Hello, my name is Ariel Wilson. I graduated from the Art Institute of California-Los Angeles, earning my Bachelors of Science in Media Arts and Animation.
When most freshmen come into college, they have the correct attitude of wanting to succeed in their choice of field and accomplish their goals. One thing that some students neglect to do is acknowledge that they cannot be afraid to fail. Being afraid to fail brings doubt in your abilities in your craft. Whatever the subject is, doubt/fear can be a very destructive effect on one’s capabilities. The fear of failing also will cause anyone not to try and reach out past their comfort zone. With this, one cannot be successful in anything they do.
My experience transitioning from high school to college was very swift. After I graduated, I began three weeks at the Art Institute. I quickly had to get my priorities in check if I didnt’t want fear to overcome my passion for the arts. I definitely suggest to go get a planner, paper, post-its, etc. and make a schedule of all the work that needs to be completed for each course. All of my classes were four hours long; therefore each class was jammed-packed of about a week’s worth of work. Mind you that these are animation classes, so everything is visual learning versus picking up a textbook and studying from there. However long I thought it took to do my work, it always took twice or three times as long to complete it up to professional standards. Personally, I like to write out the time and how many hours it will take for a portion of a project; but feel free to schedule to your own working abilities. Lastly on this note, try to be as realistic as possible with yourself in scheduling and not overload yourself. Don’t be afraid of taking challenges and risks when it comes to choosing a course and your work. Persevere and give your all even when you fail a course. All you have to do is keep all previous notes from the failed course, learn from your mistakes, change your learning and studying techniques, and obviously retake the course. For example, I had a course called Material and Lighting, and I failed. The information was a lot to take in for eleven weeks and I obviously needed more time to grasp the concept of this new information. Of course I was upset and beat myself up for letting myself down, but I could not stay in that state of mind or else I could not move on to trying again and understanding the material. I received tutoring, asked questions, took extremely detailed notes and passed that class the next time around. Never let a failure discourage you!
During and after college, the most important concept to always do is NETWORKING! I was grateful to have had instructors that were and are currently in the animation industry. I was also fortunate to have very small classes, that way every assignment was hands-on and relationships were being built in the process. Never let these relationships die out because they lead to great opportunities. As a bit of encouragement to myself and others, I always say, “All I need is just one door!” Thanks for your time and good luck!