Interested in Grad ID program. Am I lacking qualifications?

Hey new to this site but have been reading many of the posts. Really helpful. I’m a illustrator and graphic designer. I’ve been doing freelance work for 6 years or so in GD, Comic book, and children’s book illustration. I’m interested in going back to school for either ID or VCD. In looking at schools I find myself worried about my qualifications. Specifically the need for some 3D objects for my portfolio. I have a lot of drawing, painting, print making, and computer experience. But I’ve never been to a formal art school. I studied Philosophy of math and science. I’m currently taking a CAD course to get some experience with that program.

I found the Grad v undergrad post very helpful. I’m more interested in what was expressed about grad programs. But do I have any chance without a more design based undergrad past? My goal is to work in developing countries, past Peace Corps experience pushes me in this direction.

Does anyone have any thoughts advice. What programs I should expect to learn? You can look at some of my work at if that will help. Thanks,

why are you even looking do to an (ID i’m assuming, you didnt mention it specifically) grad program?

your comic stuff is great! you’re not happy continuing that? you’ve got great talent for sure…

as for working in developing countries, what exactly did you have in mind wrt. ID?


you want to work as an industrial designer in a developing country, correct?

I’m not really sure what to tell you, but when someone wants to work in a particular city, for example, we tell them to move there and hustle freelance untill someome picks them up full time. I’d advise picking an industry common to a region you want to work in and start focusing your efforts there.

I don’t plan on dropping my comic and illustration work but was hoping to combined them with ID or VCD. Sort of Narrative Design… I’m still in the gathering info phase of grad school. I had initially thought a MFA would be good but I don’t see any concrete end to an MFA. Not that there is anything wrong with an MFA. I was looking at ID because I like to build things and work out problems.
As for work I want to work on third world issues through design and art.
How important is it to have 3D models for a portfolio? Can anyone suggest any programs I could learn before grad school, Maya etc…?

Actually I think you would be a good grad candidate being that you already have a creative and visual background.

3D is critical, but which program depends where you land, Rhino or Solidworks (or better, both) would go a long way towards getting you started.

Would you consider a school in the region/country of choice? or do you want to stay stateside till your done?

I wasn’t sure what to show for a portfolio either, so I set up a preliminary appointment to look at my work and talk about what else I might need, which worked out great.

In terms of 2d, obviously you want to include your strongest work, but I would also include anything that emphasized problem solving, explanation, your personal interests (developing countries).

I don’t think you meant 3-d computer models, did you? 3D computer work is not essential for a grad admissions portfolio. In terms of physical 3D stuff… if you don’t include anything it does bring up the question of why you are applying for ID. It doesn’t have to be a product model-- it’s probably better if it isn’t, but I would recommend including something 3d or a least a rendering:., jewelry, sculptural studies, furniture

you should go to ASU and talk to people, faculty and students (more so than admissions/dean types)
showing up in person, asking tons of questions and proving your passion for design by following their advice with the kinds of things you do over the summer and fall will actually go a lot farther than just applying with a slick portfolio.
that’s a school that likes background diversity in it’s grad program and might be more willing to overlook the lack of an ID undergrad.
you’ll need the face time for anywhere (with the possible exception of PRATT)

Thank you this is really helpful,
I meant 3 dimensional stuff, I’ve just never done anything like that, I guess I made pinch pots when I was little. We have a great community art studio here in Tucson and I was thinking about working with a sculptor. Do you think this would help?

I’m totally open to going over seas, in fact I have Irish citizenship which will give me an EU passport. Any recommendations in Europe?

As for schools I’ve been looking at Pratt, RISD, and University of Washington. These are all in places I would like to live and my wife could work. I believe that Pratt has a Grad program for people who need a bit more background education in ID. You take a year(?) of undergrad classes and then go to grad school? I might have made this up- I’ve been talking with a few people at different schools.