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  • Ai Art Institutes

    Who here has attended the art institutes and how do they compare to other schools? They just built the school here in my city.
    Last edited by Markasin3; 02-02-2010, 09:48 PM.

  • #2
    Took a course there, didn't really learn much. Really expensive too.

    Comment


    • #3
      I can't speak for the individual schools themselves, but I am an online student. I have some experience and an overall good understanding of design. Many of the other students in my classes do not match up to my skill level, but I'm still in the first few classes (I only take two per semester, do to my work schedule). Even still, I've learned quite a bit. As with anything, you get out what you put in.

      I can't recommend online learning for everyone, however. It takes a lot of discipline to do the work. I see a lot of my classmates who just don't seem to even care. I think many of them don't take it seriously because they aren't sitting in a classroom. I was home schooled for 9-12th grade (don't laugh!) so I think I have a natural ability to dedicate myself to learning, more or less, by myself.

      I've noticed that most of the professors are very good at paying attention to each individual student. I, myself, have had a couple that have seemed to really focus on me, but again, that's mostly because I really give it everything I have.

      Comment


      • #4
        Don't do it. I swear to god you'll regret it. Get a library card and use Google to get your education, with a little drive and some talent you'll do much better than if you were at AI.

        Pick up Selling Graphic & Web Design by Sparkman. Get a ton of books like these and then just fill the holes as you go along.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kid Tiger View Post
          Don't do it. I swear to god you'll regret it. Get a library card and use Google to get your education, with a little drive and some talent you'll do much better than if you were at AI.

          Pick up Selling Graphic & Web Design by Sparkman. Get a ton of books like these and then just fill the holes as you go along.
          Okay. What's your reason?

          Comment


          • #6
            my reason is that i went to ai-san diego and there was nothing but pretentious, scene kids there who only went to art school because it a.) the only school they got accepted into or b.) their rich parents allowed them to go to california and be an artist. i did animation for the first semester and the teachers were such jerk offs. the lead designer for king of the hill was one of my teachers and he prescribed to the theory that if you don't know it, you can't learn it with regards to art, which might be true, but if i'm paying you a boat of money you better sure as hell try and not convey that. i went into graphic design the next semester and every one of my teachers were jerk offs. my drawing skills are off the charts and my painting skills are almost just as good and every one of my skills teachers (painting, drawing, media survey,) insisted on giving me a hard time whether it was just being standoffish or dismissive. strange times.

            it's expensive. i went for one year and then said f**k this. you know what i spent? 17,000 dollars. yeah, you can pull out loans but it's not worth it.

            i have two friends in chicago who went to AI-chicago and they both actually graduated. one is a talented, driven individual who understands people and business and he'll eventually make it into game design because he knows what he wants. he racked up a 78,000 dollar bill while there. he works for comcast right now. the other guy doesn't have a lick of talent and his portfolio is not even funny, it's downright sad and you feel for his parents knowing they spent around the same amount of money on a degree from AI. he works at best buy.

            if you're planning to commute it's better than living on campus for a number of reasons. you wont be distracted and you'll have your own environment to focus on your assignments and figure out how you can use them to build upon your own style. if you live on campus, or for me, it was in an apartment complex, then you'll be overwhelmed by students using drugs, drinking, having intergalactic experiences with their art, video games, and it's just not the environment for a serious individual whose trying to become a designer/artist.

            the most important thing you can learn is how to be a good business person. marketing is so essential with designers. anyone who tells you it's about talent is full of sh*t and they're trying to sell you something like studio space or an associates degree in photography.

            first thing is know what you want to do

            second thing is to develop a portfolio with or without a particular style, but the important thing is develop a portfolio with your intended market in mind

            third buy a ton of books and read them. if this is your gig you'll enjoy a good art book. tons of info like the one i mentioned.

            fourth keep working on your portfolio. do logos and other work for free for friends despite what people in here and anyone else say about it being immoral. f**k that. do it. it'll help you. but don't do free work for strangers. that's my one advice.

            fifth by this time you'll see where your interests lay and where your potential clients will be and you can come up with an identity.

            you can do all this in one semester at AI, NOT in AI. teach yourself what you need to know, not what an institution needs to teach.

            this real talk has been brought to you by, "i've been there and done all that sh*t"

            also, in your resume just say you went somewhere nice and prestigious, or for lack of a will to be daring, just say you graduated from AI. the client who wants a brochure isn't going to check but they may be familiar with corocoran institute and, "this kid must know his stuff." it's illegal to do this too btw, but so is jaywalking. be smart but don't be a square.
            Last edited by Kid Tiger; 02-03-2010, 04:18 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kid Tiger View Post
              anyone who tells you it's about talent is full of sh*t and they're trying to sell you something like studio space or an associates degree in photography.
              HAHA! Love that.

              In all seriousness - only you can really know if you should go to school or not. Some people do really well teaching and learning themselves. Other's need the school environment in order to do well. Like ANY industry, you're going to find positive people and influences, and you'll find negative ones. This industry is a tough one. It's no piece of cake, and it's certainly not easy to break into. But if you have the desire, and put in the time, you'll make it.

