Portfolio help/advice in general?

<p>Hey everyone, first post here! @__@
Anyway, I'll be a high school senior come fall 2010, so I've been looking at all sorts of college stuff recently (way, way too late, I know >< ).
For sure, I'll be applying to UCLA, hopefully majoring in some sort of digital art - I'm one of those manga/anime-obsessed people, ahem. But I know that most look down on that sort of art, some don't even consider it an art form, and so on.
I'm alright with realism, can draw okay-ish still life and such, but my question is: </p>

<p>Would it be alright to submit anything manga/anime-styled in the portfolio itself? I've looked at the requirements for the portfolio online, but not much is specified other than a "self portrait in any medium" and 5-10 examples of original work.</p>

<p>Any more info would be great! Help from people who've actually gone to UCLA, majored in/are majoring in Art would be amazing.
I'm also sort of stuck on college options - my parents refuse to pay for a private school, and have also said that they wouldn't pay if I only got into a community college, so. XD; My choices are pretty much limited to the UCs here - does anyone have any idea how good the art programs are in them, UCLA aside? </p>

<p>ONE MORE REQUEST (sorry!). Some comments on my chances of getting into different UCs would be highly appreciated. =x </p>

<p>General stats:
- current SAT 2110, will re-take Nov 2010. Using Math II and Lit for the subject tests; Math 720, Lit taking Oct 2010. Possibly using Chinese 790? (but since I'm Chinese, probably won't be that great. >< )
- took AP World, Honors Chem, Honors Precal sophomore year. 4 on AP test.
- took Honors English, AP Calc AB, APUSH, AP Bio junior year. AP scores: Calc 5, APUSH 4, Bio 4.
- will take AP Stats, French 3, AP Gov't, AP Art, Physics, English 4 senior year.
- final unweighted GPA, as of junior year, was 3.33. D:<br>
- not many extracurriculars, classes (drawing, chinese zither, tennis) aside. Only one or two small clubs (was never in an important position either ;_; ).
- as of right now, exactly 100 hours of community service.
- halfway-decent artistic ability. >>;</p>

<p>I have many more questions, especially about what to major in, but this is more than enough for now! XD;; Any sort of help in any of the above areas would be really, really appreciated! And sorry for the incredibly long post. x__x</p>

<p>There are many CA state folks and LA kingpin around, they will tell you which UC to choose, how UCLA art is etc etc assuming you won't do Ivies, CMU, top LACs.
Other than that,
Advice in any sort?
I was a manga artist wannabe born 60s went to artschool in Tokyo hiding true motive because people would laugh at you if that's why you are in the art "university" (not vocational training school)
Took graphics, illustration pre Mac, did not fly.
Dumpy crafts are another embarrassing passion I had in the artschool.
I made 7ft soft 3D sculpture ( A.K.A. stuffed toy) for thetis, now I do that for living (make bears and dogs)
Have one art kid who makes lopsided comics after trying ( = half forcibly made) to be an overall intelligent artist (painting) he is not overall academic but it's OK doing his own stuff.
I am dyeing to ask,
1. who, when, what, why, how you got put on manga?
2. what good nowadays young US kids see in it?
3. who is your fav manga (and no manga) artist ?
4. why you got such good grades and could not see what manga does to your good brain in interaction with normal human or to pursuer normal human fulfillment your parents obviously wish you to achieve?
I think, real question for the future is
how can you connect those two ( what manga does to, and how good your brain is) in this budding manga industries here in US?
stop drawing partially shaded crazy hairdo girls doing boys or boys doing boys, characters as such: blood sucker, flying sprites, animagus ( shape shifter?) but learn to draw real good in conventional boring way.
Use your resource, study everything hard you could possibly do, read piles of big books besides what school, class, AP thing required. Try, say, manga-nizing Plato's Republic or "One hundred years of Solitude" using period costume and landscape, but make it as if storyboard of the oscar worthy epic movie or something, ( no big eye but realistic proportion in face and body. beautifully articulated foreground and background.
If you could do that entire book length wise, I bet it will be scholastic art, NFFAA or any art school portfolio and brain school supplement worthy.
Far as I know, college admission folks are not yet ready for so-called manga, 'les you choose artschools that backing up that trend, which your parents won't want you to do.
Don't go against becoming a doctor, scientist or lawyer if you can pull it off.
Manga will never going to die, you got entire life to draw and grow, trust me on this.
One warning, in the land of manga (Japan) young kids are no longer necessary that manga crazy, for them, it is too tedious to read anything that are printed on the paper in the book form.
It will change, and rippling effect will get here, too, eventually.
What's next, then? virtual manga? videogame manga? manga blog? how could they be then differentiate from anime?
I do not have answers nor how any of these could be done.
YOU figure it out.</p>

