I, myself, am a graphic designer. But I didn't come here to talk about me. I'm 41 years old, and other than a master's degree 'someday', I'm done with college.
My oldest son will be starting college Fall '06, and he wants to go into Industrial Design (cinema, product, toy, that sort of thing). Man! I never thought a good industrial design program would so friggin' hard to find! This is what we've narrowed our choices down to;
- Art Institute of Orange County; one of very few that actually seems to offer a bachelor's program.
- Academy of Art (San Francisco); looks good, but he's concerned about the whole 'urban setting' thing. He's grown in the Seattle area, and has been attending private schools since he was 11 or 12. He much prefers a smaller, 'intimate' atmosphere.
- Art Center College of Design; I'm originally from L.A. (attended Woodbury Univ. for my BS in graphic design), so I know all about this school's rep. BUT, as anyone here knows...$$$$$$$!!! Plus, as a high school grad, his portfolio leaves much to be desired at this point.
- Otis College of Design; familiar with it, but don't know much about it.
- California College of the Arts; don't know much about it, but it does offer a BS in industrial design.
Right now, our best plan seems to be to start him at the Art Institute in Seattle (where they offer an associate's degree), and then transfer to AIOC after the 3rd quarter. Or, finish the associate's program at AIS, and then apply to Art Center. (I don't even want to think of what happens to my retirement after that).
Anyone know anything about these schools, or have other suggestions? He really does not want to travel all the to the East Coast, so please don't recommend RIT or something like that. We've already looked into several out that way, and he's said he doesn't want to go that far from home.
Does he really need to go to an AI school just to do his core classes? He could just as easily go to a community college for the same thing (I don't know if the cost reduction would be that much, though).
I've also read some concern in this forum over AI schools and their murky accreditation. This could prevent a transfer of degree/credits. Perhaps someone else here who knows more could help you out further...?
Okay, it's not as far as Rhode Island on the east coast but if you want affordability and a top notch program, might I suggest the College for Creative Studies in Detroit? Their ID program holds its own against any in the nation. Am I a little biased because I teach there? Sure, but I teach in Illustration and not the ID program. I've just seen some of the amazing things that have come out of that building and amazed at some of the alums from that program.
But here's a link if you're interested...
It's also the alma mater to Doug Chiang, Jay Shuster, Ed Natividad, Tani Kunitake and a litany of the guys who worked on Star Wars as well as being an automobile styling hotbed.
For more general information about mobility & transfer amongst the various schools try to take a look here for some information...
And if you don't mind me asking, why doesn't he want to go that far from home? And I'm not trying to make any character inferences here but if I wanted something top notch and knew the only place to get it was somewhere a little out of my comfort zone, I'd tough it out and go for the very best. I can understand from your POV that a parent doesn't want to see their kids going that far from home but it's his call?
And yeah, the retirement fund is gonna go out the window for you but then I'm sure that's just part of the sacrifice you've made for him already.
Good luck in deciding a place.
though this school is not on the westcoast might i suggest SCAD? It is in Savannah Georgia and has an amazing industrial design program. The great thing is they dont even require a highschool graduate to have a portfolio. Though if he wants some scholarships id sit his butt down and make him work for it lol.
that is just a suggestion by the way if he changes his mind about the east coast. Plus the city does have a very intimate setting.
Originally Posted by unknown_epiphany
Uh , no offense but no portfolio requirements?? What kind of dope is going to be sitting next to me if he has no skills to begin with other than he/she wants to be an industrial designer?? Now I have no idea what the program is like and unknown_epiphany could be bang on right with the assessment that SCAD has a righteous ID program but I'd be a little skittish.
I want to be able to go to a school where I'm going to get my ass pushed and be challenged by my peers as well as instructors. If I show up for a class with what skills I do have and the clown next to me hardly knows which end of the pencil to use but has these grand illusions of becoming the next big shit, what's the instructor going to do? Is he going to cater to the guy who is clueless or is he going to challenge the rest of us with some meager skill sets??
