One Year Down, Three to Go!

CalArts, you are awesome.
Besides being an excellent work environment with excellent people to be inspired/work with/goof off with, there were all sorts of shows I made it to… Peter’s Shadow (puppetry/theatre), Lost World (Theatre), Pure Grit (Theatre/Puppetry), the World Music Festival (Javanese Gamelan, African and Indian music… involving a robotic Indian set of drums), the Balinesian music performance (involving a robot that played gamelan– yes, robots are taking over the music department! Aaah!) two dance performances, the Open and Producers’ Shows, and probably a few other things I missed (those are just performances from the past month or so)!
I am proud of this:
Granted, that’s with all the 2’s, 3’s, 4’s and up… but STILL! 11 full minutes of pencil tests… yay πŸ˜€

Anyway,Β  I thought this would be a good opportunity to put together a list of things I’ve learned at CalArts, either by observing other people, classes, lecturers, or personal experiences.

  • Don’t, under ANY circumstance, open up a refrigerator that doesn’t belong to you or a close friend. Especially if it’s by the pencil test machines by the windows.
  • Sleep every night.
  • Freshmen, prepare to survive off of a maximum of 4 hours of sleep your first semester. That translates into getting as much sleep as you can NOW!
  • Freshies, ALSO prepare to lose all social activity, spare yelling over your cube walls. Sounds harsh, I know, but if you want to get your work done, you’ve got to focus on working more than partying.
  • Shower at least three times a week. Don’t end up all greasy and gross!
  • Exception to last rule: during Crunchtime, deodorant and perfume might get you by.
  • CHEWING GUM IS YOUR FRIEND! It’ll keep you awake when your eyes start seeing double and you’re supposed to be focusing on deep philosophical thoughts for class.
  • Recycle animation paper!!! Any bad scenes get ERASED and REUSED!
  • Col-Erase is your friend for roughs. I learned this TOO late in the game.
  • Callouses between your fingers from flipping is a valid source of pride.
  • The bench by the cubes/main gallery door is cold and will suck out your soul if you try to sleep on it.
  • The life drawing teachers know your names, so participate for at least an hour if you can.
  • Choose your critical studies by talking to upper classmen and hearing who the coolest teachers are!
  • Cubing by the main gallery door = DOOR MONITOR DUTY!
  • Avoid the flat noodles in the cafeteria.
  • Order chicken tacos WITHOUT sauce. It’ll burn your tastebuds off and you’ll be breathing like a dragon for an hour!
  • Monday-Friday from 11:30-1:30 = SANDWICH BAR. Wheat bread + mayo + mustard + roast beef + pickles + onions + tomatoes + provalone = DELICIOUS!
  • Get away from your department every two weeks if you can. Go see a music performance in the ROD! Go on a Grand CalArts Adventure! Go chill in the subfloor!
  • The best Thursday Night is the Character show. Boooooooyeah!
  • Don’t microwave an aerosol can.
  • Multi-functioning cameras = FRIENDS! (Sound/video/picture recording!)
  • Moleskins are awesome for drawing on-the go. 11×14″ sketchbooks are awesome for drawing in class and in the cube πŸ™‚
  • Get your story settled and animatic’d by the 2nd week of the 2nd semester at the VERY LATEST! Then it’s worktime πŸ˜›
  • Flash = lean mean animatic-makin’ machine.
  • Make friends! You’ll be stuck with all these people for the rest of your life!
  • PC laptops don’t even BEGIN to compare with Macbooks.
  • Be nice and use the library’s printer to print up long documents… save the NICE paper for artwork!
  • Valencia’s weather has severe ADHD.
  • The catwalks in the Mod are scarrrryyy!
  • There’s a dragon that lives under the school and breaths warm breath at night.
  • Cramming ~20 people into a dorm on the 4th floor will get security from the 2nd floor to tell you to be quiet (as it’s the ‘quiet hall’)– even on Halloween.
  • Popcorn is a perfectly valid dinner.
  • >Especially when the cafeteria serves smelly green kinda-leafy stuff!
  • Pirates are SOOOOO cooler than ninjas!
  • Every animator says the word “wonky” at least once in their lives– and certainly during guest lectures!
  • There’s a haunted staircase that goes up to nowhere and somehow sprouted grass. Don’t ask me; it’s art school.
  • Play-Doh bounces off of walls when you throw it hard enough.
  • 4 AM is a perfectly regular bedtime.
  • Ukuleles are popular.
  • Eating is not a priority, projects and animating is.
  • Sleep is optional on occasion.
  • If you’re sleeping in your cube, sleep on your desk and not the floor. It’s cozier and you’ll have more room… and then hope your friends will offer you a cot πŸ˜›
  • Bring shorts for the Spring semester– else you’ll melt.
  • Bring jackets for the Fall semester– CalArts likes to cryogenically freeze students with the air conditioning.
  • CalArtsians will = your closest friends!!!!

That’s all I can think of now. I may add more in the comments… feel free to comment whatever you learned at CalArts! πŸ˜€ Annnd a BIG CONGRATS & KUDOS TO THE GRADUATES OF ’09!!

One thought on “One Year Down, Three to Go!

  1. From Miguel Gonzalez: “draw and when you get tired draw some more and when your right hand hurts so bad that you cant draw… draw with your left hand!!!!!”

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