View Full Version : Searching for a good place to study! help please :)

08 August 2011, 08:20 PM
Hi everyone, and thaks in advance.

My name is Matias A. Pan and I am from argentina. I am about to turn 30 and while I have been working related to the concept art and videogaming local industry for some years, both the market and academic panorama for digital art, concept art and character design are not the best arround, I should admit. That being said I had the possibility to share workspace with some really talented folk which I owe a great deal of what I am, artistically, today.

Although I am thankful for my legacy and have tried to make the most out of what I have in my surroundings the last few years I couldnīt help but feel a little bit static (and stuck, why not :P). I know you artist fellows understand that is one of the worst things to experience (mainly for everyone, but us artist being so related and in contact with the more sensitive part most of the time, tend to resent these blows a little more)...

I wonīt bore you further with my "rant" the point is that my parents have achieved a comfortable economic spot in the recent years and decided to gift me with the possiblitiy to study abroad. They encouraged me to investigate and present them with some options with which they would gladly help me. This is a great opportunity, because economically it is very expensive to study in a country like USA, Canada o Europe for someone from Argentina, and. to be honest it would be close to impossible for me to achieve it on my own...

Therefore I decided to start my research as of today. And what a better place to start than this forum? A place of refference for concept artists and illustrators arround the world. I have always considered this place as botha showcase of the most talented artist and a great place to find information and tutorials on several issues (art related).

My area of interest is digital (and traditional) media, I love figure drawing, anatomical sutdy and I consider my strengths are placed in character and set design. I would like to reinforce, and grow in those areas as well as speed painting, concept art and maybe some 3D modelling, but my focus is 90% 2D concept art and illustration.

I am interested not in a full MBA 4 year courses... but maybe something that ranges from 1 to 2. 2 and a half years... I am considering USA, Canada and Europe and would like to see the top options in those three places. I want it to be a place where I can contact and connect with people from the videogaming - film industry and make contacts and possibly see to move on from there and maybe start working abroad... ( though I do not discard a fully traditional formation if they are worth it for their reputation-teachers)

Which places do you recommend? What should I take into consideration? Any important point I should not let pass and maybe I am overlooking?

Thanks a LOT in advance :)

Hope to find some guidance in this new enterprise!


08 August 2011, 08:25 PM
I should also add that I would really like for the course to make a strong stress in leaving me with a good portfolio. (I know, I know... Iīm asking for the Valhala maybe :P) :)

Thanks a lot!

08 August 2011, 05:27 AM
Los Angeles. ;)

08 August 2011, 10:10 PM
Hey, Rebecca! Thanks a lot for your answer. Been looking arround the studio you teach at: Hats off to you, that is some impressive anatomy knowledge and awsome rendering technique too!!! I am really considering the Idea of gnomon also, and (i donīt know how close they are to each other...) maybe take some courses on both and get the best of both worlds :) But I have just started out my research. Looks good so far. Any other recommendations?...

Thanks a lot!!

08 August 2011, 10:11 PM
and just in case you want to see some of my work... maybe it can give you a better idea of what would suit me best


08 August 2011, 10:32 PM
I'm not sure if this is relevant to you, but with your previous experience (and the quality of your work) if you apply for a UK based degree, you could ask if they would give you Accredited Prior Learning (APL), that would save you having to study the first year of the course. If you speak French you might want to look at Gobelins in Paris, your work would fit in well with them, but they are definitely an animation course so I don't know if you could study only the areas you like, you would almost certainly have to study character animation.

Would you need a degree to work outside of Argentina (for a VISA?) or are you happy to work in your home country and you just want the experience of meeting/learning/creating with people from different places? If you want to take a course that would introduce you to the industry I would say look at the USA or the UK. In the US the people at Massive Black / hold some impressive looking courses.

08 August 2011, 05:17 AM
Thanks, man! Any suggestions in the UK? I speak no french :S I would gladly try gobelins... but I would be unable to communicate :P

Thanks again!

08 August 2011, 07:50 AM
MatPan, I think you have some really nice work! :) Thank you for the compliments, Korpus has been a great adventure. :)

Gnomon is about 25 minutes away, so quite close. The thing to be aware of though is that in order to work in the US you will likely need a degree, and Gnomon does not yet offer one (I don't believe). Do you already have a degree from home? If so, Gnomon could be a good place, if not, I would look into private art colleges that have a good reputation and also grant degrees.

