Why is Getting a Bachelor's Degree in Art so Important?

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  1. #1
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    Why is Getting a Bachelor's Degree in Art so Important?

    Typical Course Sequence

    First Quarter
    FS101 Fundamentals/Observational Drawing
    FS102 Fundamentals of Design
    FS103 Color Theory
    FS104 Computer Applications
    HU110 College English *

    Second Quarter
    FS111 Drawing, Proportion & Perspective
    MA1112 Drawing & Anatomy
    FS131 Typography - Traditional
    FS122 Image Manipulation
    HU111 Effective Speaking *

    Third Quarter
    GA1121 Survey of the Game Industry
    MA1122 Character & Object Design
    MA1124 Sculpture for Animation
    MA1132 Life Drawing & Gesture
    MS110 Quantitative Literacy & Reasoning *

    Fourth Quarter
    GA2201 Game Design and Game Play
    MA1131 Conceptual Storytelling
    MA1133 2D Animation Principles
    MA1134 Principles of 3D Modeling
    HU130 Visual Language & Culture *

    Fifth Quarter
    MA2201 Background Design & Layout
    MA2202 Story Boarding for Animation
    GA2212 Game Modeling & Animation
    MA2204 3D Animation
    MS111 College Algebra *

    Sixth Quarter
    GA2211 Hard Surface & Organic Modeling
    EL01 Elective
    MA2212 3D Camera Techniques
    MA2214 Audio for Animation
    FS239 Career Development

    Seventh Quarter
    GA3311 Material & Lighting
    GA3312 Level Design
    GA3313 Designing 3D Environments
    GA3314 3D Character Rigging
    HU357 Ethics *

    Eighth Quarter
    MA3312 Advanced Lighting & Texture
    GA3322 Advanced Level Design
    GA3323 3D Scripting
    GA3324 Character Modeling
    SB112 Psychology *

    Ninth Quarter
    GA3331 Game Prototyping
    GA3332 Interface Design for Games
    GA3333 Introduction to Scripting Languages
    HU230 Art History *
    HU251 Literature *

    Tenth Quarter
    GA4401 Advanced Game Prototyping
    GA4402 Senior Project Planning
    GA4403 Intermediate Scripting Languages
    GA4424 Advanced Character Rigging
    SB110 World Civilization *

    Eleventh Quarter
    MA3324 Character Animation
    EL02 Elective
    GA4412 Senior Project 1
    SB113 Sociology *
    SB250 Humanities *

    Twelfth Quarter
    EL03 Elective
    GA4422 Senior Project 2
    FS497 Portfolio II
    SB210 US History *
    SB111 Anthropology *

    FS399 Internship I
    FS499 Internship II
    http://www.aicasd.artinstitutes.edu/...6&pid=9&dtid=3

    I look at that curriculum and all I see are classes that I can take at community colleges at a tenth of the price.

    Why should I spend $70,000 on school for classes that are readily available at community colleges?

    I've taken Calculus and Biology.........to me these classes don't seem that challenging.

    Justin Sweet, Feng Zhu, Jim Lee.......alot of people never got a BS Degree in Art.

    Plus, I've seen people get a Bachelor's Degree and end up in a job not of their academic training.

    Isn't it more about learning what it's all about then pursuing a piece of paper?

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  3. #2
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    You so spectacularly missed the point of my posts, that I am finding this hilarious right about now.

    Btw, maybe you'll want to take a course on those so that maybe you won't think that "the goal of concept art is to draw without reference"? Just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Man
    Btw, maybe you'll want to take a course on those so that maybe you won't think that "the goal of concept art is to draw without reference"? Just a thought.
    Oh my God this is gold! I'm not supposed to post anything until I post new artwork but this is too much to handle.

    ********************************
    There are 3 sides to every story. Yours, mine and THE TRUTH.
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    I agree with you, but we live in a world that people with that piece of paper and little knowledge earn more and is respected more than people with more knowledge and no piece of paper.

    And yes, many people spend years specialising in a field of expertise, then get a job in a totally different environment. Like my friend with a BSc in Physics and now he is working in a bank.

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    You miss my point.

    I can take these classes at community colleges, without getting a bachelor's degree.

    http://www.cccco.edu/find/alphabetical.htm
    Here's a listing of community colleges.

    http://www.coastline.edu/
    http://www.gwc.info/index2.html
    http://academy.smc.edu/

    Basically, I'm researching this stuff and it's driving me nutz.

