Followup On Last Poston April 22, 2012 at 14:16
Sorry for not responding to anyone’s comments on my last post. Busy and whatnot.
Instead of replying to each comment, I’m just going to put this in its own post.
In terms of how close I am with finishing school, turns out not close at all. I no longer qualify for pell grants, which were funding my schooling.
My college education has had . . . a bit of a colorful history. I’ve basically been in college for art since 2001 (I graduated high school in 2002). I started out at community college as a graphic design major. I have no real interest in graphic design. It was the only associate’s degree in art that the community college offered, and I had to declare a major in order to get financial aid. Note to kids: This is NOT a good reason to pick a major. I know this now.
After a few semesters, I decided to go to a four year college. I figured I was young and didn’t want to sell myself short. So when I was 19, I started going to the Kansas City Art Institute. (This was in 2004) At the time, they had just started offering an animation degree. They also had illustration. For my sophomore year (freshman year in art school is foundations), animation and illustration was lumped together. This lead to a weird sort of mixup and frustrated professors and students because it was really hard to focus on any one path of study. (It should be noted that animation and illustration are very different. Especially depending on the kind of illustration you plan on going into).
So halfway through my sophomore year, it was announced that they would be doing away with the illustration program, but still offering illustration classes. They said we could major in animation, but use illustration electives as a substitute for being illustration majors. The professors of animation and illustration said this was a bad idea, and if you’re wanting to major specifically in illustration, you should not do this. I should have taken their advice then, but . . .
I was on the fence between the two and went with animation for a while since I was already at this school and was something I was interested in. After a few semesters, I became increasingly unhappy. It was apparent it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I loved the character design and storyboarding classes, and did great in them. After a couple of semesters of working with Maya, I still didn’t get it. Normally I’m good at learning software, Ijust couldn’t get the 3D stuff for the life of me and didn’t like how tedious animation got. Towards the end of my junior year, it was very apparent I wouldn’t have the skills to complete an entire film for my senior project despite my best efforts.
At the encouragement of my illustration professor (I took the illustration elective), I decided to leave KCAI and transfer to Academy of Art for their illustration program. HUGE difference. I rocked the crap out of my assignments in comparison. It was also about the time I started to get really good at drawing. They have much more rigorous drawing requirements there than at KCAI. Anyway, I loved my major and whatnot.
But because I spent so much time at KCAI, I had pretty much exhausted my student loans. I made it to the very beginning of my senior year before discovering I couldn’t finish because I wouldn’t have the money.
This sounds like a stupid excuse, but I had no idea there was a limit on student loans. I thought we could just keep borrowing until we finished school. I knew I had racked up a lot of debt, but figured it was worth it if I had a degree and got a good job out of it. I was also a 19 year old kid when I signed off on my student loans for the first time without being informed of this. My parents were both high school dropouts who had pushed me to go to college since elementary school so I would end up better off than them. They were so happy I was going, they cosigned my loans. No questions asked. So finding out I wouldn’t be able to get my bachelor’s was devastating for me and my dad (my mom had just died a week before finding this bit of information out, so that just made it even worse).
After a year of not knowing what to do, I decided to repeat my initial mistake and go back and finish my associate’s in graphic design. I figured it would help with my illustration work.
The problem was I wasn’t getting anything out of those classes anymore and the community college wouldn’t recognize the transfer credits because they weren’t accredited (Which is bullshit. Both schools were accredited. I made specifically sure before going to either one of them)
I don’t hate graphic design per se. I enjoy things like book cover design, poster design, ect. I hated my graphic design class because it was more about corporate advertising and marketing than it was about design.
If there’s one type of art I will NOT go into, it’s that. The kind of art that really isn’t art anymore. Just painting a pretty face on an otherwise faceless corporation. That’s not why I went into art.
Either way, I still would have probably tried to stick it out if it weren’t for a new law that limits your pell grants. I am past that limit. Therefore, since I’m not really getting anything out of my classes anyway and it’s a huge drain on gas and time, I quit.
Once upon a time if you were to ask me what I wanted to do, I would have sincerely said I wanted to be a professional student if I had the means to. I love studying and learning about things. I almost minored in art history for fun. That was before I racked up a crippling debt based off of shoddy information, and now have no little piece of paper to show for it.
In short, money has made me hate school.
In the end, I think leaving school is the best decision I could have made. It’s made me get off my ass and start acting like a professional artist. I’m now putting myself out there locally instead of just uploading stuff to deviantart like I used to. In the end, I’m finally starting to take it seriously and treat it like a job.
Self motivation and a portfolio will get you a lot farther than a piece of paper.
Also new Starcrossed page later today. I’m in a good mood.