No offense but it sure as heck doesn't sound too legit when an art school has no criteria for admittance. Grand intimate atmosphere or not.
i will stay away from Art Institute well not all from wat i heard chicago AI is good, academy of art, full sail... i had done research i had some friends goes there they just is a waste of money they dont' teach u anything. they just end up goin to other schools..
OTIS is a good school i am goin there right now..
but i recommend take those foundation course at a CC so u can save some money.. find a major he is in too and just master at industrial design at art center..
art center is a very good school also a very hard school to get in too. but if he get accpted mind as well cut some budget and let him to go art school.. or apply for artcenter scholarship..
if your son is in to like animation Calart is also a very good school and also hard to get in
WhizBang - The "no portfolio" requirement allows SCAD to get a couple of years of tutition out of people who really can't make it. It's underhanded, but at least you are given the same chance as everybody else. The true test is to submit a portfolio for the scholarship and see if you can get money.
That said, it has absolutely no bearing on the quality of schooling you get. Profs in major classes are usually straight from their fields, the work is challenging, and the crunch of 10-week quarters is exhausting. SCAD's not easy at all.
Okay, here's a another one we came across; California College of the Arts (San Francisco/Oakland). Anyone know about this school? We just went to a presentation they had at the Seattle Art Museum. They look promicing. But then, what school is going to say, We suck. Look, here's a sampling of all our very worst students."
No, we're very concerned with the reputation from the AI schools we're getting from industry people. Of course, allot of them say, "you get out, what you put in." But then, we get a very cautionary 'vibe' when talking about the AI schools. One person quite bluntly said they're horrid.
Thanks for all the suggestions, but yes, anything east of Colorado is probably out. He really wants to stay on the west coast. As for community college...yes, I know lots of people do that. But I believe in the 'total immersion' approach. I like the idea of being buried in the whole the arts community from day 1. That's what I had, and I think I got allot out of it.
I would think a skilled instructor could address the needs of both students. Frankly WhizBang, I am thoroughly disappointed by your attitude toward those less skilled than yourself. Some folks, my son included, is strong student, and a creative artist (after all, he is his father's son...and also his mother, who is an accomplished charcoal artist). But having spent his time taking courses such as AP Calculus, AP Stats, AP English, Physics, 4 years of German, etc., he has had little time to spend the last 3 years working on a tight portfolio. You might do well to be a little less critical of those with a keen interest, but less experience. Schools which do not require a portfolio need not be seen as somehow LESS a learning experience. Naturally, those schools which do require a portfolio are more competitive, using the portfolio to separate the wheat from the chaffe. But because a school DOES NOT require a portfolio, does that neccessarily mean the school is to be avoided? No, I would think not. I would think the school simply bears a little more scrutiny on the part of the consumer.Originally Posted by WhizBang
That being said that your son is a strong student AND a creative artist, then he shouldn't have any problems getting into strong program WITH a portfolio. For those not as strong, I'm not saying to exclude them from entering a program but it should have Intro classes to build a portfolio for submission. That burden should fall upon the school itself and not the individual instructors.Originally Posted by Usherwood
That burden for the instructor to shouldn't have to teach to the lowest common denominator in the class. I just think that there should be some criteria for acceptance into a strong valid program. And like Mirana said, it seems as though the school at that point is milking (or is it bilking) students that really don't have a chance in the field??
As I said, through my own experience in earning my own degree (now, some 20 years ago), was that a skilled instructor could address the needs of both students, without compromising the skills of the advanced student, nor speak over the heads of the relative novice.Originally Posted by WhizBang
I don't favor one approach over the other as far as college admissions go.
I hardly think someone with a high degree of skills is going to find themselves sitting next to Forest Gump, in any setting, unless you are speaking in terms of a poorly financed and worse staffed rural community college. But then, if that were the case, would you, "The Next Big Shit" as you say, even find yourself going to that school? Not likely, right? The only thing I question, Whiz Bang, is your compassion and tolerance for those less skilled than yourself. The creative fields are filled with successful people who in the beginning had little or no experience, but plenty of desire and drive. I hope your holier-than-thou attitude is backed up by a stronger-than-most portfolio.Originally Posted by WhizBang
Now, if you have a reasonable suggestion as to a good Industrial Design bachelor's program, I would gladly hear it. I have already checked out SCAG, Otis, the College for Creative Studies, and a couple others mentioned here. What have you to offer, other than attitude?
