Saturday, March 10, 2012
Have you ever thought about getting your MFA in Illustration, but were worried about the time commitment, the cost, having to move, etc? Well, I just want to take a moment to put in a plug for the Low Residency MFA in Illustration at the Hartford Art School. I am in the midst of my first year in the program, and fellow RWP-er Scott Murphy will be joining the program this summer. Since beginning the program last July I have my first two children's book proposals under review, I have gotten work from a dream client, I have had my work re-energized, my understanding of the history of the field of illustration has deepened, and my circle of illustration contacts and friends has expanded to include folks from across the country who work not only in the children's and fantasy markets, but who do concept work, editorial, licensing, and more.
For me, the best part about the program is that my classmates and the faculty are ALL working illustrators. Many of my classmates are mid-career, so have quite a lot of experience in the field, and at least half of them are already teaching on a college level. Every single person involved in the program, whether faculty or student, is a great resource for information and feedback.
The program is structured so that its students can continue to live their lives, so that it won't disrupt their freelance or teaching careers, or their other full or part-time jobs. Those that have families don't have to move, or be limited to only what is offered nearby. We are technically full-time students, but only meet for a total of four weeks out of the year for two years (three summers). These one or two-week intensives are exactly that - intense! I always come away from them full of inspiration and new ideas. In-between the intensives we work on some small assignments, and most importantly we develop our thesis projects. For a lot of students, the thesis is something that they have been wanting to work on for a while, but needed some motivation and guidance to make it happen. I have been working on my thesis for 7 months now, and have over a year to go, and I am incredibly excited about it. I'm sure I'll do some posting about it in the months to come.
So that's my little pitch for this fabulous program. If you are thinking about getting your MFA and the low residency format sounds right for you, you can read more about it on the website here - Hartford Art School MFA in Illustration. Be sure to check out the mind-blowingly amazing list of faculty, and links to the work of current students.