<p>In my short experience watching my son go through art school/university applications I saw MANY times that schools specifically said "no Manga" in the portfolio. Is this bias? perhaps, but as BandD says, you can always do manga but if you want to go to art school you need to show you have some basic skills and aptitude through examples of your drawing/painting/sculpture etc. You do have good grades and stats and your parents clearly want you to be frugal about your education but they also want you to get a recognizable degree from one of the great state schools in California. As a parent, I can't fault them. However, it sounds like they think your art/manga interest is a hobby and a pastime..not a potential career. Perhaps you can get one of them to go to the NPD with you (parent's can help by waiting in line) or visit some art schools or programs (private and public programs) so they can get a better sense of what it is that you want to do and why. This helped us a lot since neither my husband or I could fathom why anyone would want to study art ...the visits gave us a little bit of an insight about what motivates people to do this as well as seeing that our S really belonged in an art program. Good luck!</p>

<p>I think increasingly what most art schools are looking for, apart from the mandatory technical skill, is some kind of combination of openness and independent thought/personal interest. Manga/anime type work in portfolios is heavily frowned upon, at least in part, because it leads people to work with a very narrow range of visual styles/ideas. Not to mention, it's something just about every kid in reach of a pencil is doing. If however there are some particularly interesting ideas and topics that you'd like to work with and you feel like using manga style is the best way to do it, most admission officers would be pleased, nay thrilled, that you're doing something different and challenging notions of manga as low art. If that's not the case you risk looking like just about every other kid your age.</p>

<p>That said there are quite a number of notable, contemporary japanese
artists working with that manga style. The most famous of which are
probably Takashi Murakami and Yoshi-tomo Nara (hyphen added due to censorship)</p>

<p>Also here's an essay if you're interested in the kind
of discourses that go along with their work.</p>

<p>Superflat</a> Japanese Postmodernity</p>

<p>Hi Euphorics,</p>

<p>Let's back up a second and look at what UCLA offers in the School of Art & Arch. They offer two different paths: Fine Arts and DES|MA (Design and Media Arts). Fine Arts is exactly as it sounds, painting, ceramics, photography, drawings, metal and wood, etc. DES|MA is graphic design, creative video installations, game design, and other digital media.</p>

<p>So you're interested in UCLA, the first question you have to ask is which path? From your opening post it seems that DES|MA is your direction. If so, I would go to the DES|MA site (UCLA</a> Design Media Arts) and read everything you can on their admissions requirements. DES|MA is extremely hard to get into, the talent level of average applicants is very high, and the admit rate is 8%.</p>

<p>Your stats are below the average admitted student at UCLA. Recalc your GPA based on UC guidelines: only use Soph and Junior year, drop all pluses and minuses, and one full point for AP classes, etc.). For the incoming class of freshmen this fall the average weighted GPA is 4.51. That's the average, so half above that and half below.</p>

<p>School of Art student GPA's can be lower BUT the portfolio has to be outstanding. As others above have noted I would not recommend magna in your application portfolio. You want to stand out in this process and too many applicants will submit magna drawings. Show them more originality! </p>

<p>My best tip of the day: go back to the DES|MA link above and click on every student's work that is one that site. Google every professor and look at their work. The combination of that should help you focus on what they want to see from you.</p>

<p>As far as the other UC's go for art... a lot depends on your specialty but in general I see it like this (your mileage could vary):</p>

<p>First level: UCLA
Second level: UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara
Third level: UC Riverside (especially photo!), UC Davis, UC Berkeley</p>

