High School Junior. Advice? (please read)

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Super Intendo, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Super Intendo macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    As the title implies, I'm a junior in high school. Also, I'm looking for advice.

    I've been told I have a fair amount of talent in Art and while i don't particularly think that I am, I enjoy it alot and would like to get better and am more than likely going to school (college, university, etc) for it.

    I've never done any serious digital art before, I've doodled in MS Paint throughout the years and Skitch, more recently. I just got illustrator and I'm enjoying it so far, once i get something thats really complete i'll post it.

    I've come to the conclusion that the only way, any more, to make money (on a semi-frequent basis) in Art is Graphic Design, Industrial Design (oh how i dream of being Jonathan Ive) or Architecture. Please tell me I'm wrong.

    Here's what I've got, some doodles from my sketchbook included (almost all low quality photos), basically I want advice on going digital, going to school, getting a job, anything.


    THANK YOU :)

  2. suburbia macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2008
    The answer is yes... Yes, you need to go to a good Art/Design institution in order to prepare yourself for the design industry. That, along with talent, passion, hard work and meeting the right people will get you to where you want to go.

    When you've gotten yourself into a reputable institution, next step is to intern, and find yourself a mentor. You will learn so much more as an intern than you ever will sitting in a class. :)
  3. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007

    The problem with the market for art related jobs, is that everyone thinks they can do it. This leads to a bunch of crap that is flooding the industry, since people don't know any better. I majored in Industrial Design, but do graphic design freelance as well, and some of the crap that I've had to fix is astonishing.

    Anyway, sadly, that combined with spec work is taking jobs away from qualified individuals.

    The economy sorta sucks right now in all aspects, but from recent studies, the best job "security" or at least "growing" career (or by the time you get out the economy should be getting back on its feet) is Industrial Design/Product Design and Architecture is usually a safe bet.

    Keep in mind though, with architecture, you HAVE to get a masters in order to actually be a practicing architect, and have 3 years of internships/apprenticeships before you can get licensed (basically take a test like the bar but for architecture). That's not to say you can't get a bachelors in architecture and then use it to go on to something else.

    Honestly, if you are talented and driven you can find work, BUT you should

    A. LOVE what you do, because if you don't, you won't have enough drive to keep you going, especially for the first few years of entry level crap.

    B. Do something in school to set yourself apart. I picked up an architecture minor, and had a lot of physics and math classes, as well as mechanical drafting to solidify my resume getting out of school. Some people I work with now graduated with illustration degrees but also had TONS of industrial design courses and a lot of outside work in other things. If this means double majoring, or minoring or interning somewhere during school that makes you more "hireable" so to speak, then that works. Just draw on your talents, and work on your weaknesses. You can't just do the minimum with a college degree and expect to make it after school. Nowadays you need to do more.

    C. this may sound stupid, but HAVE TALENT. from what I can see you are good at recreating illustrations (assuming you did those freehand) and have a good sense of 3d space when it comes to recreating figures... it's not super easy to tell with just simple characters, but you seem to have an eye for color too (original painting?) ... I personally believe that art can be taught, as far as the fundamentals, they can be taught and learned, but to be truly great, you need to have natural talent as well. It seems like you do so far. Just keep working and exploring and get involved in ANYTHING you can to keep your talent growing and direct your search.

    All in all, just keep working at it. If you truly enjoy it, go for it. If you don't really 100% love it though, then go a different direction until you find something you do.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Knowing how to draw and knowing how to take a user's requirements and turn them into a product design is different. The later is closer to enginerring.

    Architecture does require an engineering background and you will need some telent for math and science. I think this is what keeps many artists from becoming architects. Not many have talents in both areas. If you do then go for it.

    As for studying software it is like a paiter studying brushes. To many people thing because they know how to use the Adobe suite they must be a graphic designer.

    You can tell which kids are going to do well as graphic artists. They are the ones who carry a sketch book with them and have their rooms their backpacks and notebooks and tash cans filled with art and sketchs theve done. If that is "you" then you plan is good.

    I've worked with designers and what they do is more than drawing. typically they are given a set of requirements and have to come up with a design that has 50 condtions to meet. And you have to be good working in styles that maybe you don't really like because you are working for a client not yourself.
  5. katorga macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2006
    Do you really love it?

    My test was do you create a piece every single day? Are you compelled to draw all the time. If yes, you are an artist and need to expand that with solid training in color, composition, design and the technical aspects the different media. Back that up with a solid education to feed yourself on.

    I was in the same boat in high school...but I did not have the compulsion. I shifted rather quickly from graphic design to supporting the computers of other designers, to a career in information systems (with a BA in History no less!).

