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Old 05-12-2017, 04:39 PM
ShinyMoonz ShinyMoonz is offline
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Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
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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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 32
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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Join Date: May 2017
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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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