During the time when I was leading animation club in college, two of our members decided to take a leap of faith into the relative unknown and enroll in art classes in Pasadena. These classes were run by an independent studio called Concept Design Academy, CDA for short, and designed to get artists up to speed with the film/animation industry skills and practices.
I followed my friends’ progresses and was impressed with what I saw. Both of my friends I had considered to be quite good before, but their improvements while they took these classes were truly remarkable. I’ve taken 2 painting classes at Cornell, but I’ve never really been formally trained in drawing or drafting.
Summer after graduation presented itself as an opportune moment to follow in their footsteps and figure out what the fuss was all about. I am a little sad that I chose to not to travel post-graduation like a number of my classmates. At the same time, I believe taking these classes was worthwhile and a good investment into my long-abandoned art education.
The three classes I took at CDA (Analytical Figure Drawing, Dynamic Sketching, Sketching for Environment) were of high quality and had regular homeworks. Some short term positives from taking these classes included much better structure and clarity in my drawings, far more exact proportions when drawing people, and visual organization techniques. Long term positives are still in play – I’ll have to really practice to make sure I make the most of my instruction.
I really enjoyed meeting so many hard working art students from all backgrounds during my time at CDA. It was such an ideal learning environment and I gained weekly inspiration and conviction from my peers to work not only harder, but smarter. It was a great experience, and I look forward to the day where I once again can take such high quality and industry-relevant art classes.