Went to Portfolio Day yesterday. It was…different.

I expected it to be crowded so that was no surprise. It was kind of organized in some areas and not so organized in others. Some lines had chairs, others didn’t.

I received the best review from Academy of Art. I say best because Frances was the friendliest person I spoke with, gave me plenty of advice on how to improve the art and was actually interested in getting me, personally, to come to her school, instead of just ushering me in, checking out my stuff for two minutes and ushering me out. She was very enthusiastic about the school and I found out I could apply for the MFA animation program or the BFA2 program. Either way, I would only be in school for 2 and half years instead of 4 because 66 CREDITS would transfer from UT. WooHoo!

Worse review was from California College of the Arts. The woman didn’t introduce herself, didn’t ask for my name, spent less than a minute looking at my portfolio, didn’t offer any advice and suggested I include photography. Eh? Why would I include photography in an ANIMATION portfolio? Not only that, but a bratty high school girl came in asking if I had waited in line because she had like, been waiting for an hour. Good grief. I couldn’t believe she asked me that. If I had tried to get into that room without waiting I would have been jumped by about 8 angry high school moms. Get a grip, child.

And the weirdest review came from CalArts, believe it or not. The recruiter said her favorite portfolio piece she ever saw was from a girl who made a self portrait out of bread. Say what now? I’m not making pictures out of lunch material. That’s just strange. She did like my zoo drawings. But she only spent 5 minutes with me and kept looking at the clock because she only had 5 minutes to review 4 other portfolios. I expected more out of CalArts – she gave everyone else about 20 minutes at least. I would say that I wish I had gone to her table first, except AAU was so awesome that I am glad that was my first review. I am definitely applying there. I will apply to CalArts too because…I feel like I should. You know it has a great reputation but I have yet to speak to anyone in the recruitment office or in administration who sounded knowledgeable. I’m beginning to think that their reputation is what keeps them afloat, rather than the work that comes out of the school. All of the animators I admire graduated from there more than ten years ago. I am less impressed with them as a result of my experiences with the administration and the application process.

I am going to call CCA and talk to someone more knowledgeable. I don’t want to toss out the school because of one clueless person.

Sadly Sheridan and VFS were not in attendance. I would have liked to have met reps from the schools in person.

I saw a lot of high school kids in weird arty clothing, a few were dressed professionally (very few), some had portfolios, some didn’t bring sketchbooks at all, which I found odd, and one girl walked out of her review and burst into tears. Yikes. If you’re busting a gut now the real world might kill you. She sounded like she had faith in herself after talking to her Dad. Hopefully now she’s recovered.

As for my art, the reviews were positive. Mainly keep doing what I’ve been doing, work on perspective and try drawing things in color to mix it up a bit.

I can do that.

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