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SO for my final for sound design 1 we had to recreate the sounds and voices for a movie scene of our choosing. Me and my group did Big Hero 6! We worked hella hard on this and had fun while doing so. Enjoy!

my little sister is 13 years old and has been running track for 4 years. all the medals in both hands are GOLD. the ones in front are bronze and silver. around her neck are national medals. she’s broken 2 AAU records this year alone for the 14 year old age division which were held by young women from Texas A&M track & field. she’s broken 3 Middle School records this year as well. she’s ranked #1 in the state of Illinois for the 100, 200, and 400m races for her age division. DaJour Miles of the Aurora Flyers.

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This is some work from a class I have this semester called inspirational art for animation. Our assignment is to take an old concept, and then re-design it in our own way. The teacher made us choose between Peter Pan, The little mermaid and Alice in wonderland.

I chose Peter Pan, and my setting is Norwegian/Scandinavian fairy tales. So the pirates are vikings, the lost boys are little trolls, and Peter is some sort of magical trickster creature. Wendy is a girl from the real world pulled in by Peter.

I’m doing a lot of character exploration and will probably post sketches here of it regularly! This will be a project I’ll be working on all semester

Art school:  Not just a “Go” or “Don’t Go” opinion...

I tend to see a lot of think pieces about art school out there that ultimately boil down to “Go because it was great for me!” or “Don’t go because it wasn’t great for me/I didn’t go and was successful” Which I think fails to take into consideration how vastly DIFFERENT each person’s personal journey is going to be.

So, first of all, PERSONALLY, art school was great for me.  It was more than I could afford, and I have a lot of debts, but I feel positive I would have never been where I am today without it.  I was 18, and in a very small town without much artistic options.  I was not physically or mentally able to move out on my own, and college provided that option.  I was very shy and withdrawn, and art school helped me blossom into who I am while simultaneously introducing me to so many people who continue to shape my life to this day (I moved to Portland to follow a friend I met in art school after spending some time visiting her).  I got my first art job through a girl I met at art school, and my second job with Disney Interactive through a show my school hosted.  I wound up substitute teaching, and then accepting a teaching position at the school I went to, due to connections I made with the professors during my frequently stressful and exhaustive stay at art school.

That said, I wouldn’t dare say that everyone SHOULD go straight off to art school if you are interested in art.  While I was lost and trying to find my way at 18, a classmate of mine from the same crappy for art town was creating amazing things, and got himself an apprenticeship with a sculptor, and wound up working his way up to a job without ever taking on a lick of debts!  His professional career had taken off well before I even figured out what style I wanted to pursue!  I’ve known plenty of other artists who went to expensive schools and dropped out after finding they could work in art jobs without any of the education, or who decided to pursue online training, and came out WAY stronger for it, and with amazing portfolios.

Now, what this states is that if you are driven, and able to focus yourself and dedicate yourself to a task, you’ve already learned a huge portion of what art school is trying to teach you, which is how to connect with other working artists and how to find and secure jobs.  Some people aren’t as initially driven, or else do NOT have access to the money and connections often needed to first even delve into this wealth of knowledge.  It’s unfortunate, but some of the people I know who had more money and could better afford art school, were also the people who were given trips to art events, and guided by family members to locations where they could learn about how to be an artist before they ever even stepped foot outside of their parent’s home.  It can be hard if you weren’t guided to this, and have to figure out on your own how to make connections.

Art school is NOT cheap.  At the very least, you’ll be taking on some 60 thousand dollars in debt if you go to school in the United States, and more likely than that, you’ll rack up a debt of 100-200 thousand dollars.  You should, of course, avoid as MUCH of this debt as humanly possible unless you already have a back up plan to pay for it.  I Only took on a debt of about 80,000 dollars, through private loans, and I struggle every month with it.  Ultimately, it’s something you should weigh:  Is the shortcut of art school financially worth the time it will shave that learning off of your life?  If you could achieve the same thing art school offers in, say, 6-10 years, rather than the 4-5 years of art school, you would still be financially ahead of people with loans.  I think to myself, however, time was worth more than money, but that is not a decision I could ever choose to make for someone else!

What you get out of art school is also subjective to a ton of variables from what school you choose to go to, to what state it’s located in, to how much work you are putting into it!  I know quite a few people who went to “easier” schools than I did who pulled better GRADES than I did, and whom can’t find work.  Your degree is worth hardly more than the paper it’s printed on, so if you’re the type to worry more about grades and your degree than what you’re getting out of the experience, you may be sourly disappointed when you exit school and find that there is no magical bridge to work waiting for you.  The journey through art school is actually quite a lot easier than the journey for work afterwards.

Most importantly, in the journey of whether or not you should go to art school, you should be asking yourself “IS THIS GOOD FOR ME” rather than “Is this good for everyone else?”  and in addition to that “Is this PARTICULAR SCHOOL good for ME?” As while maybe a decent art school in a sleepy town is A-OK for you if you’re driven to meeting people and open for the option of moving out later, you may be better suited if you pursue a school in a location where you can get plenty of great art jobs without even moving out of the city you moved to FOR school.  Plus, each and every school has different requirements, and focuses on teaching different kinds of things.  And there are also a number of art schools that are little more than money scams with several possibly wonderful teachers on the payroll.  By the time I finished art school, I had a very definite list of places I was SUPER HAPPY I had NOT gone to.

Another question, that not everyone likes to consider is also “Would I be better suited to pursuing another career and doing artwork on the side?”  On one hand, you could get a degree in something like biology, and find yourself with way more knowledge when it comes to painting the natural world, or you could get a degree in a good career field, and be more like my friend who’s a computer science major, but spends her free time painting, writing and attending extra curricular enrichment while over here I stress about whether or not I’ve taken enough work to pay rent.  I honestly think we’re both pretty happy and creative, just in entirely different ways.

Yet again, there’s no wrong answer.  It all just boils down to “What is best for YOU

So if you find yourself asking the question of “Should I go to art school?” Instead of reading one or two opinion pieces and taking THEIR opinion as your own, take your time to research the hell out of what YOU WANT out of schools while simultaneously showing off your portfolio to experienced artists who can maybe help guide you down an easier pathway.  Additionally, realize that no matter what you ultimately do, in retrospect, you will come up with a way you could have, or should have done things that would have been even BETTER, and that you can never really go back in time to re-live that other “what may have been” life.  Just make your choice, be proud of it, and work your butt off!

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Favorite Ward: AAU

AAU is more of a family than Darwin or Keller. They all have each other’s backs and there is never a cross word between them unless its on a professional level. The AAU family have been through so much this past year with Arthur’s death, Serena dealing with her mother’s alhemeziers, Fletch’s stabbing and now the re-appearance of Imelda Cousins along with Bernie’s disappearing act to Ukraine. They never let each other down.

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SOAR: An Animated Short