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    Question School of Visual Arts NYC

    ok...let me start by saying hi to everybody.
    Im a 19 year old dominican aspiring comic book artist, and I found out about SVA a few months ago. The reason Im posting here is because I am currently getting my stuff straight for a possible scholarship from a goverment institution to go study cartooning at SVA.
    I just wanna know anything about the school..the teachers..anything about the courses..if any foreign student can gimme tips on adapting to the U.S. education system and stuff like that...
    I wanna have a basic info guide about SVA before going..im planning to enroll for Fall 2005.
    8)

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    Talking thanks

    hey makotierra thanx for the links..they were useful to get me hyper about getting that freekin scholarschip...I havent been thinkin bout anything else than that school...I could literally see myself at the dorms..but I still wanna know how's that school like... think u coudl help me out..i'm looking for some site to post some of my drawings...jojojoj..
    well catch u later...

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    could you be more specific about what you want to know about the school? Hopefully I can catch someone I know online who goes there and ask him for you.

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    Hey Slick,

    I'm an SVA alumnus via the cartooning department (though I graduated over 10 years ago). I've heard that the school has gotten tougher on their admissions requirements (ability-wise) since at one point (late 80's-early90's) they'd admit anyone who could pay the tuition, so make sure your portfolio is pretty sharp.

    The cartooning and comics department at the school back when I was there suffered from what most of the other departments did: good teachers that weren't neccessarily good artists and good artists that weren't always good teachers. I only had a few instructors during my 4 years at SVA that I really feel like I learned anything from about the way the comics industry works and how to actually draw for comics. I'm not sure how many (if any) of my instuctors are still there, but the good ones were Klaus Janson, John Ostrander (for writing), Julie Leiberman, Walt Simonson (great guy and exceptional instructor) and Carmine Infantino and Joe Orlando (who are both REALLY old by now and are probably not there any more).

    The best thing I can say about the school is that it is constantly drawing in new talent among the teachers, so if you end up attending and don't like the way a class is run or the instuctor or don't find yourself getting anything out of the class, it's really easy to switch instructors until you find one that's right for you.

    As far as your foreign student admissions goes:

    http://www.schoolofvisualarts.edu/ad...sid0=4&sid1=62

    Sorry, that's the best I can do...

    Hope some of this has helped.

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    Cool Thanks Dude

    Hey Gox-Boxer thanks,
    your advice was really useful. Right now, I am still awaiting for something from the people at the foundation that is going to give me the scholarship.
    I still don't have anything concrete, but in the meantime i'm trying to figure out my goals for going to SVA.
    My main goal is to create the first dominican comic book, based on dominican characters, but i dont wanna to just create characters and that's it. I wanna have some kind of foundation regarding the creation of comic books, from the story and script to panels and character development.
    Now let me see if i get this straight, if im taking a class and I dont feel im learning anything with that instructor I can change instructor until I find one that I'm comfortable with?
    Anyway, im noticing not a lot of schools have cartooning. I've read about the Minnesota School of arts of something like that, that has comic art as an undergraduate major.
    But one more thing>...is it really the best school to go study cartooning?
    if not, please recommend one.
    SlickCharlie

    :p

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    Info about SVA

    Hi there

    I'm a third year at SVA, illustration major. I transferred into my second year from a really small college, so I was really overwhelmed at first. Not only was it a big school, but it was in NYC, imho, one of the best cities in the world.

    My experience so far is very positive. Both the Illustration and Cartooning majors are important departments at SVA. In your third year, they really give you a work out with your thesis (more later)

    Since I started as second year, when you really start to get into your major, I can only tell you about that point on (and from an Illustration major point of view, but it also overlaps into Cartooning.) Your foundation major, from what I was told, is a bunch of general painting, drawing and humanities classes. Hopefully that’ll pass quickly for you, because then the fun really starts once you’re a sophomore:

    For me, second year stressed technique and using reference intelligently to compose smart, interesting pictures. The professors are generally good. Some are outstanding. (See below for my list) You can change your teacher if you're not happy. I believe they give you about two weeks after the class starts. My biggest advice about selecting teachers is do not choose them based on their art work superficially. Always try to match your way of thinking with theirs.