<p>I have never heard anyone talk about art from UC Santa Cruz or Merced. Dunno.</p>

<p>Also don't overlook San Diego State or Long Beach State. </p>

<p>Also, from looking at your stats, have you considered looking at programs in game design art? Fun stuff, creative, and an exploding field. Just a thought.</p>

<p>To bad about the 'no private school' thing as I think you might be a good fit at USC - Roski's Digital Media department. Good school and they have several cross over programs like digital design / computer gaming degrees. Expensive school but lots of opportunity.</p>

<p>Stay away from the anime and you'll be fine. There are a lot of terrific places to develop your creativity and UCLA is just one of many.</p>


<p>bears and dogs: Thank you for the advice, and for sharing some personal experience too! Going to a school in Japan was a dream for me - like so many others - but my parents completely refused to even consider it. To answer your questions:</p>

<li>Well, let's see. XD I've been watching Studio Ghibli films since a young age (10 or younger?), but I never really got interested in anime/manga until around middle school. That was also when I, embarrassingly, started drawing huge-eyed people in stereotypical anime poses. >>;; I started taking a character design class around this time too, geared especially toward anime/manga.</li>
<li>There's a lot of good in it, I think, if you take the time to look around. I never did like the 'typical' animes, with one guy + way too many overly cute girls, big robots controlled by young kids, so on and so forth. Personally, I like the slice-of-life, somewhat more realistic anime/manga more, and sometimes there are nice life lessons to be learned.</li>
<li>Manga artist specifically? Then probably Ikuemi Ryou, at the moment. As for non-manga.. XD; It's sad to say, but I've never really moved out of the anime/manga area in terms of art. So I don't know about any of the modern, non-manga artists right now.</li>
<li>Personally, I don't agree with this very much. >> Pursuing a career in the anime/manga field could still be called "pursuing normal human fulfillment," couldn't it? If you were to take it to a crazy or obsessive level (like that one person that recently married an anime character in a dating game, I think?), then yes, I agree, it could definitely affect your interactions with normal people and possibly ruin your life, too.</li>

<p>I'm not drawing those things, I swear! XD But, you're right - I do still need a lot of work on drawing in general before even thinking of pursuing a career in anime/manga, or just art.
Thank you so much for all the insight you've provided into this! I'll definitely take it all to heart, and be considering more seriously what an art career might mean. It really is turning out to be more complicated then I thought. @__@</p>

<p>fineartsmajormom: I'm surprised you could find all that out from my post (about my parents thinking of art as a hobby, etc)! I'd figured art schools would want more fine-art material, but wanted to ask just to make sure - I'll probably go on a hunt for some example portfolios later. I've heard some mentions of NPD, so I'll definitely take a look into that! And hopefully discuss it with my parents, too. Thank you so much for the advice and good wishes! : D</p>

<p>kaelyn: Aha, it's completely true that almost everyone's drawing in the style now. XD So, yes, definitely not something special. I hadn't thought of your suggestion, though - I figured it'd either be "cartoonish - OK!" or "no anime/manga whatsoever, we'll reject your portfolio on the spot." I've taken a look at the essay, and have to admit that most of it went over my head, but it was interesting to read nonetheless. Thank you for recommending it, as well as for your advice! I'll be searching for more on those artists, too. : )</p>