    Plus this sculpture really makes me leery of art schools:
    Why is Getting a Bachelor's Degree in Art so Important?
    I think you also understand why I'm so angry at art schools in San Diego.

    Last edited by NoSeRider; September 19th, 2005 at 10:48 AM.
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    Getting any kind of schooling, whether is is two year or four degrees is this. It proves that you have the initiative and the intestinal fortitude to put up with a load of crap, other students, annoying professors that you hate and still fulfill the requirements that are set forth in front of you to complete. Interships which are usually intended to do nothing but allow to experience adequate amounts of abuse for you reach the real world are usually in 2 and 4 year curriculums.

    However, from the previous posts, it appears that you are experiencing some of the that abuse early. CA.org, for the abuse that you are missing in the real world...LOL

    Whatever you do, don't look at my Sketchbook and Painting Thread!


    "I reject your reality and substitute my own" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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    I've been self-taught most of my life, and i gotta admit i take some pride in it. I just did my first year in art school and gotta say most classes i had were a waste of time. Wherever i didn't have to put up with project methodology, it was the same old obsession with impressionism, expressionism, futurism and all those other currents that basically fought the academies and each other's ways and are now put in the same academic bag. That and and aesthetics' theory which was basically like philosophy only even more senseless and useless. It made me hate art, to an extent.

    Still, it's useful. I've learned a great deal from painting classes even if i still have a great deal more to learn. And it's not just the classes but all the people around you. It was the first time i was around so many skilled people (who all happened to have a totally different style from my own). It motivated me to work harder on my own skills, and learn stuff i didn't know.

    And to point out the painful obvoius, a piece of paper these days can open all the right doors, wether you're qualified to go through them or not.

    That's my experience anyway.

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  9. #8
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    Not all community college courses transfer to a full four-year Bachelor's degree. Sometimes you will only get 40-60%, because the Community College courses are more of a skim-over, rather than "in-depth" discussion, with homework done more on your own, rather than in-class.

    Check out transfers before you sing the community college praises too loudly.
    Often, you'll pay the same in the end, and have to take some courses AGAIN...

    ~M

    Change is Inevitable, Growth is Optional
    I am The Choosen One!
    Jason sez: Draw more from Life!

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    It's all about the end result.

    If I show a portfolio to a potential employer that has mediocre artwork in it, but I scream, "NO! I am SELF TAUGHT and I am not an ART SCHOOL SNOB!! BROWNIE POINTS PLS KTHX!", I'm probably not going to get that job.

    If I show them a portfolio with competent artwork, they're not going to care as much whether or not I reached that point through a college or through my own studies. I can give them what they want and that's that.

    People who are self-taught have every right to be proud of themselves. They do have to work harder than some who attend an art school (and yes, there are ALWAYS those lazy asses who bullshit their way through school).

    My experience with art school was mixed; you needed to be self-driven as nothing was spoon-fed to you and I did feel the school that I went to was over-priced, since many of the graduates went on to teach the same caliber of courses at smaller art schools in the area.

    But I won't lie - a school can and will get you connections to the jobs you want, through internships or alumni. You have to be willing to pay for those connections, I guess.

    But the fact still remains; you need to have the quality of work to back yourself up. If you can supplement your portfolio with community college courses, do it, but like madster said, you risk getting watered-down instruction.

    Just get yourself primed and ready to land the jobs you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSeRider
    http://www.aicasd.artinstitutes.edu/...6&pid=9&dtid=3

    I look at that curriculum and all I see are classes that I can take at community colleges at a tenth of the price.

    Why should I spend $70,000 on school for classes that are readily available at community colleges?

    I've taken Calculus and Biology.........to me these classes don't seem that challenging.

    Justin Sweet, Feng Zhu, Jim Lee.......alot of people never got a BS Degree in Art.

    Plus, I've seen people get a Bachelor's Degree and end up in a job not of their academic training.

    Isn't it more about learning what it's all about then pursuing a piece of paper?
    exactly! that took me about 3 years to get, heh.. im at AAU but im only taking the classes i want, now...

