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Old 05-12-2017, 04:39 PM
ShinyMoonz ShinyMoonz is offline
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Unhappy Lost in college

whats up peoples. long time reader, first time poster.

So, I have an AA in Illustration from community college. Started going to a state University to continue illustration. However, the program is pretty lame. Between the "passive critiques" and classes that only teach extremely basic skills, it seems like a bad idea to continue. So I figured I'd give it time; take my foundation classes, experiment, figure out what I want. I now have NO IDEA what I want to do.

Now, I love to paint. Just feels right when I'm doing it even if it looks bad. But the only major that includes painting is "drawing painting and printmaking". The drawing classes teach like highschool level skills, and the printmaking classes focus on trying a whole bunch of techniques, but never actually choosing and sticking with one before you graduate. Not to mention only 2 painting classes....

Okay so here's my over all question. How do I figure out the right path? School is seeming like a cluster f of just trying things out, but I also feel it's necessary and makes it easier to network and learn about the industry. Do I just continue and trust that if I keep practicing every day I'll be fine in Illustration? Go for the only major with painting? Say screw it and go for digital art? Say forget it and try to make it on my own?

Anyways, sorry for the long post but I'm lost AF. Some insight would be wonderful. Favorite mediums are traditional drawing and painting. As a subject, I love human figure, portraits, most anything observational.

Thanks in advance folks
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Old 05-13-2017, 04:22 AM
Harmless Weirdo Harmless Weirdo is offline
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Re: Lost in college

I'd start looking for another program at another school, and transfer, even if it means moving.

My thinking is that if you're going to pile up debt paying for an education in your field (any field!), you should get what you're paying for in terms of quality and professional development--and it sounds like you're not going to get that where you are. There are excellent art and illustration programs at state schools, but (as you're finding out) there are a lot of programs that are just filler. You may end up with a BFA at the end of it, but if you haven't been challenged to create better, more sophisticated work, then what good is it?

As artists, we're primarily judged by our portfolios; having a BFA in itself has no value if the work you're producing is mediocre. So if you want a BFA, it's important to get into a program that will really push you creatively, because otherwise it's not worth the money. And if your work is good enough, you won't need a BFA.

If you're self-directed, you can do a lot to build skills outside of an art school/university degree program. I don't know where you live, but in bigger cities there are often drop-in life drawing sessions, or classes taught through atelier schools that emphasize traditional drawing and painting skills. Where I live, there's a community arts center that constantly offers classes in all kinds of media, and you can rent shop or printmaking studio time by the hour if you want to keep pursuing a medium without spending thousands on equipment.

None of this earns you college credit, and you'd have to pay for individual classes out of pocket, but you might find it a useful way of getting the education you really want and increasing your skills without going the BFA route. Or, it would help you build an even better portfolio that would get you into a much better school, should you choose to continue with a BFA.

But for now, I wouldn't rack up any more debt in an inferior program that isn't meeting your needs as an artist. There's just no advantage to doing so.
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Old 05-13-2017, 12:49 PM
ShinyMoonz ShinyMoonz is offline
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Re: Lost in college


Good words I appreciate the response. My only issue here is the lack of other schools that offer art programs around me. I've got UMBC, and MICA. UMBC is honors and super competitive, and theirs no way in hell I would ever pay into the scam of actual art schools like MICA.
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:00 AM
TheLibrarian TheLibrarian is offline
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Re: Lost in college

I'll start off saying that I don't have an art degree and do not work in the art field but I suspect if you do want to get a job in art then do digital art. It's painting, it's drawing it's just digital. Give it a chance idk how much you've experimented with it. Of course the smart thing would to be an accountant but few of us actually realized how good advice that was. You could maybe be a superstar artist or supplement your income with side work using traditional painting and drawing but to actually work like a real person in illustration and support yourself with a paycheck. I suspect it's very digital. Perspective, shading, color you do all that digitally it's not cheating.

Not that anyone wants a paycheck sure we'd like to be superstars but honestly be an accountant. Sit on your yacht with 9 months off and paint whatever you want. I think it's the cpa masters degree requires to do it from the start with the right bachelors too. Then you do one companies taxes and get millions of dollars. Sorry i always push that one when people ask about college. Of course the reality is if we went further down the rabbit hole to be that guy is likely just as likely as being Lebron James or Andy Warhol (but probably a little easier as the competition in art and being a good runner is pretty steep and dentists and accountants make good money no matter what).
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:20 PM
Use Her Name's Avatar
Use Her Name Use Her Name is offline
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Re: Lost in college

Personally, having just gotten a MASTERS in a field I decided I hated, I would say study something that will lead to more money and learn art on your own, because in the end, getting good is a matter (as you say) of doing and practicing. If you are going to study art, the best way is to get instruction at workshops. Some are hard to get into and cost some money. Interning to an artist you like a lot is also a potential. (The prestigious "Studied under Famous Artist" has more force than "Went to local state college." )

There is nothing wrong with having the diploma, of course. If you want it, you want it. A degree will lead you to various places, but so will entering contests, getting into art groups, having your work published.

If you love to draw, have you considered doing tattoos? This is a 100$ per hour job that you could work for. There are schools too if you want to spend money. I'll bet in the long term, it is a more lucrative career than "illustrator."
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:04 AM
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AnnieA AnnieA is offline
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Re: Lost in college

I have to agree with the others who said that it doesn't sound like the school where you are now is the right place for you. But if you're still there now, there is probably an academic counseling program and often they'll offer a battery of tests that help identify aptitudes and interests, and suggest potential career directions based on those and other testing results. I took the tests years ago and found the results surprisingly helpful. If you're completely unsure of your direction that would be an excellent place to start. Or perhaps you have an academic advisor who you could talk to?

If you're pretty sure you want to do painting and drawing, maybe the instructor(s) of the two painting classes you mentioned would have some time to advise you. There are sure to be people out there who can and want to help -
you just have to find them. Best wishes.
C&C always welcome ©

“Life is a pure flame and we live by an invisible sun within us.”
― Sir Thomas Browne

Last edited by AnnieA : 07-23-2017 at 03:13 AM.
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