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Posted by Charles on May 13, 1999 at 19:03:09:

In Reply to: Re: Hey, Cal Arts! posted by Pete on May 13, 1999 at 07:12:09:

... I can get carried away with the way I say it, but that's how I feel. My comments were aimed at the brass as well as the ears of the band, as they still are, with an apology for my use of words which was abrasive and offensive and may be construed as a personal attack. My regrets.

Getting back to the issue - With all respect to the school's music students, why should character animation students underwrite a guitar department? Why should this added financial burden fall upon the shoulders of character animation students, most of it in the form of long term interest bearing loans? Especially when it means having to do without equipment that is vital to their own education?

I've been to Cal Arts several times over the years and I've never been impressed with their facilities or many aspects of their program for animation. I still recommended the school to one of my own students back in the days when tuition was only $13,000. He went there for a year, was forced to buy into their room and board even though he lived locally and could have easily commuted, went thousands of dollars in debt and didn't learn a thing. After getting out, he went back to the local L.A. art school circuit, learned what he should have learned at Cal Arts and more, and went on to become a Disney Feature Animation staff artist.

I would also like to point out, Pete, that I've never used the Animation Nation website as a platform to plug or promote my school as you suggest. I've been very deliberate about keeping the two seperate, but now that I think of it, yours may not be such a bad idea. Thanks.

What toothfairy came down from Olympus and crowned Cal Arts the queen of animation education? I've heard plenty of people over a long period of time complain about the training they received there. It's common knowledge, except for those who feel compelled to defend this fleecing of animation students. Students coming from that school and many others like it are saddled with enormous debts. If they find work at a Union shop, they have to pay their initiation fee on top of it. This is no formula for success.

I've reviewed lots of portfolios from Cal Arts students as well as students from other major art and animation schools in the country. In most instances, I've observed an alarming lack of fundamental training. The kind of training an art or animation student should have been receiving from day one.

There's a large group of outstanding animation artists working at the very highest levels of the industry that never went to Cal Arts and never had to put their future in hoc. They're the product of small local art schools and workshops. Many of them are self taught and are now teaching others.

If you're a character animation student and are happy paying $18,000 a year for what you're getting, then I respect your decision. If you're a student there and you feel otherwise, then do something for yourself. Speak out. Find like minded students and act upon your concerns. Don't come to me and complain about it when your destiny is in your own hands.

Whether you're happy there or frustrated, when you get into the business, remember to take pride in your work. Always strive for excellence. Respect your creative colleagues regardless of their educational background. Maintain a positive attitude and do your best to keep the art and our industry vibrant.

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