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    you dont neeed a degree. i am a high school AND college dropout, and i do just fine. something you gotta realize is that the only person who determines whether or not you can earn a living as an artist is YOU. a piece of paper dont mean shit. it is entirely hinged on the quality of work you produce. and the only person that can make your work good by putting in the necessary time is..................you.-c36

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    first off, I think a degree only matters in rare cases, and they usually involve employers who aren't really looking at your portfolio. Secondly, I hope you don't think figure painting 101 at the local community college is the same as 15 weeks of teaching from a master painter. Look at community college portfolios and art school portfolios, then come back and tell us how insane the difference is. There are people in any school who shouldn't be there, but by and large it makes a big fat difference. Some people don't need schooling. I did. Every time I visit deviantart I'm glad made that choice.

    Andrew Murray
    Concept Artist, Tencent Boston
    www.theincredibleandy.com
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    Every time I visit deviantart I'm glad made that choice.
    I getcha.

    I just gotta move outta San Diego.

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    k. um... i'm in community college right now. as much as a lot of people have ripped on my artwork in the past, i fucking pwn this place. no competition. it sucks.

    makes me wanna quit. or like, kick puppies.

    college is an environment that fosters learning, and more advanced analytical and organizational skills.

    rather than try to introduce the argument of 'if you can't pedal a bike, how can you expect to learn tricks? college teaches you how to pedal a bike!'

    i introduce:
    what happens if you think you're hot shit in your neighborhood, and you are, but see, the next neighborhood over has hot shit all over the place. college makes you work along side some of these hot shits. you see what you're up against. you learn the reasonable and realistic competition in your immediate future, and it definitely motivates you. and humbles you. before you argue that OH BUT PLACES LIKE CONCEPTART SHOW ME WHAT I'M UP AGAINST!!! uh, nope. not really. that's a bit, uh... small minded and naive to think that conceptart, an almost hall-of-fame of artists shows you what's out there. these people that you idolise and fawn over aren't the ordinary everyday. your chances are a lot better than you think.

    so just work. either you go to college or you don't. if you go to college, you get the smug satisfaction of being able to wave the piece of paper and open big doors rather than ramming them with a giant, dull pencil. yeah. an HB battering ram. if you don't go to college, that door's not gonna open with a bit of knocking and a bit of walking.

    really the only excuse you can use for not going to college is money/lack of money or... well, even then, there's all kinds of options for financial aid...

    hmmph.

    whine and moan all you want, but really it's up to you what you want to do, where you want to go, and how far you wanna go. you're your own worst critic. get the hell out of your own way.

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    Your "competition" down the line isn't your kid sister, classmate or the guy next door who can draw Dick Tracey just like in the comics, it's the select group of maybe a few hundred people who form the absolute top of the field right now. You're going to war...against the biggest, most dangerous, best armed enemy in the world. Whether you wanna take 'em on with only a plastic spork or not is a decision that only you can make.

    I believe firmly in every cell of my body that I am NOT as good as the guy in front of me, so I have to try to be better, smarter and work harder. When the bastards finally shoot me in the back of the head and throw dirt on my ass, I'll know how well I did by how many are still chasing me compared to how many are still in front, looking back over their shoulders with that scared little puppy look...

    The "tools" are out there. Use 'em. Or not. It's your choice, but just remember to keep looking over your shoulder...

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    Quote Originally Posted by madster
    Not all community college courses transfer to a full four-year Bachelor's degree. Sometimes you will only get 40-60%, because the Community College courses are more of a skim-over, rather than "in-depth" discussion, with homework done more on your own, rather than in-class.
    The school I went to doesn't transfer any community college art credits. I had classmates who thought they were going to be saving money by going to CC first, but they ended up paying more and wasting lots of time.

    -₪╢ ǾЯĊǺŦŖΛŻ ╟₪- ~orc
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    You DON'T need a degree in art. (those look like Art Institute class schedule).


    3 of my friends dropped out of the Art Institute and landed great jobs working in the game industry. They don't have a degree. They have talent.

    You don't have to take ALL of those classes. It's a waste of time and money to take typography and "effective" speaking . Bullshit.

    Just take the 3D animation, modeling, and life drawing class.

    Infact, the life drawing at the art institute sucks. Go to a fine arts school for figure drawing. It's cheaper and the instructors know what they're doing.

