StudentsReview - The Rhode Island School of Design - Life at RISDhttp://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html Life at RISD - Comments en StudentsReview: Neutral Review about RISD for Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etchttp://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html Illustration major here, RISD's most popular and "famous" major. I am an introvert, kind of submissive, quiet, anxious, and very indecisive with huge decisions. I am unstructured, and go with the flow... Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:11:53 GMT StudentsReview 1232-130649 Copyright 2014 StudentsReview, Ecliptical Technologies, Inc. 1232-130649 1232 18 Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc Female Undergraduate Class 2013 4th Year Neutral Illustration major here, RISD's most popular and "famous" major. I am an introvert, kind of submissive, quiet, anxious, and very indecisive with huge decisions. I am unstructured, and go with the flow. However I am quick to cling to the rules, and a perfectionist.

I did not really know what specific career I wanted, like most new freshmen.

It's been a year since I graduated with a 4 yr BFA, and I can say it was pretty easy to go on the wrong path due to peer pressure.

Between all the nonstop fatigue and illust+foundation work, I had NO time to think about "who I truly am". But this is the most important part of art college.
It is more important than following rules, or even playing it safe for your future's sake.

But risd's notorious for being extra structured and extra stiff with the intellectual side of art. I knew I was already like that--but turns out, it was my flaw, not my strength.


I deeply love animation, but nervously went into illustration, because that major's claim to fame is that it's "flexible" and "broad". So I thought I could "make it my own" and do tons of animation stuff by myself by picking a variety of essential electives, while staying in illust.

Don't trust that opinion.

For animation specifically, that doesn't work very well, if you're unsure and indecisive like me. Interdisciplinary study was very hard between illust and animation, so you must pick a concrete path and pick it ASAP in your RISD career. Preferably before sophomore year.

Also, true for all majors: Everyone agrees they had to "Bullshit a project idea they didn't want or hated, as long as it could be quickly executed and satisfy the teacher" more often then they wished. This left no freedom to really explore who you are, without fear. Fear of judgement ruled students, especially in Illustration. This adds to the fact that my decision was swayed too easily.

Now, back to animation:

Animation is packed and barely any classes are available for people who "aren't sure what they want to focus on yet." It was a very exclusive major, and the spots for course registration run out very fast. If you go in the major, you'll get what you need, in terms of computer program training and basic principles.

But! The animation facilities are not that great. Other schools specialize much better in animation and are more well equipped.

RISD animation is very, very experimental. They don't force this, but again it is an unsaid "peer pressure". All students tend to make their work on the grandiose, abstract, and deep side. This does not exclude the animation dept. I felt RISD animation looked down upon commercial style (what you see in disney/pixar, cartoon network, and nickelodeon). I can say I personally would have hated it even if I chose animation, because I prefer to make art that is meant for entertainment--unpretentious, accessible, humorous, and fun, yet still meaningful as well.

I was not able to learn this about myself...until I left the fine-artsy, clique-ish, and highly critical atmosphere of RISD (this is not necessarily bad for everyone, but it does create an inescapable mindset and kind of heightens one's nervousness).


Bottom line:

Not the right college for someone who doesn't know EXACTLY what they want for their future right away. Even in freshman foundation, some teachers expected us to confidently state where we wanted to work.

Not good for people with anxiety. Not very forgiving towards nervous or worrisome types.
Remember, perfectionism is different from anxiety. If being perfect makes you feel happy or adventurous, it'll suit you. If it leaves you feeling more nervous than adventurous, seek more freedom in your education.

And if you're hoping and dreaming of a college to improve your self esteem and social skills, this is NOT the one.

Another thing worth noting:
It's hard to travel to buy basic amenities in providence. It rains all the time, windy, clammy, the town is often creepily empty looking, and grocery/dorm essential/appliance shopping is often more than 20-30 mins away on foot. Add in the steep hilly landscape and you'll wish there were just a simple hardware and grocery store were right near you.

This is seriously important, as art projects require you to buy weird supplies youd never imagine.


DO NOT LET THE SCHOOL'S FAME SWAY YOUR DECISION!
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:11:53 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html
StudentsReview: Positive Review about RISD for Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etchttp://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html I'm going to keep this short and sweet. If you absolutely know you want to go here and are extremely passionate about pursuing your art career, go here. It's truly a great school. Every negative r... Tue, 04 Sep 2012 09:43:12 GMT StudentsReview 1232-89266 Copyright 2014 StudentsReview, Ecliptical Technologies, Inc. 1232-89266 1232 18 Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc Female Undergraduate Class 2014 3rd Year Positive I'm going to keep this short and sweet. If you absolutely know you want to go here and are extremely passionate about pursuing your art career, go here. It's truly a great school.

Every negative review on here is mainly people who thought art school would be fun, or people who hate one small thing so they decide to bag on everything else. You have to really know you want to go here to like this school.

The surrounding town is great, the people are friendly. Yes, there are weird people, but there are everywhere. The professors will critique you A LOT. Just be prepared for it. Remember, they're there to make you a better artist.

