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CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

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CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

Postby Charles » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:46 pm

During my rounds to catch up on what's happening in the animation world I discovered a couple of articles by Amid Amidi of Cartoonbrew. Amid was a member of AN for many years but his knee jerkism, baseless accusations, general intolerance and his own misguided sense of altruism compelled this animation critic historian (in other words not an animation artist) to leave AN in a very public huff.

Now he's reporting on a huge news item... huge I tell you!

The Art Institute of California is forcing their students to buy books they don't really need! :o

Articles posted on CB:

Animation Teacher Faces Termination For Refusing To Sell His Students Unnecessary Books

Amid Amidi
August 12, 2012 2:57 am

... and ...

Ed Hooks Explains Why His Popular Acting Book Is No Longer Available To Art Institutes Students
Amid Amidi
August 13, 2012 2:39 pm

It's important that news stories about corruption in the education system should be exposed. It's ironic that that corrupt animation journalism is doing the exposing. But, at least he's getting out there.

Here's the thing folks. If you think the matter about the Art Institute franchise forcing students to buy unnecessary textbooks is bad, that pales in comparison to the info that's come my way over the years. Sometimes when their teachers discover how questionable the Art Institutes schools really are and out of a good conscious decide to resign, many of them are actually paid off to keep quiet about their methods.

That's right ladies and gents. They pay hush money. :shock:

So while super slooth Amid is looking at the book issue, when it comes to the Art Institute schools, it goes a lot deeper than that.

This is one reason why we're here folks. Who in the animation community critiques the critics?

If you're looking to enroll in a quality animation / art oriented school or program, do your homework. There's no need to go into a massive amount of lifelong debt just to learn the basics. There are other options available to you. And if you do decide to go to an expensive degree oriented school, make sure it's one that requires a review of your portfolio as a condition of enrollment.
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Re: CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

Postby Dolphin78 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:21 pm

Charles wrote: And if you do decide to go to an expensive degree oriented school, make sure it's one that requires a review of your portfolio as a condition of enrollment.


Best advice anyone can give to a prospective art, design and/or animation student presuming the school assessment is an honest one.

I've seen way too many young recent graduates with "Masters" degrees in computer animation who couldn't find a job and had to move to another field because they really didn't have what it takes. I can only imagine how much they owed in student loans and other debts.

It's a tough and competitive field these days.
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Re: CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

Postby Charles » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:58 am

I've had several students that came to me after they graduated or finished their time with the Art Institute franchise. They all speak poorly of their experience and feel they didn't get what they should have gotten while they were there in terms of an education. Whenever I'm asked to recommend a school I make it a point to mention that AI is something to be avoided.

I also tell my students not to trust the people behind Cartoonbrew. The site can get you exposure but the sincerity they pose in helping artists is fake. If they cared about animation artists and were genuinely interested in building a better community then why do these guys see us as the enemy. That's how twisted their perception is. They may know who worked at Termite Terrace but they are self serving elitists who aren't artists and who look to control artists just as much as any non-creative studio executive.

Check out their site for news and videos but don't trust them. In their own way they're just as bad as any Art Institute school. Personal experience has taught me that lesson.
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Re: CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

Postby sorryguyz » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:06 am

Where would cartoon brew be without artists? nowhere. They thrive off the content from students and artists who are way more talented and productive than they can hope to ever be. Well, actually I commend Jerry Beck for trying to get classics re-released onto DVD and being concerned about preserving the artform, however Amid tends to push his own dogma in every publication he has done. Notice how neither of them ever mention anything related to anime and yet most of what the East produces is leaps and bounds above the quality of the west not only in displays of draftsmanship but also in content. But I guess that isn't considered "cartoons"

It takes Amid 5 minutes to bash someone in a post. It takes an artist years to make a short film. And do you really need someone to tell you what to like and what not to like. Do you need someone to review something for you? Are people incapable of forming their own opinions?

