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Old 03-23-2010, 02:05 AM   #1
bees
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Connie Tran
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I draw for hours a day alone, and I've never taken an art class...please help

Hi, this is my first post here...and I'm not really sure why it took me so long to sign up on this site. My name is Connie, I'm 20, and currently a junior at Virginia Tech in industrial design, but my true interest lies within digital illustration (not that industrial design isn't interesting/fun). I have never had a chance to surround myself with other passionate artists, and I fear that I will miss out on learning from those artists if I don't actively pursue an opportunity to do so now.

I would really like to go to grad school for illustration just to have the experience of working around other talented, passionate artists, but I don't know where to even start. I regret to say that I've never been able to take an art class and so I don't really know what makes a good portfolio. I have many personal works and commissioned work, as far as illustration is concerned, but not much of anything else (what else is needed?). I draw for hours a day alone, striving to become a better artist, but I really feel restricted knowing that I could be learning so much more from others.

I wonder if I would have a good chance of getting into the illustration program at SCAD through strictly personal and commissioned work without having taken any formal classes? I've also sent an email to Hartford's art program but the person who answered me was not very helpful...Are there any good illustration programs in Virginia so I can get in-state tuition? Or perhaps it's possible to be a TA at other grad schools for paid tuition?

If anyone has any input on my art (I put a few pieces on the gallery here) or any information about art schools for illustration, please help a sista out! :( Thank you very much for reading

also, why can't I upload a forum avatar? I just see a "no avatar uploaded" and a check box to "not use an avatar," checked.

Last edited by bees : 03-23-2010 at 02:09 AM.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 02:19 AM   #2
gawl126
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You could always check out the work of other people on this forum. Participate in the challenges/projects. This could be some form of surrounding yourself with other artists. There's also the conceptart and devianart communities.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 02:29 AM   #3
bees
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Connie Tran
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I used to roam around DeviantART all the time...and then once I went out for some lunch and came back to see that my computer was infested with spyware and popups...so I think some of the advertisers on DA are being naughty and I'm afraid to go back, haha.

Yeah, I should definitely try out for some of these competitions here to help build up my portfolio and for some invaluable practice. I would still love to have the experience of being surrounded with artists in an educational environment though for a more hands-on experience. I feel that it would definitely help me a lot.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 04:17 AM   #4
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I took a look at your portfolio pieces. You have a nice sense of rendering and color. I'm beginning to study anatomy so I'm not totally sure if my advice will be correct, but I spotted a few things that could be improved.

In your first piece, her eyes are rendered nicely. Her chin though seems to be off. And the philantrum (the part between the nose and upper lip) also seem to be off. I'm not sure if you need to move the whole mouth area to the right of the picture or not. You might want to add in the sternocleidomastoid muscle/s and clavicle bones around the neck area.

In your second piece, you might want to pay attention with the upper arm that is holding the stick as it seems too straight and cylindrical. Also the top of her other shoulder seems to disappear.

It's difficult to draw things from imagination. I have trouble doing it and I'm far from a master from it. It helps to use reference and to draw from life. Hope this helps. Good luck with your school search as it seems you have talent.

Last edited by leptonish : 03-23-2010 at 04:43 AM.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 06:19 AM   #5
gawl126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bees
I used to roam around DeviantART all the time...and then once I went out for some lunch and came back to see that my computer was infested with spyware and popups...so I think some of the advertisers on DA are being naughty and I'm afraid to go back, haha.

Yeah, I should definitely try out for some of these competitions here to help build up my portfolio and for some invaluable practice. I would still love to have the experience of being surrounded with artists in an educational environment though for a more hands-on experience. I feel that it would definitely help me a lot.


Haha, I think I would be scared of that site too if that happened to me.

I'm actually the same when it comes to learning in that kind of environment so I understand where you're coming from. Hence the reason why I'm going to grad school this coming Fall.

I'm no artist though so I don't really have very many suggestions on grad schools to check out, but I do have a friend graduating from SCAD who will be going to grad school too. As far as being a TA in grad school. You would need to check if the programs at the schools you want to apply to actually offer TA positions. There are some programs which will change your non-resident tuition to in-state tuition if you become a TA.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 08:31 AM   #6
Jettatore
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You are doing phenomenally well on your own. It is possible that a very very very very good traditional fine art school could be beneficial, however, and I mean this with all sincerity, in your case, many if not most art schools would likely just hold you back, knock you off your current remarkable path and limit your mind. You can do this on your own, heck you are doing it on your own, and you can continue to grow just as fast, if not faster than you would at a school, just as you are now.

I would instead of enrolling in an entire program (expensive and often not as high quality as you might think) just sign up for some cheap classes (community college) or studio sessions (available in many cities) that provide access to live models. Post your work online for critique, and visit local museums and draw the sculptures that they have on display (same goes for zoo's and live animals). That and study other peoples work, in particular the works of the masters (check out all you need from the library).

I would say good luck, but quite honestly, you don't need it. Just keep going.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:48 PM   #7
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Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has a very reputable art program and is a public / state school. I'd recommend looking into programs there. (I used to live in VA).

I think NOVA - Northern VA Comm College - also has inexpensive classes - it's a great cc but I've never taken classes there, just heard of its reputation as an overall great cc.

In terms of graduate programs for illustration, the only one I know of is SVA in NY - most schools only have undergraduate programs for illustration. I don't know about VCU.

Also check out National Portfolio Day.

