California College of the Arts

Art School Insights

Useful tips for artists, makers, students, career changers, and anyone interested in pursuing a life in art, design and writing.

Blog Feature

Animation | For Undergraduates

[email protected]: Animators as Keepers of Emotional Truth

By: Scott Cline
October 17th, 2017

If you had to choose the best Pixar characters ever, which ones would they be? Rolling Stone published its list last summer. Joy, the happiness heroine of Inside Out, was the top pick. Sweet yet determined waste-collecting robot WALL•E, Dory, the blue tang fish with an absurdly short memory, and imperious food critic Anton Ego from Ratatouille were next in line. Joy is #1 because she represents, according to the magazine, “a classic Pixar switcheroo: taking a character that's cute and fun and then letting her lead the audience to a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.” Compelling stories stem from the complexity of human behavior: spontaneous, calculated, sorrowful, hard-won. CCA’s Animation Program asks students to consider how motivation influences action. How do characters advance along story arcs? How do they grapple with identity and voice? These questions were at the heart of the [email protected]: Summer Story Intensive, a collaborative program with Pixar Animation Studios that focused on new voices in animation.

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Blog Feature

For Undergraduates | Graphic Design

Can Graphic Design Be Political?

By: Scott Cline
September 8th, 2017

When you choose an art school, you choose a creative culture influenced by the political atmosphere. You are discovering your people: contemplative, inward-looking, proactive, all of the above, or some combo. Here, in the Bay Area, where art, tech, and politics play together, our graphic design students choose to uproot conventional expression and activism. During 2017 SF Design Week, they made mail meaningful again with Postcards to the President, a project that encouraged attendees to write messages to POTUS, Vice President Pence, state reps, and local leaders.

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Blog Feature

Portfolio | For Undergraduates

4 Common Art School Portfolio Mistakes

By: Scott Cline
July 3rd, 2017

Your art portfolio plays a big role in whether or not you get into the art school of your dreams. Creating a high-quality collection of samples that showcase your abilities is the best way to increase your odds.

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Blog Feature

Graduate Programs | Portfolio | For Undergraduates

Top 10 Tips for Creating the Best Art Portfolio

By: Scott Cline
June 29th, 2017

You've decided to get serious about art school. But before you can prepare for an exciting journey that will hone your skills and push you to achieve things you never thought possible, you've got to take an important first step in the admission process: creating your portfolio.

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Blog Feature

Portfolio | For Undergraduates

How to choose which examples to include in your art portfolio

By: Noel Dahl
June 27th, 2017

For most prospective art students, one of the hardest parts of applying to school is choosing portfolio selections. We've heard many applicants worry that they don't have enough samples because they didn't focus on art in high school, or they haven't decided on one specific field of art to study.

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