Should You Go To Design School: Doing The Math on Education

Should You Go To Design School: Doing The Math on Education


CHRIS: I think creative people are amazing. And, creative people are very different than I would say, amm, all the left brain thinkers, who go through life feeling a lot of things that. Ahh, that gut, the thing that tells us what to do and our intuition. We’re very strong. But we don’t translate what we think into words. So, we go around, thinking everything’s fine because it just feels, okay. But when you start to put it down in black and white and tangible boxed out versions, like I’m doing. It becomes objective. We translated the feeling into something that a left brain person could, could process, and it’s a little scary when you see it like that. CHRIS: Let me try this again. JOSE: I want you guys to listen to me. Yeah, I design sandwiches JOSE: My name is Jose Caballer, and I talk about the design of business. CHRIS: (laughs) JOSE: The des– (laughs). I talk about a lot of stuff. CHRIS: My name’s Chris Do and I talk about the business of design. JOSE: At the center of this operating system it’s about unders–. CHRIS: (clears throat) Jose, can we just tell them what the show title is. JOSE: I hate you dude. CHRIS: You are watching. Both: The Process CHRIS: I’m Chris and on this episode of The Process we’re going to talk about the state of design education. The sentiment is: we, we like to gripe. We like to complain. Tuition is too expensive. The teachers are not good enough. We want more from our educational system. Cost versus value. And I want to make, delineation between cost versus value. Value (pause) Talks about, what you’re getting out of it, cost is an expense. And now, if th– your education, your private school education in design … costs $200,000, but you get $500,000 worth of value, then it’s a bargain. But you pay $200,000 and you get $100,000 worth of education well that’s an expense. Let’s start a little bit about talking about what design education is supposed to give to you. What is it that you hope to get out? SOL: I wanted to gather some of the creative expertise of ahh, our instructors. (CHRIS: Yeah) Cause a lot of our instructors are you know working creative professionals. (CHRIS: Okay) AUDIENCE MEMBER: When I began, my parents were really supportive of anything I really wanted to do. So, because there was art school it just kind of seemed like the thing to do. Like you go to the school, that you do the thing at. Like if you go to medical school. You’re gonna do the medical thing there. (CHRIS: LAUGHS). AUDIENCE MEMBER: So that’s where I started. (CHRIS: OK) AUDIENCE MEMBER: But I think after a few years of being at s– school. I think what I’ve been learning, that I’m getting out of it. Is the connection, I guess.
Not just –. (CHRIS: Connection) Yeah. Connection with like teachers that are in the industry. (CHRIS: Right) Kinda like what Sol said. (CHRIS: Connection.) But also connection with my peers. (CHRIS: Okay) Which I think has been the most valuable part. CHRIS:The Network and then, oops, and, and friendship? (AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah) Okay. So there’s a professional network, and there’s a personal friendship network, right? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, and I also feel like the discipline as well. CHRIS: What kind of discipline? Like the military discipline? AUDIENCE MEMBER:: Kind of just like feeling, ammm. Well, cause I feel like something about the way I work, and like my work flow isn’t something I would have completely developed on my own. And it’s something I learned somehow, with like the way–. (CHRIS: Oh, I know what you’re saying now.) AUDIENCE MEMBER:: Yeah. CHRIS: You’re saying, ahh, process. (AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah) Yeah, for process okay, that’s perfect. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I guess for me like I didn’t necessarily know what an art school was. But I was told by many people that I was a creative person So I guess I went to art school to kind of find out more about myself as like an creative. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I think ahh, inspiration? (CHRIS: Inspiration) Umm, I remember being in school and looking over at people who were better than me. (CHRIS: Yeah) And just that motivating me to, to push more. (Chris: Okay.) Y’know there’s so many digital, umm, classes, that will teach you the industry. But, umm, what I knew would be missing was the community. MARCEL: I think the biggest thing that students get out of school whether it be art school, or otherwise is confidence And I think that’s what’s gonna really get them a job. Because that’s why people hire you is your soft skills, not really what you know CHRIS: Now you’re using fancy words that not everybody understands. You’re talking about your soft skills You guys know what the difference between soft skills and hard skills? MARCEL: Ahh, knowing Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, that would be a hard skill. Knowing how to do a presentation and really have people understanding what you’re trying to say and what you’re trying to get across that would be a soft skill. Being able to write great emails that really get points across instead of meandering. Or, you know, being, umm unfocused that is a soft skill. Umm, being really good and, and, defusing situations because when we do work in art there could be a lot of different personalities that work in this area. And being able to be a person that knows how to work with different personalities and be very diplomatic as well as being very productive. That would be a soft skill. CHRIS: Concepting, communication leadership, management those are soft skills. (MARCEL: Storytelling) CHRIS: Storytelling, all the technical stuff, the making, the doing that’s on this right? Ahh. My, my friends from Art Center would call that manifesting (MARCEL: