My name is Michael Jenkins and I am considering entering the field of Industrial Design. This site is an invaluable resource and I’m so glad I found it before I committed to the profession because I have some doubts and questions. First, I became interested in the field somewhat by accident, I mean, I didn’t even know such a specific area existed. Now that I do, I wish I had earlier. I have painted, sculpted, and designed miniature figures for over a decade and have now begun making it a profession. The figures are aimed generally at late teens and early 20s. A lot of work has gone into studying not only the human form, but a spectrum of accompanying skills to complete a range of figures. Sculpting these kinds of science fiction and fantasy toys has been a passion and will continue to be a passion of mine for a long time. Retirement? Nah! I also graduated with a BA in History; I don’t regret it and it has helped me greatly on a personal level, but, professionally, the degree is useless to me.
So, here’s where you come in! I would like to update my passion for designing and sculpting figures into the current century - I want to do it digitally. I’m interested in creating my ideas as digital 3d models as well as the materials and processes of reprodcution, like injection molding and resin casting. I am also interested in the processes of 3d scanning and printing and rapid prototyping. Finally, I’m interested in improving my drawing skills, so that I have a better map to follow AND I can effectively convey my ideas to other sculptors to let them do the work! Essentially, my goal is to, in all aspects, produce miniature figures. Now, where do I go from here?
There are a couple of things I’m worried about: 1) Getting herded into a program where I find everything is skewed or aimed at a more popular area, like vehicle/tran design. 2) Getting into a program where I come out on the other side, 4 years and 80k later, with a lot of cool knowledge, but not really any closer to my goal. I’m curious if I should just learn this stuff on my own to ensure that I’m getting what I want out of it.
Here’s two of the schools I’m interested in, so far:
Art Academy University - SF, USA
Victoria University of Wellington - NZ
Victoria is currently in the lead, because I read through the course descriptions and, unlike most programs, they mentioned specific areas I am interested in and specific software. I believe I could fit 2-3 courses of life drawing for designers into the degree . . . AWESOME! Plus I KNOW I’ll get a chance to use Rhinoceros. However, if you have any school recommendations that you feel would fit me, I would appreciate it very much.
Thanks for reading, and any words you have for are awaited eagerly,