How to Evaluate your Art Foundation

  • @Coreyartus I agree with all you said, and with your background you're more qualified to speak on this subject than I am. However, I am a baby boomer (on the young side, which in my opinion can make a difference when it comes to our ideals, just saying), and we had both vocational schools and universities when I went to college (graduated in 1984). We never expected to learn vocational skills unless we went to a vocational school. This paradigm shift started in the mid to late 90's I would say. Our society is made up of all generations, making decisions and dealing with change on-going all together, so I wouldn't necessarily pin this shift (or any other) on just baby boomers. This isn't the forum for this type of discussion, so I appolgize for that. However, I have been hearing this 'baby boomer bashing' more and more lately and felt something needed to be said.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @Coreyartus Jake, Will, and I totally agree with you about adjunct artists. They are the ones who are typically working in the field and still have a grasp of what is current in the market. The snag is that they get thrown into the mix of a university system and they may have to teach a class without much notice (i was asked to teach a class with a 1 day notice at PNCA college of art!). They work their butts off and they are the ones keeping the wheels on the bus.

    It's the faculty instructors that are put in a difficult situation too. They are asked to teach between 3-5 classes a week (some which they may not have any experience in), and go to a bunch of meetings and admin stuff for the university, and then THEY ARE ASKED TO KEEP WORKING IN THEIR FIELD! That is an impossible task. There simply isn't enough hours in the day. In fact, at my university I said "I will not go to any more meetings at all if you are asking me to be a professional in my field. But if you tell me it's not important to work in the field, I'll go to meetings. But I can't do both". They didn't like that answer, but it was true. At that point I was the only full time faculty member still doing a full time amount of professional work on the side. Most of the others had quit actual professional practice and just painted or whatever on the side a little bit.

    My point in both scenarios is that it's not the teachers fault and I REALLY want to get the point across that we don't blame them. The teachers are the saviors. They put in the time and effort and I had some GREAT ones. They make it work in spite of the obstacles and they are heros to me.

  • There are a few things that students that are attending art school benefit from that systems like svslearn cant really provide. But perhaps cant provide just yet.

    1. Connections. Being able to work with instructors and students face to face builds your network and increases your opportunities for job placement when you’re done with school.

    2. Scholarships and grants. I have realized that since I am not a student, even though I’d like to pursue an illustration career, no matter the level of my drive I dont have access to the same resources. Such as scholarships, grants, internships, discounted memberships to organizations such as SCBWI and Society of Illustrators, etc, that are only available to matriculated college students.

    3. Actual career guidance. Many colleges are evaluated based on their job placement in fields related to their majors. They have career offices that have partnerships companies and studios that recruit from the schools, post job openings and internships that only students attending those schools can apply for.

    So there are advantages of going to an art school over being self taught/self directed.

    I cant go back to school at this point in my life, I cant afford to, so I’m glad that svslearn has started the 1 on 1 reviews for people willing to pay for it I think thats a great leap in the right direction. I’m hoping that in the future SVSlearn eventually has some kind programs and assistance similar to those of colleges that are not only offered to students of colleges. Like for example, internship placement or scholarship offers based on portfolios. But of course that would require the meaning of what higher education learning to change in order to include a well developed system like SVSlearn to count.

    I’ve tried schoolism, and dang a lot of those classes spend sooo much time filling their lessons with what I call fluff, and not enough talk about technique or demonstrations of the theory in practice. It’s kind of a fend for yourself thing which can be so frustrating.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG


    I'dl ike to speak to those 3 points because a lot of people have those concerns.

    Connections: You absolutely do get connections going to a regular school. The face to face time is very valuable and I would highly recommend anyone taking online classes to take a few regular classes at a local college. Or, do immersion programs like the Illustration Academy 3 and 6 week courses. I would say working along side other artists is a biggest value of a traditional school.

    Scholarships and Grants: I had my whole tuition paid for in college and it can be a life saver getting these. In fact, I would only recommend going to a regular school if you have a good amount of scholarship and grant help. Otherwise the debt you accumulate outweighs the benefit of the school.

    Actual Career Guidance: This is where I'm going to disagree a bit. After seeing career guidance for both my undergrad and graduate program, as well as 12 years teaching at an art college, career guidance for illustrators is almost non existent or is highly inconsistent. For graphic design or concept jobs (regular staff positions), the career guidance works much better. But illustration is extremely difficult for a person in charge of career guidance to manage that it doesn't work that well. Our industry just doesn't work that way. We don't have the "help wanted" type jobs that other professions do.

  • @Lee-White ok I see that’s actually helpful to know. I have been seeing a lot of “illustration internships” that are offered by different art studios and animation studios that I cant even apply for.

    Also do you, Lee, ever put in recommendations in for your students in places that look for artists? Like animation studios or something?

    I’ve learned that I do need to push myself a bit more than someone who goes to art school not in terms of skill but in areas that are outside technical skills, like design, theory, concepts, and execution. Which isn't a complaint, I feel much more accomplished when I brainstorm new portfolio ideas I want to make and complete them. And if that doesn't achieve the goal I set for myself I’m in a better position because of the work ive done in order to reevaluate what i need to do next. A lot of the confidence in the self guidance stuff is really thanks to SVSlearn.

  • I loved this episode, and I'm trying to progress through the beginning curriculum but I was actually hoping for one thing that didn't really get fleshed out in the podcast: How do you know when you should move to the next class/course?

    I went to art school for sculpture (glass) and I did a lot of foundation drawing classes meant for the masses as you all mentioned in the podcast and I feel very similar to Will in that I feel like I have to re-learn to draw (especially for illustration). Now that I am trying to start over and fill in any gaps using SVS courses, I am just not sure when I should move on as there doesn't seem to be a way to "pass" the class as such. Should I be submitting work to the forums and asking there to know if I should move on? I was hoping there would be more time in the podcast that talked explicitly for the courses available as to how to know when to move to the next class.

    A related question I have is should I generally be working on the course content in relation to a finished piece or scene rather than a specific standalone figure/prop/thing? In sports there are many forms of practice that relate to working on targeted technique and skill, but there is generally nothing like practicing under the conditions of actual gameplay as it tends to tie everything together.

    I look forward to every new podcast and class and I truly appreciate the amazing service you are providing the art community.



  • This episode really hit home hard.
    Also, foundation credits transfer over from school to school while being far from comparable, in which case students are thrown into advanced classes and immediately sabotaged. But that would be a whole separate subject of colleges being a Business vs Educational facility.

  • Hello friends,

    Maybe this isn't the appropriate place but I was looking for the episode where Will talks about self-deception and drawing skills, do any of you know what podcast this is from?

  • SVS OG

    @Tiago-Pinto hi! Can you describe it more?

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz Will talks about how through self deception and "his own style" prevented him from working on his sketching habilities and bettering his own draftsmanship, becoming better at drawing. I just wanted to know because I think it's pretty relevant and I'm making a podcast playlist on Spotify, so..

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