Probably) CHRIS: All the manifesting making stuff. Okay. MATTHEW: Ahh, for me, ahh, the reason why I went to Art Center –(CHRIS: Yeah)– for the competition. MATTHEW: I went to a trade school before I went to Art Institute. (CHRIS: Yep.) MATTHEW: To learn a lot of technical stuff to develop — (CHRIS: the hard skills. Yeah) MATTHEW: And then (CHRIS: Okay) I went to Art Center for the competition. CHRIS: All right, what else we, what else do we want to get from school? Why did you pay so much money to be there? CHRIS: A Portfolio? (AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, a portfolio.) CHRIS: Alright you go to school. You better get a portfolio. Right Why do you need a portfolio? Why do you need a portfolio? AUDIENCE MEMBER: So I can get a job. CHRIS: To get a J O B. Portfolio, job, anything else? (MARCEL: Mentorship.) Mentorship, I love that. Thank you very much. Go ahead who’s going to say something? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Just. Skills that I can use. And transition into other different areas. Sa– CHRIS: What kind of skills? Like problem solving? (AUDIENCE MEMBER: Concepting. Yeah.) CHRIS: Concepting, problem-solving. AUDIENCE MEMBER: That I can apply to a lot of different, umm, fields? CHRIS: To solve all kinds of problems. MARCEL: That would be kind of design thinking. CHRIS: Okay design thinking. Like entrepreneurship. Can I write that up? (MARCEL: Yeah, Absolutely.) Okay. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Umm, I think I wanted to learn what it was about what I make that can be different from other people. CHRIS: Like is it like finding your creative voice? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Something like that –(CHRIS: Is that okay?)–Yeah. (CHRIS: Or if, if it’s not that, what then–). Creative voice is pretty good. CHRIS: Okay. Thank you. Creative voice. Okay VIN: Umm, I just wanted to add that like professional mindset. We’re getting prepped up for the actual. (CHRIS: I like that) professional world. Yeah. CHRIS: It’s almost like your dad texted you to say the professional mindset. (AUDIENCE: LAUGHS) That was good it was very good SOL: Just find –(CHRIS: that was really good.)–some of my heroes. CHRIS: Find your heroes? SOL: Yeah, umm, there were a lot of moments like I didn’t really have like. Like you know there are those artistic heroes as directors that you know you want to be like in the future? But it really changes when you’re, this kind of ties into mentorship when you’re here with faculty. (CHRIS: Yep.) It actually really sacrifices themselves individually for a student and for their students. (CHRIS: Okay) And text you at 3 a.m. CHRIS: Okay. So I’m gonna say superstar faculty, right? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Like h– when you find kind of valuable and like a creative professional. When you like look at somebody who is like working and they’re teaching you. What do you see in them that you think is something you want to be like I guess. CHRIS: Is that like mentorship? Like you see somebody? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Perhaps I guess. CHRIS: So a role model then — (AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, role model.) — yeah, okay. I’ll write that. Cool. Now, you know why we’re writing this list, and I love that this list is getting really long now. I want you guys to scan this list. You guys are seniors. Some of you guys that recently got out of school. How many of these things did you get, from your school because you’re, you, for what you know, uhh, $500,00.00 worth of money? How many of you guys believe that you’re getting 50% of what’s on on this list? Okay. 75% of this list? Starting to drop off a little bit. A 100% of this list? Art schools tend to focus a lot on the hard skills. Believe it or not. (AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yep) Most of your time is spent learning these things. Making, manifesting technical stuff. Is there anything else you guys want to add to this list of what you hope to get out of a private art school education? Where you’re going to be half a million dollars in the whole. MARCEL: Perception. When you have that degree on your resume –(CHRIS: Good one)– people’s perception of you is changed. (CHRIS: Mm-Hmm) Even if you’re. If you didn’t go to school and you have more skills than a student who’s gone to a private art school. It’s like the salary between a man and a woman doing the same job. (CHRIS: Right.) If there is a big stigma in our society about those that have degrees and those don’t CHRIS: There’s this thing that they feed to you. It’s like the Kool Aid. You’re like you drink it up. And you’re like yeah. I, I, I went to Art Center man. Like what? And. They don’t care. Okay, so I’m a big believer, and despite what marcel has said, that your degree don’t matter, I never look at it. I hire people here all the time. I really don’t care where you went to school. What degrees you got. If you got a degree. If you ever even made it to class. What your GPA is. It’s a myth. MARCEL: What I’m asked all the time is how do I? How do I estimate a job? How do I price myself? How do I go out there and make money as a freelancer? CHRIS: How do I negotiate with the client –(MARCEL: How do I negotiate. That’s right.)– after the sale. How do I close a job? MARCEL: How do I write a proposal? Umm, how do I –(CHRIS: what about bid an estimate?)