Art Center

If anyone is going to or has gone to the Art Center can you please give your thoughts about your experience there? Thanks.

It’s going down hill at least in the graphic dept.

I’m going there now for product. the place is good. great shop. good teachers…it is a very demanding program. be prepared to sleep very little and work very hard and have a very big loan.

Several people I’ve spoken to have mentioned the demanding nature of Art Center, and said it would take “all of my time”… Can you expand on this a a bit? Why is Art Center any more demanding than other ID programs?

Some schools throw work at students just to get a reputation for being difficult, rather than being a quality education experience. Is that the case here?

Much appreciated,

Any id program is demanding. There are no easy/ difficult schools, I think it’s great that the faculty at Art Center forces the students to work hard. That’s the only way to get good. In my opinion, even if they just “throw work” , which I am sure is not the case, it will prepare you for the real life…working fast is a must.
And it doesn’t matter what school you choose, it will take all of your time. Studio classes are long 3-5 hours each, add the time outside of classes to complete your projects (pretty much most of your awaken time), then you got your liberal arts…and other elective stuff…minors…a job…you gotta eat, to eat you gotta cook, then laundry, looking for supplies…boyfriends, girlfriends that need your attention. It all piles up…and before you know, you brag in the studio that last night you got 5 hours of sleep and everyone goes, “wow! That’s awesome…maybe tonight I ll get some, too”

So…don’t worry, Art Center or not… you ll get your share of working your ass off and sleeping less than 20 hours a week …unless you’re a bitchy slacker who complains non-stop.

It sounds so terrible. I should think over before I choose where to study in.

That schedule will be any design school I’ve heard of. My school, 1 studio class for 8 hrs, twice a week. Other studio classes were only 4 hrs. Then libarts crap, out of major stuff, working 3 part time jobs to pay rent + supplies, living off of white rice and 25 cent oatmeal cookies from the corner store. I never went to bed before 3 or 4am and was back up at 7. Allnighters twice a week minimum (and not due to bad time mngmnt, just pure workload requirements and desire to do well.) No time to date any non-art schoolers (they can’t even begin to comprehend our workloads and schedules). You barely have time to breath when in id programs, if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. That’s the fun of it though, pushing yourself is good sometimes.

skinny, which school do you study in? IIT?

RISD. You’ll get mixed reviews from different people in terms of what you can get from there, but it is demanding without question.

in my exp., it’s been what you want to put into it, what you bring to it, and the dynamics through it all to work through/from that matters. Yeah, very general but I hope you git the jist.

All work and no play makes…

my memories similar to skinny. non-stop effort. and when i talk to other alums we all miss it.

Yeah, pretty much sums up my experience at school…I do know people who had time to join frats, and go clubbing 2-3 time a week, have multiple dates in the same night, and so on. But all of them are either working at McDs, or on here bitching about how hard it is to find a job, or how bad the school they went to was, or how you have to know someone to get in the door. Funny how lazy people never see the fault in their own actions.

When I was in college, I made time to be in a frat, went clubbin’ 4 nights a week minimum, got laid now and then…and I was one of the top designers in my studio and am now the top designer in my company…never had a problem finding employers who want to produce good designs.

Point is, I excelled because I was relaxed which is critical in creative problem solving; going to clubs having fun allowed the sub-conscious mind (95% of your brain) to solve problems. As for the stressed-out living in studio students in my graduating class, they have had average careers but had a crappy college experiece. Their social skills also suffered, which is critical in getting promotions in the real world.

You don’t have to live in your design studio to be successful. Good designers are not hermits living within the four walls of a classroom or studio. What you have to do is live design outside of your studio, notice how it effects your environment and apply this to your future designs.

Sounds like you atleast finished the projects, and did a sufficient job doing so. However I can still attest to the fact that the students (from my university) who spent less than 50 hours a week in the studio, shop, or computer lab either were dropped from the program, left the program, or barely passed the classes, and had to repeat their thesis program and shows because the Dean’s input was…“I request a reworking of all thesis requirements due to insufficient effort and recorded studio time” Yes for our thesis we had to treat it like it were a real paying project, keeping track of time and mandating a minimum of 45 hours per week (15 weeks) devoted specifically for the thesis.

Do not get me wrong we partied while in the studios, and twice a week we had devoted “no work night, (well actually about 4 hours)” were the entire Junior, Senior, and Grad student classes went out for a night on the town.

It did really relieve the stress, also having the studio completely off campus in a rented house was also a great stress relief, drink and draw. Great times.

Done reminiscing…back to the present reality, and off to a focus group for breast pumps…sometimes I love my job…

I think it’s all about time management. I’ve had semesters that kinda went easy and ones when it was hell, but I still managed to be on time for all of my assignments. So far in my school years I have not been late for any project. On the other hand, some of my friends never get things done on time no matter how hard they try. I recognise them as hardworking and devoted people, but there is just something about how they manage their time that cause them to be late. So I think one has to learn to estimate how much time or effort it takes to finish a job, then work faster than the estimated time so that you get a bit of buffer time, which more than often will not exist anyways.

depends on your class load, previous experience, work ethic etc etc. Some people have more skills in the shop and can do things at the last minute, others need more time. Some people come in with prior ID degrees. So it all depends.

i have to say, there are plenty of designers that work their asses off, have excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail and are completely socially awkward. Some have a tenuous hold on the english language. Others have enormous egos, while others just plain have trouble communicating. Point is, i think a little social life can go a long way.

its very demanding in that everyone there is demanding; faculty, students, staff etc. The faculty demands the impossible from the students and the students damn near deliver. Every time. Its almost scary how wired the place is. You can feel the focused vibe the moment you walk in the building and it creeps some people out.

