Okay, I've been a lurker here for quite awhile. I've gotten some of my best artistic instruction from this site (better than what I have found in college so far). And now I'm turning to you guys to help me out.

I've wanted to design games since I first played Doom. I've been "designing" game concepts for fun and level designing since I was 12 (so for 10 years now). However I never took it seriously until a few years ago, when I decided that computer programming just wasn't the place for me.

Now I'm starting down the path of a computer animator/concept artist/designer/level designer. I would love to be a part of this, and I feel that I have the ability to grow and become something valuable to the gaming industry and community.

However, here is the kicker. I haven't made this easy for myself. I have adult ADD. It wasn't diagnosed until my second year of community college. So while I was in the honors program, honors classes, AP classes, had great test scores, and a 1310 on my SATs my highschool and college track record thus far is abysmal. I have to work off a horrendous transcript in order to even have a shot at getting anywhere in the field of my dreams. My medication (Strattera) has done wonders, and I can finally apply myself to what I need and want to do.

So here's the question:

I'm currently working for a degree in Digital Design: Graphic Art at my community college. I'm looking for the best place to go to further my education towards Computer Animation as well as increase my chances of being able to get a job in this field. I have considered the Philadelphia Institute of Art (due to it's proximity) but I have heard amazing things about Ringling. In fact, I've been told that if I want to make it anywhere, I should really consider and work towards Ringling.

I currently have a fiance and a nearly 3 month old daughter that are willing to travel with me where I need to go, but if I don't have to that would be great as well.

I know the transcript from here on out has to be amazing, but what about my portfolio? What kind of things should I include? What projects should I get involved in on the side to bolster both my educational chances and my career opportunities?

I plan to keep a sketchbook here, as well as a finished piece thread as well so that I can get the criticism I desperately need. These community college art classes are a joke in most respects. As soon as my scanner is back in working order, I will be posting more.

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated.