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filthysamael
12-13-2005, 03:44 PM
My name is David, and I've been drawing seriously for nearly ten years. I am now 17 and graduating high school a semester early, and I am desperately trying to figure out what I am going to do now. I'm considering art school, but I'm getting mixed messages about it.

I was largely influenced by Japanese animation, but later I found Andrew Loomis's books and studied them as well. I want to be a comic artist (http://www.iwishcomics.com/images/MISC/dbcm.jpg), but I also want to get my art to as high a level as I can. However, due to my pride in the past, I never took a single art class, and I'm deeply regretting it. I am especially distressed about my color technique, which is mediocre (http://www.iwishcomics.com/images/MISC/Despondence_color.jpg) at best.

I now realise that there was a lot I could have learned by taking art classes, but seeing how I can't change the past, I've decided to start now. However, I've been told many different things on the subject of art school: "Art schools are a waste of time," "Art schools have terrible placement programs," "Just go to a college with a good art program," "Some art schools are really worth it," and so on. I want to find a really talented artist that's willing to take on a student that's more than willing to learn, but where?

Should I attend art school or college? Do any artists do apprenticeships any more? I would really appreciate any tips on where to look and what to look for, anything to become an artist instead of a guy that likes to draw.

Where I'm at now:
sample 1 (http://www.iwishcomics.com/images/MISC/dbpg1.jpg)
sample 2 (http://www.iwishcomics.com/images/MISC/Shot_in_FACE.jpg)
sample 3 (a little old) (http://www.iwishcomics.com/images/MISC/44.jpg)
sample 4 (A comission, very odd) (http://www.iwishcomics.com/images/MISC/Raesha.jpg)

Thanks for any help you can all provide.

LiftNw8
12-13-2005, 10:56 PM
I would have to say I am pretty impressed by your drawings, its great that you started young, and that you know what you want out of it. I would definitely recommend finding a school to go to, its not easy finding out, but there are some really good art schools out there like SVA, School of Visual Arts in NYC.

filthysamael
12-14-2005, 05:04 PM
I would have to say I am pretty impressed by your drawings, its great that you started young, and that you know what you want out of it. I would definitely recommend finding a school to go to, its not easy finding out, but there are some really good art schools out there like SVA, School of Visual Arts in NYC. Thank you so much for replying, I'll add it to my list of places to check out. Do they give tours and let you meet the professors? I'm thinking of visiting tons of places and seeing if I can find some professors to latch on to and suck the knowledge and talent out of (metaphorically of course). Anyway, I'll definitely consider it. And thank you for your compliment, it is much appreciated.

Last note, if anyone knows of any really good ones on the west coast, particularly in Oregon or Washington, I really, really want to know.

LiftNw8
12-14-2005, 11:23 PM
Thank you so much for replying, I'll add it to my list of places to check out. Do they give tours and let you meet the professors? I'm thinking of visiting tons of places and seeing if I can find some professors to latch on to and suck the knowledge and talent out of (metaphorically of course). Anyway, I'll definitely consider it. And thank you for your compliment, it is much appreciated.

Last note, if anyone knows of any really good ones on the west coast, particularly in Oregon or Washington, I really, really want to know.

Not a problem, glad to be of some help. To answer your other question, yes most schools give tours, or have open houses so that potential students can check out the school and see if it might be a good fit for them. Just have to contact the school and see what they offer in that way.

Ok, looking for the West Coast, you could try The Academy of Art in San Francisco, I was looking at there online program for myself, but cost was an issue, so I am currently doing a Web Design Program through The Art Insitute Online, which is a division of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

talkingbanana
12-15-2005, 10:36 AM
Considering your background, I would look for a place with a strong "foundations" program of sorts - a school where, before you choose a specific art major, you're in with all the art majors, honing the basics. I think they're mostly one-year programs covering your freshman year (at least, mine is), and you'll get a LOT of what you missed out on in high school art classes.

The major benefit of a college with an outstanding art program over a stand-alone art school is flexibility. You'll befriend tons of non-art majors, have the opportunity to take classes in other random things you've always been interested in, and have the option of changing your major without transferring schools. For what you want to do, a minor in communications or journalism or such would probably be very helpful, and you'd have that opportunity at a college but not always at an art school.

It really comes down to what's best for YOU. Throw what everyone else says out the window, because what's best for them isn't always best for you, and education is what YOU make of it. The only question you need to be asking at this point is "What will help me get into the industry?", and you need to be asking people in the industry about that.

Best of luck to you. :)

LiftNw8
12-15-2005, 01:02 PM
The one thing I found that wasn't so easy was finding a school that had both regular programs and a good art program, they seem to not exist, unless I just wasn't noticing them. Myself, I know what I want, and so that makes the choice of an art school a no brainer.

filthysamael
12-15-2005, 05:54 PM
Ok, looking for the West Coast, you could try The Academy of Art in San Francisco, I was looking at there online program for myself, but cost was an issue, so I am currently doing a Web Design Program through The Art Insitute Online, which is a division of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Thanks a lot. It looks a little expensive, but at least it's nowhere near RISD (I almost had a heart attack when I saw their tuition alone). California wasn't my first choice, but I must keep my options open.

Considering your background, I would look for a place with a strong "foundations" program of sorts - a school where, before you choose a specific art major, you're in with all the art majors, honing the basics. I think they're mostly one-year programs covering your freshman year (at least, mine is), and you'll get a LOT of what you missed out on in high school art classes.

