I recently finished my freshman year of college at the Savannah College of Art and Design and it was quite an experience. Being an art school, many people think of all kind of different things when they hear the name. Well, I can tell you that a lot of them are true. I'm majoring in film and so are a lot of other people. But then there are all the other majors there, such as, illustration, animation, sequential art, performing arts, photography, fibers, and most surprisingly, equestrian studies.
Now, with the film department at SCAD, it's perhaps more competitive than most of the other majors, not to take away from them of course. With film, however, you aren't going to learn all of it by going to class. Film majors have a Facebook bulletin board where they put up positions they need for a film shooting on the weekend. You put your name up for the job and then you're on. You can dp the film, help light it as a gaffer or grip, or even do location sound. It's a great way to help build your knowledge of film, relationships with other students, and it's practically a job, though there is no pay.
This, however, creates a bit of tension between the film majors and other majors as some film majors think that they have it harder because they have to work 12+ hours on the weekend for their major. This isn't the case. I have friends who take sequential art, who over the weekend may have to draw 300 cells for a project, which is absolutely insane. As a freshman, everyone has to take Foundations classes, which are basic design and drawing classes. These, for most students, is the worst part. I had to take a Color Theory class that involves painting and ended up with a D+ in the class because I in no way am good at painting. When we got into our major classes, it was no problem at all. Of course, you have to take a lecture class, such as English and Communications.
Now SCAD is a smaller school than most, with the undergraduate number coming in around 11,000 students. All the freshmen, which was around 2,300 maybe live in the housing area known as the Hive. The Hive was basically a little city of students with eight 4-floor dorm buildings with 16 four-person suites on each floor. It's pretty big, and the school cafe and gym are located in the Hive as well.
The big part of SCAD, or art school in general, are the people there. There are some great people, some not great people, and of course, some characters. Whether it be the kid with the puppet or the guy who practices his lightsaber training out on the field, art school has plenty of interesting faces. My suite mate was famous on campus because he was a costume designer who everyday in October made a different costume and wore it around the Hive. He would come back from class and lock his room immediately, not coming out until he finished hot glueing the last piece on.
Now, what most people I imagine want to hear is the social life at art school. Well, SCAD has gotten the acronym, Sleep Comes After Death, which I'm honestly tired of hearing at this point. Some people have said that there is no social life because you're working so long and hard that you have no time to talk, but I disagree. We only have classes Monday through Thursday, giving us Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off. There is plenty of time to hang with friends and talk with people.
Being a city campus, all the parties are held by students who live off-campus at houses within the city and at SCAD, you can live off-campus your first year. Savannah, GA is a great big city that has a nightlife that's fantastic. However, unless you have a fake ID, clubs are going to be a problem as the majority of them are 21 and over. It's a shame, but I much prefer house parties.
There's always the same people at house parties, which is great. SCAD has their own DJ who always brings his soundboard to play music. SCAD house parties are great because when the cops bust it, there's always someone there willing to throw down in the next 30 minutes. I remember one of my last weeks there, the cops shut down a party and someone yelled out their address, which was maybe a 20 minute walk. The next thing was a mass exodus from one party to the next, a huge line of maybe 45 people walking down the streets at 12 a.m. heading to another house.
Some students are really motivated to showcase their art when they may not be able to at the school. This leads to some students renting out venues for an art show, allowing their friends and any artists at the school to put up their work for people to see. These art shows are great as there is live painting, student made music, 3D designs, photography, and fashion shows. It's all great because these people are incredibly talented and inspired by their craft.
Now, I plan to probably write more about my experiences at art school to keep people informed about what goes on. It's a great place with a group of amazing and talented people. If you're thinking of attending art school, I support you and would highly recommend chasing your dreams.