BBWCA - Am I in the Wrong School

Here’s how you can check to see if you are attending the wrong school, and several ways to course correct.

I got into college this year; http://www.lit.ie/Courses/LC502/default.aspx, but I question the curriculum very much because it feels much more of a game development course then anything.  Nobody in the program knows what to make of the course because it’s the first one with that title ever in Ireland. It looks like the school is trying to do a lot in this course, but I am unsure if it is the right place to learn about concept art.  What do you think?   

Hello. I looked at your schools website and the main thing I noticed right away was that the curriculum tract you are on is indeed for game development (not art). If I read correctly, during your first semester, you will have 10 classes or so, but only two of them are for art.  The other eight cover things like Animation, Scripting, Audio basics, and more.

If you knew you wanted to go into video games, but didn’t know which area to focus on, or if you wanted to make your own video game in the future, then taking a mixed discipline course like this might be great for your needs.  In you case, however, where you KNOW that you want to be a concept artist, then taking a course like this is terrible. Also, from what I can tell, the last two years of the school you won’t even be drawing.  I hate to say it, but you may be right — You’re in the wrong school.

That’s not to say that the school is bad, only that it’s not properly suited for your needs.  Let me put it into perspective for you.  Lets pretend that you are currently taking 2 classes a day, five days a week at LIT.  (Ten classes total)  If, at best, the only classes that relate to you are Drawing Principles 1 and Drawing Principles 2, ( 2 classes, 1 day total) then the other 8 classes (4 days a week) you are paying for are useless and money wasted.

Compare that to a concept focused school like, say Feng Zhu Design, where you are studying drawing principles every single day, for 12 hours each day, 5 days a week.  At a school like  that your course curriculum is focused and intense; this means that you will be learning at an exponentially faster rate. For every week of learning at FZD, it will take you 5 weeks at LIT to learn the same exact thing. Let me rephrase that. If you attend FZD for one year, it will take you 5 years at LIT to learn the same exact thing.  Again — if it takes you 2 years to develop an industry worthy portfolio from FZD, it will take you 10 YEARS to do the same thing at a school like LIT.  Have I made the point clear enough?  (I’m using FZD as an example… there are dozens of equally amazing concept art schools out there. You can choose whichever one suits you best).

I’ll be honest thought, I am not too familiar with the schools in Ireland (I’m located in the USA) and I don’t know what else is available to you locally. I think you and I can both agree, however, that something will need to change.  From what I can tell you have a few options:

1. GOOD Option:

Further research the art schools in Ireland.  If you can find a good school that will teach you art every single day, then you will be better off there, than if you were to stay at LIT (even if that school doesn’t specifically teach concept art).

2. BETTER Option:

Find local concept artists who works or grew up in Ireland and ask them what school they went to. If there is a local art convention or expo, you may even be able to meet them in person at their booth.  If no such event takes place nearby, then you will have to hunt down their portfolio online and shoot them an email. (Ask around to anyone who may be able to assist you here.)  The point is to find out how they “made it” and see if you can follow in their foot steps.  They also may have some valuable insight that they can share with you. Bonus!

3. BEST Option:

Relocate to a different city/ state or even country to find an appropriate school.  (Check out the Recommended Resources page on my blog to find additional schools). This option requires a huge commitment on your part, but also has the highest reward/ best possible outcome.

3b. If relocating is out of the picture, then you can stay where you are, and take online courses. (Visit the Recommended Resources page again, to find great online courses, tutorial videos and more). This option is great because it will likely be cheaper than full time tuition.  On the flip side you won’t get a degree, (but no one in this industry cares about degrees).

Regardless of whichever action you choose, if you are serious and really want to “make it” as a concept artist, now is the time to take drastic action. I hope this info helps.


 

If anyone needs further clarity or has additional questions, then please send an email to me@eliottlillyart.com, and I will do my best to answer them.