Artists get joy out of creating and normally that creating is done not only to entertain or amuse the artist but also other people. Most of the time that is the point of creating. Since Amid lacks that skill he needs to achieve this same type of attention all his heroes have had. Maybe he does that by posting Flame-inciting topics drenched in his biased kerosene. Then he can sit back and be all giddy while watching the comments roll in. He can CHOOSE which ones to approve to make sure none are contradicting his points...but wait, sometimes he will let one slide if he feels he can undermine and cut up the poster with some witty rebuttal. I can bet you that he doesn't approve the posters comments after that. Especially if they call him out on his bullsh*t. Guess who is always on top!?



At the end of the day its a distraction. It's a divide and conquer tactic. Artists are so busy playing siskel and ebert against each other. It breeds this pathetic insecurity by the nature of anonymous posters being able to criticize without consequence. Instead a more productive thing could be addressing the problems with the industry the union and corrupt executives, but that rarely happens. the latter is what this site is for. truth.
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Re: CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

Postby Charles » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:05 pm

You nailed it sorryguyz.

If I was pulling that stuff on the old forums I could've saved myself a lot of grief. Years of it in fact. I've heard from many people whose comments never got posted on cartoonbrew and have been deleted from their respective Facebook sites as well for no reason. They weren't being malicious or anything. Guess what they had to say didn't fit into the 'leading the conversation' propaganda.

I'm still dealing with crazy people from the old forums. A few minutes ago I heard from someone from those days still bitching about something. That's my reward for hosting an open forum for all those years.

The more time passes, the more I ignore these mean self centered hypocrites, the more I focus on creative things, the more that nightmare fades away.
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Re: CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

Postby EAllen » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:30 pm

Seems like a hugely positive thing, though, Amid did by putting this piece into the light. However, since I come here all the time, I never would've known about it if it weren't for you, Charles.


Thanks for calling attention to it. And remember to balance the negative stuff disgruntled artists throw out with the positive stuff, because as you know, at the end of the day balance matters.
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Re: CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

Postby EAllen » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:34 pm

The Art Institute, several years ago, tried hard to recruit me. One of their recruiters asked me for $20,000 by the Friday of that week. That's when I decided to sever all contact with them.


That experience was suffered just months after I left my film school (keep in mind, this is seven, eight years ago) after over two years of hard work, and learned that the credits I had earned there were not transferable.


Be wary of any private school that is A.) for-profit, and B.) owned by a corporation. Be wary.
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Re: CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

Postby Dolphin78 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:04 pm

Be wary of any private school that is A.) for-profit, and B.) owned by a corporation. Be wary.

I'd say beware of any school, public or private, that accepts students who shouldn't go into this field and can't provide the training needed for success.
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Re: CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

Postby Semaj » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:42 pm

I gave up on Cartoon Brew a long time ago.

One thing I learned from many blogs and forums is that many of these armchair critics have once aspired to be animation artists themselves. Even the very few who let us in on their insight with valid arguments are still caught up in the dogma behind their personal preferences.

One of my friends was correct when he surmised that the Internet has in some way ruined the cartoon community. No one knows how to enjoy cartoons anymore.
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Re: CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

Postby Charles » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:03 am

Reviewing portfolios of prospective students is something I do as a condition of enrollment. It helps me to discern if they're right for our program and vice verse. If I feel like they're better suited to head into another direction I let them know. Schools like the Art Institute franchise won't turn anyone away. It's all about the sale. Like a car dealership.

Had a great conversation with a friend the other night who knows Cartoonbrew intimately. Man, what a treasure trove of info. I had my unpleasant experiences with them but I didn't realize the level of bias and corruption that's involved in what they do on an editorial level.

Seems to me more people are starting to figure them out.
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Re: CB and Art Institutes - oh the hypocrisy

Postby ArmyMan » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:50 pm

Many years ago (like 18) I had a gig teaching at an Art Institute. We were just starting up their animation program and I had to start without any equipment for pencil testing or recording their work. Those first few classes were all flipbooks and cameraless techniques. It took me a little while before I discovered their recruiting techniques were based more on getting warm bodies than students who were right for the animation discipline.

Despite that a number of students I had there managed to make it into the animation industry and make a career of it. Sadly this had much more to do with their inherent talent and drive than anything the school did for them. In fact, I'd say they succeeded despite of their experiences.

I have heard that AI schools vary greatly in quality from one location to another, kind of like fast food franchises. Unfortunately it sounds like they've only gotten worse in the many years since I worked at one.
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