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Topic: Any artists here? Need Your Advice
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Feb 25, 2010 08:08AM)
Well, since my job moved to Mexico, I have had time to think and ponder about a career change. I really have my heart set on becoming an illustrator or a commercial artist. Drawing, painting, sketching is something I've always liked to do ever since I was a small boy, and I know I have the talent if only it could be developed.

The two main schools I know about are Famous artists schools, and Art instruction Schools. I have already found out that A.I.S doesn't accept Pell Grant or G.I bill. Makes me wonder if they have their nose up in the air since they are both real money. And I currently have no income coming in, which means I have GOT to find funding or I'm out.

Any way, I was wondering if anybody here has had any dealings with these two art schools and could recommend one over the other for a particular reason?

I appreciate your advice as ol' Daff is overdue for a career change.
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (Feb 25, 2010 08:29AM)
I am not an artist, but I am experienced in the world of technical schools vs. colleges. Technical schools, be it auto-mechanic or art, rarely take financial aid. Why? They are schools built to run as a business. Its unfortunate, but that's the truth. State recognized schools are the ones that accept those forms of financial aid.

Art schools, along with other technical schools, have their nose up in the air to make you think it is a great place to go and that they are of high quality. In my research, it usually isn't the case. Mind you I am talking very generally about technical schools. They can be very helpful and provide opportunities that you didn't have before. But, they are usually overpriced, don't lead to the job leads you are looking for, and don't accept financial aid. Also, if you change your mind halfway through the program you are obligated to finish and will still have to pay the full tuition.

To me, community college is a great place to start. They are cheap, have a wide range of opportunities, and have resources to lead you where you want to end up. Technical schools usually can only provide a "certificate of completion" and not a REAL degree. At least if you were to start at a community college it can lead to an associates. Even if you have one already, getting another isn't necessarily a bad thing. From there, you can go on and get a BA in art or whatever you desire. If community college doesn't work out after a few semesters, at least you can get out of it and have spent minimal money.

All I am saying is do your research and make a real plan for yourself before you sign on the dotted line. If it helps, you can go to community colleges and universities and talk with counselors who can help you figure out what path you should go on depending on what your wants/needs are. Good luck!
Message: Posted by: tommy (Feb 25, 2010 09:10AM)
That is a tough game to go into. An easier game is gas. As in:

http://www.ableskills.co.uk/gas_training.htm?gclid=CKSMh-zhjaACFVcB4wod0ReVdw
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Feb 25, 2010 09:38AM)
Have you keep up with your art, do you have a portfolio? Have you already developed the discipline to produce on demand the ideas of others? If some one told you a short story, could you turn out a cover picture that would inspire the prospective reader to want to read the book. Do you think you can do all this under strict deadlines?

If you can do all this, you could use the internet and create a web site that showcases your artistic talents and abilities. Use your art to sell yourself and you will demonstrate your abilities to sell the products of others.
Message: Posted by: MAGICBYTIM (Feb 25, 2010 10:02AM)
I am not an expert but one thing to think about is the job prospects with that kind of degree. I have a room mate from college that was laid off from a graphic design job over two years ago. The art world is struggling. Not ever job area is but a lot of them are.
He tells me the same thing has happened in the graphics world that I hear photographers tell me. With the increase in computer software and other hard ware everyone is an expert. See if you can find a nich and go to the school that offers that area. You may find that to be night classes at the local college.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Feb 25, 2010 10:57AM)
Aren't we *all* artists? Haven't I read that in the Food for Thought forum about a thousand times? Or was that something I read on Theory11 or Ellusionist?

(On a side note: why doesn't my spell checker underline Theory11?)
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Feb 25, 2010 01:13PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-25 09:29, Close.Up.Dave wrote:
I am not an artist, but I am experienced in the world of technical schools vs. colleges. Technical schools, be it auto-mechanic or art, rarely take financial aid. Why? They are schools built to run as a business. Its unfortunate, but that's the truth. State recognized schools are the ones that accept those forms of financial aid.

Art schools, along with other technical schools, have their nose up in the air to make you think it is a great place to go and that they are of high quality. In my research, it usually isn't the case. Mind you I am talking very generally about technical schools. They can be very helpful and provide opportunities that you didn't have before. But, they are usually overpriced, don't lead to the job leads you are looking for, and don't accept financial aid. Also, if you change your mind halfway through the program you are obligated to finish and will still have to pay the full tuition.

