Scotland's Works-In-Progress and Sketches...

Work-In-Progress and Sketches from Scotland Barnes...

Progress on Anna - this, to me, is the really fun stage - everything is more or less there, but now it’s the refining of details.

Sketchbook drawing from earlier in the month. The zoo trip was canceled due to rain, so some students were able to meet later at Oakland Natural History Museum to draw the stuffed animals.

Sketchbook drawing from earlier in the month. The zoo trip was canceled due to rain, so some students were able to meet later at Oakland Natural History Museum to draw the stuffed animals.

A sketch I did before teaching today of Anne Hathaway/Catwoman - with SHORT hair. That long hair in the movie made no damn sense to me.

A sketch I did before teaching today of Anne Hathaway/Catwoman - with SHORT hair. That long hair in the movie made no damn sense to me.

abecat asked: I love your cartooning! In one of you recent post you mentioned grad school. How was that? Any good programs for production - entertainment design? Thank you for sharing your work with the world :D

Grad - really any art school, is a personal choice and one not to take lightly. Especially these days. Given the amount of debt that you will end up in - it’s something to that each person should really research. In the end though it really is a personal decision.

A lot of really great industry pros these days are telling people to not go to art school, because of the instructors, costs, etc.

If you do go to grad school for art - you really need to understand that what you are really buying is TIME. Time to work and hone your skills and to develop a particular idea. Most grad programs are 2 1/2 years. If anyone goes into an serious art program WITHOUT previous experience (just sketching around on occasion does not count) in drawing, painting, etc - you are in for a world of hurt. A lot of the students I work with more or less LIED TO THEMSELVES.

Schools reps lie too. But that’s their job. Just like car sales folk. Never trust officials/reps - these people are employed to convince you of stuff that you should be able to use logic to realizes they are often untrue or they themselves do not have the full picture. And anyone who says that such and such university is the best - is a damned fool. Every school has it’s ups and downs. As a prospective student it is your JOB to figure out which one is the best fit. And it could be that no “official” school is the right fit. Maybe go to a place that offers just a certificate. Or just take individual courses. But as always - be careful.

Some “hot shot” (or hot shit) artists run their own schools. These schools could be good, could be bad. Just because an artist is the current “hot shot”, does not necessarily mean they are a good instructor. A lot of students go to these school with the wrong attitude - thinking that they are going to get insider information, industry connections, etc. Regardless of the school, or school’s sales pitch - you are on your own. There is no one afterwards to help you or save you.

I’m writing all this not to go on a rant (although I did) but just to put a word of caution.

For me - grad school I would say was the right step to take. I knew where I wanted to go in general. But I need more information. At the time there wasn’t as much information out on the internet as there is today. Depending on what you are looking for - you might avoid a school altogether. For me though, I knew I needed the time. Time is what you are going into debt for. And I knew in the back of my mind, that it probably would not be enough time.

More importantly I met an instructor who I wanted to work with. That was the most key thing in deciding on going back to grad school. I already had a previous art degree in Illustration, but I wanted to develop more into animation (specifically 2D animation). Through a friend a met an instructor that I trusted and clearly had the skills that I wanted to develop in my work. At first I thought I was going to focus on Character Design, and for most of the time I did. Ultimately though, I focused at the end, and since on Storyboarding - largely due to interning at Nickelodeon and the people I met there.

Note: The university did not get me the internship - I got myself the internship. And it was mostly due to networking. A lot of schools take credit or say they offer internships. This is true and not true. It’s really down to your own efforts and your own networking. (Networking is not schmoozing people, it’s being professional and treating others professionally)

To answer your question more directly: Any good programs for production - entertainment design?

Heck yeah, there are tons! And don’t just limit yourself to grad programs. Seriously ask yourself if you’re better off just getting a second bachelors degree. It’s really about time commitment. The more time, generally, the more time you have to hone your skills.

There are lots of schools, both on-site and on-line that offer various degrees. Just a few are:

Art Center in Pasedena, Cal Arts (bachelors only), RISD, Academy of Art University, The Art Dept (B.S. only, but a lot of individual courses), CGWMA (3D & 2D), not to mention a few (here in California) Cal State Universities - San Jose, Fullerton, Northridge, Long Beach. That’s just a few.

I know people (students and faculty) at all of these - and all of them are good programs. The real question is what program is good for you? So the pain-in-the-ass thing is that you really need to check out all of them, ask a lot of questions, - and especially LOOK AT THE STUDENTS THAT GRADUATE FROM THOSE SCHOOLS. If you see ones that are doing what you like and they all are coming from that a particular school - then make sure to check it out.

Be aware - no matter the school - the UGLY TRUTH is that students succeed or fail on their own. You can succeed at the worst school and get a great job that you love. You can fail at the best school and still be working retail. It has more to do with you than the school. Do not confuse grades with success. Grades mean absolutely jack-shit NOTHING. They are only a reflection of your apparent effort in school. Outside of school - at least in animation and illustration - no one will ever give a fuck if you got an “A”. They’ll just care - “What can you do for me?”

To give you my own track of the schools I went to:

Palomar Community College (a lot of early life drawing classes - started while in high school)

California State University, Long Beach (studied Illustration)

More classes at Palomar Community College (pretty much every summer)

Academy of Art University, San Francisco (grad - 2D animation)

Studio 2nd Street (Ron and Vanessa Lemen - they’ve since renamed the school)

and Rad’s How To School and Schoolism

I would say that the instructors that have had the most lasting influence on me (aka - they beat the most into my thick head): Robin Richesson at Long Beach State, Sherrie H. Sinclair at the Academy, and Ron Lemen at Studio 2nd Street. Any success I have had is due to them, all the screw/fuck ups are my own.

Sorry for the long answer but now that I spend my time teaching - I’m often frustrated by the simple thinking that most students and the arrogant/short sighted answers I hear/read from “professionals”. Again, sorry for the rant but hopefully it provided you with more questions rather than simple answers.

Been a long weekend - painted a Gibson Girl a while back with Painting reminders

Been a long weekend - painted a Gibson Girl a while back with Painting reminders

A friend dared, DARED, to question my geek-nerd credentials!  This was from a while ago, actually. And after a weird week, did a bit of work on it….still more to do for the full finish….

A friend dared, DARED, to question my geek-nerd credentials! This was from a while ago, actually. And after a weird week, did a bit of work on it….still more to do for the full finish….

Getting back to my Pin-Up Girl comic - revised her hairstyle to be more “Gibson Girl”. Hopefully as the semester heads to the end goal there will be more time for concentrated time.

Getting back to my Pin-Up Girl comic - revised her hairstyle to be more “Gibson Girl”. Hopefully as the semester heads to the end goal there will be more time for concentrated time.

And random girl sketch in the works before calling it a night.

And random girl sketch in the works before calling it a night.

More horses…

More horses…

Also talking about horses tomorrow…

Also talking about horses tomorrow…