View Full Version : The Art Institute questions please help!

07 July 2010, 08:55 PM

I am interested in attending The Art Institute of Tampa but I'm not exactly sure about it yet. I've been on campus twice now. I like it and it seems legit but I came across some pretty bad reviews. They were reviews on the Art Institute of Pittsburg though. Has anyone attended an Art Institute? I don't want to waste my time and money. Some people say its a scam or something.

07 July 2010, 10:19 PM
Avoid. Do a search using Google - + "Art Institutes"

07 July 2010, 11:39 PM
Avoid. Do a search using Google - + "Art Institutes"

Why should I avoid it though?

07 July 2010, 12:24 AM
:P Do a search because it's a common question, and I've posted my opinion before.

07 July 2010, 02:24 AM
:P Do a search because it's a common question, and I've posted my opinion before.

I did do research. I mentioned it in my original post. All I've come across is some old reviews of the Pittsburg institute. I can't find any of the Tampa institute in Florida.

07 July 2010, 04:03 AM
hey i go to the Art Institute of Phoenix...and I am loving it...I learn so much and the instructors here really know they stuff..but each Art Institute is different so i can speak for all the Art Institute. If you wan to know more let me know!!

07 July 2010, 07:47 PM
I took 3d animation at the Art Institute in my hometown Toronto for interest.
That experience was good for what my expectations for learning the basics were. Key word there is expectations.

What do you want to do with your education after you are done? If it is to get into a specific industry, then ask folks in that industry where they went to learn their skill.

Most hi-level positions (in my business) usually have a BFA degree or similar receipt of study. Most lo-level positions usually have a diploma/certificate from a local college/school. The lo-level positions usually are the ones working 10-12 hour days while the hi-level positions are working about 6-8 hours/day. If you are very good at what you do (by the impression of others not yourself), then one can get by very successfuly by way of a diploma/certification.

Identifying the 'well-known' institutions (by well-known I am referring to the places folks in the industry you are looking to enter attended) is valuable knowledge to have before making a decision on where to study. You want to get a job at a place where the hiring staff are familiar with the institution you learned your craft(s) from.

07 July 2010, 10:21 PM
i have to agree with virtualmesh

08 August 2010, 07:05 AM
i agree. they have a reputation of high cost, low entry and low quality.
None the less, it is all about what you can do and get out of it .
I think in the in Art and design industry... whats more important is the portfolio, connection and then etc...

to gather a good portolio u need good coaches or people who know what they are talking about. Moving to a different city to get into the tv or film industry is a better bet than blowing your money away in these franchisesssssss

08 August 2010, 02:28 PM
Avoid. Avoid.Avoid. What is the price tag? I think it's almost 40 grand. Many will tell you it's about what you put into it. Really? Then save your 40 grand and put a lot into it in your own home by using books and forums like this and most importantly practice,practice,practice. I went to the Art Institute of Philadelphia in which I payed half the cost with all of my GIBill. That stands as one of the biggest mistakes in my life. By the way I graduated with best in portfolio. Means nothing if the class that you are graduating with have a portfolio of works that will never get them a job. At 40 grand it's not about only what you put into it. It's also about what they will give you for that amount of money which is not much. The simple fact that theirs always questions and debates about these schools should be a warning to you. Look somewhere else.
A better option is look into Atelier schools rather then these scamming Art Institutes schools. for your foundation in Art, Google Atelier schools for one near you and research on line for your digital needs.

08 August 2010, 04:39 PM
I can't speak for all Art Institute, since they are individually ran. But, I went to the Art Institute of Portland and learned a lot and had a great staff. A lot of people that I went to school with there now work for Laika, Sony Imageworks, Dreamworks, Animal Logic, and various game companies. The teachers that were there, at the time I was attending, came from Laika. But, you need the drive to push yourself farther than what the teachers will teach you. They can show you the tools but it is your job to learn the tools and research different methods.

There are some really bad Art Institutes out there. Personally, if your going to take an animation school in Florida. Then you should look into Ringling. Otherwise if you really want to go to an Art Institute then do your homework on different schools across the country. Look into the staff and see how much production experience that they have? Some Art Institutes will pull from former students to teach classes. You can look at their portfolios too but that can be misleading. Every school will put there best work forward from students. From my experience there are a small handful of really good people that have the desire to make it and the rest are just wasting space and teachers time. Also look into location of the school and surrounding animation, vfx, gaming studios, medical animation studios, accident recreation studios around that school. Probably the most important part is your desire. Me, probably 80% of the stuff I learned was on my own time. Once the teachers opened the door, I ran through and tried to learn as much as I can and practiced as much as I could.

Anywho, I hope that helps.