To me, community college is a great place to start. They are cheap, have a wide range of opportunities, and have resources to lead you where you want to end up. Technical schools usually can only provide a "certificate of completion" and not a REAL degree. At least if you were to start at a community college it can lead to an associates. Even if you have one already, getting another isn't necessarily a bad thing. From there, you can go on and get a BA in art or whatever you desire. If community college doesn't work out after a few semesters, at least you can get out of it and have spent minimal money.

All I am saying is do your research and make a real plan for yourself before you sign on the dotted line. If it helps, you can go to community colleges and universities and talk with counselors who can help you figure out what path you should go on depending on what your wants/needs are. Good luck!
[/quote]

Thanks for your sage advice! I will be more careful and circumspect before making a final decision. When they tell me their course is fully accredited and worth 24 college credits, are they just twisting words around?
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Feb 25, 2010 01:14PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-25 10:38, Tom Bartlett wrote:
Have you keep up with your art, do you have a portfolio? Have you already developed the discipline to produce on demand the ideas of others? If some one told you a short story, could you turn out a cover picture that would inspire the prospective reader to want to read the book. Do you think you can do all this under strict deadlines?

If you can do all this, you could use the internet and create a web site that showcases your artistic talents and abilities. Use your art to sell yourself and you will demonstrate your abilities to sell the products of others.
[/quote]

These are things I would do if I had formal training, which brings me back to square one.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Feb 25, 2010 01:16PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-25 11:02, MAGICBYTIM wrote:
I am not an expert but one thing to think about is the job prospects with that kind of degree. I have a room mate from college that was laid off from a graphic design job over two years ago. The art world is struggling. Not ever job area is but a lot of them are.
He tells me the same thing has happened in the graphics world that I hear photographers tell me. With the increase in computer software and other hard ware everyone is an expert. See if you can find a nich and go to the school that offers that area. You may find that to be night classes at the local college.
[/quote]

Well, maybe if I developed my drawing and paining to a high degree, I could freelance.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Feb 25, 2010 01:23PM)
MagicbyTim is quite right. Before investing any time or money twards a career in art I'd seriously look into the potential job prospects. Nothing worse than getting a degree and having to end up working at Home Depot because there aren't any jobs in your chosen field.

I'd seriously look into web development with an emphasis on data base management as a future source of employment. Your art skill would be of use as the design element of web design is often laking.

I have lots of friends who have or have tried full time careers in art. Most of them eventually gave up and those who are still plugging along at it aren't making any money at it.
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (Feb 25, 2010 02:44PM)
[quote]
Thanks for your sage advice! I will be more careful and circumspect before making a final decision. When they tell me their course is fully accredited and worth 24 college credits, are they just twisting words around?
[/quote]

Yes indeed. What would be a good question to ask is what colleges does it transfer to? Or maybe call a college and find out if they accept their credits. I have "credits" from the HVAC school I went to and no college will take them. Also, 24 credits is less than half the amount of an associates degree. I would compare how much 24 credits cost at a community college versus the amount that the art school costs. Also, if those credits don't transfer then you would be setting yourself back if you want to actually get an associates. What they offer is a certification, not a degree.
Message: Posted by: Dreadnought (Feb 25, 2010 04:50PM)
Try the Savannah College of Art and Design. They take pell grants as well as other grants and forms of tuition assistance. I would imagine they would also take the GI Bill. I am also sure they have job placement.

Link: http://www.scad.edu/

Peace and Godspeed.
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (Feb 25, 2010 04:55PM)
And one more thing: Most community colleges offer associates in things like culinary arts, art, general education, etc. Some associates degrees can lead you to having a piece of paper that says you are educated in art. Again, do as much research as you can. Starting off on the wrong foot when going back to school can lead to financial disaster. You could end up paying for and taking wrong classes or miss out on scholarship opportunities.

You also might want to write a few emails of places that you thought might be good places to work. Find out what kind of schools/education they require and make some goals for yourself. If you want to draw disney cartoons, email disney. If you want to draw political cartoons for the paper, email or call the newspaper.

Going to school isn't as easy as tech schools or universities say it is. But, it does have its rewards. Not going back to school can also more financially savvy if you don't need a degree for what you want to do. Make some realistic short term goals and shoot for wherever you want to be in the long run

Dave
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Feb 25, 2010 05:32PM)
You guys are giving me the most excellent advice I could wish for. I am going to read and re-read everything said in this thread.

