Gnomon straight after high school? HELP?

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  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by F-inked: Thanks! :C Perhaps I shall look into college, I mean I could get into an ivy league with grades but I would prefer not to... It just seems like a waste of four years but perhaps I am wrong...

If your an Ivy League quality applicant, have you looked at any of the elite California schools like Stanford, UC Berkeley, or UCLA?

I could be wrong, but I've got a feeling Stanford and UC Berkeley would be pretty well connected with Pixar and ILM.

One of the nice things about going to a 4 year school is the people you meet, and the new experiences and ideas your opened up to. Keep in mind the number of companies that were formed from relationships that started in college. I know Gnomom is in Hollywood and that seems like the cool place to be, but Westwood, Palo Alto, and Berkeley are pretty happening places to be as well.

As others have said, if you ever want to work in Europe, NZ, or Australia, having a BS degree or higher from a good school could be vital in getting a work visa.

Assuming you've taken a full load of AP or IB classes, and maybe even some college classes already, you can probably start as an academic sophomore at some places. If you take summer classes, you could get your BS in under 3 years.

  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by AJ1: If your an Ivy League quality applicant, have you looked at any of the elite California schools like Stanford, UC Berkeley, or UCLA?

I could be wrong, but I've got a feeling Stanford and UC Berkeley would be pretty well connected with Pixar and ILM.

There computer science departments certain are, but not their art departments. Anyone who wants to be a concept artist is not going to be happy with either Stanford or UC Berkeley's art programs. They're not terrible, but they're very, very fine-artsy.

If you want a general university in the Bay Area with a good program for concept artists, look at San Jose State University.
  12 December 2013
In a forum like this one, many people zero in on the best path to a career. That's certainly a worthwhile perspective, but when it comes to education it isn't the whole story. While you're considering your options, please also keep your mind open to the value of the general education and liberal arts coursework that comes with a traditional college education.

I hold a degree in visual effects and made it through about 25% each of programs in electrical engineering and computer science. All of the technical and career-oriented courses I took were certainly useful, but the classes that have had the most significant impact on my life—the way I think about things and my ability to interact with people—were my courses in history, anthropology, literature and philosophy, among others.

And if your goal is concept art, then that segment of your education is even more valuable because it will give you a richer understanding of culture, history and the world to draw upon while you develop ideas.

That all said, be wise about how you go about getting that education. If you head for a trade school like Gnomon, you can put off the general education stuff until a little while later, taking night and weekend courses while you're working. If you go for a degree program, think about getting an associates degree from a cheaper community college or state university first—most general education credits should transfer to a more specialized school.

Finally, avoid going into too much debt for your education, no matter the direction you take. Having huge monthly debt payments on top of struggling with basic living expenses can seriously limit your flexibility. There have been a few potentially great opportunities I've had to turn down because I couldn't afford to take a risk thanks to the student loan debt I'm carrying.

Best of luck!
Bryan Ray
  01 January 2014
I'm in my final semester at a 4-year school in California studying 3D for Film/Commercials. We have programs for concept art, cg, and motion graphics and I have to say that while we all get a good basis in our areas of interest and the classes certainly generate a lot of good projects for our portfolio/reels, the thing that you're really going to school for is the network. All of my professors are working professionals at some of the top commercial, film and game companies in LA and all of my classmates are also entering the industry, giving me a good starting network. I think it'll be hard for you at 17 trying to enter the workplace for concept art, considering that concept art is a very small and close-knit side of our industry. I have friends that go to Gnomon and a few professors that also teach there and I think it is a really smart choice and I wish I had known about Gnomon when I graduated high-school, but I ended up a really expensive private four-year art school. The guys coming out of Gnomon are always top-notch. They get worked really really hard there and at the end of their two years they are completely ready to enter the industry. I think going to Gnomon for two years at $60,000 is way smarter than attending a four-year college for more than $150,000.

Also, your concept art is really strong for a 17-year old, looks a lot better than some of the stuff coming out of other college-level programs. Congratulations. Also, from my experience and the things I've heard from my peers, no one in the states gives a damn if you have a degree or not. They just want you to make great art and not be a jackass.

PS. I'm from the East Coast and moved to LA to get into this industry, too. Moving to LA is a great experience in itself and you're going to have a blast out here (if you can ever get out of the labs at school, that is). Best of luck.

TLDR; The people Gnomon is chugging out are great and it's well worth your money if you are willing and mature enough to put in the work.
  01 January 2014
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