Put simply, if you are there, you are there for a reason and you are expected to perform at a certain level. No excuses. There is immense pressure to perform at this level and it comes from every direction, peers, staff, faculty, alumni etc.

I know other programs as demanding. I do know that CCS and Cinncinnati are as frenetic and they demand the same level (if not more) of acheivement. But its what you put into it that you get out of it. It isn’t easy and it should not be. You won’t be able to coast or talk your way into and out of a design review, you need to be able to do it, do it competently and make it look good while you’re doing it. (if you don’t think that matters you are looking at the wrong school and are probably in the wrong profession…)

I graduated ten pounds underweight with a 2 pack a day habit and skin paler then an Albino’s, (with $40K in student loans…) but I have a career ever since, becasue I learned what to and how to do it; and thats why I went. Was it worth it? Yes because I was serious (deathly afraid of becomiong and unemployed starving artist.) and just as serious as the companies I work for…

Horseshoes,…shouldn’t you be sanding something?

It seems everyone is fighting over nothing.
I think everone agrees - art studios take up a lot of f’in time. You need passion, determination, and time-management skills. And there ain’t no way in hell you can keep partying with the Jone’s in the b-school, cause you gots some work to do.
However, all of you who declare - i never slept, ate, drank, saw sunlight, and now have emphysema - that’s ridiculous. Part of time management, is managing to find time to be a human. You aren’t going to be a good designer/artist/person if you are completely disconnected from the outside world.
I have already made that mistake - forcing me to take a “time-out” from life. If you want to become a designer/artist then, of course, you must devote a good portion of you day/life to just that. But if you can’t take out a few hours a day to eat, shower and take a stroll through the burbs - you will suffer, your work will suffer, and ultimately - you will never be the designer you hope to be.
So those of you entering a BFA — be prepared. It is going to be tough, you are going to have long days and many long nights, and your minds, souls and egos will be challenged constantly. However, just remember that the world does exist outside of your studio.

um, who’s fighting?

I don’t know about that. Some schools have a purposefully heavy courseload and expect you to at a minimum, match your studio time after hours working on your projects. And unless your family is giving you money or you’re on scholarship, or have lots of credit cards, others have to have jobs to pay for food, supplies, etc… your time can disappear in a second because you have to work. Personally, I had scholarships, max amount of federal student loans allowable taken out, and 4 credit cards maxed out. Still had to work 3 pt jobs at once.

For example, here was a typical 2-day spread for me back when I was in school.

6am-9am: Work study job in the morning for physical plant, cutting grass, pulling weeds, etc… Half hour to clean up and eat something.
9:30am-5:30 or 6pm: Major design studio
6pm-7pm: One hour for dinner or rest or whatever. Not including time it takes to get there with no car on a campus thats spread all over.
7pm-10pm: Liberal arts class or elective design studio
10:30pm-2am: Another work study job driving campus security shuttle.
Now already into sleep time, with just doing the minimum mandatory things to survive.
2am-4 or 5am: Try to get some work done for another studio tomorrow afternoon.

5am-7:30 or 8am: Sleep. Can be reversed with previous. Sleep at 2:30am, get up at 5 or 6am to get some work done before morning class. Either way, still only about 3 hrs sleep
8:30-11am: Morning libarts class
11am-1pm: 2 hrs to either get some rest, eat lunch, wmy ork study job where I sit in and man the phones during the fulltimers lunch break, work more on the project due at 1pm, or any combination of those 4 choices.
1pm-5pm: “Light” Studio (Out of major or computer class, shop, etc…whichever for the semester)
5pm-6pm: Dinner
6pm-10pm: Early shift driving Security Shuttle for workstudy job.
10pm-6am: Working on studio project due in the morning if I do my minimum match of 8hrs class time.
6am-9am: Sleep and breakfast if I finished the project, if not, still working on it.
9:30am-5:30pm: Major Studio class
and the cycle continues…

Mondays and fridays were normally a little lighter, only a “light studio” and you had time during the weekend to work on pj’s, not just the morning before crit. The rest of the time was workstudy jobs. Weekends were full but not as hectic. Everything done before 11pm on fridays and 10pm on saturdays (unless I had to drive the shuttle, then no freedom til 2am) so it gave me time to get my party on and have some bit of a social life.

So it isn’t always a matter of time management, you can’t make any more than 24 hrs in a day. And different folks have different situations. I knew a girl that never made her own models, had the money to send them out to get done. I’m sure her resources gave her more time to do other things that other people couldn’t. I had to ride my bike 1hr each way to the home depot in the next city to get some supplies I needed. And could only bring back what would fit in my backpack. I had a 1/2hr walk to school or rode my bike in a hilly town to get everywhere, so anytime you’d see me on campus, I’d normally be sweaty and nasty. Not like some of the foreign architecture students who dressed nice and rode around in beamers.

Different folks have different resources, you just gotta make the best with what you have. And try not to compare yourself with others that may have more than you (so you don’t feel inferior and worthless), or with others that have less than you (so you don’t feel superior, arrogant, and cocky).

Either way, be prepared to work hard. If your program doesn’t require that or some real sacrifice of your time, it probably isn’t doing justice for you. Good luck to all.