Best Art Colleges/Universities in USA for illustration

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by unid, May 5, 2009.

  1. unid macrumors regular

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    #1
    So my scion is going to study at the U.A.L. & we are wondering which are the most respected BA & MA illustration courses over the pond. As an aside he may be able to do part of his degree (erasmus) in Europe so any info on prestigious courses there would also be of interest.
    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. zephyrnoid macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #2
    When I was at Discovery Communications, the parent of the Discovery Channel etc, most of the crack illustrators either came from Ringling, www.ringling.edu/ or from Rhode Island School of Design. www.risd.edu/
    Other great schools are : The New School, Parsons, Art Center College and MICA www.mica.edu/
     
  3. unid thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Great thanks for the info.
    Anyone else have any knowledge of top illustration study programs.
     
  4. efxgraphx macrumors member

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    #4
    RISD would be my choice.....
     
  5. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #5
    Queen Elizabeth?
     
  6. unid thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Can you qualify why it would be your choice? Interested to hear, aside from NY perhaps being the illustration capitol of the world. Ringling looks very strong.
     
  7. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    #7
    I go to Massachusetts College of Art and Design. We have a well respected Illustration program here at the College. Excellent faculty and tons of resources.

    Our website.

    Rhode Island School of Design is a great place, but honestly, there are others just as good. That said, the Providence / Boston area is alive and well with the art scene. Other choices here in Boston are SMFA and AIB.

    Addendum: I see you're from the UK! My apartment-mate is actually from the UK (Jersey) too, and is here studying painting and illustration. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
     
  8. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

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    #8
    Art Center College of Design (Pasadena) is so well respected that it was a prerequisite for hire at Disney at one time. I haven't checked to see if that policy has changed.
     
  9. efxgraphx macrumors member

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    #9
    Well, these may get personal and people may NOT agree with these statements. Having said that I will also let you know when i went to school we didnt have computers, lol (old fart).

    Anyways..... A few of these are pointed questions back to you. Others do not have anything to do with RISD.

    1) Does he/she have raw talent? Obvious point in hand.

    2) RISD is good as a lot of other schools mentioned in this post are as well. Things have changed since the late 80's where RISD dominated but still when I walk into a interview thats one of the first things questioned (in a good way).

    3) Education these days means a lot. RISD has a name (as others do as well) and carries weight.

    4) Having said the above I would then say (or ask) where your going to get the best bang for your buck. In education and in weight for your degree. I can argue that any of these schools mentioned will hold weight to lets say the Art Institutes (nothing against them at all, just making my point that going to these schools will hold weight in jobs).

    5) Having said the above, lol..... All of this is for not if they dont have raw talent or a good portfolio. I have had kids come to me with EXCELLENT illustration skills with no formal education and others from GREAT schools with NONE!

    6) Back in the day, RISD didnt just accept anyone and im sure its the same with others. I dont know if thats the case now but I would be looking to fit your skills with a few schools and see which one works best for your needs and will give you the best results for your money.

    7) Illustration and raw talent can take you places. I see so many people that dont have RAW design skills but have computer knowledge and it shows.

    8) As far as the school itself, I actually enjoyed going there. It all falls in what is actually being taught and how your professors drive you. They did exactly that for me. I want a school to push me, give me the drive and inspiration to push my skills to the next level.

    In conclusion.... I have tried to respond in a manor that will pose questions and play devils advocate in others. If it were my child, I would first be realistic in understanding that an education means everything these days. In this economy I would want them to have the best opportunity to walk in and secure a job. I would also do as much research as possible. Talk to the alumni, visit the schools, talk to the professors / teachers and see if its a fit. You can also take summer classes as well at most of these universities which may not be a bad idea. Ultimately when you find your school of choice, you will know it.... its kind of like a good suit.

    Hope this helps.

    Ringling is strong, as well as many many others (Parsons especially). Your really heading in the right direction if you choose any of the ones listed here.
     
  10. unid thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Thanks for the replys & recommendations folks
    @efxgraphx

    "As far as the school itself, I actually enjoyed going there. It all falls in what is actually being taught and how your professors drive you.
    They did exactly that for me. I want a school to push me, give me the drive and inspiration to push my skills to the next level."

    1• In terms of said scions working practice, the lean is far more toward haptic and 'analog' process & I have no doubt in there being sufficient talent.

    2• It's great to get a thoughtful considered reply thanks for that really just researching & it can be hard sometimes to see through the fog of promotional material & gain useful insight into the weight of the institutions mentioned, you give that.

    3• He is starting a degree at University of Arts London this year & has already completed a foundation at Falmouth.

    4• Weight in jobs is naturally a consideration, however Weight in nurture and expansion of creativity holds greater sway as you say in your eighth point.

    5• Interests are in narrative illustration particularly humour based and animation (stop motion rather than CGI).

    6• A summer school is the most likely option right now and this is foundation research for a possible MA.
     
  11. efxgraphx macrumors member

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    #11
    Just a thought, but have you thought of getting him a internship in the process? Sometimes is really doesnt matter what you have learned in school and its all tossed out the window in a real job situation.

    Obviously, school is just a tool to use after we get out. Ultimately, the thing looked at most is (in no particular order)

    1) Talent
    2) Portfolio
    3) Work experience (This is where internship comes to play)
    4) Education (Honestly, you may disagree but this would be the LAST thing I would look at if I were interviewing someone)

    I really really cant stress how many times work experience really comes into play. I think its wonderful that you posted on the board. There are many wonderful designers here and a ton of great advise. Wish you the best in choosing a school as I know its always hard especially when you have so many good choices. Point said again, you really cant go wrong in the direction your taking.

    Best of luck!
     

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