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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You're not quite ready- it's VERY competitive there.
Practice your guts out...
I was scared to death on the ride up there, just from seeing the informational booklet that they sent me. After touring campus, and meeting with a few professors, I was calmed a tad.
I know how cut-throat they are there, but when ever the anxiety creeps up on me about not being good enough to get in, I think about what one of the main admissions officers said "As long as you show a basic knowledge in art, and a strong will to learn and progress, you still have strong chances at getting in. Because we have professors that take you from drawing stick figures to beating Rembrandt at his own game."
I have a binder of over 100 "2D" drawings from my freshman year of highschool, these drawings posted here are a HUGE step up, lol.
 

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I applied to Art Center College of Design (similar to CSS) using work similar to what I've posted on these boards and they didn't accept me. I could have gotten in though, they made recommendations on what they wanted to see and let me send another portfolio (apparently I didn't have enough marker renderings), but at that time I had decided that the nearly $250k in costs was simply not worth it.

I hate to say it but I think you will realize this too, unless of course you have access to the small fortune required to graduate from one of these schools, and have the drive to finish at the top of your class in order to get those few car design jobs. I know plenty of people with amazing skills who still couldn't get car design jobs after graduating, and ended up designing everything from toys to ATVs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I have seen a few Transpo. Design Portfolios, and one of them isn't much better than what I am doing. But all the others are AMAZING! Again, I try to keep motivated by what I was told (stated above). The nice thing about CCS is that the automakers come and critique/assist students, and usually after they graduate they either intern or work for the company that they came into contact with at CCS.
Plus CCS only runs about $34k a year.
 

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>>"I know how cut-throat they are there."<<
Do you? When I was there, CCS only graduated about 1 in 10 admitted freshmen.
So first you have to get in, then you have to get through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
>>"I know how cut-throat they are there."<<
Do you? When I was there, CCS only graduated about 1 in 10 admitted freshmen.
So first you have to get in, then you have to get through.
I didn't know the statistic, but I did know that they try (really hard) to break you so that they can separate the strong from the weak.
 

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I applied and was accepted to Art Center based on my portfolio and not my experience. I concentrated on math/science in high school because I was so "smart" and that's what everyone expected. Yet in my free time I always played with my Matchbox cars and Lego and designed houses and doodled cars. I never recognized my innate design abilities, despite (or because?) my father and uncle were Art teachers and there was a strong family history in art/design.

I was so determined, yet did not have any material for a portfolio, that I signed up for some art classes at a local college. After two semesters of night school, I felt I was prepared enough. My portfolio consisted of some pencil renderings of cars but I also included other work to show an overall design asthetic, including some sculpture and other challenging projects (eg: I designed and built a scale model of a lounge chair made entirely from one piece of 4x8 plywood-no screws/nails/glue).

IMO these schools aren't looking for someone who can execute line drawings of cars (that's what they will teach you!). They want to see someone with a raw talent, a sense of design, that "je ne sais quoi", that they can mold into the next class of designers.

I don't think you should be discouraged - instead consider it an ultimate challenge. Networking is a good tool (I corresponded with Chuck Jordan). Perhaps you could seek guidance from an art/design instructor at a junior college to help you prepare? Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I applied and was accepted to Art Center based on my portfolio and not my experience. I concentrated on math/science in high school because I was so "smart" and that's what everyone expected. Yet in my free time I always played with my Matchbox cars and Lego and designed houses and doodled cars. I never recognized my innate design abilities, despite (or because?) my father and uncle were Art teachers and there was a strong family history in art/design.

I was so determined, yet did not have any material for a portfolio, that I signed up for some art classes at a local college. After two semesters of night school, I felt I was prepared enough. My portfolio consisted of some pencil renderings of cars but I also included other work to show an overall design asthetic, including some sculpture and other challenging projects (eg: I designed and built a scale model of a lounge chair made entirely from one piece of 4x8 plywood-no screws/nails/glue).

IMO these schools aren't looking for someone who can execute line drawings of cars (that's what they will teach you!). They want to see someone with a raw talent, a sense of design, that "je ne sais quoi", that they can mold into the next class of designers.

I don't think you should be discouraged - instead consider it an ultimate challenge. Networking is a good tool (I corresponded with Chuck Jordan). Perhaps you could seek guidance from an art/design instructor at a junior college to help you prepare? Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
Excuse me, but would you happen to be my twin? My grandpa was an artist, and his job was adding art to the books and leaflets produced by Our Sunday Visitor...

I took engineering classes the past 3 years, and everybody figured that I would do that, but I have always loved cars. I would always doodle cars and houses, I have even tried my hand at cruise ships, I have over 400 matchbox/hot wheels. Also, I have been in contact with a lady at GM who works at the Tech Center, and I'm hoping that she could let me talk the ear off of a designer, and get some help with my artwork.
I signed up for ceramics, and a digital art class this year, and am planning on adding some of those pieces into my portfolio. I have talked with my admissions counselor, and she thinks that I am on the right track, and she showed me some examples, and gave me some suggestions, which is a great help. I have a few more things to try, then I wil start final work on my portfolio.