<p>Ikuemi Ryo!!!!
I AM DEAD! Do you know that she ( it is she I believe) was mere teenage HS kid when made the major debut? Became one of the top selling artist in no time kicking butt of old middle aged artists and got best spots of every issue! Gawd I still remember her first prize winning entry that published in the magazine we all read covert to cover every month. That work in particular (16 pages ) was actually pretty awful for our standard but of course, we are just plain jealous, because we are, too, in nowhere HS in nowhere town dreaming about one day, break out big in major magazine. sending in our godawful primitive works for hope of cash prize and publishing opps....
Does she still publish new woks? I don't follow anymore much. Or are you somehow able to read old, 70-80s works translated and able to get THAT nuances? Then you have to forgive me of assuming right away you are like one of my kid's classmates all going for robots, vampire, ninja, kinky sex and who knows what.
Enough of the talks from the memory lane.
I just have to add, (again, sorry Kaelyn) Nara san had gone to one of the most celebrated public art university and done grad study there and all ( there are only handful of such schools in Japan) after one year at one of the most celebrated private art university in Tokyo (there are only few) before he hit your German school.
In Japan, getting into one of those schools back then was harder than getting out of RISD MICA. I am not kidding (OK maybe. a bit. don't hate me anymore than you guys do already)
No portfolio but super hi pressure timed drawing exams are the must. We call it "dessan" from French word, dessin? It is not mere drawing, it is super realistic duper accurate yet got have personality, strength, depth. Kids are crazy there given up souls to charcoal and graphite. There are few fresh out HS genius but two, three, four times lucky old timers after cramming full drawing school days and nights are common.
For the matter of Mr. Murakami, he went to the yet best-est of the best. Cooper with steroid, I do explain to my country folks Cooper as sort of NY's Gei Dai ( though Gei Dai =Tokyo national university of Art? is public) He did Japanese traditional art and gotten terminal degree, which was unheard of.
I hate to say that, your attached link does not tell true intention of what Murakami is trying to do. I could translate his quote from casual interviews done in Japanese here there but better not. He needs them (foreign patrons, intellectuals and museum folks) as much as they want him.
Anyways. Nara san, Murakami san earned their keep long long time ago already by became able to draw like masters to pass the exam when they were in late teens, early twenties. After getting in, they should deserve that free reign: manga otaku anime heta-uma whatever their hearts' content.
We are about the same age group and most of us were born nor raised in Tokyo or if they were without family money. I could feel how their art students days have been.
I am glad what happen to them eventually but at the same time, easily could imagine many others like them who just had tough luck after working so so hard to pass that killer exam then took off from the hometown that had no art supply stores; in the mountain, seashore, rice paddies riding alone the bullet train with few belongings and couple thousands yen in the pocket that parents family somewhat scrunced out, heading out to uncertain but utterly dreamy and exciting future in the cold water flat in the big city.
Dear-est OP
go for it, make mistakes but always keep your eyes open what happening NOW and look out for someone who could help you. Learn what to say when and how, at the same time horn your skill.
Great country here is, made Murakami ( both Takashi and Haruki, plus lesser known Ryu) world wide household name. Amazing....</p>

<p>Wheaty: Gah, I'd forgotten about that, sorry! I sort of knew about the two branches from glancing over the main UCLA site, but I'd pretty much ignored the Fine Arts and went straight to the DES|MA site. I hadn't known exactly what I was getting into with UCLA, and had probably been a bit delusional in thinking I'd be able to get in. >< I had no idea it was so difficult!</p>

<p>Ack. When you say with both the sophomore and junior grades, does that mean to take the final grades from both years and combine them into one GPA? If that's so, it'd come up to.. 3.83 for both years, so 3.83 in total. Still a huge stretch. D:</p>

<p>Thank you so much for the advice on the other UCs! On USC, too - I took a look, and it does seem like a really wonderful school. ;_; I'll try to talk it out with my parents.
As for game design art, I've been thinking about that all along! >> I'm just not sure what schools actually have programs in it; UCLA, I know, has a Game Development-ish class, and some schools have many courses for it. I'll look into it more.</p>

<p>Again, thank you for all the info! You've given me a lot of schools to think about, as well as just things to consider that I hadn't thought of before. I'll keep it all in mind. : D</p>

<p>bears and dogs: Uwhoa, that was unexpected! XD Really?! I had absolutely no idea! I've only heard of.. honestly, one other manga artist that made it while she was in high school years. It's just amazing - and I can definitely understand the jealousy thing, lol.
I'm not sure if it's new or from the 70-80s, but I first found out about her through Cousin? As well as Kano Hitoya Tsuki, both only as scanlations, although they've both been taken off most sites now. ;_;</p>

<p>I've heard of dessin (admittedly from a manga), but never really knew what it was. Ugh, that all sounds so crazy - it's really eye-opening to see how far people are willing to go for art. @__@ I mean, yes, I fully support going all the way for your passion, but not in such a.. desperate fashion, I guess?
It's also amazing how, well, AMAZING Murakami and Nara are. Drawing like masters already when they're only in their late teens.. wow. </p>

