View Full Version : too old for school?

11 November 2010, 11:23 PM
Hey guys..

just wanted to swing this by you and maybe get some feedback here. I'm at a point where after a long hiatus, i'm ready to get my career going again. short background, had a successful career as visual effects generalist. did some comp/motion graphis but mostly 3d. was all set to move on to bigscreen jobs (used to hang here every day back then :) unfortunate circumstances abruptly forced me to put all that on the shelf for some years. I took a humdrum retouching job while i sorted out some stuff. during these last years i've had a lot of time to reflect on my situation and ultimately come to the decision to steer my career away from the technical stuff and more towards hands on drawing and illustration. I havent opened maya in a couple of years and i probably wont ever go back to that. I've looked into going back to school and apply for a BA in Illustration. School of visual arts(nyc) is where i'm looking at first. Now, the question. All the years it took to deal with my stuff means i'm now pushing 30. I'm not a US inhabitant so I have no idea what age people attend uni's in America but from what I've heard, (emailed with a current student) the age span is between 19-27. So, i'm a bit above average to say the least. ok, so I'd just like an opinion on whether or not it would be worth it or if i'd just feel out of place.. haha. "who's the old guy?". Anyone actually attending SVA that could provide insight would be awesome but all thoughts are welcome and more than appreciated. sorry for the novel..

thanks /S

11 November 2010, 12:51 AM
I've seen all ages at universities and colleges here. Don't worry about it, just start going. They'll probably end up looking to you at times for your "life experience". I even had a few classes with 70 year olds.

11 November 2010, 12:58 AM
You're only too old when you're dead.

11 November 2010, 01:12 AM
30 is no where close to "old".

11 November 2010, 05:27 AM
I am going into my 40th next month and I started a 3 years Bachelor's in 3D animation and digital design last september. All I can say, if you feel it, go for it!

11 November 2010, 09:03 AM
Very inspiring to hear that you started your BA at 40 Stephane. Thanks for answering everyone, this was just what I wanted to hear.


11 November 2010, 09:50 AM
I could not help but see this article about being too old at 30. I am now over 50 and being 30 feels like a long time ago. I have taught myself Photoshop in recent years and have just set up my first website. I am now looking at marketing and SEO. We are never too old to learn, although I appreciate your qualms about attending college or university.

11 November 2010, 12:28 AM
My philosophy in general is that you're only as old as you feel. I'm 32 and will be starting the 2-yr certificate program at Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood in January. My birthday is in February so I'll be 35 just after graduating. I have thought briefly that maybe I'm too old, but I'm more than convinced that I have the talent and just haven't been exposed to the programs and techniques. In the end, when a company like Pixar or Blizzard watches a demo reel, the last thing they're going to ask is "so how old is this person, anyway?". Lol. Actually, it'd probably be age discrimination. So study your butt off and put everything you have into learning your craft and making an amazing demo reel that will sell you as a 3D artist.

11 November 2010, 01:10 PM
great input guys. thanks. I think one of the reasons for feeling hesitant about going back to school is that alot of the artists that i look to for inspiration are pretty much my age and are at a level that is just miles away from where I am. but like gmsalpha I'm more than convinced that I have the talent and just haven't been exposed to the programs and techniques. I feel much the same way.
silkwizard, that is so cool. We are indeed never too old to learn.
best of luck to you all!

12 December 2010, 01:06 AM
I don't think there's any reason to believe one is too old for anything.

At my school, a majority is made up of those fresh out of high school and mainly those in their 20's.

But we have this year actually a good handful of people who are coming back now that their kids are grown or looking to push themselves further in their careers. 30-60's I'd say, and it's really interesting to actually be surrounded by more than one age group. We all learn at different times, and places.

I'm only 21 but I personally find it really inspiring to see people dedicated enough to come back to school when most give up after raising kids or having stopped. If that sounds cheesy or not.

I think most people feel that the majority follows typical path in life that doesn't go out of order. When it's really not reasonable to ask of everyone to do exactly that, because of course, we all are not the same.

Too long, didn't read summary: It's not like I can speak from long lived experience, being younger - - but I don't think there's any reason to believe number is a limitation to want you want to achieve and most certainly, what one can do.

:B Either way, good luck with everything!

12 December 2010, 07:24 PM
Think of it this way, you bring your life experiences to the course so if anything you'll be at an advantage if you put the same amount of effort in.

12 December 2010, 01:18 AM
If anything, your life/work experiences can give you an edge over the young folks.
I'm the same boat as you (going back to school after a little while), and I don't think I'm too old. I think my maturity and experience will ultimately help.

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12 December 2010, 01:18 AM
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