ID at 23.

Hi all, this is my first post. You’re welcome for the creative username.

I’ve been struggling with my current degree in chemistry only to realize about a couple of months ago, before 3 semesters from finishing that the degree I was studying for is not geared to me.I’ve always been a visual creature, thinking of additions, modifications to objects and thinking of practical solutions to problems in the world. I have notebooks full of all kinds of inventions and ideas. Somehow ID never crossed my mind, even though it’s pretty much what I’ve been doing all my life in my head. I have no idea how that became an oversight.

But here I am, about to turn 22, and because the idea to ditch my degree and study ID came to me around the time applications were due, I obviously didn’t have time to apply.
Applications start this fall for the fall of '13. Which means I have a few months to learn to draw , and to put together a respectable portfolio.

I’ve already bought some stuff, including Sketching ,the Basics by Eissen and Steur, and some supplies. I’m focusing on my sketching until next year (January ish, after I’ve applied) and then I’ll start messing with 3D modeling and surfacing programs. Photoshop too, because I know nothing about it.

I’d like to hear some tips anyone might have for me, as this year off will definitely not be a “year off” but a pretty intense one for me.


p.s. It hit me that I’ll be getting my bachelors in ID (hopefully, if I even get accepted) at 27. Isn’t that a little old to be a junior designer? If I had studied it after high school, I could have finished by next year, maybe even starting work at 24. Blah.

Definitely not too old.

I started Uni at 25 and finished when I was 29. Luckily I went straight into a job which I landed before I finished studying. I couldn’t draw in 1st year either and have built my skills up to a reasonable level now.

It sounds like you’ve found your calling. Well done.

Go onto, gnomon workshop and learn the basics of perspective and line weight.

I was in your exact same position about a year ago. In fact, most of the schools I applied to did not require a portfolio (Virginia Tech, Cincy, ASU, SJSU). I did apply to RIT, which required a portfolio (I was awfully scared of this one but received an admission offer in the end).

I didn’t know how to draw either and did not start making an effort to learn until January of this year. But I did begin by learning perspective (I used Norling’s Perspective Made Easy and Enroll in a Drawing I class at your university if you can.

Some basic tips: keep a sketchbook with you everywhere you go, I have a small one that fits in my back pocket. draw a lot of straight lines, ellipses for warming up.

Good luck! I hope you get accepted to your school of choice next year. It’s a tough year, but if you can make it until decisions roll out next May, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and rewarded (in the form of an admission offer :wink:).


I got your PM but I don’t have the functionality to reply yet.
I was actually about to email you asking to see your portfolio, what a coincidence. Right now my drawings are pretty gross, but I’ve seen some good beginner improvements in the past few weeks.I’m actually going to be taking as many drawing classes as I can muster until I start school.

Can you maybe attach it in a reply?


p.s. I’m actually pretty confused about which schools to pick as my #1 and #2.
A part of me wants to leave the country to feel like I’m getting a clean start, but I don’t want to be emotional about it.

Overall, I hear European design is on the bleeding edge. (Dutch design specifically)
I can always play it safe as stick around home in North America, but colleges in Canada seem so-so and tuition in the US are obviously multiple times the tuition of an average European school.

Hey core,

I’ve sent you another PM with my portfolio on it.

One thing I can tell you is, that I’ve spent so much time on this board researching about schools. Some solid ones to consider are UC-DAAP (be aware this will take you 5 years), and Northumbria (their program is called a “sandwich” which I believe is similar to co-op at DAAP).

Also ask yourself what you want out of an ID program. Do you want more art-oriented or design-oriented? Something tech-focused? That could help narrow down schools.

definitely not art-oriented, but more functionally-driven design.

Most of my ideas do tend to gravitate around tech areas.

23 is not too old!

During my time in school many of my classmates entered school past the age of 23. Many people who I work with and encounter from Art Center already have full degrees from other schools. A lot of those degrees were from non art schools. Don’t worry about your age and just try your best at what you enjoy. If you are passionate enough about what you do, you will become good.

Don’t get too hung up about the sketching thing- It’s just one of a number of tools you use to communicate ideas. There are way too many stylized industrial design sketches around these parts that distract from the many other facets of the art of design.

(Yes, an art for some, a process for others…)

Being from Canada, I have access to very affordable education.
Europe isn’t too expensive , as compared to the US and it’s still on the table.

Truth be told, I’m pretty involved in the tech scene here in North America and leaving for Europe would slow things down for me.

So it seems I should remain in Canada, and stay in BC (close to the Bay Area) or stick to the East which is near Montreal where most of my contacts are. Ontario is therefore on the table because it’s not bad to get back to MTL by train.

This means I’m looking at:
Emily Carr

Carleton is apparently a real ID bachelor’s and is an excellent program, whereas EC struggles to establish itself a credible ID program.

I’m also looking at

TUe Eindhoven, DAEindhoven, ENSCI Les Ateliers, Strate.

Just so you know, I come from a pretty technical background and am most interested in technology.

I’m not very experienced at all in the field yet but I just started studying Product Design at Art Center and my incoming class’ average age is 24…so I don’t see it being a big deal at all. You are only 23 after all, and you will have one degree under your belt already

Emily Carr is a “real” ID bachelor as well, not just a credible ID program.

Since when is Vancouver close to Bay Area? that’s like saying Atlanta is close to Toronto :wink: Enough with the Geography lesson.

I would find the best ID school in Canada (to save cash) then move to the US for work (to earn cash).

And, no, starting ID school at 23 is too old. A lot of people enter into college at 18 end up spending more than 4 yrs there anyway.