<p>The life an artist is a difficult one, to put it mildly. :'D
Thank you again, for another very long (but in-depth) post! I really do need to hurry up and look up Murakami and Nara, and it was amazing hearing about Ryou. >> And thank you so much for the final advice - I think I'll definitely shoot for my dreams (er, ignore the cliche), just not in the way I'd imagined before. It really is better to look around first before charging blindly into things, especially when it's the future. Thanks! : )</p>

<p>oh. "dessin" in manga term is bit different from the drawing exam.
If you say, you got " bad dessan" in Japanese about manga, it means proportion is off.
see, when you draw profile or three quarter view of the face of the character, if you are righty, facing left face would be easy but facing right would be hard. If you are lefty, the other way around. You can correct and practice this by looking through the drawing from the back side using light table or putting against window during daytime. You can tell how "off" distance between eyes, nose, forhead, angle of the chin connect to the neck etc etc. This is a good trick for academic drawing such as still life. Bottles and the pots looked OK from the front are not at all correct from seeing through backside.
And when the character stands up or sits, arms and legs should be always in correct proportion to torso, head, furniture or door, wall. you know, value, balance, in perspective.
Human anatomy is amazing. Of course in the world of manga, you should be all size zero and barbie dolls who can not possibly do handstand because hands won't support your head.
Ooops, don't pull me back in. it was then now is now. Good luck good dessin.</p>


<p>If you are applying to UC's you should read this as it answers most questions on how they calc GPA: University</a> of California - Counselors</p>

<p>I think you should absolutely apply to UCLA as well as several other UC's but I want to encourage you to step up your portfolio. Your stats plus a killer portfolio would give you a better chance. UCLA is difficult because it's desired by most and DES|MA only allows 45 freshmen per year (+/-). The odds are against you but still why not be one of the 45? The better your portfolio, the better your chances.</p>

<p>There are TONS of great schools with art programs that will more than push you to your limits. My ranking of the UC art programs is very subjective and each should be seriously considered. For example, this looks terrific to me (Welcome</a> | Department of Art) and so does this (College</a> of Creative Studies, UC Santa Barbara). In fact, UC Santa Barbara's CCS program might be right up your alley. Check out UC Irvines new art building and arts & technology program (Programs</a> | Claire Trevor School of the Arts)! Cool stuff. Dig into the websites, the UC system is full terrific art programs.</p>

<p>USC - Roski is interesting because you can select either BA or BFA and then create a customer dual program to suit your goals (dual art with tech, art with film, art with journalism, etc etc.). They let you specialize in whatever you want. Great professors, nice people, good program. (Edit: Dual (Design Media + Film) = movie special effects = very hot major!)</p>

<p>I like all those AP's you've taken and nice shooting on the SAT! Work hard the next few months on your portfolio, it will be very important in your applications. Good luck!</p>


<p>I've gone to plenty of portfolio reviews to know that manga/anime is like the kiss of death for any art applicant, unless you can challenge Miyazaki. The only time anime/manga is suitable is if you're applying to an Anime major at an art school. Any academic college/university with an art department (UCLA, USC, Yale, etc.) will look for portfolios that are very structured and exude fundamental figurative and realistic drawings. This is because they typically have one art major which is Fine Art- not digital media, illustration, etc. However, these school will make an exception for beautifully done conceptual work. Conceptual pieces are realistic with some kind of abstract quality and reveal the artist. This, obviously, does not include anime/manga. </p>

<p>I can tell you're one of those students whose parents say UC's or nothing. It's a very frustrating situation. Your GPA/SAT are good enough to get into probably any UC without the additive art supplement. If illustration/anime/manga is your passion but your parents will not let you pursue it, than you always have the option of taking art classes at a nearby art college/university while in college. This will allow you to build up your portfolio so if you do decide to attend an art school or even transfer to the fine art major at a UC, you will be able to. If you get into UCLA for a non-art major you can take classes at Otis or Parsons.</p>

