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Where is everbuddy??

by snaggle at 10:03 PM on August 14, 2001

Wowzers — itís been four whole days since anyoneís posted. I wonder where everyone else is? I have no freaking clue. Mg hasnít even logged in for six whole days. If any of you are in the New York City area, you may want to drop by and make sure heís not dead or anything. I gave him a call earlier tonight but no one was there. Did the ex-girlfriend kill him? Was it the jealous ex-boyfriend? Or perhaps mgís roving eye finally has done him in! Find out on the next episode of... Bad Samaritan Theatre!!

Oh, wait. Wrong. No matter how much our lives may feel like one, this isnít a soap opera. Shit.

So I have a question for all of you. We give you Bad Advice (well, I suppose we havenít given you any in a while... oops) and, often, you give us good advice. (Just goes to show who should actually be writing for this site. I have a scenario for all of you.

Letís say youíre a twenty-one year old student in the middle of Iowa, studying an odd combination of graphic design, philosophy, and computer science. Youíve just recently decided not to be a moron and attempt to triple-major in all of those and decide to instead pursue graphic design whole-heartedly with philosophy for fun. Letís add to the equation that youíre beginning a three-year program during your fourth year of school, adding up to a minimum of six years for an undergraduate degree. These six years will all be spent in Ames, Iowa — not the most happening of all places. In fact, it rather chafes. If you do anything out of the ordinary, attention is called directly to it. Just about everyone here who tries to be different ends up being a caricature of a stereotype, just because itís so difficult to be not-typical without classifying yourself as something else. As much as you can say ďJust be an individualĒ the fact is, thatís kind of hard to do. Iowa forces you to focus on who you are and what youíre doing and why youíre there. Itís difficult to just ďgo with the flow.Ē

My best friend is from Iowa and moved to New York City a few years ago and we were talking a few days ago about how much different the City is from Ames. Iíve been to NYC numerous times and visited enough big cities to know that Iím a city kid at heart; as much as the Midwestern mentality and safety and such are pleasant, the black void of anything cultural or exciting is enough to make me gnaw my own leg off so I can escape to a real town. We were talking about how I should be in the City, something I very much want to do, at least for a while once Iím out of school. The problem is, I just got accepted to the graphic design program here and thatís another three years. The program here is, actually, pretty decent. You wouldnít think so, being a líil Iowa town, but it is rather good. Thereís a good emphasis on fundamentals and not being dependant upon your computer. However, there are much better schools out there; Iíll be the first to admit this. So... we were talking about the possibility of me transferring to the School of Visual Arts in New York City. How great would that be? Of course, thereís the whole getting admitted part to everything... but letís not dwell on technicalities. I know a couple of people who go there, but I havenít gotten a chance to talk to them (three degrees of separation is sometimes hard to cross to talk to people youíve met once or twice) and Ralph over at Lacking in Emotional Content had a few not-so-kind things to say about the administration there. So, theoretically: how should this scenario play out? Should the kid stay in Iowa and be miserable for three more years, ending up with a solid education from a school in Iowa or go to New York City (provided heís admitted to the school) and go to one of the top graphic design programs in the country, while facing the possibility of being distracted by the Big City life? Or, the third option: drop out and go to Paris and open up a cheesecake shop? Whatcha all think?

comments (10)

Wow..finally a topic to which I can speak with some degree of authority.

As an SVA alum, I can wholeheartly endorse their program. I was right where you were (grantted this wa 11 years ago): should I stay in Oklahoma or go to NYC? Well for me - it wasn't too hard of a choice!

You should be prepared for the fact that your standard of living in NYC will be low...you will probably have to work as well as be in school - unless you have independent ncome. But it is SO worth it, especially at your age.

I would take what Ralph says with a grain of salt. Art students always hate the administration - they hate any type of rules and a school that requires more than smoking a fatty while laying on your back and doing sketches is bound to draw their wrath. When I was at SVA they didn't have any grades at first. You wouldn't believe how big a deal it was that they decided to start giving grades instead of evaluations. Later, We actually took over the Administration offices for a few days back in '89...I don't even remember what it was about...it was just like a, tradition.

As long as you are shooting for the big guns, apply to as many top schools as you can. Even though the $50 or $100 per application seems like a lot now, it is really worth it to have a choice. So I would definately also consider the other good NYC schools: Pratt, Parsons, and Cooper Union (the last is a long shot, but you never know.) As well as the San Francisco Art Institute, The Art Institute of Chicago,The Maryland Institute, and of course, RISD.