    Personally, I find being creative on a deadline one of the most difficult things I have ever done...I am in awe of those who can do that.
  6. LeviG macrumors 65816

    Nov 6, 2006
    Norfolk, UK
    From what you're showing I would say you're best suited to graphic design, you work doesn't have enough of the base requirements for product/industrial design courses (atleast in UK) - needs more 'designs'. Also its not the easiest field to get into.

    Architecture - not easy, I know several architects but it can bring good money if you are good at it.

    Personally I would say you could have more potential in graphics (especially with that bottom picture) fields and maybe even some sort of animation (anime/cartoon or maybe stop motion even) so this would be my direction of focus if I was in your shoes.

    Now as to going digital theres several routes you could take, the main ones are using a scanner and then converting in illustrator or photoshop and graphics tablet direct onto screen. There are other ways but they're usually an extension of the above techniques so I would say look in those areas first.
  7. Super Intendo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    Thank You

    Yes, all the paintings are original. The only exceptions are things that involve Nintendo characters (those are all free hand though. but i struggle with font so the text on the cover of Pokemon Blue was traced) . I appreciate your feedback and advice more than you could know.

    That was very reassuring. Thank you.

    I create (not to like a full blown project, but a fairly complete sketch) more than 7 or 8 pieces a week. I enjoy being on a deadline, its a good challenge. I'm in Visual Arts III Honors and Three Dimensional Art III Honors. Next year I'll be taking Visual Art IV AP and 3D Art IV AP, maybe Visual Art V AP as well, so I'm used to having to a short amount of time to get things done. Plus i dont sleep, so i have time. hahaha

    The thing for me with Architecture is this: I feel like i have great ideas for unique structures and buildings, but i have no idea if most of them are physically possible, and my math abilities are severely lacking, i've been told that the programs like AutoCad (or what ever it is that people use these days) will do alot of math for you, but for me, it would have to be quite a bit.

    I've been thinking of majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Animation, so i'm glad you backed up my idea of animation there, i've made stop motion films before and i love it.

    I have an older Wacom Graphire, but i'm getting an Intuos3 soon and i think i'll try to make that bottom picture digital first and move up from there.

    thanks to all of you so much, you've been very helpful in terms of where I'm at and where I should go. I'd still like some more responses from other people, feedback is always nice, but I'm extremely happy with what i've gotten so far (even small negative things, its good to know).
  8. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    There is game art. There are tons of jobs for concept art, its not all done by the same person so there are multiple fields you can focus on like characters or vehicles or monsters or environments... etc. Those fields apply to both 2d and 3d artists.

    The most freeform kind of concept art is stuff like this http://goodbrush.com where you create scenes that the final product should try to match.

    Architecture isnt exactly the most artistic job in the world. Outside of being hard to do, any artistic building is going to cost a fortune so not only do you have to be one of the best architects around to land an artistic job but they dont even come along very often.
  9. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    This isn't strictly true - depending on the university, you have to get either a Master's degree or a 5-year Bachelor's degree (yes, there is such a thing), but that's only if you plan to become a licensed architect.

    OP: I work in the architecture/building engineering industry as an engineer, and I've seen plenty of architecture firms and how they work. The reputation is that the architects work very long hours on monotonous tasks - meaning everything but design - and only the firm's principals make a good living at it. I would strongly recommend you speak with some architects (and architectural interns, since that's where you would start out) before you go into that field.

    On the plus side, the examples of your work look far better suited to a career in art or graphic design than architecture. Again, before jumping into that pool it would be wise to visit a college art or design department to see if there are any aptitude or proficiency tests that might be good indicators of your future success.

    Some of the other posts here are spot-on - no amount of money (salary) can make you enjoy a job you hate. Don't count on learning to love your career; choose something because you love it.
  10. Super Intendo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    thats exactly why i'm choosing an art related job :)

    Heres what i'm thinking now for possible degrees (i can look into jobs more later):
    Graphic Design
    3D Design
    3D animation

    More than likely I'll major in Graphic Design and minor in Animation or Illustration. Maybe photography, but its doubtful.

    I had to illustrate a book for my history project tonight, i'm actually pretty psyched with the way it came out regardless of how basic it was, feedback would be nice as long as your here :D (all done in Skitch)
  11. Super Intendo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
  12. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
    Pictures are fine but I don't like:

    1. Capital letters used all over the place.
    2. Embossing of text
    3. Different sized text that poorly fits speech bubbles and at times is badly placed.

    Only picture problem is the machine gun attached to one leaf but not the other. Seems odd.
  13. polar-blair macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2008
    The type isnt his fault its Skitch's (the program he is using) I really hated the way it does that stupid embossing thing and the stupid bubble text. You said you had Illustrator, Why not try and recreate those pictures in Illustrator? Then you can try and get the text right.
  14. toaster_oven macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2003
    not sure
    I really wish the internet was around when I was deciding on what I wanted to study in college...

