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Sorry if this is in the wrong place or a bit vague. I've just made a terrible conclusion about my art education and I'm in a bit of a fluster at the moment.
OK, so I'm just about to start my third year of a Bachelor of Fine Art, with a major in Painting/Drawing, at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney and I've come to the conclusion that I'm not getting what I want out of the degree. At all.
It could just be that I have unhelpful lecturers that wont point me in the right direction to get what I want, but I seems like I spend my entire time doing things that are counter productive or just plain cryptic.
What I'm looking for is an Australian, preferably Sydney based, university or college that offers Illustration/Concept art based degrees. Or at least has schemes with a focus on this.
Any information or experiences people have to offer that's relevant is also appreciated. I honestly have no idea where to look for information (since I apparently have my dumb hat on today).
I know COFA offers some electives with design, illustration or concept development based focuses, but they're electives. One off things that are all offered in the second half of the year and, from what the online help indicates, not particularly well throughout.
I am at the beginning of my career as a concept artist and what I have come to learn is that it's not that if you have a degree, but it is your portfolio that sells you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want have a chat - I'm in Sydney myself.
I am currently organizing Australia's 1st International Concept Design Workshop for 2 weeks in May this year. Check out the website at http://www.cdwa2011.com
its gonna be an awesome event and learning experience and I hope it might be what your looking for. Email me if you would like any other information!!
Thawn is right - a degree means F*%# all.
dont stress, you can do better just learning on your own. however I am an intense advocate for learning about all types of art, not just concept art. because believe me, concept art is NOT the high art form so many hold it up as. its a means to an end - its a job.
dont get me wrong, its a great job. but you'll never be banksy while sitting there drawing chicks with big tits holding swords.
end of the day concept art cannot exist as an entity unto itself, so learn about a wide range of things. and have fun with it.
Across the board it's very hard to find an institution that focuses on practical skills in a degree course. Most schools feel they need to demonstrate an academic rather than a practical focus in order to gain accreditation as degree courses.
Until recently I taught drawing at Billy Blue College in North Sydney, which when I joined had an Advanced Diploma course with a very strong focus on drawing and computer skills. This was phased out and replaced by an Associate Degree course in which the drawing component is token in quantity and mediocre at best in quality by the standards promoted in this forum. There are still some outstanding multimedia lecturers there, though they now have much more limited time in which to teach the various programmes.
The only exception to this rule in Sydney is the National Art School at Darlinghurst, whose degree course has a much higher practical to theoretical balance than all of the Universities, and whose theory component is excellent and significantly less esoteric than much of what you are probably getting at COFA. I teach a course there on colour in the Art History department, and some anatomy in the Drawing Department. As far as I know they don't teach much in the way of digital painting etc. there, which may be why you chose COFA.
I think that artists today generally need to supplement their degree course with a greater or lesser period of study in non-degree courses, to build up their practical skills to whatever level they personally desire. At this stage you're probably best off finishing up at COFA and making the most of what it is, rather than stressing about what it isn't (eightsix is absolutely right, you're really better off not just studying concept art). Then go somewhere like the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney (where I also teach) or of course the Art Department (see above!) for whatever practical skills your degree course didn't cover.
Hello! I found this thread via google and I thought I might bump it up a bit.
(Warning long post!)
I really really need some help and advice on possible design/illustration courses as I've just recently moved to Sydney and reconsidering my entire field of study. I've done a years worth of a BA Psychology with a bunch of visual arts electives and I've recently just realised(slash conjured up the determination) to pursue what I really want which is art. The original plan was to study at COFA and transfer whatever art unit credits I had from my previous study over. However, I've come to the realisation that a Fine Arts degree might not be where I want to go. Although I love the theoretical, conceptual and experimental component of fine arts I want something more practical and "career" based like design/illustration.
The problem is, first of all, there seem to be so many options available I'm a bit overwhelmed at which path to take. Second I need to make a decision, pretty much like, NOW for mid-year intake for whatever prep studies I need to do for 2013 intakes etc etc because institutions seem to make it so difficult for applications at different times!
So the options I've been looking at:
Advanced Diploma of Design and Illustration Skills at Enmore TAFE especially seems very promising and also the Bachelor/Associate/Diploma of Illustration at NMIT (yes its in Melbourne but since I'm in a transitive state at the moment anyway, moving isn't really a problem). Anyone know about these courses or have/is studying them??
I've also been looking at the Art Department online program and it seems amazing but does anyone know if you get the same out of doing the full-time course online as you would at a regular uni or college? I.e. the same chances to make friends, network and immerse yourself in the study experience. Is it worth it to study full-time online? (Maybe I'm just digitally backward but face-to-face learning always seem more legit)..
So Billy Blue has changed their course focus? I was considering them because their course seemed very well thought out with a strong emphasis on hands-on skills and is very industry based but reading the above post it seems like it has less to do with illustration now. Would you not recommend it then for the more "artsy" side of design??