08 August 2010, 04:59 PM
Both my wife and I went to the Art Institute in Schaumburg Il Suburb of Chicago. I enjoyed it. I also put everything I had into it. It was very expensive. I had school rates from the year 2000 started in fall 01 graduated in spring 05. It was very expensive. Housing was expensive the school was expensive. They did have a lot of great tech that the students could use and learn from. the teachers some were better then others. If you do the work they will pass you no matter how good the work is. they will not tell you if you suck or not. They will take your money let you graduate and have over 100k in loans. Stay away from Salie mae the loan company as they will eat you alive when you are done. I can only pick out a handfull of kids I went to school with that is even working in the feild. To be honest you get from it what you put in. I ended up doing really well for myself but when I graduated nothing on my reel was from the school it was all my own personal hard work that payed off. There are better schools out there. Ringling is a very good school. These guys are very good to from what I have looked around in. Honestly I would go to Ringling if I had a 2nd chance. They only keep the best of the best. You have to have a strong portfolio to get in and then you have to keep it up to stay in. From what I have heard. The ai schools tho are very for the money. I liked what I got out of it.... my wife on the other hand hated it and regrets it. They also bullshit about placement after graduation also. When I started they said they had a 90 percent placement status after graduation that was a load of bullshit all the way. FOR THE LOVE OFF ALL GOD STAY AWAY FROM THE GAME DESIGN COURSE. DONT PAY TO LEARN UNREAL 3 WHEN YOU CAN DO IT ON YOUR OWN TAKE THE ANIMATION COURSE YOU WILL AT LEAST LEARN A LOT MORE.

08 August 2010, 05:51 PM
I go to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division. Personally, I think it's worth what you put in to it. If you are only going to do what the teachers assign you to'll get nothing out of it but a piece of paper. If you are willing to do extra work, try new things,'ll learn a lot, because they do give you the building blocks. But, that's all any school can ever give you...that building blocks. Personally, I'm learning a lot, because I study a lot. I got beyond what the teachers tell me, trying new techniques, thoughts, etc.

Will I get a job doing much after I graduate, I don't expect to. But, it would be nice. Why don't I expect to? Well, I have several things I want to work on, as a freelance artist. If I can find some way of selling some artwork, making movie shorts, etc...I'll be happy with that, because that will bring additional income to my table. Besides, I still have lots to learn and experiment with that I will not have time to play with completely before graduation.

08 August 2010, 11:32 PM
An article on bloomberg today about AI Fort Lauderdale ( Notice that AI's parent company is traded on the stock market, and 38% of it is owned by the infamous Goldman Sachs. Being traded on the stock market makes AI's chief priority, by law, maximizing share holder value. Students are NOT the #1 priority for AI, stock holders are.

Keep that in mind with any school you look at, research it, find the parent company and then find out if they are publicly traded, if they are move on and don't look back. Publicly traded schools just see potential students as a way to access nearly 100k in guaranteed government loans and price their programs accordingly.

Another poster had a great suggestion, find an Atelier. That will help your artistic development more than any so called art school will. It will also be loads cheaper. Start here. (

08 August 2010, 06:53 AM
I saw that article and gave it some comments, here is my comments on this thread.

Your dedication = Success (Period)

I am having a good learning experience in AI of Vancouver, there are problems but they aren't going to stop you from learning. At the end your portfolio will speaks for you, not your school. AI is well spread around the continent and because some school is bad, it doesn't mean the other is also bad.

You are going to pay a lot, I research just like a lot of you when you are choosing school and none of the option is cheap. A lot of students is very passive, they go to class and then they leave, they don't ask question. Some of them play games and WoW in school. A lot of people don't use the library. That's the prime examples why people come out below average.

08 August 2010, 06:58 AM
Saw this ( a few minutes ago. May be relevant to you.

08 August 2010, 08:09 PM
I would not cut down an apple tree because a couple apples turn bad.

08 August 2010, 05:28 AM
I go to the Art Institute in Portland and I like it, so if you're keeping tally, that's another thumbs up. I agree with what a lot of people have been saying. The schools are what you make of them. Ai will show you how to use the programs, but they're not going to make your portfolio for you. My school happens to have a lot of cool teachers and students so it makes it fun. And everyone here, wants you to succeed and will put in extra time to help you out. That's really all you can ask for. They won't fail you, and you can graduate without marketable skills, but you gotta be honest to yourself about the quality of work you're doing. Sites like this are a perfect measuring stick so it shouldn't be hard to see if you suck.

Seriously though, you shouldn't stress out that much about it. A lot of industries have expensive schools and shitty pay, with no guarantee that you will be good when you're done. But if you're this dedicated to researching what you're doing, I'm sure you'll be fine. If you're not happy, do something else. Not that big a deal.

One thing I would suggest though, transfer in as many general ed credits as possible. There's no reason to spend that much on english classes.

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