I have had a great experience here. I made great friends, I fell in love, and I have became an even more incredible artist than I was when I first got here. I highly recommend this school.
Tue, 04 Sep 2012 09:43:12 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html
StudentsReview: Negative Review about RISD for Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etchttp://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html Even with the (rare) generous merit scholarship awarded to me, I feel that RISD is one of the biggest mistakes and worst investments I have ever made. Since my graduation I am unable to get an intervi... Thu, 02 Aug 2012 06:12:54 GMT StudentsReview 1232-88638 Copyright 2014 StudentsReview, Ecliptical Technologies, Inc. 1232-88638 1232 18 Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc Female Undergraduate Alumna Class 2000 Negative Even with the (rare) generous merit scholarship awarded to me, I feel that RISD is one of the biggest mistakes and worst investments I have ever made. Since my graduation I am unable to get an interview, let alone employment. For four years I have felt my brain rot as the only education available involves fellow students beginning statements with the phrase "I feel like..." Professors are adept at criticism but evasive when asked for advice. I leave RISD with the sense that I have no higher education, and I strongly suspect much of my high-school education has died of neglect. The majority of students have little to no understanding of current events despite trying to make relevant work. The trick, of course, is to make thought-provoking work without doing any thinking. That RISD so ignores the necessity of at least mediocre academic education is baffling--a typical Artist Statement by a student at RISD more closely resembles a hastily composed Yahoo! user comment than a professional statement.
Perhaps the most redeeming quality about RISD is its student body and the various potential connections a student can make. While there is no doubt that networking is important, if a school's only redeeming qualities can be reaped at a party, skip the school and go to the party. A frank word of warning: In terms of social stratification, RISD is America's own little Versailles. At RISD I was not merely a student there on scholarship--I was a peasant. I was shocked by the comfort with which teachers spontaneously ordered their students to purchase a large amount of expensive supplies during class time with no thought as to whether or not said student has any of these items already at home (off campus, half an hour one way) or (gasp!) does not have the money necessary at hand. I have regularly been forced to decide between buying supplies and food during my time at school, and have still had the unfortunate experience of being singled out by a professor in class for my financial shortcomings.*
For a school that prides itself so much on being able to dole out critique, RISD as an institution absolutely incapable to hearing it. The vote of no confidence from the faculty is not heard, the complaints from the student council are not heard; and in due time, a chipper email will be sent to every student and faculty member reassuring them that their critique has fallen on deaf ears.

*I will concede this happened only once, but it was unacceptable professionally and personally just plain dickish.
Thu, 02 Aug 2012 06:12:54 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html
StudentsReview: Negative Review about RISD for Undecidedhttp://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html I am currently a freshman at RISD, and to be honest I've been disappointed by the education I've been receiving so far. Yes, there is a good amount of work, especially in the freshman year, but quite ... Mon, 13 Feb 2012 08:46:47 GMT StudentsReview 1232-85264 Copyright 2014 StudentsReview, Ecliptical Technologies, Inc. 1232-85264 1232 52 Undecided Female Undergraduate Class 2015 1st Year Negative I am currently a freshman at RISD, and to be honest I've been disappointed by the education I've been receiving so far. Yes, there is a good amount of work, especially in the freshman year, but quite a bit of it seems arbitrarily time-consuming. I've found that my instructors have supported innovation, but they want a certain breed of creativity. Whenever I've attempted to push limits by departing from the original prompts and elevating my work to a developed conceptual exploration (such as creating an installation for a drawing class) I have been punished for not following directions. I was expecting more support of development of our individual ideas. I also expected more provocative and energetic professors, when this past semester I found that a majority of my instructors were more focused on finding ways to waste class time than actually instilling any new knowledge or skills in us. I've also found that this is not a school for anyone who comes from a family that isn't well-to-do. Coming from a family with very little money, and going to RISD on scholarship, I've found that everyone that goes here, including the faculty, assumes that you have money. There are often frivolous and unnecessarily expensive items on my supply lists, and prior to going here I've never felt so marginalized due to my social class. There are also plenty of amazingly talented people here, but there are also quite a few people who, for lack of a better phrase, bought their way in. This school seems to be alright with accepting underqualified students as long as they'll pay the tuition, and the lack of integrity I've witnessed (such as my own room-mate's, who has plagiarized multiple assignments) has reached a point that I've lost faith in this institution. I'm currently applying to transfer out of RISD next year, because even with a nearly full tuition scholarship, the financial burden is still significant, and the insulting lack of passion I've seen here has led me to conclude that a lot of this school is BS. Mon, 13 Feb 2012 08:46:47 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html StudentsReview: Neutral Review about RISD for Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etchttp://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html If you are completely sure that art is your path in life, RISD is the place to go. You will be pushed to your limit and grow substantially as an artist. RISD has a great reputation in the art world an... Tue, 12 Jul 2011 06:17:35 GMT StudentsReview 1232-79014 Copyright 2014 StudentsReview, Ecliptical Technologies, Inc. 1232-79014 1232 18 Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc Female Undergraduate Class 2014 1st Year Neutral If you are completely sure that art is your path in life, RISD is the place to go. You will be pushed to your limit and grow substantially as an artist. RISD has a great reputation in the art world and many job connections for its graduates. Unfortunately, for those who are interested in art as well as academics, RISD lacks in the liberal arts division. Many art history classes are a waste of time and money. Personally, I feel like I have sacrificed a good academic education for a good art eduction. As an institution, RISD has its problems. Tuition is extremely high and financial aid is sparse. RISD is not very organized throughout the departments and always manages to bill the students for mysterious costs and charges. Tue, 12 Jul 2011 06:17:35 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html