The major benefit of a college with an outstanding art program over a stand-alone art school is flexibility. You'll befriend tons of non-art majors, have the opportunity to take classes in other random things you've always been interested in, and have the option of changing your major without transferring schools. For what you want to do, a minor in communications or journalism or such would probably be very helpful, and you'd have that opportunity at a college but not always at an art school.

It really comes down to what's best for YOU. Throw what everyone else says out the window, because what's best for them isn't always best for you, and education is what YOU make of it. The only question you need to be asking at this point is "What will help me get into the industry?", and you need to be asking people in the industry about that.

Best of luck to you. :)

I'll definitely take all the basics, even if I encounter things I already know it'll be more practice, and I may learn a little extra, right? I am a little confused about one thing, though: why do you suggest journalism and communications? I never would have considered those, so I'm very interested to know why. Thank you for the much needed advice.

Anyone else? I'm taking good notes...

LiftNw8
12-15-2005, 10:02 PM
I would also recommend taking some communications courses and a couple of psychology classes as well.

jayne_rose
12-15-2005, 10:48 PM
My daughter just graduated with a bachelors in fine art/Illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design (http://www.scad.edu) (SCAD).

The school is one of the premier art schools in the country...about 7,000 students. Yes, it is expensive, but cartooning is a major course of study there. Although it's not called cartooning and I just can't quite remember what it is called now....Give it a look!

jayne_rose
12-15-2005, 11:03 PM
Okay...me again. I just posted above the name that art schools call cartooning. It's Sequential Art. And SCAD has a great program for it. Here is the link to go directly to the Sequential Art degree program, http://www.scad.edu/academic/majors/seqa/index.cfm

Toodles!

filthysamael
12-15-2005, 11:05 PM
My daughter just graduated with a bachelors in fine art/Illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design (http://www.scad.edu) (SCAD).

The school is one of the premier art schools in the country...about 7,000 students. Yes, it is expensive, but cartooning is a major course of study there. Although it's not called cartooning and I just can't quite remember what it is called now....Give it a look!
Aaah... It's right up there with RISD in tuition... I will definitely consider it, but I'll have to add "get financial aid" to my to-do list.

talkingbanana
12-16-2005, 01:53 AM
I mentioned journalism and communications because those are fields that cartooning is closely tied to. There may be something even better, but those were the first things to come to mind - heh, even something like creative writing may be helpful. You may find it helpful to be proficient in the other aspects of comics/cartooning beyond the art part. If you understand what goes into mass communications, or into the publishing industry, or wherever you actually end up - well, that puts you one step ahead of everyone else in a highly competitive field.

It'd be great if you could find someone who's actually doing what you want to do and ask them what they did and whether they would've done anything differently.

kinjutsu
12-17-2005, 01:20 AM
As mentioned before SCAD has a sequential art major, and after being able to take a tour I was very impressed. I'm planning on going there, assuming I get in, and want to minor in sequential. What really made me like SCAD's program was all the professionals they have there as teachers, and also as speakers. I got to meet a professor who used to draw spiderman, and got to see a panel of professional comic artists of all kind-including manga artists. There is also a strong focus on the communication side of sequenital art since telling the story is what you're trying to accompish.

SVA also has a comics major which looks like basically the same thing.I don't know much more about it but you should defiently take a look at both.

RachelK
12-26-2005, 11:01 PM
Columbia College in Chicago, www.colum.edu, also has an Illustration program with sequential art. They are a very career oriented school. I'm a fine art major, so I don't know as much about this program.

ginadesimone
01-03-2006, 09:13 PM
Hi David,
you definitely have some talent!! I have been going to Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online for 3 years now and love every minute of it. My degree is in graphic design, but they have all sorts of programs. By being online, I am able to work a full time job and go to school anywhere at any time. You should check it out -- http://www.aionline.edu/ -- I have also taken several classes at Sessions.Edu (also online) -- http://www.sessions.edu/programs/index.asp -- they have both degree programs and single classes you can take -- I highly recommend either of them.
gina

trafford
01-04-2006, 06:59 AM
One of the best art schools is the Art Students League in NYC. Not a degree school, but with some of the best teachers around. Also, it is incredibly inexpensive. Of course, if you don't live right in the city the cost of living there would be enough for 3 tuitions at other schools. Visual Arts used to have an illustration/cartooning course.

GrphcsJumbo
01-13-2006, 12:24 AM
One thing that you might seriously consider is submitting your porfolio for scholarships. I just started attending classes at SCAD, and my portfolio is truly the reason why. SCAD offered me a big scholarship that is based on a combination of my grades and the portfolio I submitted.

Your pieces look like strong pieces, and that is what SCAD is looking for with the portfolios. They don't want your portfolio watered down with weaker artwork. I think they want ten or more strong pieces, but maybe less would still work. I submitted eleven.

Other schools offer similar scholarships, but SCAD offered me the most, taking huge chunks out of the tuition. If it weren't for the scholarship, I would most likely not be going to SCAD.

I hope that helps you in your search.

LiftNw8
01-13-2006, 02:33 PM
Hi David,
you definitely have some talent!! I have been going to Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online for 3 years now and love every minute of it. My degree is in graphic design, but they have all sorts of programs. By being online, I am able to work a full time job and go to school anywhere at any time. You should check it out -- http://www.aionline.edu/ -- I have also taken several classes at Sessions.Edu (also online) -- http://www.sessions.edu/programs/index.asp -- they have both degree programs and single classes you can take -- I highly recommend either of them.
gina I to would recommend http://www.aionline.edu/ I just started taking classes with them and am now into my third one, it seems to be a great school at least so far, and as Gina said it allows me to be at home and still get school done. What is important is that you find what fits you.