I called Famous artists schools this afternoon, and when I asked, they told me they are not even accredited.
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Feb 25, 2010 08:17PM)
Famous Artists may market in a cheesy fashion, but it does have some cred in the pro illustration world:

For example [url=http://illustrationart.blogspot.com/2009/12/on-difficulty-of-drawing-womens-faces.html]THIS POST[/url] from one longtime working illustrator

The ASIFA Hollywood Archive calls it [url=http://www.animationarchive.org/2006/04/media-chads-design-for-television-1960.html]"one of the best art instructional courses ever created."[/url]

(See ASIFA post on typical [url=http://www.animationarchive.org/2009/11/wash-painting-in-praise-of-happy.html]LESSON MATERIAL[/url])

[url=http://www.animationarchive.org/2006/06/media-willard-mullin-on-animals.html]AND ANOTHER[/url]

In this case, I think you may be looking for a degree and almost missing actual practical training ... I would not say that, of course, about every similar concern about commercial trade schools.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Feb 25, 2010 10:59PM)
Good advise here.

In the real world, when push comes to shove, your work -- and your ability to deliver -- are more important that your degree. The fields of graphic design and illustration are driven by deadlines, and sometimes they're darn near impossible to fill. Burnout is a common occupational hazard. You're just a commodity, and there are lots of others who would be happy to take your job if you left.

Sure there are exceptions. Just like there are probably several thousand actors making bare minimum wages for every star making millions. But. among other things, the stars are known to deliver. Talent is one thing; making the business profitable is something totally different.

My suggestion would be to find some local designers and talk with them about the field. See what they say. Find out how they got where they are. And see if it's worth it to you.
Message: Posted by: Nosher (Feb 26, 2010 04:05AM)
Short cut for you Doug...

1. Buy dead bison (bull will do in pinch). Stick 3 umbrellas (2 opened, 1 closed) in the carcass, dump on steps of large public building (town hall, library) and splash some fake blood around. Tell reporters (who you called in advance) it's called Metacognitive Dissonance No 4. Refuse to remove carcass citing artistic integrity etc...

2. Obtain large concrete block. Cover with cupie dolls. Blowtorch cupies until bodies are melted to concrete, leave faces alone. Place block in the highest traffic pedestrian area in your town, where it will be most annoying. This one is Urban Decay - Stasis.

3. Post notice on art college/university noticeboard for male and female volunteers for mass photography 'experience'. Volunteers to congregate in city's busiest intersection at 8:30 am - wearing masks of their choosing and a t-shirt with a hole cut in it to expose left breast/chest. No need for a name for this. Hopefully police will shut you down and allow for figurative pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth in the name of art.

After all this you should have enough artistic integrity and notoriety to cobble together practically anything and flog it for 10K a pop...

Yours in semi-jest,
Nosher
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Feb 26, 2010 07:58AM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-25 21:17, rossmacrae wrote:
Famous Artists may market in a cheesy fashion, but it does have some cred in the pro illustration world:

For example [url=http://illustrationart.blogspot.com/2009/12/on-difficulty-of-drawing-womens-faces.html]THIS POST[/url] from one longtime working illustrator

The ASIFA Hollywood Archive calls it [url=http://www.animationarchive.org/2006/04/media-chads-design-for-television-1960.html]"one of the best art instructional courses ever created."[/url]

(See ASIFA post on typical [url=http://www.animationarchive.org/2009/11/wash-painting-in-praise-of-happy.html]LESSON MATERIAL[/url])

[url=http://www.animationarchive.org/2006/06/media-willard-mullin-on-animals.html]AND ANOTHER[/url]

In this case, I think you may be looking for a degree and almost missing actual practical training ... I would not say that, of course, about every similar concern about commercial trade schools.
[/quote]

Wow! Thanks!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading those articles and seeing the examples! It was fascinating seeing how the artists accomplished what they did! Gives you a new appreciation for the work they do.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 26, 2010 06:33PM)
I'm not an artist but I play one on the internet. Pays the rent. Find a niche and fill it.

Schools are for teachers. Graduate artists are digging ditches.

Attend the Comic-Con this coming July. See and MEET the KIDS that turn out the most awesome stuff you can imagine. Meet working artists that are WORKING.

There are ONLINE instruction sites that can learn ya the basics. (and beyond) The real mcoy comes from inside.

But what do I know...nothin'.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Feb 27, 2010 06:52AM)
Actually, you know quite a bit. Where is that convention being held?
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (Feb 27, 2010 12:29PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-26 19:33, Doug Higley wrote:
Find a niche and fill it.

Schools are for teachers. Graduate artists are digging ditches.
[/quote]

I couldn't agree with these statements more
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 27, 2010 04:57PM)
Comic-Con ALWAYS in San Diego and in July.
BUT..there are rublings to move it to LA or Anaheim and bigger digs. It sells out every year a full YEAR in advance! But it's a mind blower to be sure.