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Hello everyone, I'm quite new here and I have been snooping around looking at information about how to plan for an Art Career, I am still very confused and unsure about some things and I would be honored if someone could give me their opinion about my approach to A.I.
I am currently out of school, just a High School Diploma at hand and pretty abysmal grades to be honest I barely graduated due to my fooling around and not taking education seriously during HS. Working dead end jobs and my only passion is drawing (Game Related Originals ), yet my drawings are far from what is expected for commercial purposes. I have a few approaches I would like to post, if someone would kindly give me advice on which is better, or if there are other routes to the goal I want to achieve. I further messed up my road to my goal by attending a few classes at Orange Coast College and I had a family emergency and went to japan, Divorce and all that fun stuff and I was marooned there for a bit with my mother and eventually got enough to get back to California, unfortunately I did not cancel those classes so they want me to take them over. ( I screwed up alot in life I understand )
1. Work 2 jobs this year and enroll for A.I. by next year saving up to 5-7 grand to soften the blow some. While I attend A.I. and work a job, acquire as many grants and scholarships to cushion my way up so that I wont be looking at such a monstrous sum of money I need to repay at the end of my Education, then if I am skilled enough and recruited into a Studio I can probably pay that off in time.
1b. An extension to the first approach, try to get a paid internship to a game studio ( I am not sure if A.I. has some kind of way of giving people looking for this opportunity some kind of certificate of some sort so that I may start trying to get experience in the field ) all the way to the end of the Education term.
2. This is highly unlikely due to my lack of transportation but, working 1 job and saving money, try to get an unpaid internship at a studio doing work so that I can learn skills , the flow of work in the industry, while building a portfolio so that I may try to apply at that very same studio for a job. and Highly unlikely due to lack of experience * I'm sure they don't want to train someone either way due to their cram deadlines *
3. This was a suggestion from someone I know that goes to Brown College for game art and design for 3d animation. He suggested that I try to find a Quality Assurance for a game company and work there for half a year, then try to move on up in the company, see if they recommend going to A.I. to get what they need in an employee.
4. This is probably the most cost friendly yet slowest, and hardest approach that I thought of, is to attend some art classes / graphic arts (3D) and work on a portfolio, asking around and seeing what is expected of a potential hire, which programs are needed ( Traditional art / Graphic Illustration / 3D design and animation , not sure what else I need ). With this, try to apply myself at various studios ( With research on what the company looks for in an employee ).
If anyone is currently in or have graduated from A.I for Game Art and Design, I am very eager to hear any advice on how to approach this road. Thank you very much in advance!
Dude..There are a lot of threads about A.I on this forum, not to mention the internet. Do a search and you'll pull up more than you could read..
Whatever, I'm going to post because I'm bored. An ex-A.I student here who took Game Art and Design. I dropped out after my 2nd semester because I couldn't stand paying the tuition fees and the instructors there were douches and incompetent as hell.
Not sure about the other Art Institutes but from reading all the replies on other message boards, the consensus are the same. A.I just plain blows.
First of all, you have to understand that A.I are privately owned schools(more like businesses) so they charge you more on tuition fees and basically everything else to cover their expenses of well..operating a school. You'd think with the ridiculous fees they're charging you that they'll be able to hire people who have real industry experiences and could actually teach.
I'll briefly describe my 2 semesters there.
The first semester consisted of all fundamental courses which included life drawing, color theory, basic design + art history, intro to drawing (perspective, basic drawing lessons).
The pace of the classes were a bit slow, the assignments were relatively easy but I shrugged it off because I thought it was the 1st semester and they didn't want to scare anybody away. Semester began and quickly rolled on by. I passed all my classes with really high marks. Suspicously high marks. But again, I shrugged it off. Later I would learn the school have adopted a "everyone succeeds at A.I!)
2nd semester began and courses included basic 3d modeling, basic photoshop lessons that were probably ripped from the net, more life drawing, story telling which was basically the instructor assigning you to watch a bunch of indie movies and discussing about it the next class. For the final assignment for that class, we got to write a story!!! I just wasn't happy there and felt like I was wasting my time and tons of money there. Questions for the instructors usually were replied with half-ass answers and inevitably turned off topic or they were clueless about it.
Just because the so called instructors say they've worked in the industry and have industry experiences does not mean they are fit to teach! Heck, I could work at a company, texturing soccer player jerseys for FIFA and that does not mean I should be teaching. While I was still there, I often hear some people joking about the instructors being rejects of the industry and didn't understand why they would say that...
Biggest mistake of my life but I am thankful I left before I was left with a huge debt to pay for the rest of my life. Some of my friends/classmates I still keep in contact with who finished the program aren't so fortunate. Now I'm not saying everyone who goes there end up with bad experiences. Some people who graduate from A.I do get jobs in the industries but the numbers are small. I've noticed that the people who do get jobs usually were talented, accomplished artist before they came to A.I....
I hope this does not turn you off from going to school to study. There are some legit art schools out there such as the Art Center or even one here on Concept Art. My advice for you is to do A CRAP LOAD of researching before you enroll at a school. Google the school and try to find past students of the school and perhaps email them and ask them about it.
What I've learned since A.I is to not to rely on the instructors and school when it comes to your education. You have to be in charge of it.
....whoops, I have to leave. I'll post more tomorrow.
Thank you Tomy24, Sorry I didn't do as much searching as I should have on A.I. related threads on here.