Good luck, if you are ever in LA I hope you will check out Korpus! :)

08 August 2011, 07:54 AM
Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California has the best Entertainment Design program around. I think you should definitely check them out. Be warned however that they are also one of the most expensive schools in the US, and no private schools give Federal loans to international students. For this reason it's wise to really investigate all options as thoroughly as possible, given how ridiculously expensive schooling is here in the US.

08 August 2011, 03:55 PM
Thanks for thecompliments and thanks once again for the info, Rebecca!! I have just contacted the Art Center College of Design for further information.

What you say about the degree is a must for every job? (what about paid internships while studying, to help pay for tuition? is that a possibility?) I though they took portfolio into consideration first. But I guess in a country with so many specific carreers aimed towards design and entertainment itīs quite logical... I have only finished high school but have no university degree whatsoever, just my working experience which is ok for argentina, but in your terms itīs not much :S...

Thanks once again for your time and answers, and sorry for all my silly questions :)

08 August 2011, 11:11 PM
MatPan, I answered a similar question here:

I hate to see talented international students naively enter expensive programs without understanding that they will need a degree to satisfy work visa requirements. It is your job to not be naive and to do the requisite research.

Good luck!

08 August 2011, 02:42 AM
Once again, thanks a TON Rebecca. Then maybe I should consider Europe? I am a citizen there too... so no problem with the degree thingy :)

Cause that will be strarting a new search...

and missing out on LA which Iīd love to know....

08 August 2011, 03:15 AM
Any guidelines for Europe? Iīll be starting a search over there to see what the market has to offer, Iīll post some of the results later for comments.

08 August 2011, 10:43 PM
Well In the UK I could suggest my own course (normally this gets me hatemail from Moderators so I'm only doing it because one of them is doing it in this thread too :) ) but I'll say that with a warning that I don't know if the courses I teach on would be what you want - they are all focused towards animation/modelling more than the concept and design side of the industry (although we teach that as well), and if you really wanted to mostly do that, you might find all the other animation related work not something you wanted. That was why I said look at Gobelins, because they really seem to get into the design side to the level you seem to be interested in. - admittedly I haven;t taught or studied there, so I might well be wrong, but their students do seem to excel in those areas (as well as animation of course). We do have excellent industry links if that is important to you, but these are mainly with the Games and VFX / 3D industry, so I don't know if that would be relevant to your future career plans or not.

Supinfocom in France also produces amazing 3D work. Film Akadamie Baden Wurttemburg in Germany make fantastic animations. The Animation Workshop in Denmark make really innovative style films, hmmm they might be a good one to look at for you (although I don't know if they only teach in Danish) - again note that I haven't studied or taught at any of these places, I just admire the work that I see come from them. Have fun with your searching :)

08 August 2011, 01:28 PM
Thanks a lot, moidphotos, for the suggestions and the time you took. I`m looking into all those options and have already emailed several schools and academies, some traditional, some more industry oriented, some animation oriented. I`ll deffinitely check your course, too! I think Europe may be the best alternative since I don`t need a visa whatsoever... So we`ll see about that in the next few days.

I`ll keep you updated on the schools and courses I looked into it, so as to help any other who is in doubt as to where to study.

Once again, thank you, and everyone who took the time to anser :)

08 August 2011, 04:09 PM
If you really want to focus in character and set design, 2d concept art, etc., Art Center's Entertainmemt Design program is definitely the most focused program around. It is one of the best schools in US and also very limited enrollment to their entertainment design program. They focus on concert art and matte painting etc., all very 2d oriented. You can also look at school of visual arts in new York for their illustration program, lots of talented and notable concept artists come out of that program. Both of these provide a degree I think, but both are not cheap to attend.

If you are willing to try a 3d program you have lots of choices as opposed to a 2d program. Many of the programs mentioned above do some 2d but are still very 3d oriented. For example, for goblins they always make amazing animated films, but I believe everyone has to animated and it might not be something you want to spend your time on if you just want to do 2d concept work.

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