Sunday, May 25, 2008

Academy of Art University Spring Show

So, the real reason to have been in San Francisco was to participate in the Academy of Art University Spring Show last Thursday...and a very impressive event it was. The university brought in over 500 professionals from various art industries -- illustration, animation, car design, product design, graphic design, video games, architecture, fashion design, photography, you name it -- to meet the graduating class and review their portfolios. Clearly the school is very concerned with preparing these kids for their careers. Creating polished presentations and learning how to talk and network with prospective clients is not so easy, but the event threw them into the deep end of the pool with confidence.

I spent most of my day with the illustrators, of course. The thing that struck me most was how high the base level of quality was. A phenomenal student can come from anywhere, but across the board, all of the AAU students had very solid and consistent portfolios. I have to assume that is a product of a good and disciplined education.

Concept work was very strong -- which is not surprising. While advertising used to be the bread and butter of illustration, nowadays it's the gaming and movie companies that are hiring illustrators by the boatload.

The rest of my day was spent walking around the other departments, trying to eavesdrop on other reviews. The show was followed by a very nice reception with time for the visiting professionals to chat, drink some wine, eat some pigs-in-a-blanket, and unwind a bit.

Many thanks to Chuck Pyle for inviting me out and for being such a gracious host. And congrats to all the students I saw out there - best of luck (and by "luck" I mean hard work) to you all.

Pretty painted building.

Eli Harris, Betty Edwards, Chaiki Uchida,
Row: Frank Lin, Ryan Jones



Piya said...

Yay! Go Academy! I can't be any more proud that I came from there!

Anonymous said...

I like the piece by Eli Harris and also the one by Chaiki Uchida. Uchida's piece seems very Faery Nouveau.

There may be a bit of whimsy and humor going on in the Sci-Fi angler painting--- tough to see ...

Betty said...

Irene, thank you! It was really a pleasure to talk to you and an honor to have you look at my portfolio. I'm stoked that you posted one of my pieces, and really appreciate the link to my website- very awesome!
I'm glad you enjoyed your trip,
Take care,
-Betty Edwards

Chuck Pyle said...

Irene, Thanks for your kind words, and your hard work helping to judge the show, and then take the time to speak with all those eager grads, and review their portfolios. I much appreciated your presence there!

Ian T. Kirkpatrick said...

It was a great show and also very inspiring to be able to show amongst all the students. Thank you again for talking to us!

Frank said...

Thanks for coming and checking out our portfolios! I'll try and take advantage of your advice, and...get into spectrum again! gulp.

Thanks again,
Frank Lin

Eli said...

Thanks for the mention in your post and the shots of my sketchbook. It was truly an honor to sit and talk with you.

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