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  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bizarre
    i introduce:
    what happens if you think you're hot shit in your neighborhood, and you are, but see, the next neighborhood over has hot shit all over the place. college makes you work along side some of these hot shits. you see what you're up against. you learn the reasonable and realistic competition in your immediate future, and it definitely motivates you. and humbles you. before you argue that OH BUT PLACES LIKE CONCEPTART SHOW ME WHAT I'M UP AGAINST!!! uh, nope. not really. that's a bit, uh... small minded and naive to think that conceptart, an almost hall-of-fame of artists shows you what's out there. these people that you idolise and fawn over aren't the ordinary everyday. your chances are a lot better than you think.
    in some ways thats true, but then, if you think of it that way, there are people even BETTER than the top tier on conceptart out there, not really in the field of production art, but other types of illustration and art in general.. THat's the real competition..

    Your "competition" down the line isn't your kid sister, classmate or the guy next door who can draw Dick Tracey just like in the comics, it's the select group of maybe a few hundred people who form the absolute top of the field right now. You're going to war...against the biggest, most dangerous, best armed enemy in the world. Whether you wanna take 'em on with only a plastic spork or not is a decision that only you can make.
    very well put

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    [QUOTE=ParkerD]It's a waste of time and money to take typography and "effective" speaking [QUOTE]

    eh, i think typography and graphic design are good avenues of art to be at least familiar with, you dont have to be pro level with them but if you're going to be an illustrator, having an idea of what they go through is actually pretty valuable

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    Ilaekae- yeah, but i was trying to convince myself i had at least some kind of chance at getting SOME kind of job.

    and like i said, college shows you what you're up against immediately- whose resume's you're gonna be fightin' with and such, at least locally.

    it's good to think big, but there's no need to be afraid that you're up against the best armed enemy in the world. chances are, you're not gonna be in direct opposition to the top brass of the enemy. i'm not saying don't try hard, oh no... don't get me wrong, work your ass off!

    what i'm saying is don't cry yourself to sleep because you can't draw like Craig Mullins Mohammid Aimar Tyson Fuckin Ali.

    don't worry, you're not competing with them just yet. might as well focus on workin up your chops. THEN shoot for the olympics.

    college, in my mind, is the act of doing a little work now for a little less work later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerD
    You don't have to take ALL of those classes. It's a waste of time and money to take typography and "effective" speaking . Bullshit.
    It's depressing how many artists I can't work with because they just cannot communicate.

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    it's just ignorant to call any kind of higher education 'bullshit'. just because you can't imagine needing to make a presentation to a room full of people doesn't mean public speech classes are useless.


    just because you can't imagine typing up comps for design documents, or designing/choosing an appropriate font to go along with your art director's vision doesn't mean typography is useless.

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    Irene - that's an interesting comment you made...
    I realize that several artists are soft-spoken, shy, quiet...
    Do you feel this stands in the way of having a successful AD/illustrator relationship..or is it some other greater miscommunication that is really the downfall of the artist?
    Perhaps a course in business isn't such a bad idea..?

    ******************
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    It's a waste of time and money to take typography and "effective" speaking . Bullshit.
    Unfortunitely I agree with what he's saying.

    Typography should be left to the graphic designers.....I don't wanna be a graphic designer.

    Effective Speaking is another community college class I can take. Why pay $1500 a semester for that when you can get the same class at a community college for $126?........I did take a debate class at JC by the way, which explains my utter obstinance.

    I can take a Typography class at a JC as well. It's a rip off I tell ya.

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    Bizarre- Honey, you said it perfectly.

    I'd like to add, that a bachelors or masters degree is not the only road to rome. But its the fastest way. In a short ammount of time, you're beeing tought to live, breath and act professional. You're tought the skills of survival, doing it on your own. With that you get all the support and critics to start developing your own style. Next to it, a masters degree shows that you have reached a curtain level of thinking, independence and skills. You give yourself a headstart, and within college you can work to get above the mowfield.

    My two cents,
    kusje to my liefe

    Last edited by geertje; September 19th, 2005 at 03:01 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irene Gallo
    It's depressing how many artists I can't work with because they just cannot communicate.

    Taking a 10 week course, one day a week, isn't going to help that person learn how to communicate to your liking. It's a fundamental problem that requires a long-term solution. A teacher at an ART school isn't going to cure anyone of their communication disabilities.

    You don't send people to art school to teach them how to communicate well. That's something that is facilitated since birth from family, friends, and societal interaction. A 10 week course in "effective" speaking from an art school is not gonna make up for a life-time's worth of neglect. And needlessly spent $1,500 for it as well.