SVA is very expensive, but especially with graphics it will pay off, eventually. Another major and I might say go for the cheesecake shop, heh.

Really I think you owe it to yourself to at least submit the old portfolio and see what they say. It's so good to do new things while you're young.

I used to student teach at some of the CUNY schools and SUNY Purchase. If you don't happen to get in another school, and still wnat a great art education while living in the NYC area - these are not bad choices (cheap, also...after 6 months of being in school you get in-state tuition...unless they've changed it in the last decade or so...damn I'm old!)

Also one last tip. The way the admissions used to work was they really didn't give a fig about your GPA...just your grades in art classes and your portfolio.

by Charles at August 15, 2001 12:20 AM

Get your ass out of Iowa. If you're going to be stuck there that much longer, I think you may as well make a fresh start. As for your reservations about the administration of SVA, well, do you know of any GOOD college administrations?

I'd recommend going to Paris and opening a cheesecake shop, because that's what I want to do, but getting work visas as an American there is a bitch, I'm told. You could try being an under the table au pair, I suppose.

by space at August 15, 2001 12:24 AM

And here I was thinking Iowa was the party capital of the universe! No, seriously, anything you must describe so stoically as Ďa solid educationí that would cost you three years of misery is worth taking the risk to escape. In fact it might be riskier to commit to the three miserable years, considering at some point that it could just all overwhelm you and you'd end up running screaming away somewhere along the line. That is based on my experience with myself - many times I've told myself, oh I can get through this, only to find part way through I can't handle one more minute, and I do this sort of spontaneous combustion thingy in which i really blow it. But that's just me, it depends on your tolerance for misery. You've been at it three years already, what's three more? In conclusion, I'll apologize for making very little sense and having no clear point to make.

by kd at August 15, 2001 1:55 AM

Take the chance, submit your stuff and see if you get accepted. There's never a harm in trying. If you have the opportunity to get out of Iowa, take it. I mean, I've got only 623 days left till I get out, and yes, that is a legit count. I know a couple of people who studied at Pratt and enjoyed it quite a bit.

As aforementioned, you should take a look at some other areas as well. From my understanding, the San Fran area has some top notch schools. I've been to New York, great town, but hey, I've been in California for nearly 4 months and it has only rained once. Each day is 80 and sunny. Now that is pretty damn nice (though San Fran is a bit chillier and foggier than the SV).

by ruff at August 15, 2001 11:18 AM

Ah, but I've completely fallen in love with New York. I've been to a good number of big cities — Chicago, San Francisco, L.A., London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Tokyo... none compared with New York. Okay, I take that back — Paris could compare, but that's far less likely than NYC. Plus I have good friends out there who can show me the ropes and keep the little Iowa kid in check. Am I too enamored of NYC? It has the best subway system I've seen in the States, and getting around easily is important to me. Buses scare me. I love my l'il car, but I'd give him up for the NYC subway.

Although the 80 and sunny part of California is very appealling... ruff knows that that's a good way to lure me.

by snaggle at August 15, 2001 12:06 PM

if you decide on the cheesecake shop, can I volunteer for cheesecake tester? Paris is only a drive away for me.

by suey at August 15, 2001 2:28 PM

good grief, you have to ask?


you'll never regret it. never.

by bornfamous at August 15, 2001 9:29 PM

Hey Snaggle,

Ahh I want to go to the same school, but am working on some things for a school here in Texas due to the expense of going to the VA School in NY and living....hmmmm maybe we could work out a room mate thing? (haha KD Snag and I could make NY the real Iowa party capital of da world eh?)

by Pristine at August 16, 2001 12:24 AM

Make NYC the Iowa party capital? Ummm...shouldn't that just be done in, well, Iowa? Which is (apparently) already the party capital of the world? Oh well, never mind.

by kd at August 18, 2001 7:56 PM

Since I'm only a senior in high school applying to art schools right now, my advice may not be gold... but I say go for The School of Visual Arts.

I used to live in southern California. Not a bad place. Not at all, but when I moved to New York, I couldn't believe all the oppourtunities out here, concentrated into one big city. One of the great things about SVA is the internships they offer (Pixar, MTV... good stuff) and they're all at your front door if you're in Manhattan. You'd be in the middle of the universe.

Fashion Institute of Technology is another school in Manhattan that offers a graphic design major and is far more affordable, being a SUNY school.

It's funny though, because if I don't get into SVA, FIT, or RISD, I was thinking of finding work in Paris.

by Marlie Jane at December 11, 2001 9:30 PM

comments are closed