And to add about them trying to break students during their freshman year, I'm just the kind of stubborn person where that would p*** me off soo much that I will do anything to prove them wrong.
 

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In hindsight, I don't think Art Center was trying to "break" anyone. The deadlines for final projects were seemingly impossible, but the "all-nighters" were more about teaching dedication and commitment than trying to weed out the weak. It was an exhilarating time in which I learned much about the design industry as well as myself.
 

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Excuse me, but would you happen to be my twin? My grandpa was an artist, and his job was adding art to the books and leaflets produced by Our Sunday Visitor...
BTW, my maternal grandfather used to paint billboards (before they were printed/wallpapered on) and taught me about the grid system - which I used to paint the Coca-Cola emblem and the Thunderbird logo on my bedroom wall. My paternal great-grandfather was a furniture designer/builder. My brother has some of his original designs for what would be considered Victorian-style furnishings. Very cool. Supposedly, he won a gold medal at the Pan American Expo in Buffalo in 1901. I just wish I could locate some of his pieces.
 

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The course aside, in my humble opinion (and after all, who the heck am I) I'd advise to ditch the ruler, you've taken an engineers approach to design, which frankly misses the point to a large degree. Your drawings need more flow and individuality, get a car magazine, sit a piece of paper over a larger photo and trace the wheels, mark out the headlights and maybe the windows and roof height, this helped me a lot in getting ideas on perspective when first taking on 3D. Keep at it, stretch your abilities and try new methods, and most importantly unhook from the ruled lines and give the drawings some soul and go beyond approaching the task as drawing a 'car' find inspiration in nature/art/engineering/anywhere. Judge my experience as you will, but pay more attention to the drawings, I've drawn pages of basically random lines, just to test how certain intersections etc might work you have to get more detailed and more inspired... think Sydney Opera house, not local school hall. Also, try extremes, draw a very aggressive supercar, and a humble people mover, then try an aggressive people mover and a humble supercar.

This is about as arty and hippie as I get by the way.
 

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The course aside, in my humble opinion (and after all, who the heck am I) I'd advise to ditch the ruler, you've taken an engineers approach to design, which frankly misses the point to a large degree. Your drawings need more flow and individuality, get a car magazine, sit a piece of paper over a larger photo and trace the wheels, mark out the headlights and maybe the windows and roof height, this helped me a lot in getting ideas on perspective when first taking on 3D. Keep at it, stretch your abilities and try new methods, and most importantly unhook from the ruled lines and give the drawings some soul and go beyond approaching the task as drawing a 'car' find inspiration in nature/art/engineering/anywhere. Judge my experience as you will, but pay more attention to the drawings, I've drawn pages of basically random lines, just to test how certain intersections etc might work you have to get more detailed and more inspired... think Sydney Opera house, not local school hall. Also, try extremes, draw a very aggressive supercar, and a humble people mover, then try an aggressive people mover and a humble supercar.

This is about as arty and hippie as I get by the way.
couldn't agree with this more. I agree so much in fact I don't know what else to say. One thing I may suggest, find a school or program with Industrial Design. It's a very broad design field, but still is a gateway to automotive design, but it also provides a better backup option just incase it doesn;t work. I personally entered college wanted to do cars. My dad, grandfather, and his dad have all worked for GM. But the more you look into it, the harder you realize it is to get into the auto design field.. and the ID programs will open your mind and get you thinking outside of the car box, which in turn will help your drawings, designing, and thinking regardless of what it is you do.. including cars.
 

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One exercise we used to do was '60-second' car sketches (which is literally what is says)- great for 'loosening one up' and developing fluidity. As a perfectionist, those were an eye-opener for me. A lot of professional design sketches are quite loose, sometimes to the point you wonder what a manufacturer 'gets' out of them, but it's one more step in the long process that results in a production design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
One exercise we used to do was '60-second' car sketches (which is literally what is says)- great for 'loosening one up' and developing fluidity. As a perfectionist, those were an eye-opener for me. A lot of professional design sketches are quite loose, sometimes to the point you wonder what a manufacturer 'gets' out of them, but it's one more step in the long process that results in a production design.
That is kind of what I do before I draw these, they take longer than 60 seconds, but they aren't detailed at all, they give me the basic sape, and an idea, then I draw the ones shown here.
 

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I also agree with the Industrial Design suggestion as it gives a better grounding in the overall aim of design, both form and function as it were, and in designing cars I'm sure there's a lot pressure from engineer and designers on each other to make compromise, just as architecture and engineers would have to in building... throw in a marketing department and resource/budget restrictions and you have to start thinking very carefully about the repercussions of particular ideas.