              And just a side note - don't be discouraged if someone with more experience than you tries to sway you from accomplishing your goal. My mentor used to tell all students to quit the industry and become a cable guy. He'd get these students all riled up with his "be a cable guy" spiel. Some of them gave up - and others just found more motivation to keep moving forward. Which ultimately - was his point.
              - Jen

              "You cannot soar with eagles if you surround yourself with turkeys"

              My blog

              Comment


              • #8
                My feeling about Ai and other institutes of that sort is that they're generally not worth it. They are companies who sell a product: education; not schools whose main goal is to teach. I visited one of these kinds of schools one time, just to see what they had to say, and it was such a hard sell that I could see right through them. They told me how talented I was even though they hadn't seen my portfolio, they told me I was lucky that they were considering me because they were "very selective", they played numbers games with the tuition cost, and to top it all off they had marketers call my phone every month for a year trying to get me to apply. All of these were red flags. If a "school" does this to you, don't walk, run. There are better better places to learn graphic design.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Some other members have voiced similar opinions about the AI Online.

                  You might be interested in some of the threads posted in our frequently discussed topics thread on the subject of education, as well.
                  "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Personally, I wouldn't be going to school if it weren't for AI Online.

                    I can't speak for on the ground school as I cannot even tell you where the closest AI school is to Green Bay. But, I can tell you that it is not close to me. I can also tell you that I'm going for an Associates in Graphic Design.

                    Is the school any good? How much time are you willing to put in? If all you are going to do is go to school, do the minimum homework, put in no extra time... You will get nothing out of it, period. If you are a self starter, willing to work hard, etc, etc you will get your money's worth IMO. Personally, I spent about 3 hours a week on just the postings in my classes, 1 hour each week reading through the lecture, and various amount of time researching and producing the homework assignments and studio images. Obviously, I can spend forever on just the art assignments...I just can't stop until it's perfect.

                    I would say that online school is not for everyone. But, personally, I have no want to go sit through a class at a school every day. That would require me to take time off from work that I do not have. So, online school works very well into my schedule. But, heck...I would sit at home with a book and read to learn this stuff, if there was no other method of getting there.
                    "Go ahead, make your logos in PS. We charge extra money to redraw your logo into vector art so it can be printed on promotional product. Cha CHING! " - CCericola

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We looked into AI locations when artistdaughter thought she wanted to to the GD thing. As a sophomore in HS she went to a summer workshop at the one in Chicago, and visited the one in Denver her senior year. Salsa is right--they're selling a product--educating is secondary. Their priority is locking you into a set of classes. The schedules are designed to keep you there. No GD credits from other schools were transferable. Some gen ed credits were, but they only come in at the end of the 4 years, so there is no way to shorten your time (and expense) there. Very few scholarships of any type are available.

                      Yes, they graduate some talented folks there--folks that could've done better by themselves for less money at a public college.

                      My views are, of course, that of a parent trying to figure out how this bill would be paid. Views within the industry as to the effectiveness of the graduates may vary.
                      "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."--Benjamin Franklin, 1759

                      The USA will not survive without another revolution. Soon.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My friend always says he wishes he'd just started working freelance GD at 18 and built his portfolio instead of going to school. He's super successful, but he thinks he'd have been even moreso if he got his start earlier rather than attending school.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I spoke briefly with Alison Buchere, VP of Creative for AOL (may have moved on by now, I know she was talking about it) and asked her what she looks for when she hires people. More specifically, I was asking her if she would hire a student from a for-profit school, such as the AIs. She said that as far as she is concerned, if you went to school, graduated and got good marks, it didn't matter where you went. Besides that, she said that its your portfolio that she'll ultimately make her decision on. If you don't have it she wants, it doesn't matter if or where you went to school.

                          By the way, Ty Pennington (Extreme Home Makeover) graduated from an AI with a degree in graphic design. Georgia I think?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by typographiliac View Post
                            My friend always says he wishes he'd just started working freelance GD at 18 and built his portfolio instead of going to school. He's super successful, but he thinks he'd have been even moreso if he got his start earlier rather than attending school.
                            That may be true for him. It depends on how hard he was willing to work. Personally, if I can find an art job after graduating from AI, I will consider that a win for me. After all, I'm working on my second career here. Personally, I wish I could go back to being 18 again...and try this ALL over again. I would have a BA from SDSU, in either Fine Art or Graphic Design...assuming I could do that.

                            Unfortunately, I can't do that. So, I will have to settle for working my booty off to get what I want. Of course, I've been doing that all my life, so I'm used to it.
                            "Go ahead, make your logos in PS. We charge extra money to redraw your logo into vector art so it can be printed on promotional product. Cha CHING! " - CCericola

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am a AI Alumni. I won't go into detail about the school since I have already posted about it multiple times but I will say I wouldn't of gotten where I am today had I not gone. Sure it didn't teach me nearly as much as the real world, but it was a great springboard.

                              Also, my portfolio suuuuucked when I graduated. Seriously shameful. In fact, I didn't consider myself a good designer until about 3 years out of school. This place helped me a ton as well. School is good for a couple things, like structure, deadlines and the basics of the programs. Also, when your teachers are complete A-Holes guess what....the real life is the same way or sometimes even worse. Ive had clients I would trade in a heart beat for the worst teacher at my school.
                              ‘Our great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately controlled. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of men.’ - Woodrow Wilson

                              Comment

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