This was actually his call. My first pick for his education was RIT. I had been looking into it for sometime, also I had some proffessional interactions with some of the instructors there, and was very impressed with everything I saw and heard. But, it is his call. We're letting him pretty much tell us what he wants to do. Also, he has visions of working in movies. And though movie work can be found in many places, L.A. seems to me most likely place to go, if that's what you want to do. But, he hasn't ruled out product design, toy design, and that sort of thing (hey, he's only 16--he's changed his mind on specific majors probably 3 times in the last 2 years). Plus he has a large support network in SoCal what with most of my wife's family and some of my own family remaining there.Originally Posted by Storyboard Dave
We went to a presentation given by CCA, and their program seems good. It's sounds kind of open-ended for the first few semesters. Kind of, an artistic exploration for the student, to determine where their strengths and interests really lay. If anyone has info or experience with CCA, I would certainly love to hear it.
I think I can sympathize with what whizbang is saying though.
I agree that a skilled instructor can teach to the highly skilled and the novice but that's a hope and prayer that you get one of those instructors. The very best instructors I had at CCS were working professionals and not necessarily full time instructors that had that sensitivity at times. They were artists first & foremost. Getting for one of those sympathetic instructors at the early stages of one's collegiate career is sheer luck.
I think a school should have some sort of Intro class or some form of Portfolio Preparation class for the less accomplished just so that can attain and prove to a school that they can hold their own. Schools should have some standards for admission but should also try to help in situations such as getting the less talented up to snuff. We do have to remember that these are specialized art schools and not general liberal art schools.
The industry will be hard enough on artists. It behooves the institutions that teaches and feeds the industry to come out with the very best. Even the most capable art school is not going to be able to serve every need that an artist is going to face in their careers but they shouldn't do what Mirana says SCAD does- in the sense that they're almost lying to them about their chances of succeeding in one form or another.
Art schools have reputations and standards to maintain and I think that's what whizbang is trying to get at. A little bit of an cocky attitude perhaps? I'd definitely say so but then I can also understand it if it's to maintain a certain level of security and attainment.
There should be a healthy medium for students of all levels to achieve their goals and there should be a level of honesty & integrity within the institutions themselves.
Have you taken him out to RIT to take a look without seeming like an overbearing dad? I think as long as he's got supportive parents that will let him choose and inform him on his choices (Lord knows I didn't have all the information needed then!), I think you guys will be fine. I've always espoused that ultimately it's got to be his happiness and contentment with his choices.Originally Posted by Usherwood
You guys still have some time to explore all the options.
Good luck with all of them.
And even better luck trying to pay for these somehow! EEK!
I recieved a degree in product design from art center and based on what I have seen from the other schools, I would have to say the only stateside school that plays in the same league is CCS. If he is truly serious about getting into the field, the school provides both the experience and the connections to help get your foot in the door and makes the transition into professional work easier than if you had come other schools. That being said, there is a local community college - Pasadena City College - that many use as an afford "prep" school before art center to build a portfolio.
"Nous sommes desoles que notre president soit un idiot. Nous n’avons pas vote pour lui."
You know, one reason why I am not a HUGE fan of bulletin boards and email is that messages do get muddled in the electronic translation, don't they.Originally Posted by Storyboard Dave
Yes, of course art schools have a reputation to maintain. And, by neccessity, the bigger the reputation, the more likely they are to chew-up and spit-out the less experienced, or the mild mannered. I am sure given the 'tude I'm feeling from WhizBang, he's probably quite the accomplisged artist (truly, that's what I think).
Probably one reason I personally will continue to struggle with attaining "greatness" is that I do feel it to be the responsibility of the more experienced to coach and inspire those with interest, but without the skills. Consequently, I have patience and sympathy for those with mediocre skills...and a short fuse with those without that sympathy.