    I think you're off to a good start in terms of thinking of careers. I'd actually call up some art/design programs in your area and see if you can get a tour and talk to people in the program. I know several architecture schools that offer "career discovery" programs in the summer for high school students. I'm sure these exist for the other creative fields as well.
  15. Super Intendo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    1. My fault.
    2. Skitch's Fault
    3. Arguably a combination of 1 and 2

    and the gun isnt attached because hes pointing off to the right (his left). At the horses.

    as far as moving these into illustrator, would i start over completely or move them over? Skitch is a vector editor, which is pretty cool, so i could just move them and fix them up.
  16. WSU-Architect macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2008
    As an architect, I'd like to disagree strongly with this statement. Architecture is very much art, or at least as an architect I would like to believe that it is. To have the vision to draw and craft a concept an idea into a built form is for me a very personal, very artistic, form of expression. A project need not be an overly superfluous design, which I believe is what you were speaking of when you used the term 'artistic', to be one with a true artistic merit and sensibility. And those (your version of artistic) projects are never done by the best architects, only those who are the most famous. :)
  17. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    Given the context of his post it doesnt sound like regular buildings are the kind of "art" he would want to do. He wants to create "unique structures and buildings" which probably defy physics since he wasnt sure if theyre possible, the chances of him ever creating insanely expensive buildings like that are virtually impossible.
  18. LeviG macrumors 65816

    Nov 6, 2006
    Norfolk, UK
    I'm not saying this is the case for all architects but a majority of the architects I know basically make the general everyday boxes we call a home, its very rare they get to do something as creative as a guggenheim museum or similar. It's not that they're not capable of thinking outside the box its more a fact of regulations (atleast in the UK) where it restricts the design.
    I'm kind of the view that architecture is a combination of engineering and art as any architectural design (which is to be built) has to be able to be produced and sometimes (the same with product design - my background) the best looking design just isn't feasible with the materials we have available.

    At this stage of his development the physical restraints haven't been inground into his thinking, this is what any design (engineering) course is about and as such most of the op's ideas probably couldn't be made but this would change as they wen't through the course.
  19. WSU-Architect macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2008
    I encourage you to read Manufacturing Diversity: Techniques and Technologies in Morphogenetic Design by Achim Menges. I assure you, if you can think of it, you can most surely find a way to construct it, and be cost effective to boot. The technology available today makes mass customization quite nearly as affordable as mass standardization.

    In any case, I just wanted the OP to not exclude architecture because he believes his visions might not be possible, or thought of as too artistic. If the work has merit, the work has merit, regardless. All of the fields you are looking at at very good choices though, and I wish you the best.
  20. waynesun macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2006
    Hey, i'm a senior in high school. I'm in a similar situation (except i'm pursuing business), but I do have advice regardless of that matter.

    Amidst all of the formulaic and standard advice.. I've got to say that art isn't limited to money. Personally, I became involved with design as a means to get a message out. Don't limit yourself based on budgetary concerns. If you're as good as you say, the money will come with the work.

    The most important trait you'll have to possess is the ability to think creatively. This sounds like a cliche - but I mean this in all respects: transactions, client relations, designing to make meaning (in my case, promo material for artists that I listen to), designing for 'the side' (via design firms). Network and find out work that you'd be proud to be labeled under.

    Freelancing, for now, is your best bet (if you're truly bent on making money). I don't see how architecture and product design are tangible for now (unless of course, as mentioned, you take up getting mentored by someone already in the field). Personally, I live in the suburbs - so getting around anywhere involving Architecture and product design requires a lot of physical resources. Freelancing requires Photoshop, a text editor, and a brain. Deal in creating intellectual property to 'sell' on the internet. Good places to start include some of the sites off of Envato's network of freelance directories. Hit up local design firms looking for work (I contacted a local one in the seventh grade, and they have been sourcing out projects to me ever since).

    Architecture is beautiful. In my eye's (when done correctly), it's the perfect combination of mathematical elements and artistic thoughts. Best of luck if you decide to pursue the physical aspect of creating art.

    In short, just be yourself, and mold the 'human' side of you into every crevice of your work. Truth comes out from art; the only thing you can do is create it.
  21. martins17 macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2009

    I dont think that this is the right place to post it! This is Mac forums but not an art forums! :mad:
  22. waynesun macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2006
    Relax - the entire purpose of being a creative is finding out as many resources as you can to achieve your means. This is the 'Design and Graphics' portion, so i'm assuming that anything 'art-related' is fair game.

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