    In my experience, the teachers are happy to work with you on your own, unique way of expressing yourself or your “style.” But at the same, they really want you to understand that your “style” has to evolve, and they’ll try to put their ideas and fuse them with yours. But it’s critical to find a prof’s working method that you like. A crazy, haphazard expressionist shouldn’t take a photorealistic teacher, for example.


    Third year, it's all about your ideas that are unique to you, combining technique and reference. Every third year student has to do a thesis on an overall theme. Last year, illustration juniors had to create 3-7 paintings, cartooning students had to do panels/comic book work, based on the same theme. Every year, the theme changes, this time it’s re-interpreting Greek mythology.

    In spring, your work is judged by a panel, on its technique, aesthetics, and how closely you related your thesis to the theme. The best thesis work hang in a gallery, which is in a trendy neighborhood, with an opening reception, huge crowd, etc.


    These are teachers that I recommend based on good experiences and their working habits. They also get a lot of high points from other students. Once you enter your second year, you may want to look these guys up. Both Cartooning and Illustration majors can take them – hopefully someone else on here can recommend specifically cartooning teachers:

    For Figure Drawing:
    --Sam Martine
    --Stephen Gaffney

    Both of these guys are excellent. I consider Sam Martine one of the "fathers" at SVA, he has a very fatherly way about him -- the way he teaches, the way he expresses himself. For figure drawing, he REALLY wants you to FEEL the figure in space, the gesture, and the curves of the body, in relation to everything else.

    Stephen Gaffney, who was a student of Martine, is also quite good, and stresses classical ways of drawing. He does tend to rant a bit, reading text from an old, dingy book, on the way art "used" to be, before modern art took over.

    Drawing (Conceptually)
    --Francis Jetter

    Jetter is very good for thinking conceptually about drawing. Do NOT take her if you wish to draw conventionally or realistically. If you want your work to be really out there and strange, she's top. She stresses freshness, trusting your instinct/gut, to make a unique picture. I took her for two semesters and had a tough time at first, because I like to do representational work, without realizing the course is more idea based. But I stuck with it, and I learned a lot about maintaining freshness in your final, finished pieces.

    For Painting, I recommend Peter Fiore, who teaches Painting of Light. He’s quite smart about capturing light, and controlling your palette with limited colors. And since you have to take English, I recommend Simon Van Booy, an English man who is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! I'll try my best in answering

    Jeremy

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    I don't think Peter Fiore teaches second year painting anymore.
    I still do, though .


    Tristan Elwell
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    i would have taken tristin's class if i were still in sva. just to throw spit balls or apples at him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrr
    i would have taken tristin's class if i were still in sva. just to throw spit balls or apples at him.
    Huh...wha...HEY!


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

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    i took Griesbach/Martucci i think you came in one day and made a girl in the class cry. oh wait, that was woodruff. you came in and drank some of the soda.

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    lol wtf. Ok ill take your painting class next year elwell. See if you can guess who I am

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    Here's another one for the list of SVA alum sites, hot off the presses:
    Nicolás Uribe


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

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    I have just recently applied to SVA and done an interview for early decision. The interview went well and he said my portfolio was where it should be for a high school senior and that all they had to do was look at my SAT scores and transcript. i have an 1130 SAT and about a 3.5-3.6 GPA. The school was listed as safety for me as far as grades go... im still very anxious and scared because I had heard that they check your first quarter senior year grades. All my grades are fine ranging from 82-98 in all my main and art classes. the only thing I was worried about was that I had failed gym the first quarter (-.-' oy senioritis) gym doesnt count inmy average but it still shows up on my transcrip. will that hurt my chances at them accepting me alot? thank you all!!

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    hahah Jworion i had like a 2.7 gpa and then dropped out of a different college and they still took me. youre in as long as you pay them the money

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    Jworion, don't worry. Those grades and SAT's are fine. They just want to check them to make sure you're not a total screw-up.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
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    Hello there, I don't mean to change the subject all of a sudden, but how is SVA's computer/3d animation program? I have the catalog and have been researching more, but if anyone has any first-hand experience/things they'd like to share?