Another option I'd considered is continue on with my offer at COFA or whatever Fine Arts degree around (I've been looking at RMIT's BA Fine Arts too) and just to a part-time Diploma in Graphic Design that would give me sort of an illustration and technical focus....
aaaaaaahhh, I'm sorry for all the questions but I've been doing my head in about this and going to career counsellors but they either don't seem to care, don't understand what I'm after or only know what THEIR institutions offer in terms of study options. So I am seeking help online as a last resort...
As a last note as well, I am well aware that its not WHERE you go to study "its your portfolio that will get you success in the creative industry!! blah blah" but, if what my past art teachers have said is true, that is I have a lot of potential (or it could have been a nice way for them to say I suck), I need to find a place/course of study that will help best hone my skills and nurture that potential and be able to produce a great portfolio and get me where I want to be in terms of illustration and design. Something more directed and focused than a Fine Arts degree, but more "artsy" than a Visual Communication degree that focuses on advertising etc. Something thats both digital and traditional in terms of medium with a bit of interactive media elements. I want to, someday or somehow, get into or work alongside the games industry as a well-rounded artist, but I don't want that to be my only specialisation...perhaps I'm asking for too much or don't know what I want??
Please please please if you know about any of the courses above or have any advice I would LOVE and REALLY appreciate it!! I really need to make a decision on a plan of attack on my study path VERY SOON as I don't want to waste anymore time choosing the wrong path, so any information would be AMAZING!
(End of rant)Phew!
Billy Blue is distinctly less focussed on illustration and practical skills in general than it was say five years ago, but as I said above, these days everyone should expect to have to supplement their degree course with a period of study in practical schools like Julian Ashton's in Sydney or the Art Department, for as long as they need to get the additional skills that they desire. For your degree course I'd still recommend that you also look at the National Art School, which would be an unqualified first recommendation apart from the fact that they have little or no digital content outside Photography. For practical drawing and painting skills with in-depth anatomy, colour theory (including digital), tonal painting etc, see Ashton's, or also some of the holiday and evening short courses at the National Art School. There a couple of other schools here that offer courses in gaming and animation, but I don't really know much about them. If you are going to the Concept Design Workshop this week (see threads here), or even just this Saturday, it would be a fantastic opportunity to find out first hand what's available.
Last edited by briggsy@ashtons; July 1st, 2012 at 11:42 AM.
I would love to go to the workshop this Saturday but I've just recently moved to Sydney I'm a bit skint on cash and will most likely be working :/
What about the Art Department courses and the Tafe Adv. Dip in Design skills and Illustration? Any idea if that's any good? It sounds like COFA is pretty focused on the conceptual side, I might defer this Semester, do some short courses and maybe do a basic TAFE Cert IV in Interactive Media or Digital Technologies??...aaah so many choices...I'm not sure I want to do a complete Bachelors at the National Art school as I don't think theres enough of a digital component involved...I'm pretty good with my 'analogue' hand skills but all the skills I learnt experimenting with Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash MX when I was 15 I have lost completely and I have probably 0 skills with those programs now...so I would like something that involved some kind of digital component..I mean I could always completely teach myself sure but a course with that kind of thing integrated into its program as a guide would save me a lot of time, money and headaches...
Anyway, thanks for your feedback! And I'm looking into the Winter drawing and painting classes at the NAS now.
The Winter classes at NAS have just finished but if you mean the Semester 2 classes you'll need to get a move on as the cut-off day is this Monday. If you pick oil painting I'll be your tutor!
Best of luck ayway, and hopefully someone else can chime in with something about the other courses you mention. I assume you've looked into the Bachelor of Digital Media at COFA as well as the Bachelor of Fine Arts?
I not long ago found out about the concept art industry and was automatically tranced by it. Im a little ashamed that i didn't find it early as I've been out of school for 3 years and jumped from course to course and job to job neglecting my drawing along the way.
I participated in CDW last week and enjoyed it greatly, learning more about the industry and how friendly the artists are. It was held at Enmore Design Centre.
TO THE ORIGINAL THREAD STARTER:
if you are still looking at a oneway concept art course as basic as it is, enmore recently have started one. at the moment its only one year long. The Teacher i spoke to said the name of the course online does not have concept art in it at all for some stupid reason, trying to fit with the criteria, but if you search enmore design centre and 19331 as the course number on the tafe new site you will get it. The focus of traditional mediums for the first half of the course.
your name and the ashton college got thrown around the room for your colour theory during this workshop at some point, your renown amongst the sydney art community and i wouldn't second guess any word you say about the institutes you work at or any other information you post.
and to my last point, i will be spending today researching and looking for anything that will help me with my anatomy with my drawings. that right now is my biggest weakness and without that i will be going no where. so any information you guys can give me would be great