I don't know anything about AI, but if you haven't seen it already, check out the "games industry" link in my sig. And good luck.
I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.
Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
Tomy24 covered a lot of what I would usually say (I'm an A.I. dropout too). Do some research and visit these schools before you commit yourself. There are lots of threads on these forums about schools with programs that may interest you.
If you want to draw... don't go to A.I. Take a look at Seedling's link. There's a lot of important info in there about tech schools, and that's what A.I. is.
Start a thread in the Sketchbook forum and post some of your work. You'll get plenty of good feedback. While you're not in school now, you can still begin strengthening your portfolio.
It should be mentioned that most non-state schools are "private businesses"--not just AI.
Tomy24 & nilaffle - Were you able to transfer any credit from the AIs to another school?
Thanks a bunch Tomy24, Seedling, Nilaffle, and Mirana
man, tomy24 hit right on point. i'm about to drop out of AI myself, and even though i'll owe a buttload of money to that school, i'll be happier when i'm out. but what other people have said about any school, you get what you put into it.
No problem. Just trying to help some people from getting ripped off...
Mirana - I'm not sure but that's because I'm not in school anymore. I'm currently working(not in games) to pay the bills... Hopefully one day I will be able to go back to school.
To the drop-outs - where are you now? Are you in a different school? working?
Haha "AI - Where Are They Now?"
I was in AI from 2001 to 2002, then I enrolled in a liberal arts school and switched majors completely - I did animation at AI, and pursued business management, then communications at my new school. My thinking was I'd try a "normal" field for a while and try to save money to go back to art school. I've been out of school and working in marketing for a year, but I'm going to Ringling College of Art and Design this fall for animation.
My second semester at Ai is ending, and Tomy24 just explained my whole experience. I'm trying to leave the school at the moment, and I'm glad to hear that they transferred credits. Once I'm out this hell hole, I'm planning to attend a community college and knock out some general education, cheaply.....
This thread is Old but me and you are the same. Me I'm staying away from generic colleges like Brown because Its not an art school so you have to look at the qaulity of the education. I'm just not impressed with the Art Institute of MN and the Tuition is crazy talk. The most popular everyone people talks about is SCAD and Ringlisng. Ringling cost to much so I pick SCAD because I'm firmiliar Georgia.
I'm going to the Art Institute of Washington right now, and it isn't too bad, but the big trick is to know what teachers to take. I've been fortunate enough to know ahead of time which teachers are good and which suck, so I've been happy with most of my classes. Also (like any other school,) the majority of your education depends on how much you put into it. I can't speak for the other AI's, but lately this one has been helping me along. (The animation department also just got a phenomenal Director, and he's doing a lot to change the things that sucked so much about the school.)
I am currently enrolled at Ai in Seattle.
Ai in seattle is very laid back. Everyone knows that the Student makes themselves here. We got alot of freedom and we are in control of our own education. From a tution standpoint, we arent bad as other schools.
Back to the education. Ai education is like going to school and the teacher gives you the information, its pretty much up to you if you want to take it to the next level. Most people drop out like flies here. As they see their debts and their porfolio, they just leave. We got a very easy acceptance rate but graduting is a problem. Last quarter in animation only 7 people graduated, and the quarter before 12? and the quarter before that was 6? We have a great faculity here and they are sooo committed to help out in anyways. Just get ready to be more SELF MOTIVATED.
Also, working at school is a great way to make some money. You pretty much get paid to do nothing. Either its working at a Deli that only gets busy for 30 mins before 12 , or working at a book store, where people only come in packs are in the morning.
Also, I realize theres not alot of love for Ai kids on this forum so you also get that as well.
well im not a drop out like some of the others, I am enrolled at the Art Institute of Atlanta as a Game art and design student. Now one thing i noticed while reading others responses some people are saying that the art Institute is like a tech school. The main difference which is important is that at a tech school u get a technical degree which means crap. while at the Art Institute you get a real degee like a regular 4 year college.
Now the Game art and design degree at atlanta A.I. is that it is only been there for a couple years which in my and the others in my shoes means that the course outline is still in a developmental stage which is really stupid but the new changes are going to be better. I you can or are able to, try to go to the california or pheonix A.I. because they have had the degree program longer than Atlanta. Now some people or yourself might think that shouldn't all the scholls have the same outline and if u didn't know that because the schools are privately owned the can choose courses as they see fit as long as they have the teachers in place for the classes. like what some of the others said some teachers really should not be teaching cause they don't know anything about teaching.
I'm probably not going to be dropping out anytime soon i only have 4 more quarters after this summer. The school kind of feels like high school again and that alone may push people away. The tuition is way to high i mean mine is 6k a quarter but the thing is 6 time 4 quarters is 24k and thats what UAT and Ringling costs so either way your going to have a bill if you want to graduate from a good school.
The one thing that i will say about UAT and Ringling is that your senior year you and a team work together to create a game along side the Video game programmers. At the A.I. of Atlanta since thats all i can speek for from personal experience is that unless your a part of the game club you are pretty much on your own. The game club is cool and the club works and projects that are submitted to real contests and it gets your name out their with the industry.
if you want to know what some game companies look for go to www.arenanet.com, then press articles and read some you will find out about the industry and what some companies look for in portfolios.
also join gamasutra for game news and job listing its free to join but its a good resource and it should have school ratings from the gaming industry.
Ask questions if you got any.