as promised in previous journal, here comes a short something about my year in FZD School of Design, in which I will try to address the questions asked to me previously. Since most of the questions I received so far can be categorised into three main categories, I will just write a few general paragraphs.
About life in Singapore and mundane things
Life in Singapore is not hard. It's a city with a well functioning infra structure, good food and places to live. It is however rather expensive, especially if you go there to study at FZD. One of the things I personally forgot to think about before I went was the increase in expensive habits that is bound to follow such a stressful situation. In my case, I'm talking about food. I doubled my weekly food budget, twice, during my stay in Singapore. Most likely if you go there you will also find yourself justifying spending amounts of money on something that you would have thought silly in your current lifestyle. Be it taxi everyday, new restaurants everyday or just moving to a more luxurious room to sleep better, there's always something that seems worth all the money in the world after a while.
About the education and school
FZD was a great education. There are certainly things that I've learned there that I would never have been able to pick up by myself. I do not agree with all of the schools philosophies, and there are indeed areas where the school is very weak. The classes taught by Kingston Chan were pure gold, and worth all the money I spent in my opinion. Every time I'm drawing I appreciate all the stuff I learned from Thomas Brissot in my second term, and when combining the logical design thinking of Kingston with the approach of simplicity from Eduardo, I can achieve things I never even thought was possible. I'm so happy that I had the chance to learn from all of these great people! This also makes it a bit difficult for me to give a justified opinion of the school now that many of my instructors have left it, so please forgive me for having to ask you to go find someone currently enrolled to ask instead.
About the entry level of the students
One of the most frequent questions both me and my friends who have studied at the school is a variation of "am I good enough?".
Well, that depends on what you really mean by your question. Are you good enough to get in? Yes, you are. All of you. The school is a business, if you say that you want to study there, they will believe you and give you a shot. It is then up to you if you want to or not. Remember that if you really want to you can learn just as much or even more from your classmates as from the instructors.
The students come from very different backgrounds, and the rate of success and learning through school is sometimes surprising considering what those backgrounds are. The common denominator for the successful students are this, whatever they did before school they were pretty damn successful at that as well. It is basic math, one year of dedicated studies in drawing and design will never be able to catch up with 2 years of equally hard studies. To be a star student at FZD requires you to both be a successful individual and to have a substantial background within this field.
What do I mean by successful? We'll it's quite subjective I guess. I don't mean to brag, but I'm the kind of person that among other things had maxed out grades in high school, did sports and even competed on an international level (School World Championship was the highest level I reached). Some people would call me an elitist, and to some degree they would be right, for me getting a second place always stings. This determination made me do rather well in school despite not having much of an background before school. Other people have other mixes, for example it's not unusual to see people with years worth of experience as architects, graphic designers, illustrators, product designers and concept artists among the successful graduates from FZD.
Another key thing is that you really understand what concept art really is, and that you really want to do it. Like, seriously. Concept artist is a really hyped profession, and to many the notion of what concept art is seem to be a glorified version of illustration. This is ridiculous for many reasons, but most of all it's very confusing for everyone. Here is a good article on the subject: Let's get real about concept art. If you want to ask me or any other FZD student anything, and your real reason for getting in touch is really that you want someone to pat you on the back and tell you you're gonna do really well if you go to FZD, please refrain from doing so. Spending time trying to give just advice to someone only to find out that they only care about my opinion if it coincides with theirs is not fun, but if you belong to this category I also feel it's just fair to warn you now; people like you are eaten alive in an eagle's nest like FZD.
Be very honest to yourself. Concept art is in no way better than any other profession, but it is a job were it's very obvious if you really like doing it or not. So if you rather be a Tech artist, or an illustrator, or a management consultant, go for that. Don't listen to what other people say or want, go for what you want! I'm serious, I've been there. I spent two years in a university studying Industrial Economics and management, just because I felt it was expected of me. Just because it would get me a high paying job. And I've never felt worse than I did those two years, while quitting it and pursue my dream to become a concept artist was the best decision I've ever made.
Right now, life's tough. The market right now seems to be unfavourable, but me and my friends from school are able to survive on our skills. But it's ok. If this journal was a movie, now would be that ending where everything is destroyed, but there's a great feeling of hope and good prospects for the future. Life's not perfect, things are still uncertain, going to school didn't solve everything, but it was never supposed to. Wow, this is turning quite cheesy at an alarming rate
Anyway, any additional questions can be asked in the comments, but I will not write another journal about this subject!
Good luck and peace! (and it's Easter, so happy Zombie day as well!)