Keep at it, and post up some new pictures. Even give the aforementioned 60 second sketch a go, I might even do the same too and we can compare notes.

I have my university preferences submitted for this year and find out soon what I can get into, Industrial Design is too far down the list and I'm likely to get something before it in my list (not sure how it works in the US though)... but it is a sort of lost dream of mine (to design cars) that I never really had the talent to pursue. So I admire your position and hope you really step up to the game and make some great contributions in the future.

I'm ranting on now... but one thing that I found helpful is ditch the family car drawings just for a while, I always used to draw production sort of cars, and they end up looking too much like copies from existing models, try drawing a car just for yourself, one that you're friends would say 'what the heck is that, wow!' (my friends aren't civil enough to say 'heck'). Supercars, coupes, muscle cars are good fun and then you can apply new methods you've obtained to smaller or more practical cars. The cars that I've posted on here that have got horrid feedback are the ones I've learnt most from you have to push the boundaries and gauge reaction as you go. The world doesn't need anymore Camarys, you can be sure that the others involved in putting a design on the road will water it down for you, so I believe it's the designers role to somewhat push the envelop and then agree to compromise where they have to.

The reason I show so much interest is because the design of one of my future cars might very well be one of yours. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I also agree with the Industrial Design suggestion as it gives a better grounding in the overall aim of design, both form and function as it were, and in designing cars I'm sure there's a lot pressure from engineer and designers on each other to make compromise, just as architecture and engineers would have to in building... throw in a marketing department and resource/budget restrictions and you have to start thinking very carefully about the repercussions of particular ideas.

Keep at it, and post up some new pictures. Even give the aforementioned 60 second sketch a go, I might even do the same too and we can compare notes.

I have my university preferences submitted for this year and find out soon what I can get into, Industrial Design is too far down the list and I'm likely to get something before it in my list (not sure how it works in the US though)... but it is a sort of lost dream of mine (to design cars) that I never really had the talent to pursue. So I admire your position and hope you really step up to the game and make some great contributions in the future.

I'm ranting on now... but one thing that I found helpful is ditch the family car drawings just for a while, I always used to draw production sort of cars, and they end up looking too much like copies from existing models, try drawing a car just for yourself, one that you're friends would say 'what the heck is that, wow!' (my friends aren't civil enough to say 'heck'). Supercars, coupes, muscle cars are good fun and then you can apply new methods you've obtained to smaller or more practical cars. The cars that I've posted on here that have got horrid feedback are the ones I've learnt most from you have to push the boundaries and gauge reaction as you go. The world doesn't need anymore Camarys, you can be sure that the others involved in putting a design on the road will water it down for you, so I believe it's the designers role to somewhat push the envelop and then agree to compromise where they have to.

The reason I show so much interest is because the design of one of my future cars might very well be one of yours. :)
My brother said the same thing, he was telling me to make something that I wanted GM brands to do, not me conform to what they have now.

And trust me, I will not make a Camry or current gen. Impala. That would be too cruel for the world, and I hate bland.

I love my car beyond anything else (except family) and I want people to feel what I feel about their cars. Not just use them like an appliance (Toyota's). I want to bring back a relationship between owners and their cars. Let them have some pride, without having to own a supercar.
 

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Work on contour, proportion and perspective. The sketches are too isometric.

There is no special skill anyone needs to draw. Anyone can produce a mark with charcoal. Most can make the correct observations. You have to bother to make all those observations though and get it right. That's the only skill. Care enough to get it right. Intensive training in drawing classes will help.

Good teachers make a big difference. I had been self taught in drawing when I took my first figure drawing class and realized how slow and backward I was. Get the overall shape the "gesture" first. The quick "warmup" sketches are really valuable as said above. I'm a huge hypocrite here as I haven't drawn anything since the college classes I had to take. Other than logo and layout sketches. I'm a graphic designer, btw.
 

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Photoshop took me from side on sketches to 3/4 renderings, they're not great but it did take my drawings up a notch, consider a drawing program, I have Photoshop CS which is the same program used to design stone henge, but nonetheless it is easy to use and I think the results are more fluid than what I've seen from people using GIMP and the likes.

Photoshop CS must be cheap these days, and I can't recommend it enough (to get a hang of CGI, it has an arty focus more than the technical side of AutoCAD) it taught me ALOT, proportions mainly and it was a lot of fun dusting off an old side-on drawing and turning it into a rendering with depth and colour, also it makes it easy to make big changes and save different directions.

Get some more pictures up please, the recent comps have flopped, so we need some more artistic traffic on this site. I'm going to start something today and put it up as a competition. I'll put it in the comp' thread but a mod might boot it back to readers talent.

:bounce:
 
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