for the very few people trying to focus on art.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque View Post
    Most art schools went down this drain. Representational art is hard, it is hard to learn and hard to teach...

    I'm not sure about about the Sheridan Art Fundies program, it seems to be the drain where everybody rejected by Animation is flushed through,.
    I don't doubt you about Sheridan. But at the very least I believe that Sheridan has these concepts of representational art on their curriculum. Not so with many of these art institutes.

    Unfortunately you're right. it seems that schools like OCAD/ACAD are pandemic. They replace teaching with impressive facilities. And OCAD is probably pretty decent compared to The Art Institutes in the US. And it actually makes a lot of sense why they don't teach art. If they actually did their job and taught people to draw, some people would feel bad. Then those people would quit and stop paying tuition and then the school loses money. The schools are just big businesses. They sell degrees.

    The worst part to me is the people I meet that believe that they have been sufficiently trained in "classical art" or the fundamentals because their art prof made them draw a still life one time. The only thing I still wonder is if your average art professor is as much a victim of this system, and truly believes that they are doing a good job. Or whether he/she is a knowing fraud.

    I've vented enough. OP read this: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...considering-it

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeCowan View Post
    Unfortunately you're right. it seems that schools like OCAD/ACAD are pandemic. They replace teaching with impressive facilities. And OCAD is probably pretty decent compared to The Art Institutes in the US. And it actually makes a lot of sense why they don't teach art. If they actually did their job and taught people to draw, some people would feel bad. Then those people would quit and stop paying tuition and then the school loses money. The schools are just big businesses. They sell degrees.
    The harsh truth is that someone who picks up representational art will suck for at least one year, and a good teacher will tell him, which is understandably discouraging. It is a lot easier to stick feathers in someone's behind, so he will come back for more.
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    Thank you for such a detailed reply, my biggest fear about going to an art school is going, spending all this money, and then learning jack shit at the end. I'll definitely look more into the schools graduate work and the professors artwork. Learning the proper technique is one of my top priorities for an art school instead of just doing all conceptual work, so I'll definitely do more research on which school could give me that knowledge (although right now it still seems like Sheridan is my best option.) And I'll keep the point in my mind to be critical of what professors teaching/critiques so I don't succumb to "art flavored bullshit" as you said. Thanks again for your response!

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    Yeah, I heard that OCAD is supposed to be pretty bad, and looking at the graduate work and the profolio submissions for OCAD it might be ok for some people, but the results are just not worth the money or the time for me. Sheridan art fundamentals program I thought was where people who wanted to get into the Sheridan but didn't get accepted go to to improve so they can try to get in next year. I looked at Max the Mutt but the school seemed kind of sketchy to me so I didn't even put it in the list. Besides, from what you said it doesn't seem that good anyways.

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