    Last edited by CaptainInsano; September 19th, 2005 at 02:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerD
    Taking a 10 week course, one day a week, isn't going to help that person learn how to communicate to your liking. It's a fundamental problem that requires a long-term solution. A teacher at an ART school isn't going to cure anyone of their communication disabilities.

    You don't send people to art school to teach them how to communicate well. That's something that is facilitated since birth from family, friends, and societal interaction. A 10 week course in "effective" speaking from an art school is not gonna make up for a life-time's worth of neglect. And needlessly spent $1,500 for it as well.
    Ummmm...Parker, you're talking about teh Madster...
    I can wave more damn educational paper at you than can choke a recycling plant, but effective communications are something that only experience can teach you.
    I used to joke that the Community College I went to (speaking from sad experience on the transfer thing, okay?) did not offer any classes on Communications With Tact and Diplomacy, but if they did, I would be the very first person to sign up for them, and would probably end up repeating the class. No one who has ever worked "up close and personal," nor, I would wager, many others on this planet, ever doubted, nor disagreed with me...
    I have my strengths, but effective, interactive communications is still a skill I struggle with (NO....not Madster...). It is a continuing effort at improvement...

    All I can suggest is tolerance and clear communications. Many here have communicated with me on many levels, and whatever changes have occured are due to clear communications, never trash-talking, because I can do that with the rest and the best of ya... I know that my communication skills have improved, due in large part to having to communicate my observations to a very large and diverse audience, so having to adjust and tune to achieve maximum effect, with minimum misunderstanding/offense. Many of us have shortcomings that cannot be cured by 3rd Party education. You can only learn so much when you are "self-taught." Some of it really takes the feedback that only interaction with others can provide.

    That is not to write off "formal education at a higher level." For some, the structured routine of classes and drawing can be helpful. For some, the knowledge gained of Art History, or Composition and Figure Drawing can be priceless. Not everyone has the same level of technical talent AND theoretical foundation. And for a great many, the discipline required and taught by attending classes with deadlines and assignments, is enough of a lesson in itself...

    There are many paths to the destination...But all of them still require time and effort.

    ~M

    Change is Inevitable, Growth is Optional
    I am The Choosen One!
    Jason sez: Draw more from Life!

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  29. #28
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    Take mine and madster's advice, and check it out first. During HS, I took a few classes that TCC (Tidewater Community College) gave us credit for. After I graduated HS (this summer, in fact). My friend took the same classes as I did and went on to ODU. She doesn't have to take any English nor Math classes the four years she's at ODU. BUT I'm at William & Mary, and though some of the credits transfer, they equate to squat -- I still have to take English and Math. Seriously, take the time to check it all out. Plus, on the emotional side, there is a certain feel to living on campus at a college or university. It's a big change from HS, and an even bigger change from CC. I wouldn't say a 4-year college is for everyone, but I think you should check one out (with the proper work and funding, it isn't nearly as expensive at you'd expect).

    "I do what I please, and I do it with ease"
    -- Martha K. Stewart
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  30. #29
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    Lightbulb

    I need a BA degree if I want to get out of the UK and work in the USA or Canada (USA is still a bitch to get into, even with a degree - without one, it's nigh-on impossible).

    If I had decided not to take a university course, I could have had a job in the videogame industry as an artist 2-3 years ago (really, it pains me to turn down job offers!).

    I'm doing it because it opens doors. That's why it's so important to me. Granted, I could probably just work on my art in spare time while keeping a real job, and I'd probably be better at art than I am now, but university helps me to look in different directions and make different choices.

    I'm not all too enamoured with the course I'm on, but it has taught me a fair bit of valuable stuff I might not have picked up on my own.

    NoSeRider: Seriously, if you spent more effort on actually actively looking for a job rather than whining about why you can't get one, I think you'd have had what you wanted a while ago. You've been posting threads along the same lines as this one for years, both here and on Polycount.
    Get your act together and just go crazy. I know your art is good enough to get you a job, therefore I can only assume that either you're not sending out enough portfolios, or you botch up any interviews you get.
    Am I right? Or is there some other factor at play here?

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  31. #30
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    I'm going to an Atelier.

    I go to class with people that work at Sony.

    I get conflicting messages on what it takes.

    CSU Long Beach will offer a 4 year degree for cheap. Might look into that.

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