    What's foundation year like? Gruesome? Somewhat ok? Structured well? I'm used to hours of painting/drawing without a lunch break so I hope its rigorous (or I could just be completely losing my mind on that one )

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    onigod: Foundation year is a bunch of fine arts teachers who dont teach you much. I have a 6 hour painting class and a 6 hour drawing class but thats it. The drawing class didnt even have a model for a few of the weeks. Painting is total bullshit too. We got as far as making a color chart, and now we just paint. I was really into drawing all day before I started SVA, now a lot of my time gets wasted there and doing the homework from an art history teacher who likes to assign 8 page papers.

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    Red face

    Hmm.. thanks for the input; I'll take all comments into consideration. Personally, I like art history - took it in 10th grade. What about the computer/3d animation program? I'm more interested in hearing about that.

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    Foundation year is the same program for fine arts, illustration, and graphic design/advertising. It's slightly different for computer art and animation. As Winjer said, foundation drawing and painting teachers are hired by the fine arts department. Some of them are really good, others... not so much. Freshman classes are organised into pre-arranged scheduals, and there are so many sections that getting someone good for both drawing and painting is hard. Despite the drawbacks, the advantage to foundation year being set up this way is that you take all your classes with the same group of people, who are in several different majors. In a school without a "campus" as such it can make the social transition much easier.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
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    I'm an Alumni, Illustration Class of 2000. My Foundation year at SVA was actually pretty good. Since the schedules are pre arranged like Elwell said, you either get lucky with good teachers or you have a miserable time. My 6 hour drawing and painting classes had a huge impact on my skill level coming straight out of high school. The College as of May 2000 was broken up into 5 big buildings. 3 on the eastside and 2 on the westside of manhattan. Or I should say I only had classes in five buildings within my four years. There may be more now. As for the computer arts department, a majority of that department is split between the W 21st building and the main building on E 23st. With multiple floors and dozens of cold air conditioned rooms in both buildings filled with computer workstations. Some of these workstations affectionately labeled with names of 80's cartoon characters. I do remember the computers having a nasty problem of crashing just as you start getting warmed up. Save often and make multiple backups just in case. As with any major, the computer art department has working pros teaching courses for both full time and continuing ed classes.

    It sounds like winjer is not having the best of luck with his foundation year. I had weekly drawing, painting, graphic design, basic photography homework on top of those 8 page term papers and a part time job back then. None of it was easy and looking back I don't know how I managed it all. It comes down to time management. They hit you with all this at once so you can adapt, learn and grow as an artist. Usually those who can't handle it drop out and class sizes start to get smaller.

    As for courses to take for cartooning and illustration, I could recommend people but who I liked might not be what you're looking for in a teacher. Best thing to do is sit in on a class and see for yourself before registering for a course. I stuck with Marvin Mattelson, Steve Assael and Garin Baker for painting/drawing in my 2nd -4th yr, Jack Endewelt & Sam Martine for drawing/ illustration. mattelson and donato giancola for senior portfolio. After your foundation year you can pretty much choose to stay with the same instructors for the rest of your time there or bounce around. Just make sure to check the classes out far in advance. In the spring semester of each year sit in on the art classes you hope to take in the fall. Just remember that even though your teacher is there to help make your portfolio strong enough to get work, that person is also in some cases your direct competition for work. I know friends who had teachers completely turn against them after graduation. On the positive side there are teachers that can become good friends and mentors. Instructors that will take you under their wing and show you how to survive after art school. Surviving as an artist is the one thing I can say SVA does not show you how to do. Unless you make connections with teachers and classmates you're pretty much on your own after graduation.

    Thanks to Elwell for finding the link to Nicolas. I was wondering what happened to him. Here's a few more. I think two of these guys graduated around the same time You did Elwell.

    http://www.doriansportraits.com/
    http://www.siamesestudios.com/
    http://www.simplestroke.com/index.html

    and me too!

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    Yeah, Dorian and I were in the same class. Michael Evans was a couple of years after.
    Dice was actually a student of mine right after I started teaching. I'd love to take credit, but I didn't know what the hell I was doing and he was already damned good!


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
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    and i was in same painting class as all those others. plus i bumped into elwell in the halls a few times.

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