About to lose my mind with transferring schools can you help?

Hey everyone, I am having a dilemma with transferring out of community college to CSULB. Here it goes, so the college I’m currently at offers nothing in terms of industrial design coursework. Meaning, I don’t have a portfolio…at all, let alone sketch to save my own life. I’ll get to that later. Given that transferring into the school will put me at a Junior level, will this mean that skipping over the foundation years will put me at a total disadvantage with my portfolio?
I really want to transfer out of community college already, but feel very stuck. My original idea was to put together a photography portfolio to get into either CCA or Otis in order to bypass a design portfolio (given that I can’t sketch well) then once in the school change my major to Industrial Design. I’m not sure I like the idea of getting into Otis or CCA at this point. I just want to transfer, please help. I feel so behind.

Yes skipping first year studio will put you at a total disadvantage, especially if you can’t sketch. I don’t see why you’d want to put together a photography portfolio if you want to become an industrial designer. I’d look into what are the possibilities in terms of which classes get credited and see if you could attend foundation classes.

There’s no reason for you to not start sketching right now. Here are some great learning resources:

Spencer Nugent aka Sketch a Day has awesome free youtube videos to get you started:

How to Draw by Scott Robertson

Drawing for Product Designers

Buy 1000 pages of copy paper. Get a few basic pens that will be mentioned in these resources and you’re off to the races. Sketch 10 pages a day and you’ll go through your 1000 pages in a bit over 3 months. I guarantee you you’ll be able to communicate ideas visually after 1000 pages. No your stuff won’t look like what some folks post on Instagram but sketching for ID is about communicating ideas not making illustrations. You’ve got this.

+1 Louis! And also is incredible how tracking your improvements puts you on a boost of confidence, change of mindset and willingness to keep pushing.

I agree with you Rodrigo, it’s good advice Louis, thank you. As far as the sketching paper, I’ve been doing that since last year it’s been working so far! I just think that maybe I’m over complicating the transfer process. It looks like I need to have a portfolio to get into CSULB, and then have to later go through a portfolio review?

Good advise so far. The Scott Roberson book is great, but taking a life drawing class with an instructor is hard to beat. The basics will not be all that different from place to place. You are training your brain to draw from observation. Most people learn to draw from reference before they are capable of drawing well from imagination. It’s really up to you to put in the work.

High schools usually host inexpensive classes through night school community programs. Or, you might be able to find a creative meet-up group near you. This is how you can start a portfolio. Include the best of your photography, life drawing, sketching and all the other creative projects you have been involved in. If you like taking things apart, if you make your own clothes, if you like making short travel videos… whatever. This is what you want to start collecting. You want your portfolio to communicate your interests as well as your skills.

If you have not involved yourself in any creative outlets so far, take the time to think over why you are choosing this pursuit.

I would suggest you speak to an admissions counselor about any concerns, that’s what they are there for. A five minute Q&A call could bring a lot of clarity. Most of the college websites have helpful guides about portfolio development too, maybe look them over before making your call.

As to feeling behind, it’s a mental hurdle you have to overcome. Being behind is really not that big of a deal, the real problem is feeling behind.
I saw students that initially started off less developed, but then accelerated past their peers in a short time. You could observe that they had gotten into a groove and were enjoying themselves. Don’t worry so much about measuring up right now, instead focus on what you want and what you can do right now.

This 100%. Remember that you’re looking at spending a lot of money to pursue this education and you should have access to clear answers. I remember when I started university I was so unsure about myself and thinking I was wasting everyone’s time. In my later years I realized how much I lost out on because I wasn’t picking up the phone to talk with admission/department heads or asking my profs for in depth info on stuff I was interested in.

Earthman thanks for your help lad. I recently applied to a shop that restores and builds MCM furniture, so hopefully, as far creative outlets that’ll be a goof start.