you want to learn how to draw and paint well,
The fundamentals program is horrendously lackadaisical
about technical ability and provides no source of competition or
need to try hard to succeed. The amount of
people that get through fundamentals and then somehow manage to
graduate without even learning how to draw well is staggering.
If you think I'm joking, visit during when the
seniors of the semester have their work up. See
if the work of students of your intended major is
up to par with what you're looking to achieve.
Make sure to take into account all of the students'
as well as from other departments.
The painting department is
fully rooted in “doing your own thing” which translates to
“99% professional bullshit with 1% representational work”. There is
no value in painting well there, and it's all contemporary/modern
One of the most important things as an
artist if you wish to draw well is how to
draw the figure, and how to draw it well.
You will not learn that here. To learn how
to draw the figure well, you must learn anatomy, line
control, and gesture. Line control and gesture are lightly
taught, but with no supplement of anatomy or any sort
of construction technique, the one life drawing class provided (that
you can re-take 2 more times) is extremely lacking.
The reason cited for the professor no longer teaching it
is that he deemed it no longer necessary. Somehow,
I find that odd when comparing that to every top-tier
The illustration department experience was largely
good, though my favorite professor no longer teaches there.
There is a new department head coming in this Fall
(Fall 2013), which appears to be promising. Even then,
if you're looking for competition, you won't really find it
here. You might find one or two people in
your class worth your time, if you're lucky.
it's possible to do well in the illustration department, but
the rest of the school is so loaded up with
silly ideals, bad/lacking instruction, bad management, etc, that there is
no way that you will be able to focus on
what you need to create good, well-crafted illustrations as much
as you should. Therefore your graduating portfolio will likely
be infinitely weaker than several other top-tier schools (MICA, Art
Center, Ringling, SVA, etc). You'll get out of school
realizing that you don't know nearly enough, and likely spend
at least a year cramming in what you should've learned
your sophomore year.
This school doesn't cost nearly as much
as other art schools, but please realize, it's for a
VERY good reason. Look elsewhere if you're serious about
becoming a skilled artist. If this is your only
option monetarily, go to a local university, or hit up
online resources (CGMW, TAD, Schoolism, Gnomon) — it's not like
the degree (from MCA especially) will actually do anything for