Typically all colleges look for the same things in portfolios - life drawing including gesture and long pose drawing (non digital, all traditional), still life drawing, color and painting, and personal work / narrative / creative work. Every school looks for something different. Basically you want to show both technical skill (for the kinds of schools in which you would be interested) and creative ability and thought process. Colleges love to see sketchbooks as supplementary material but they are primarily interested in seeing only your best work.

I'd print your digital images as a supplement and take those to NPD. Also in VA, I don't know how close it is to you, the Torpedo Factory, where they offer a lot of classes. Your school should also have drawing classes though which I'd recommend attending to get the traditional component of your portfolio filled out, if you do not already have one.

Good luck!
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Last edited by Rebeccak : 03-23-2010 at 03:51 PM.
 
Old 03-24-2010, 04:26 PM   #8
bees
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Connie Tran
Blacksburg, USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by leptonish
I took a look at your portfolio pieces. You have a nice sense of rendering and color. I'm beginning to study anatomy so I'm not totally sure if my advice will be correct, but I spotted a few things that could be improved.

In your first piece, her eyes are rendered nicely. Her chin though seems to be off. And the philantrum (the part between the nose and upper lip) also seem to be off. I'm not sure if you need to move the whole mouth area to the right of the picture or not. You might want to add in the sternocleidomastoid muscle/s and clavicle bones around the neck area.

In your second piece, you might want to pay attention with the upper arm that is holding the stick as it seems too straight and cylindrical. Also the top of her other shoulder seems to disappear.

It's difficult to draw things from imagination. I have trouble doing it and I'm far from a master from it. It helps to use reference and to draw from life. Hope this helps. Good luck with your school search as it seems you have talent.
Thanks for looking at my work! Yes, I've noticed these problems as well but it was one of those things where I didn't really know what to do to fix them. I'm not very good with anatomy at all, and I've never been able to work with a live model, which I would really love to do.
 
Old 03-24-2010, 04:34 PM   #9
bees
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Connie Tran
Blacksburg, USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jettatore
You are doing phenomenally well on your own. It is possible that a very very very very good traditional fine art school could be beneficial, however, and I mean this with all sincerity, in your case, many if not most art schools would likely just hold you back, knock you off your current remarkable path and limit your mind. You can do this on your own, heck you are doing it on your own, and you can continue to grow just as fast, if not faster than you would at a school, just as you are now.

I would instead of enrolling in an entire program (expensive and often not as high quality as you might think) just sign up for some cheap classes (community college) or studio sessions (available in many cities) that provide access to live models. Post your work online for critique, and visit local museums and draw the sculptures that they have on display (same goes for zoo's and live animals). That and study other peoples work, in particular the works of the masters (check out all you need from the library).

I would say good luck, but quite honestly, you don't need it. Just keep going.
That is exactly the reason why I couldn't take any art classes in high school. Out of all the art teachers that I've met during highschool, only one was willing to break free from the regime. He tried to make a class for me that only I could take, some independent study, but the school refused. All of the other art teachers wanted me to "never use the eraser as a highlighter/blur pictures with my fingers." It was just irritating.

I know that I can learn a lot about myself, but I really have no idea how to go about working in the real world with my art, which is another huge reason why I'd love to go to some sort of school for it. I also want to really, really, really meet other passionate artists, face-to-face, and just inspire each other over and over again. I can get a similar feeling from the internet, but all of the artists I look up to barely have time to talk to me :(
 
Old 03-24-2010, 09:25 PM   #10
leptonish
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Tiny Elf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bees
Thanks for looking at my work! Yes, I've noticed these problems as well but it was one of those things where I didn't really know what to do to fix them. I'm not very good with anatomy at all, and I've never been able to work with a live model, which I would really love to do.


Glad to help.

Since you are a junior and have one more year left at VT, see if you can somehow take a studio or foundation art class at your school for next year. I don't know how much leeway your industrial design program has in terms of electives to take other classes. It might be worth it to research this option with your academic advisor, people in the industrial design dept and art dept. Even if you can't take the classes to fulfill your requirement for credit, you might be able to audit it depending or not if the teacher has space.
 
Old 03-25-2010, 12:54 AM   #11
katana2665
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You'll probably want to go where the artists are on the web...that's definitely Deviant Art. I've been there for years and never had any problems with viruses...

Anyway, I should be starting my grad program in the fall at a state univ. here in Ct. after taking a break to work my own learning process. SVA is the best program out there, having done a summer scholarship there back in 2001. It is expensive and near impossible to afford for out of state. Many people have managed it though, and there's no better place for building a professional network than NYC.

I looked at your stuff, and would need more time to write a better crit, but the first thing i see is women...it tells me you are playing it safe. Take the more adventurous road and do something you would normally not take on. For instance an ad for a fruit company using fruits as characters....or the athletic male representing a running shoe company that transforms into a series of virtually lit lines (like streaks)...throw in some graphic elements...shake it up. Push the envelope...and don't stress over getting it right the first time...have fun with it.

Drawing everyday is essential, but there are days I don't draw more than 2 minutes in a day. I am however looking at some other way of creating my work....and you can too. Illustration is anything goes to create an image...be it collage/ watercolor/ digital or even throwing paint at a wall...

Thats about it...good luck with what ever you decide to do and remember that being an artists is not about fame or money (although it would be nice), it's about the need to create art, because...'we have no choice'...
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana2665
SVA is the best program out there


As far as what?
 
Old 03-25-2010, 11:18 AM   #13
katana2665
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillahPriest
As far as what?


As far as a comprehensive place to study painting and drawing....The intensity of the classes and the atmosphere of being in NYC sets it apart from the rest in the U.S. If you want industrial or automotive design go to the Art Center in Pasadena.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:18 AM   #14
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