Yes, introductory classes are certainly required for someone fresh out of high school, as compared with someone fresh out of high school, but already with a skillset needed for the creative career. Maybe my frustration with WhizBang's comments come from my desire to encourage a new generation of artists to be all that they can be...even if they themselves don't even know it yet. The message I got from WhizBang was, "If you don't have a portfolio, then stay the hell out of the way of 'serious' artists."
Okay, Storyboard Dave, your point is taken. WhizBang, sorry for my attitude in responce to your attitude (virtual handshake). However, my position still stands; we should encourage those without the skills, but with the desire. Portfolio'd schools are great, but non-portfolio'd schools need not neccessarily be seen as garbage, nor, as bilking unexperienced students of thier tuition dollars.
Well, there is unfortunately a financial reality to how many schools we can visit. I know in the big scheme of things the money paid for a plane ticket and a hotel over the course of a college tuition is minimal. But still, there's only so much cash to go around. I've been forced to limit college visits to only those schools he's actually accepted to. That way, we don't get there for him to say, "No." That would be an expensive syllabel.Originally Posted by Storyboard Dave
Exactly so. The greatest school on the face of the earth is not going to do him any good if he's not happy there.I've always espoused that ultimately it's got to be his happiness and contentment with his choices.
The woman from CCA who spoke with us did give him some very good information on preparing a portfolio for review, and it made the process seem a little less daunting for him. Since most of the schools have a February deadline for applications, he got a little more encouraged to get back to work on samples. Plus, Mom and Dad have replaced Family Game Night with Family Art Night just so he can work on portfolio pieces (and number 2 son, who is now 14 and also wants to go into art), and we can guide him along the way.You guys still have some time to explore all the options.
Tell me about it...I have three more just like him coming up though high school and middle school.And even better luck trying to pay for these somehow! EEK!
Originally Posted by Usherwood
Yipes! It seems as though before long you guys might be replacing Family Art Night with Family Get Several Jobs to Pay for School Night! Ouch!
I can sympathize for you with so many kids wanting to go to college soon. I can't even imagine how people pay for schools nowadays, but then conversely I had no idea how I paid for my schooling back in the day either. Somehow we all manage somehow someway.
I would strongly URGE you guys to get the financial aid paperwork as soon as possible and hope & pray there are enough funds out there to help you cover some of expenses.
I wish you well.
Yep. That's next on the hit parade. Fortunately, he's attending a college prep high school, so there's lots of resources to help us get all that straightened out. I remember back when I was doing this, I was flying solo. Councelors at school were no help, and Dad didn't give a rip whether I attended post-secondary or not. He thinks a college education is for drug addicts and beatniks (I broke his heart when I went in to study art--graphic design, actually--he believes a good foundation in a career has to involve large machinery, and organized labor). Looking back, if not for my Mom's second husband, I may not have gone to college at all.Originally Posted by Storyboard Dave
Well what I'm doing is taking a semester at the Art Institute of Washington (D.C), and then at the end of this semester I'm going to apply to Art Center. However the reason I'm taking this time to go to AI is because of my past academic record. I dropped out of my high school in 2003 with deplorable grades because of the massive amounts of laziness and stupidity I possessed. I got my GED this past February and started attending the art institute of washington this fall. I'm pretty much working my ass off here to build the highest grades possible, and come up with a pretty nice portfolio. I've been talking to the Illustration head at Art Center and he advised that my next step should be to attend the portfolio day that will be taking place here in D.C. on December 3rd. He told me a rep from Art Center will be attending, so he said to make sure I go and show them my work. While there, I can ask any and all questions I might have about the school. I'll get critiqued on what to change for my application and I will work on that in order to send it by mid-late December. This is my plan, I don't know how applicable/relevant it is to yours but I hope it's helpful.
