AuthorTopic: schoolin'  (Read 3054 times)

Offline rougewisp

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • the other side of the pillow
    • View Profile


on: March 29, 2007, 02:33:04 am
Was wondering how many of you (have/are working on/plan on getting) a degree in art and where you (got/are getting/will get) it from.
for great justice

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Re: schoolin'

Reply #1 on: March 29, 2007, 03:59:32 pm
I am self-taught (if you don't count my first year high school course "taught" by a pothead where we drew crumpled paper bags for months...), but a lot of my friends have attended and dropped out of various art schools, from local/regional to places like Art Center and CCS.  My advice, based on all their experiences (and translating some of my own outside of art) is if you are serious about art, I do think it's a good idea to attend an art school and get a degree.  This is for a couple of reasons:

1 - If you have any skills outside of art, a lot of places will hire you just because you have a 4-year degree.  They frequently do not even care what the degree is in, as long as you have a good attitude and a varied portfolio (perhaps showing off some writing, or programming).  But a 4-year degree is something that CAN help you in the long run.

2 - Since a 4 year degree is so useful, you may as well get it in the thing you love so much, instead of spending 4 years on something you don't love!

That said, it is also my experience that with the exception of maybe 3-5 classes throughout your college career, you will learn MUCH more while you are on the job and in your free time, as far as actual practical skills go.  Here are the 2 major things you will learn at a university:

1 - How to put up with bullshit, red tape, jerks, assholes, and bureaucracies.  I.e. the rest of your adult life in the civilized world.  This is the perfect place to learn all about how all these things work, because you can't get fired :P  Well, actually you can, it's just harder...

2 - How to work.  At least for me, college was the first time I worked 20-24 hours a day for 4 days straight to make sure my shit was up to snuff.  This is also a valuable skill, and helps you to understand what you can achieve when it comes down to the wire, but also teaches you to respect and learn how to work faster and better all the time.

Finally, if you are going to attend an art school, make sure that it is an art school, and not the art department at some other prestigious university!  Unless you go to an ivy league school, chances are when you are applying for jobs all over the country no when will recognize where you went, no matter how prestigious it seems in your hometown.  And with very few exceptions, art departments at schools where that is not the focus are basically a joke.  The whole thing is exactly like the summer art class in Ghost World.  Visit the campus, meet the faculty, check out the facilities - 4 years is a VERY long time to do anything (the longest I've ever had the same job is 2 years!), and you want to make sure you're going to be able to do everything you want in that time.  Ask about freetime access to the various workshops and equipment - many art schools will let you use AMAZING stuff simply because you pay tuition.  Woods shops, welding shops, laser cutter thingies, rapid prototyping/3d printers, etc etc.  Don't be biased against school size - large and small schools can both be awesome.  Large schools CAN have better job opps/scouting, but at least in my experience the people scouting are usually just looking for cheap, recently graduated labor slaves :P

Hope that helps!  And to any members who actually did/are attending art school, feel free to modulate my comments with facts from your own experience, this is just based on a few close friends.

Offline Fry

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 101
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • westenfry
    • View Profile
    • Westen Fry Portfolio

Re: schoolin'

Reply #2 on: March 29, 2007, 04:14:49 pm
I've taken fundamentals of art and design, and am currently finishing up my 2nd year in a 3 year animation program.  Essentially, it's useful receiving feedback from professors and so forth, but I think much of what they are teaching could easilly be self taught as long as you have the basic understanding of the principles of art and animation.  In fact, our program co-ordinator dropped out of Sheriden (fairly well known animation college).  He got into an animation studio by having a promising portfolio and has since worked on motion films at Disney.  He is also one of Canada's best clean up artists.  He actually encourages students to leave animation and take a job if offered, because he feels the best training is experience if you have the ambition.

Right now i'm actually building up a portfolio to send to various studios.. the third year of my program is used to develop our portfolios and demo reels to apply for studios, so I really have nothing to lose if i get in somewhere... if not, I can always go back and finish my third year.  I'm excited to find that there's actually quite a few studios in Canada that hire pixel artists (BBB) which is why i'm working on a pixel portfolio as well. :P

Ultimately schooling is helpful, but not entirely essential.


Offline khorin

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 104
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I ruled the forces that fueled your hate.
    • View Profile
    • Shizucor

Re: schoolin'

Reply #3 on: March 30, 2007, 02:17:59 pm
I was actually going to a university to major in art but for me, I didn't want to spend too much money and take unrelated class (even though it broadens our scope) so I've moved to a community college to do graphic design and web design. Plus, they have this one class we have to take that allows us to work with professionals. I don't know how that's going to be but I'm sure it'll help.

I was told by a graphic designer that employers don't really care what kind of degree you have just as long as you have one even if it's just an associates degree. Who knows, I might go for a BA or BFA and even to MFA. But if I can actually move up with just an associates, then I'll just stick with that.

Adam has definitely good points.