Graphic Design-- am I wasting my time?

Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 12:54 pm
I've just been wondering if where I am in my schooling is a waste of my time. I'm 20, and in my second semester of college right now. I'm not in my ideal area...or rather, Graphic Design is such a broad term, I can't tell if this is the ideal place.

Being in an inner-city, predominantly black area, (or, basically, 'the ghetto') there are few options on exactly where I can go; there are only about 3 colleges in my area, and only 1 of them I could actually afford to go to. (The tuition is 3,000 and financial aid just about covers it) so Im here.

Its not a bad school, and 70% of the people who go there commute from other (and most of the time better) cities, and the teachers are very experienced. The college is well-funded, and relatively cheap.Overall, I'm getting more than I thought I would.

However my goal...my main goal, is to become an animator or cartoonist. I draw well, and thats all ive ever done. Im passionate about drawing. Id like to work on a team of animators and artists on cartoons, movies, and/or comics. Maybe even make one of my own. (I make comics and I'd love to publish them.) I know it isn't easy, but that's my dream, anyway. However, the only thing close to my ideal is Graphic Design and Art. Art is not exactly what I want; it completely cuts out the digital or technical aspects, and the things they do, i did at my Career Tech school for Art (I had to because of my division). So I chose Graphic Design. It was my division in school, I'm well-rouned in digital design and printing processes, so I stuck with it.

Now though, I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to get anything out of what I'm doing. The entire major is extremely broad, and they teach you how to be a designer. A basic designer. With Typography, Design Processes, Design Basics, Photography, the vitals. Im not necessarily disowning these classes, they are important overall. But I think the broadness of the system is limiting me, and I'm not getting exactly what I need for my specific goal.At least I don't think so, but of course, I can't know for sure. However this is my only option. What do you think of the situation? Id like feedback. Maybe I'm just not there yet to fully see things.

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cicerone imposter
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 01:02 pm
Seems like you need to develop a sampling of your works, and start pounding the streets in NYC.
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Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 01:45 pm
I think the broadness of the system is limiting me

Interesting. I think almost the exact opposite because there's no telling where inspiration will come from.

Or where that inspiration might lead you.

Reading your post I was reminded of the story of Steve Jobs and the calligraphy class at Reed College, of which he said:

“Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. … I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.”

“None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography.”

The whole article, from Smithsonian, is really good: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/a-tribute-to-a-great-artist-steve-jobs-99783256/?no-ist=&page=1

What if, for example, someone wanted you to create an animated title sequence?

What if someone wanted you to create their logo?

I say embrace the broadness. That or just take the classes that you think will move you in the direction you want to go or, like ci said, hit the pavement with your portfolio and find some work!
Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 01:57 pm
I was just about to write pro the broadness, and then saw boomerang's post, which I agree with.

I'm a landscape architect and painter, and my general design classes gave me a good footing. But, of course, do what you feel is best for you, tune your own learning to fit your needs.
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Reply Thu 4 Feb, 2016 02:30 pm
I guess I see what you mean. The stuff is no-doubt useful overall. its just that 90% of the time, the classes seem so far away it makes me question if I'm in the right place. I did have Design Drawing, which although it nearly killed me with the workload, it was also reassuring and taught me about shading and textures. I just seem like I'm floating around.

Its also surprising that a lot of people here don't know exactly what they want to do, but they are very eager about the whole thing. I suppose I'm just a bit narrow-minded about it, since I have a specific idea in my head.
Right now, I'm in the process of building my portfolio though, mostly of my own digital work, but ci has the right idea as you said. Very Happy
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