Next spring I want to move to America and become a full-time art student. I am hoping my savings will be enough, in combination with a part time job wherever I end up, to let me get a serious full-time education for a year or two somewhere. Unfortunately, 4-year art schools with degrees are not an option as I am 100% ineligible for any kind of financial aid or scholarships.
The problem I've had looking into schools is that it seems like most schools are geared towards fine/academic arts only. I'm worried that even if I study at a good fine arts school full-time, I won't get the skills I need for what I actually want to do (illustration). On the other hand, schools geared towards concept art seemed geared towards, well... concept art exclusively and nothing else, so I'd be missing out on other fundamental skills I need, even though this is closer to what I'm looking for since it's at least aimed at people who want to be working professionals making imaginative works. Are there any non-degree schools that have a focus on both fine arts fundamentals AND education for someone who wants to be a professional (non-gallery) artist, or is this just a beautiful pipe dream? I am desperate for recommendations for schools if anyone has any!
Or if anyone has studied somewhere that focused purely on fine arts when they wanted to get into concept art/illustration and could share their thoughts on if they thought the education was lacking and how they made up for the gaps, I would greatly, greatly appreciate it. If I can get all the information I need from a fine arts education and somehow make use of it, then great! But I know my limits and am worried that it would come down to having to learn a ton of essential information completely on my own to make up for what the schools lack, which I don't think I can do very effectively, which is why I want to get a real education in the first place...
I have a couple of schools that would be great fits for what I want, but I am anticipating that I will get rejected from these and want to look at as many options as possible. I know posts in this part of the forum generally just get ignored, but it would mean a lot to me if anyone had any input.
I am willing to move to absolutely anywhere in the USA, BTW, and work as hard as it takes if it will let me get a quality education putting my life on track. Thanks in advance for any advice you might have!
I'm impressed with this school. And I think Kevin Chen is allowed since he's a conceptart.org thread monitor and founded the above school.
The below video will give you an insight into their connections, persona's and philosophies. Very pragmatic people, not dramatic.
Last edited by NoSeRider; November 8th, 2012 at 01:01 PM.
It's definitely not a good thing to waste money on something that won't take you where you want, perhaps there are cheaper options such as private tutelage and the like?
Umm likewise, what kind of illustration are you considering? (technical? Such as medical illustration, scientific? Or more illustrative (children's books, stuff) illustration as a term itself is rather broad, but fundamentally, if you work hard, you can self learn much of the skills :0
But also, there might be benefits to some programs. Maybe fine arts will allow you to explore the fundamentals of anatomy and working in medium, maybe concept art will expand your draftsmanship, perspective, layout design, and creative thinking?
If you're really dead set on illustration, even some of us here on conceptart can help you up
Jason, I realize that of course you want to advertise your school to as many people as possible, and that's cool, especially if it helps you reach people who are a good fit for your programs and vice versa! but when I say right in my post I'm looking for non-degree schools since I can't afford them and am ineligible for financial aid, it doesn't feel so great to have someone jump in to tell me, "Come to our school! Now we have degrees!" But congrats on the accreditation, and I'm sure it'll be great news for those wanting to attend who are eligible for federal financial aid.
NoSeRider, thank you for your suggestion. This is a great example of the 2nd kind of school I was talking about, that's super focused on concept art where I'm not sure I'd be picking up skills I need for illustration, since they focus on things like technical perspective and vehicle design skills over, let's say, color theory and composition for storytelling.
Raymond Luk, thanks for sharing your opinion. Sadly I am a stereotype and want to do book illustrations some day, but for now my concern is just getting as much knowledge and technical skill as I can, since I have a long, long way to go. You may be right--I might have to go to a fine arts school for a while and then move a 2nd time to attend a concept art school to try to get a balance.
I believe the above school could fulfil your request for color theory and composition, but if you have an aversion to industrial design type classes and want something more traditional without spending 1,000's of dollars per class:
Personally, I can't help you out that much [in fundies], but I do have a friend who's into first year illustration and I can tell you that in terms of skills, they have a course that explores their creativity (how many things can you transform an object into), they got the life painting and life drawing classes (they paint and draw nude models or still lifes), they got a storyboarding class, and a creature design class.
In terms of skills - they do anatomy (full study of the skeleton and how it lays under the skin, i believe later they'll study the different muscles and how they overlap each other), lotsa perspective work, but their main focus is on rendering and painting (option to spend 3 hours a day, 6 days a week doing either extra life drawing or painting, or a combination)
Honestly, I can't think of any specific skills an illustrator would need, other than the ability to draw cleanly and think creatively. @_@ Basically, if you can draw, you could most likely become at least a free lance illustrator, if you have a great portfolio for clients ,_,