Art Center College of Design Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?


I would tell myself to look into academic classes that you could take at a junior college that will fulfill Art Centers' requirements. It is uneccesary to complete your Associates Degree. Art Centers' academics are very unique and specific to the school. Much of what you will complete for your AA will not pass over to Art Centers' programs as they are not like other 4 year colleges/univerisities. Constantly draw, it is crucial that you develope a good sketching technique to be competitive in school. Lastly, take your time. Allow yourself to fully develope a good sketching technique and to be mentally prepared for what you're getting yourself into. Art Centers' program is not something to tread lightly and will become very time consuming and mentally exhausting. So, with that said, develope good time managament skills. Getting things done most efficiently with whatever time you have will be your best chance at staying on point and not falling behind. Ultimately, it will deem your success as a student and a designer in the future.


College is a privelege and an incredible experience that everyone deserves to participate in, however not everyone appreciates the value of an education enough to pursue it wholeheartedly. Especially my past self, who I will now explain about all of her former mistakes. First of all a strong work ethic is key to surviving the first stages of college. Understand that procrastination is a way of sabotaging yourself and your future. It is important to approach any school project with dilligence from the very beginning as hard work builds upon itself and will make your future assignments easier. Don't fritter away free time with pointless pursuits like watching television and surfing the web. It's also important, however to take the ocassional break to and to socialize. Try to approach new people and make connections with people that are different from your personality. Meeting diverse group of people is emotionally and spirtually fulfilling and will give you contacts for the future. Finally in school projects, you need to take some risks and realize that they may not always pay off. Don't let people dissuade you from pursuing your passion, you can find a job that you love.


If I had to choose one word to describe myself as a high school senior it would be "scared." Back then, a lot of things scared me, but most of all I was afraid of what my peers thought of me. While most of my classmates had found their social niche and were reasonably sure of themselves by senior year, I couldn't even summon the courage to ask a date to the prom. Though I had a few close friends and had some fun in high school, I regrettably missed countless opportunities to meet new people and have new experiences. In college I've discovered that even some of the most confident, successful people I've met have some of the same insecurities that I do. With their help, I've learned how to take risks, try new things and meet new people in spite of my fear. As a result, my life today is infinitely more exciting and fulfilling than it was in high school. So if knew then what I know now, I would tell myself that there is nothing to be afraid of. Or, in the words of Buddy Holly, just "go ahead and ask her."


Apply fafsa dear.


I have given this topic quite a bit of thought over the last few years and despite my better judgment, there are several things I would like to tell my younger self. First off I would tell him not to waste his first four years of collage getting a degree in youth ministry, and instead follow his heart and go to school for design. I am sure my younger self would me confused by this as all the people in his life would be pushing him toward seminary. I would assure him that if he skipped going to seminary he could come out of the closet four years earlier and save himself a lot of heartache. I would tell him to get out of Arkansas as soon as possible there is nothing there for him but bad memories. I would also warn him about the dangers of credit card debt, but I am not sure he would listen, that one might have to be lived to learn. But, more than anything I would assure him that as long as he is open to it, no matter what he chooses to do, love it out there and it will find him.


I would tell myself that Industrial Design is the major that I should go directly into and not waste my time in any other field. I would counsel myself to take as many art classes as I could, be more curious, read more about what technologies are coming out, question everything, and invest in Google! I would tell myself to sell the Mustang and get that Corolla now to save money on gas. I would tell myself to not take any of my future girlfriends too seriously because they are all not the one for you. I would tell myself to cook more and not rely on fast food and restaurants so much. The most important thing I would tell myself though is to never worry because everything has a solution and that fear ruins all experiences and maybe even my success.


I would tell past-self to really invest his time into his school work and to save up money. Set a goal, plan the next few years out, and to work hard to reach that goal. Time is going to fly and people you are going to be in class with are going to be competing to be the best and that's what you need to do. Also you should travel more, try new foods, and cherish your family. Follow your dreams, don't be lazy, sleep early, wake up early, and stay healthy.


I would loved to have been able to give myself advice while I was in high school. The first piece of advice I would give myself would be to apply for as many as humanly possible since I will have to pay for school on my own, and to research now what college courses are necessary to take in order to transfer into the school of my dreams much sooner than imagined!


You're lost. I am revisiting myself at the kitchen table as I hold the rejection letter from University of California, Los Angeles. Due to the tuition for Art Center, you hesitated to apply. Now, community college. Who I am now sits besides you. Look, everything you did in high school was right, at least for you. You took the most challenging classes that Walnut had to offer. President of clubs. Decent grades. You were even lucky enough to find your passion creating editorial graphics in yearbook and winning national awards. Your name is even permanently attached to the school's academic hall of fame. Sure, it seems like all the hard work has gone to waste. I know. Because all you're looking at is a rejection letter. Your plan b? Community college. Take it as it is. If there's one thing I can advise you now is to attempt feeling happier for that rejection letter, because you are where you're suppose to be. Your college life isn't going to be something imaginable because the school I go to now is unlike any other. Above all else, continue to work hard and everything good will follow.


Visit the places you are interested in and develope a range in cultural explorations so that you can better realize exactly what and where it is you see yourself developing.


Draw draw draw! The more you do the better the designer you'll become. To develop an eye for appealing shapes and beautiful forms takes time; the sooner you address this the greater your design aesthetics will become. Define your goals and start working towards them right now. Find out your weaknesses and eliminate them as you go along. Learn to take criticism and ask for advice from those you look up to. Learn to look outside of your own field for inspiration. Read about everything from fashion to product design to photography. Learn to think about what you design; put reasoning behind all your design decisions. Learn to manage your time. There's a time for work and a time for play. And a time for sleep. A tired, unispired designer is not what you want to be. Be pleasant. Be clean. Be productive. Nobody want to work with annoying, messy, useless people. Be you. Originality is not easy to achieve. And you need all of the above before you can strive for it. But once you do, worlds will open that you never knew existed. Life's good by default. Try to keep it that way.