Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!
Someone tell me about art blogs. I am basically non-active on social media and I feel like I want to get my work in front of more eyes. Should I just make a tumblr account? Honestly I hardly even understand how tumblr works.
I have an ancient and neglected DeviantArt account but it never got much traffic and DA seems like a bit of a dinosaur these days.
Don't look at me, the only things on my tumblr that ever get reblogged are when I post tutorial stuff, and only then because Iruka reblogs them first.
But then, I don't spend a lot of time drawing Disney princesses as legumes or whatever the hell kinda thing that makes for internet-popularity fodder.
[Kind of a tangent on one sentence rather than anything about your work in particular follows, I hope you will indulge my little ramble]
On the subject of inventing/selecting vs copying/gathering data: your teachers have a point that is both correct, but at the same time risks being very deceptive.
When an artist that draws in a way that would generally be dubbed 'realistic', or 'accurate' makes a picture, they are likely still 'inventing' a great deal- just at a more subtle level than someone who draws in a more obviously stylized way might. An elbow may be pointed more than is accurate to emphasize the feeling of bone there, a muscle may be given a touch more emphasis to help articulate the structure more, a shadow may be pushed deeper for effect, a pose may be modified for a better silhouette- things that a viewer would only pick up on if they viewed the piece side by side with the model.
The issue that crops up when the advice to invent and select is told to young artists that haven't had prior education in how to observe and draw with accuracy, is that they don't have accuracy as a choice to draw upon. So they don't know when accuracy is the choice they should be selecting for- and even if they did, they wouldn't be able to achieve that goal.
So you wind up with a lot of students "selecting" on the basis of whatever their default ideas are- the fastest, easiest thing they can put on paper, or trying to crib a 'cool style'- without pushing to explore where deeper, more diligent, more accurate observation would do their work a lot of good. Thereby, the 'selections' of a young artist that hasn't put in the time to know how to play it straight is not really making a choice at all- in order to make a genuine decision, you need to have more than one option available.
And it's easy to want to avoid doing the work that would open up that option, because doing so takes a lot of time, takes a lot of patience, takes a lot of practice, and most people don't want to do it, because in the moment, it can be a lot less fun than playing fast and loose. But the people that make it aren't necessarily the people having the most fun in the moment, it's the people that produce the best work at the end of the day. The best artists are the ones that can have their fun doing the kind of deliberate practice that other artists lack the patience to stick with.
On the issue of speed, I know guys that can draw amazingly, and a lot faster than I can- but watching them draw, how they get there is not a matter of them moving fast- moving their hand fast, trying like hell to get things done in a time limit.
Rather, they move slowly- slower than I draw- because they are taking their time. They are taking their time with their observations. They are visualizing how each next stroke is going to go down on the page, making their decisions in their head. So when they put something down- that's it. They don't spend a lot of time erasing, remeasuring, reobserving, redrawing, because they've taken their time both in that moment, and in their education. By drawing deliberately and diligently, they save much more time in the end than the artist that rushes to a finish. Nothing slows a drawing down more than haste.
People tend to forget* that Craig Mullins, who is kind of the guy who helped popularize the whole idea of 'speedpainting', didn't start out that way. He studied product and transportation design first, and you can be sure that the skills of long, solid, foundational drawing and perspective had been drilled into his head far before he became and internet sensation. It's the experience of the hard, long work that allows him to do great looking work fast- not simply the act of moving fast.
* including myself, back in the day- I'm still, years and years late, having to make an effort of undoing a lot of bad habits I formed in a largely pointless quest for speed. I wouldn't say I learned nothing from the experience, but most of it is more about not having fear of a blank canvas, trying little experiments, and learning how to be brutal in wiping things out when they aren't working. The first 2 are useful- the 3rd is also useful, but is something I wouldn't have to do as much of if I'd spent more time being deliberate in the first place- doing my thinking and exploring in pencil thumbnails, being carefully observant, seeking out good ref, just focusing on general drawing practice, etc.
I mean, I guess I'll express my skepticism then. Lots of technical/community schools on this list, some general universities- no schools that are specifically art schools.