P.S. I don't think he would have to finish the associate's at AI. If it's anything like AIW, the most traditional drawing classes he'll get will be in the first two quarters. That's about it. You shouldn't have to spend all that money, unless of course you feel he needs the time to work on his skills to build a better portfolio.
P.P.S. I didn't know that SCAD didn't require a portfolio. It's actually a pretty damn good school. An ex mentor/boss of mine recently began classes there for his master's degree in animation.
P.P.P.S I'm sorry to ask this of you, but if you discover any financial aid information for Art Center could you pass it along? I'm doing all I can to gather this info, but I don't want to leave any stone unturned (or whatever the phrase is). My parents are foreign and don't really know how to help with this sort of thing, and counselors are useless (especially trying to ask them to help me leave their school for another one.) I want to keep the "requested" money of my parents as little as possible because this is stress that they really don't need. I appreciate any help you can give me.
Last edited by BlackGuy; November 2nd, 2005 at 12:36 AM.
Portfolio Days can be wonderful to attend. We just got done with one at CCS in Detroit. It was great to see students showing portfolios and asking questions, not just of our school but everywhere else they wanted to attend. It was comparison shopping at best. Here's a link to others that are coming up.
Most of the schools we've spoken with directly so far say that their financial aid package comes AFTER the application is made. Other than that, they seem to be pretty tight lipped about it. We've submitted applications to 4 of 7 schools he's aplpying to, and so far we've seen exactly 1 aid package to-date. But, most of the schools seem to have the portfolio-, merit- (gpa), and need-based programs to help with finances. Some go as high as 100%, and then 75%, 50%, 25%, and so forth. If it's financial aid your most concerned with at this point, start by going to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. It's the governement student aid site. But, it'll get you started. If the statistics that I have heard or true, on average students can expect anything from 35% to 50% of tuition costs to be paid for through scholarships and grants from either private and public programs.Originally Posted by Gauge
AND, I just found out about checking into some of the more "ecclectic" programs. For instance, there is apparently a "Curly Hair Scholarship Fund" out there somewhere. Where, literally, you get school funding if you have...curly hair. Someone said it here, if you qualify for free money for school, GO GET IT!
Hey thanks for the props on CCS. I only took a handful of classes in the ID program but after seeing what some of those ID guys can do, it's pretty amazing. The one thing about the program that impresses the heck out of me now are the companies where all of the alums have gone. They've been coming back to the alma mater to lecture or hire too... talk about some sweet resource to have in a program!Originally Posted by seb
If his portfolio leaves as you say, much to be desired, I would suggest spending a year (or however long) working on bringing skills up to a higher level. Maybe taking 1 or 2 classes say on perspective or layout before enrolling for a full time program.
Before I started full time classes at a 2d/3d animation school, I spent a solid year and a half studying nothing but figure drawing. It helped me alot going into the program.
For the LA area there's also the Gnomon school of Visual Effects. They do have Production Design classes. You can take a look here:
Of course they also have some great DVD tutorials perfect for home study.
Hope this was of some help.
You are a level 8 ninja and even though you have a lot of weapons sometimes your ninja moves are your most powerful.
For beginning industrail design classes, you might want to look there.
I'm going to take a class there and see what's up with it. I looked at some of the student work, seemed crappy to me though.
But they had a display case of toys that were made in their machine shop that seemed impressive, so I don't know.
It's a new program and the teachers come from Cal State University Long Beach.
As I stated, industrial design at Long Beach, however it's not entertainment design.
...hhmmm...we've discovered that Western Washington University (Bellingham, WA...about 90 minutes north of Seattle) has an ID program. Apparently, you do not enter the ID program until the junior year (the first two years are taken up with GE's and 'rudimentary' art classes. Anyone have anything to say about WWU (or UW, which has a similar set-up)?
NC State University, College of Design
East Coast... a pretty decent undergrad program (I'm biased, graduated '96, ID)
I recently went back and the program has ramped up quite a bit - still teaching the fundamentals (ideation, rendering) but have moved into multi-disciplinary approaches with other dept. in the University. In addition to concentrating in computer/digital product development they have focus on furniture (wood/steel) design.