<p>hey don't laugh at manga kids. Miyazaki aren't that respectable either if you count how many times little girls' underwear were shown when breeze lifting skirt in his early works.
I can smell bit of magnet school elitism hem, come back and post again after you finish reading pile of Ikuemi Ryou.
Beauty of young mind is there is nothing they can't do from here on, now, this moment, every time they think about it a - new.
OP might not get in UCLA art, so is pretty much every art kids with shoo in stats and port ( this means you! ) LA kingpin's D is a photo girl and he is a photo heli dad, turf could be bit different.
I can not make OP do realist still life and figure, goody goody photo copy works Asian SAT 2300 plus have been doing since they were toddlers (no offense, because OP stated self is an Asian, and I am Asian who sold soul to graphite)
Only couple more month left to go till the game starts. But couple month could make biiiggg difference. I have seen it happen and as a manga lover, I love underdogs, fairly tales, miracle, and of course karma and justice defeating evil doer, hard work prevailing, tortoise winning hare, fat girl get skinny and become prom queen.</p>

<p>Bears all love for manga aside, it is true that it is not a good idea to use it in a portfolio. It's not about elitism, it is just the name of the game. The schools want to see work that moves beyond single line drawings, generally they want to see a range of ability in a range of styles.</p>

<p>Sorry a little sleepy, I don't suppose a range of ability would be what they want to see. A high level of ability in a range of styles and/or styles that show proficiency working with materials, shadowing, lines (but not flat, please not manga). The point is to get into the school, it's not worth it to throw that possibility aside because you LOVE doing manga.</p>

<p>I do agree, in fact I think Maus as well as a couple of the Japanese animations derived from manga are actual works of art, I don't agree necessarily with the art school/department rejection of such drawings but my suspicion is that they were inundated at some point with a deluge kitschy big eyed faux manga drawings hence the reaction against things that appear at first glance to be "manga." And certainly Spiegelman as well as some of the Japanese artists are adept at drawing as well as story line which is quite a feat.</p>

<p>I think I better clear this up
I am not saying OP should go bring in big eyed funny haired posed size zero characters. If s/he were to go for art programs with portfolio requirement or supplement, s/he 'd better off crank up something traditional and no "manga" in these few month, since OP said OK with basic academic drawing skill.
smart kid s/he is, should be able to find out what we all are recommending here.
There is another pararell thread about port with good advices in it.
Or maybe decide not to do portfolio, and take art class on side at schools after get in. I don't know. I can not make or tell off OP what to do. We don't know what OP is capable or how parents would go for any change of plans, like private schools, OOS, art schools, even.</p>

<p>Here is for defense of manga. I don't quite get from where to where is manga, graphic novels, sequential art what not in US but to me, "Tintin" is manga ( BEAUTIFUL line drawing never off perspective) "MAUS" is manga ( won Pulitzer prize) "Akira" is manga ( talking about shadows?) "Little Nemo" is manga ( art history anyone?) " Persepolis" is manga ( international relations?) some Ukiyoe are manga (do you know that?)
I have talked to few academic art folks admitted " I just could not follow format, I wish I could, though"
I suppose all who are against of medium are just incapable of appreciating certain format, not what it contains since all mangas are not created equal, so are any fine arts in any period of history.
Van Gogh was laughed at, so was Monet, so was Cezanne. Matisse now has show at MoMA during his "confused" period that you can't even get in withouit timed ticket.
"Manga" is just waiting its time to shine, hehehehe</p>

<p>some Ukiyoe are manga
Yes, I did know that they were actually not "fine art" and the other thing I find interesting is that they are often lauded by professors not in the know for their subtle soft colors when in fact they were quite garish and colorful and have just faded over time. Also they were as I understand it, produced in large studio settings, just as Murikama (sic?) does his pieces. Some people were masters at cutting just one certain kind of line on the original wood cut as I understand it so it was "factory" work albeit at a super high level of skill.</p>

<p>gawd you are quick! I was fixing grammar and contradicting use of word. why don't I see them bad until show up in blue nice font?</p>

<p>sad, isn't it. Mr. Spiegelman was in rage I think he still is little bit, he reminded me of Rothko when I saw him in person. Hope he stays healthy.</p>