View Full Version : The AAU Online Support Thread

11-28-2006, 09:44 AM
In other threads there was support for a thread specifically for those in Academy of Art University's online degree programs. Since barring disaster I will be starting in January, I thought I'd start! :cool:

I think we could start with a couple of topics:

1) Tell us about about yourself - your background, what degree you're going for, and what you hope to get out of it.

2) If you're a current or former AAU online student, tell us about what to expect - what was a surprise, where the potential pitfalls are, the best things about studying art online, etc.

So, me:
1) I'm 40 and mother to a 10-month-old son. I have a BFA in interdisciplinary studies and my concentration was a mixture of painting and computer art. I worked as a graphic designer for about a decade before quitting to have this child and to work on fine art as a career. I hope to eventually establish a career as a gallery artist, and also perhaps to teach later down the line.

11-28-2006, 06:15 PM
I just wanted to check in and acknowledge your thread. My class workload for the current schedule is very demanding at the moment so I can only say hello for now.
Enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts – Painting and Drawing Online program – third year.

11-29-2006, 02:29 PM
Hi again!

I am also just starting out at AAU (MFA - Figure Painting), so I'll be curious to read any input from those out there with experience. Lurkers, time to join up! :wave:

I am 43, was a history major and had a government job, but went back into painting and sculpture about six years ago, and took a lot of classes and workshops. I hope to be a portait painter, and I like to be a little on the contemportary side. When I can, I'll put some of my work up, but my computer skills are a bit limited just yet. :o

11-29-2006, 07:19 PM
My name is David,

I am just finishing up my BFA in Illustration from Utah Valley State. I love it. I will be going into the MFA in Illustration program this next year. I'm in the process of finishing up my portfolio for that. I really don't think I will have a problem getting in. My foundations are pretty solid. I'll be doing the online program. I want to be a freelance illustrator, do some childrens book and novel illustrations, and then down the road probably go into teaching. I'm so glad that we started this forum. For those of us doing the online distance program I think this kind of interaction is vital to our success. That is one thing that I will miss is watching how everyone else approaches their work. I am lucky I guess that we have several figure and portrait drawing sessions around that I can go to that are loaded with talent.

I am 29, married and have two young kids, My little boy is almost 3 and my little girl just turned 6 mos old. My wife is a therapist. I love my little family. They are awesome. Its good to meet you all.

12-14-2006, 03:25 PM
Okay, got accepted and ready to roll! I think I may soon be too busy to post here, but I'll check in now and then to chat with others interested in the AAU programs. Also, I'd like to hear from people in other MFA programs, both on line and on campus schools. This could be a great resource for people making these big decisions. It is exciting to be starting a new chapter, and I can't wait!

12-16-2006, 06:04 PM
Congratulations! That is a big step. I know what you mean about busy. Every time I have talked with them over at AAU they have emphasised that the program is intense. I am doing the Illustration MFA online and they have plainly said that just because it may be an online program doesn't mean it will be easy or a skate course. They have a reputation to uphold. So good luck, and we would love to hear how the course work is going and some of the work you are producing. Exciting.

04-30-2007, 06:25 PM
Wow...I just talked to someone on the phone from AAU....and he had to have given me the worst customer service I have ever had from a college.

Him: "This is AAU what do you want." *nasty tone*
Me: "I have a quick financial aid question for you....."*bewildered*...
Him: "You a student?" *nasty again*
Me: "No..."
Him: "You apply yet?"
Me: "No....." *clearly not a happy kitty by this point*
Him: "That's odd, then why are you calling then, since we can't tell you anything if you haven't given us your info."
Me: "I just wanted to know if you had a monthly payment plan..."
Him: "Yea we have one of those."
Me: "erm...ok thanks...........I think.." *he hangs up phone*

I'm guessing you guys had a better experience?? Because that turned me off right there...

05-03-2007, 11:40 PM
I've been following this thread with curiosity. Any updates on your schooling? It sounds like a pretty hefty curriculum. I'd love to hear more.

05-30-2007, 11:02 AM
:wave: Hi all,
I came accross this school and found it very interesting. Now to find this forum it seems to be a sign:smug: Anyway, I am wondering if any of you know anything about the masters program in graphic design or art? I already have a BA in Art (and another in Philosophy) so I am needing to get a masters. Is this school worth the money and the time? Will I be able to make a living doing graphic arts at home? Do I even need a degree in it to do so? That is enough questions for now, I appreciate your help.
Thank you,
;-)Rhonda (aka the Philosopher Artist)

06-05-2007, 12:46 PM
I am giving AAU serious consideration. I spent over 2.5 hours on the phone with the admissions a couple of weeks ago, and the financial aid dept. emailed me a crap ton of information. So far, my dealings with the institution has been incredibly positive and friendly. Since I already have a BS, financial aid will be tricky. Most sources want to look at me as a grad student, not going back for a BFA.

What are the courses like? Looking at the foundation courses, and the emphasis on homework, it looks quite intense. Which is what I feel I need.


07-01-2007, 04:09 PM
I'm one week into my first course in the MFA in Illustration program at AAU. My background is: no BFA, out of school since 1993, work full-time, been working hard on my own for a few years but never got any teaching, and felt like it was time to begin.

I'm doing one course, Chiaroscuro, a fundamentals course. The summer semester is the same materials as a spring/fall semester packed into half as many weeks, so it's very intensive. Quick impressions from week 1:

Yes, it's very intensive. I'm finding 3-4 hours a night is needed just to keep up in this one course.
Grading is tough. You don't get an "A" for showing up. I've been working very hard and have grades in the C+ to B range. "C" is considered adequate according to AAU policy, and A's, I understand, are very rare.
You have to be very motivated to do the online program. If you don't love it, I could see the pressure getting the better of you. However, if you are, if this is what you love doing, they give you plenty of it.
So far I agree with all of the teacher's critiques of my work, and I'm definitely learning.
The breadth of material covered even in this foundation level class is dizzying to contemplate, from basic (perfect) shading of basic forms through composition, still lifes, casts, and photographs. I can't imagine how we're going to do all this in seven weeks, but the pace so far suggests that we will somehow.

Basically, my life is now: work, and this class. That's pretty much it. But I feel like I'm finally starting to get the classical education I've been craving. It's a lot of work, but it feels like the right kind of work and I have no doubt it's going to help me become a better artist.

07-09-2007, 05:12 AM
I am halfway thru a Masters of contemporary Art at UTAS by external mode. It isn't easy working alone without mentors and like minded people to bounce off. I live remote so WC has been my saviour for about 8 years.
I handed in my Thesis in June so it is downhill from now I hope, coursework for two semesters with two exhibitions included.
I am having a blank right now, my theme for this semester is "hands in the Environment " and every idea I have had has been sat on by my Supervisor.

If anyone here has any ideas about how to express such a theme with a basic ceramic ( fired or unfired) theme, (ceramics is my major)it can be an installation or series,I am just losing the plot with his negatives on my ideas.I just finished making a series of clay bones ( phalanges) and making imagery within the environment, he said " forget the bones just use the decay in the environment". GRRR The hands are the main theme!! sigh wish we could get a ticket into our Suoervisor's brainwaves!! LOL