COMD3633, Advanced Strategies in Illustration, SP20

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  • Hacking Art Education with Illustrator Noah Bradley
  • #59487

    Sara Gómez Woolley

    Hello Class

    For this week I’d like you guys to watch the following interview with concept art / sci fi Illustrator Noah Bradley. It might seem a bit insane to be talking about “What’s the Point of Art School?” right now. … BUT, 1) The schools he is referencing are not the kind of school you are attending, and 2) The kind of learning he is suggesting in the interview, is something that you all have access to right now.

    Listen to the interview. Do you agree?

    Are there pieces of advice you can take away from it that may help you launch your own careers?


    Listening to the interview, I agree with what Noah Bradley is saying about not going to art school. Before, I used to worry about not going to an art school like Pratt or Parsons. However, looking at it now, I’m glad that I didn’t. Had I actually go to an art school, not only would I be in debt (which is already bad enough), but I wouldn’t get the proper learning experience that I would personally need for my career as an illustrator and animator.

    Noah Bradley mentions that college is now a training of personality instead of a training of career, which I know it’s true. Ever since I started college, I have been learning more and more about who I am as an artist and a person in general. It’s also important to have personality in your art because without it, the art would just be empty no matter how beautiful it is. Noah also mentions that he chose art because it would challenge him for the long haul and it wouldn’t be easy. He adds that his art would never be “perfect” no matter how good he gets, which is something that all artists have to remember. Life is not perfect, so art shouldn’t be perfect either.

    One advice that Noah gave to his students is: “Don’t just do the work that you’re assigned in class. Do your own work all the time.” He points out that the works that you do for class alone is not going to get you very far in your career. The art that you create outside of class and on your own time is what’s going to make a difference. According to Noah, it shows that you care about it and that you’re passionate about creating art. I’m taking away this advice because right now, I feel like I’m not doing enough personal work. What I realized is that I have to be my own “boss” in order to work in this profession. I have to assign myself the work, make a schedule for myself, and just put myself out there.


    Henry Zeng

    While I was listening to this interview it reminded me of a time when I questioned why I was going to college in the first place. As someone who wasn’t offered art classes because most of the public schools were focused on STEM, I questioned whether it was worth it to continue my education or would it be better to just learn from the internet. I think taking classes has given me an opportunity to explore my style and develop technique, but not really on the business side of things. I’m glad this classes exists otherwise I would probably have no idea what I need to do to get myself out there.

    An advice that Noah Bradley made was: step away from client work and do some of your own work. We won’t always be doing work we love but we are still allowed to visit the things we do, which serves as a reminder of what we’re working for. I think another point that I have been hearing a lot recently is not being ashamed of having a day job to support yourself while doing art on the side. As long as deadlines are met, sidetracking a little shouldn’t hurt.


    Henry Zeng


    One advice that Noah gave to his students is: “Don’t just do the work that you’re assigned in class. Do your own work all the time.”

    This is something I struggle with in the past and sort of wish I knew going into COMD. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that I had to get better in terms of technique and conceptualization but never found enough willpower to do it until recently. If there’s any positives to take away from this quarantine it is that we have more time to work on our craft.



    ‘Noah Bradley mentions that college is now a training of personality instead of a training of career” from first hand experience I dealt with both. I do find training of personality much more fun and I tend to put my all when i get to decided how I want to tackle the assignment and put my own creative design to the task. But there are times where I have a hard time not knowing how to express myself the way I want too, which results in a design I am not proud of or end up having to change my whole design. From training of career I learn the structure of how company want to market their product and how every company normally follow the same structure because if you don’t you end up with a bad design. Although I times I wouldn’t mind breaking free from those structure and try something new to spice up the design. Sometimes I just want to break the rules and see what comes out of it.


    Jennifer Chung

    I do somewhat agree with what Noah is stating how it is a waste of time and money to go to an art school because they don’t teach us about business and becoming a great artist. There is a lot of amazing artists who did not graduate or go to an art school. I thought about transferring to SVA because that is what I hear from most people how it is a great experience. It sounds good on paper but it’s very expensive and ridiculous how some people judge you for not getting into art school. I’ve asked many people for advice and most of them said the who is hiring you don’t care what college you went to or your GPA they don’t care about your portfolio and skills. I agree 100%, but I think art school is a great way to network and may have a better opportunity than a regular college. This interview was done in 2014, school systems have changed. If you want to become a great artist, you have to put in the work yourself most of your great art piece of are done by you not what other people have told you to make, you cant depend on college to you a better artist. At least for my college it teaches us how the real world works in terms of getting into business, how freelancing works, promoting yourself, helping with portfolios, and networking. I found it interesting how Noah said he rather see a crappy art that is meaningful than a beautiful art piece that has none. In my head, I stress myself to make a really good art piece but without any meaning, I guess I can see how people would not care and then it’s just there for aesthetics. I also agree with how he said people are afraid to put their art out there because your art is so personal and that comes from you. Sometimes when I ask my friends who are not artist about my art and they give me the advice to change this or they don’t like that or maybe try this, I get a little offended because I think to myself that are wrong because they aren’t artist which is why I only trust my professor and classmates but then I reconsider that this is an outside view perspective and that I should listen and maybe reconsider their opinions.


    Jennifer Chung

    @melissamarion I agree with you how Noah mentions that college is now training of personality instead of training of career. Because most of the assignments, you work on your own and you find your own style but when it comes to like working with a group it’s hard to pull apart the directions and come up with a good concept and so you end up with a bad design.



    I agree with Noah Bradley that art schools aren’t like it was before. I feel like art schools use to be a great way to learn to be an artist but as time past and technology increased that has changed. However, art schools does help students now because we have more ways to get more work done but he also has a point that art schools make certain students go in debt. I also personally feel like art school has rise up to make a college to be a great way to network. For instance, since we have social media and technology, people are able to communicate with other artist and also share ideas. Back then it was harder to network with other artist due to the lack of technology but now with instant emails and text messages. Networking is at its highest.


    Ashli Barker

    After listening to the interview, I found myself agreeing with Noah Bradley and his stance on not going to art school unless you have a scholarship or parents with money. When I was in high school, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life and then my senior year crept up on me like a thief in the night, so I just decided to go with art since it was the one thing I liked doing. I knew my family didn’t have art school money and I was worried to death of being in debt the rest of my life since being an artist isn’t exactly a huge money-making job. I ended up going into a 2-year art program at a community college before transferring to City Tech last year and I’m glad I did. There are many other cost-effective ways of learning art and there are great artists who started off doing other careers. Networking is key.


    Andre Green

    I re watched the interview and his perspective was that art school is so expensive and after you graduate, after all those years you spend in school learning art, from an artistic perspective you really don’t know what to create. You have to learn to make time to do your own personal work because you are more passionate and love your own work than the work you are commisssion to or the work that you have to do in class. Always network with people so that you can get your artwork out there to people.

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