Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Visiting Ringling

This past weekend was one of the most surreal and amazing experiences in my life... I visited Ringling College of Art & Design and finally set foot on campus.  I first arrived right before meeting my good friend JoAnn (who is now a freshman) there in the evening, where I stood in the quiet courtyard with barely a person in sight.

It was like a damn dream.

I remember thinking to myself, "God... this is where Nick Pitera and Lindsey Olivares studied... this is where they drew in their college years."

As I mentioned, I am super fortunate to know some current students who are from the Chicago area, so I got to do more than just tour.  In a nutshell, JoAnn introduced me to some of her dorm-mates & fellow CA friends and Mike showed me a bunch of great artists to take inspiration from & took me to FEWS (the school's figure drawing club).  The new people I met were so nice that they let me shadow them in one of their classes.  I could go on and on into great detail about what else I felt and experienced just being on campus, but I've described it enough.

Gestures from FEWS

I also got a bit of a portfolio critique from the admissions office.  Now I didn't show them what I thought would be my final portfolio, but instead showed them nearly everything I've done in order to see which pieces they particularly lean towards and to pinpoint my recurring weaknesses.  They seemed to like some of my drawings and said I'm on the right track, but in order to really secure a spot, they want to see better compositions in my still lives and more environments around figures incorporated into my observational sketches.  I was thinking that "You're on the right track" is code for "You're showing us everything that we want to see in portfolios, but they're still not up to par."  JoAnn and her friends keep telling me that I'm fine though and to stop tweaking out, but I'm still definitely going to keep chipping away.  I feel like maybe my bad drawing habits are definitely a contributor, so it's also about tackling them head on.

Below is what would be, for the most part, my overall Ringling portfolio as of now with a few of notes from admissions here and there (I will probably add the FEWS gestures to it as well).  A good chunk of them are reposts, which is also because I didn't really add any sketchbook drawings just yet because it's been really tedious scanning/photographing them just right and it really kills my creative mood.

They said this had a nice contrast and render, but another still life with better composition would definitely help

Said to include this one.  Tis a keeper but would be better if I got those darn feet in.

Also said this was nice.  I figure this would be a good inclusion to help me stand out since I haven't seen many people include skeletal sculptures in their portfolios

Didn't get to show them this one for whatever reason, but there's always national portfolio day

I believe they said this is nice because it shows character exploration outside of the exiled submission subjects of anime, unicorns, and fantasy stuff.

Dragons?  Nope.  Check.

They said this one would be good to use since the sketch shows them I'm thinking about environments and layouts
I didn't get to show this one to them, but if environments are what I need, this should serve a a good enough stand-in for now.
They liked this self-portrait, but if I really want to make my portfolio stand out, I should do another one from a different angle.  Taking a photo for reference to get a more dynamic view they say is certainly acceptable.

Even though it was just a visit, being at Ringling was definitely one of the best experiences of my life... the memory is definitely something to help keep me motivated to get in and improve.  National Portfolio Day is coming up on October 23rd, so I have another set milestone to work towards.  Below are some more sketches from the trip, with more notes accompanied as well.

Trying to incorporate those environments to help tell a story.  Even though stuff like perspective isn't really accurate, it definitely makes the image more engaging than a page full of my gestures (as important as a practice as that is).

A new sketchbook exercise picked up at FEWs - make a bunch of small boxes and fill it in with a gesture to practice composition.  It's already helping my sketchbook look more like a visual diary, and I am definitely going to need to utilize this practice.

Gesture from the Figure Drawing Class I shadowed in
More Gestures from the class

Drawing at the terminal

JoAnn's roomate, Dionne

PS - I haven't really been updating that much recently because, as I mentioned before, it's been tedious documenting my work via scanner or camera accurately without using photoshop.  I've done a lot of sketches that I want to analyze and dissect my thought processes about, but it's been a real killer for my creative groove.  I will most likely end up making up for it by writing longer entries such as this one.

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