Now, I'm not up on the landscape of graphic design programs out there as much as I am about entertainment arts (animation, illustration, concept design, etc.), but my experience that I've had and the experiences that I've heard about is that many universities and colleges are perfectly happy to take your money in exchange for a not-very useful education, and even more worthless degree. That a college offers a degree in graphic design tells me absolutely nothing about whether said college is actually qualified to teach the subject- all it tells me is that they are willing to take your money to print off a piece of paper that says, "Art" on it- nothing more.
The fact that much of art is so subjective (particularly in the last century or so of art), means that art programs can easily get away with being lax with providing useful, fundamental training, along with not hiring people that are qualified to teach at a high level in those disciplines. The advent of computer software also gives these programs something to distract you with long enough to make you feel like you're learning something- "Hey, I'm learning Illustrator! Hey, I'm taking a class on InDesign!"- but familiarity with a software package does not mean you can actually use it well- it's no replacement for fundamentals.
If the goal is to be employable at the end of your time there, many programs are little more than a con job. That a school offers a degree in something, doesn't mean that degree is worth anything.
The question to ask is less "what's close that offers this degree?" as, "the people that actually have the jobs that I want- where did they go? What programs did they take? Who did they learn from?"
It means something that if you look at the animators at Pixar, Disney, Cartoon Network, you're looking at numbers of 75% or more all coming from CalArts or RISD.
It means something that a lot of the big names in concept art have come out of Art Center College of Design.
It means something that a lot of great illustrators are coming out of Ringling, SDSU, AAU, and ateliers.
The same names keep popping up in these circles because good art schools are a genuine rarity, and not the rule.
Now, it wouldn't surprise me that graphic design would have more decent school options than these fields, since there are more jobs to be done, the field is a lot less specialized. But the point remains that you should look at the people that currently are where you want to be, and find out where they went. And when they were there, what did they learn? Even if you may not be able to go to a particular school for this or that reason, you should still make a point of being informed enough to know when a school that you go to is trying to bamboozle you for their own benefit (or simply not having the expertise to know that they are providing an inadequate education).
A lot of students waste a lot of time and money because they're used to taking what they are given from authority figures- of which the administration and faculty of a college appear to be, since that was their experience in grade school, in middle school, in high school. They are geared to expect what they say goes, that they have your best interests in mind.
What they're not used to, is approaching the experience as a customer. As a customer, if you're not getting what you want, you take your money elsewhere. If a college thinks it can tell you you're getting a filet minion when in reality they're giving you a patty from a Big Mac, they will- and a lot of people do just that, because they aren't willing to approach their relationship with this giant institution with the correct amount of skepticism. Be informed, be well-read, be educated outside of your schooling so you know what you are and aren't getting from your school.
Now, is this to say that these schools you've listed are worthless? Frankly, I don't know, because I haven't done the research to tell. I'd need to look at the alumni lists of each particular program, look at the work that those alumni have done, look at how many people in said programs have gotten jobs in their field. You may luck out and some of these schools may turn out to have great programs- but I would guess that being limited to schools within a 15 minute car ride severely limits your options, and in general is not a great criteria for choosing a school in what is a relatively specialized field. Not all programs are created equal, and art programs in particular are less equal than most.
tl;dr: Do your homework before you take on $15000-$120000 worth of debt, and 2-4+ years of your life- it's a lot for you to give, so you need to make sure what you get out of it is actually worth it.
I've been doing Duolingo French lessons kinda casually (ie: this is what I do whilst on the can), and so far what I've learned is that I can understand and apply French, just as long as I am limited to doing so in a format of short quizzes that have infinite redos and no time limit.
That's how the French generally communicate, yes? Handing worksheets to each other and being very, very patient?
Because if they just talk normally I am totally screwed, malheureusement.
MT, I am just going to assume that your box obsession is the result of a heartbreaking childhood where for Christmas your family couldn't afford presents- but they wanted to give you the experience of having a real Christmas where you got to unwrap boxes, even if all they could fill them with...is love. Thus, you formed a life-long psychological attachment to those precious boxes.
Also even that's not true, I am still going to make a fortune on the children's book I'm writing about it now.
In other news, I'm glad I'm in enough of a social media bubble that all I've seen is universal support for the gay marriage announcement.
But living in a bubble also means that the headlines about the Confederate flag being removed from state buildings/major retailers have been hitting me like a headline that just announced a ban on DDT: "I'm glad that's happening, but I assumed that would have already happened like what, 40 years ago? How is this breaking news now, in the year 2015?"