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The School of Visual Arts

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Mar 21 2014Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
I keep seeing everyone complain about SVA but more than likely they are a bunch of unmotivated little brats. SVA costs a lot of money, and sure they let some people in who have no business here except for the fact that they can cover SVA's CODB (cost of doing business) HOWEVER If you have true talent and you're passionate SVA will back you 150%. I'm not a trust fund baby and didn't know if I would be able to afford this school or living in Manhattan but I've received 2 scholarships, one for housing and one for tuition that amount to just over $140k for the next four years. If you have something they want, they will pay for it.

In regards to what happens academically at SVA, Your education is YOUR education. No one is going to hold your hand and tell you everything you have to do, you have to take the initiative to teach yourself new things and if you have questions along the way the faculty is more than willing to assist you with as much as they can. For the ones who complain about their professors, obviously they are not researching who they are going to have a class with when they register. THIS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. Every professor is different, its important to look at the work they are creating to see if they have anything to offer you.

The Chair of my department is AMAZING. He will do anything for his students (that actually do work). SVA is one of the biggest resources you could ever have, of course, you have to pay your dues in life just like everything else. The facilities in my department are great, they definitely put a great deal of the money they charge into equipment and supplies. Theres always different lectures and events happening at SVA or in partnership, which you're informed about thru SVA's email. A lot of the students here can be lazy and snobs who just mess around but thats because of how they were raised. You have to realize that you are here for YOU and you can't get distracted by what they are doing. Not all of the students are like that though, they are certainly other down to earth students who are very talented and can actually offer you something (I came from a place where I was constantly having to teach my peers things). Your professors should be the reason why you come to this school. No one at SVA gets caught up in aesthetic beauty, this is an extremely conceptual school, technicality comes secondary. Most the dialogues in your class will be to further concept and narrative. None of my professors have really been heavy with teaching technique, I think its assumed that you already have that prior to entering classes.

In short, if you're looking to come to SVA, realize why you're doing it. Do you work hard without having your hand held? Are you looking to be challenged with your work? Are you passionate? Are you looking to network and establish valuable connections in one of the top professional communities (NYC) ? Do you want the respect of attending an internationally acclaimed school? Are you serious about what you're doing? Only come here if you've said yes to all of those questions.

Just remember, No one can teach you how to be an artist. Either you are, or you aren't and the college you choose should be viewed as a resource to benefit your artwork and your success/career. Everything in life is what YOU make of it.

1st Year Female -- Class 2016
Question
Individual Value: A+, Campus Aesthetics: B
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Nov 28 2012Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
If you want to work in the 3d/vfx industry save yourself a couple of thousand dollars (over 100,000 dollars to be exact) and go to a public university to learn computer science or something computer related and on the side supplement yourselves with Gnomon or digital tutors. SVA is a joke. I talked with alumni from 2012 and 2006 and they both agreed that you can teach yourself everything but that at sva you learn aesthetics and you get pushed by others. Lets be honest you can learn aesthetics from a county college art class or by sharing online. And if you aren't self motivated and need others to push you then dont bother trying to be an artist. Compare your work with others online at CG society or AREA. And if you want to last in the industry just knowing how to use software, which is what the sva curriculum is based on you wont survive when the industry suddenly changes direction software wise. example Photoshop has been the go to tool for texturing, lets say someone went to SVA and took Photoshop classes for four years they graduate and then Mari comes out... Why did i say learn computer science? well 1. check the job postings at dreamworks, pixar, imageworks, see any animator, modeling, texturing, etc positions open? No the jobs that they are hiring for are TDs and software engineers. I guess ads from art institutes and similar quick career schools gave the regular Joe hopes of being in the industry. now the industry is flooded with people from art schools. also the programs are heavy on coding and if you know how to code and you keep being artistic on the side you'll def stand out. Im transferring out of SVA this spring. I mean if you have the money go to sva but get ready to compete with hundreds of working artist. I'll be learning computer science and I'll be learning 3d/vfx online. and if it doesn't work out in the 3d/vfx industry I'll have a degree that's worth something. Be smart read up on the industry you want to work in and dont let the flashy senior demo reels fool you, because the Alumni themselves have told that they've had to learn a lot on their own. and SVA IS FOR PROFIT, they are stingy with financial aid. I think they let in some bad artist this year so they can meet their debts. Cant emphasize enough, there are some bad artist here wasting their money.
1st Year Male -- Class 2014
Question
Collaboration/Competitive: B, Individual Value: F
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Sep 30 2012Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
All of my teachers have been really inspiring, all of my teachers have worked big in their fields or are doing so currently. They are really insightful and teach us what they KNOW we need to know to make it and market our selves after graduation, even before graduation. I learn a new skill every day I go. My freshman year was awful, my teachers were really arrogent and snotty, but this year they are totally hippy. They are more about you as a person and getting your work done non-half assed then getting things in on time. THEY WILL HELP YOU AND try to solve problems and let you know its not the end of the world. Which will help in your portfolio review, (can land you jobs) I meditate for an hour and a half in one class. my teachers are super liberal. I could make a book of quotes from my teachers and a make a million from it.

The thing I HATE THE MOST about SVA is the fact there is hardly any campus, which means being a commuter like me, it's really really hard to keep up with friends and be with it( I have no life) unless you live in sty-town or close to other students. living in NYC is really expensive, biggest turnoff. I'd love to have a campus life which is leaning me towards transferring, but the classes and teachers and school itself are truly really quite unique. There are also A LOT of koreans that take up most of your classes and dont socialize with anyone but other koreans.. so you really can't grow off your peers with conversation... just what they make visually..

The computer labs and printing is state of the art. and you can rent film and photography equipment. NO DINING HALL THE SAME DELI. if you attend sva you lose 15 pounds instead of gaining 15 pounds. FYI. I wish we could double major. But we have amazing liberal arts teachers. So cool. Take DiPalma for english. The people here are also like genuinely weird, unlike state art students who try too hard. You have to weed out the ones with mental problems. I've run into a lot of habitual liars and nutty ones. but its not hard to make friends. Sva isssss....different. its not easy, dont come here for an easy ride. MANY people I met my freshman year did not make it to second semester or to sophomore year.

1st Year Female -- Class 2015
Question
Collaboration/Competitive: A+, University Resource Use: F
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