Well, it has been a long four years at Kendall, and even longer for my BA Degree, but at long last it will finally be over! I will be receiving my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Illustration in May, and let me tell you I could not be happier.
Now the scary part begins: what the heck do I do with this fancy degree? Freelancing doesn't require it, and most art jobs are more to do with experience and portfolio. Did I waste my money? NO! Going to KCAD was one of the best decisions of my life. The experience and companionship, hardships and joys that KCAD brought me are irreplaceable, and I will certainly miss it.
I am more than ready to move on though. I keep hearing this rumor that once you graduate, there's this magical time where you can *gasp* make your OWN ART! Obviously I won't be ready to quit my day job right away and just sell drawings and do commissions, but hopefully with a lot of hard work that day will come sooner rather than later. So shameless plug, I'm taking commissions
Some things I learned at KCAD:
All time is valuable. Cherish it and use it for things that will make you happy.
Do not Art for free, but ascribe value to many things, including hugs. There is something to be said for doing something just because you want to make someones day.
Illustration is a business. It is not a lazy man's career, and do not go into it if all you want to do is make pretty pictures all day. Making pretty pictures will earn you praise, not money. Make pretty pictures with the knowledge that this picture will help you move forward in some way.
Learn something every day. Draw something every day. These are just reiterations of a more basic concept: DO SOMETHING. The more you do, the more you draw, the more you learn, the more you are.
Printers are bitches.
A drawing is never done, but it is finished when it needs to be turned in. Once its turned in, move on to the next one, don't look back except to remind yourself of mistakes.
Peer Critique as often as possible. Just like its hard to see if you parked like a jerk until you get out of the car, its hard to see the mistakes in the drawing until after its sent in.
Find honest friends. If you do, let me know, as I have few.
Sometimes its okay to ride the elevator up 1 floor.
Walk like the devil is riding a bike behind you. If you know what this means, you've been doing this for years now.
Never let anyone look down on you. It doesn't matter what position they hold, bosses or teachers, hold your ground on what you believe.
Complain often. Today, we seem to get nothing done unless enough people complain about it.
And the last, best thing I can say for anyone wanting to be an artist: Draw every day. Do not skip a day to play video games, or because you are sick, or because you just don't feel like it. Drawing is pure creation. It is the lifeblood of any artist. Keep it up and you will become great!