– how do I get paid? What if someone doesn’t want to pay me. And that comes with entrepreneurship? And I, I find this over and over again where I am hiring people that they have none of these skills and it’s disappointing. Caesar and Matthew, 10, 12 years out from an art school, right? Which one of these did you get from your school and which ones did you learn on the job? Like after school? CEASAR: I would say from UCLA I probably got more concepting. But, on the job and what I find more important is probably both communication and leadership. CHRIS: Okay. Did you learn these things at school? Communication, leadership, management and storytelling? (CEASAR: No) No. CEASAR: (INAUDIBLE) no CHRIS: No, okay. CEASAR: Concepting yes, a little bit of storytelling. CHRIS: Okay, and then Matthew, this Matthew. CHRIS: Matthew what did you get from school? MATTHEW: I think from school. I got concepting and storytelling. I have to say that cuz I took your class, so. Of course like I developed those more in the field (CHRIS: Right, okay) with practice. But. Communication leadership and management I did not learn specifically in school. CHRIS: Ooh, okay SOL: Umm, I came in with Otis, like my, I come from a family of artists. And, you know, it’s just, we were just built up with this huge ego. That, ohh, yuh know, we’re, we think better than people. But then I came into Otis, and there’s this moment when, amm. This guy from Pixar came in. He did this workshop and stuff right. And, I had my ego… completely shattered by him, in front of a bunch of people and that fundamentally changed who I am. And like, the direction I took. Like I wouldn’t be sitting here if that didn’t happen. CHRIS: I think creative people are amazing. And, creative people are very different than I would say, amm, all the left brain thinkers. Did I get that right with the left brain thinkers, the logical people? Okay. I listen to a lot of radio programs and they talk about how your brain works. And there’s there’s a part of your brain I think it’s, amm, is it the gray matter? It holds the facts and the data. And, I, I think the, the interesting thing is that what I heard on the program was Ahh, we know a lot about gray matter in the brain but not a lot about the white matter the things that connect them. I think creative people have a lot more white matter and they’re able to like bring weird things together But one of the things they aren’t able to do. Is articulate things with words as well It’s kind of a weird thing like you’re, you’re, you got a blessing and then you got a curse. And, so what we do is we go through life feeling a lot of things. That ahh, the gut the thing that tells us what to do and our intuition. We’re very strong. But we don’t translate what we think into words. So, we go around thinking everything is fine because it just feels, okay. But when you start to put it down in black and white, and tangible boxed out versions like I’m doing. And I say to Sol that’s a $1000.00 second reel it made him laugh out loud. Cause now we’re putting words and ideas in black and white, or in this case blue and white on this page for you to see. It becomes, objective. We translated a feeling into something that a left brained person could, could process. And it’s a little scary when you see it like that. I want you to start thinking about your education kinda like this. It’s $1000.00 seconds, a second. That’s what you’re getting. That better be a really good demo reel. MARCEL: My mentor told me –(CHRIS: Yeah.)– amm. He was a creative director at Foote, Coone Belding [sic] in Santa Ana… Long ago that art is a means of communication, art is there to enhance communication. And, I’ve always looked at graphic design, motion design, as a way to Express things that are unexpressible, to communicate things that are uncommunicable, and this is the value in it. And, sometimes I think that there are people that have or I think where, what’s the concept, we’re in a t-shape? We have one very –(CHRIS: T-skills)– yeah, we have one very strong skill and two skills that are probably okay too. But, nowadays when you look at job descriptions. They want us to have like. Vertical lines like a barcode instead (CHRIS: Right). And I think that that’s the thing that’s really deterring a lot of the creativity that should be going on that’s not. MATTHEW: So I have some thought on, on mentorship. I think, umm. I, I definitely got that out of Art Center because I’m here and working for you. CHRIS: You can’t keep saying that Matthew. MATTHEW: No, but it’s, it’s totally true. But like (CHRIS: okay.) so so for me. I was, I felt pretty sharp with my skills. In, in the classes that I took in school –(CHRIS: Mm hmm, mm hmm) — okay, I felt, I felt like I was doing very well. But I didn’t really have a target or goal to hit. I just knew that I’m moving forward I’m going to do really well on this project but I didn’t have a good target or guidance until I met certain mentors along the way like, like I said, before I went to Art Center I was at Art Institute (CHRIS: right) and there a couple of Art Center, umm, Alumni, there. They’re like, oh, you’re really good. You should go here, and I’m like okay, haha (CHRIS: Right) so I just went right (CHRIS: Right) and then along the way same thing. It’s like I met certain people, umm. Mentors of mine that pushed me in the right direction (CHRIS: Right) because I didn’t have that. I, I, I just was working hard. But I didn’t know where to go. CHRIS: Okay. Talk about your portfolio. What is it about your portfolio? That you want to get that you’re gonna pay $100,000.00 to get. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Me, specifically from our portfolio. I wanted something that was unique and kind of different so I wanted to just kind of find my own voice CHRIS: Now those of us that are on this side of the fence and we go to recruit. Matthew. I’m not putting you on the spot. Pass him the mic please. How many portfolios do you see coming from whether it’s Otis, Cal Arts or whatever? How many of them do you see that are unique at Otis? MATTHEW: Not, many, I, I, I go there for I expect a certain thing and usually that expectation is filled. CHRIS: Right. And what do you expect from, when you go there? MATTHEW: Ahh, good 2D animation. CHRIS: Like cell animation, like the builds [inaudible] (MATTHEW: A lot of After Effects, Photoshop animations) yeah, yeah yeah. MATTHEW: I go there –(CHRIS: Right.)– for that. Umm, and that’s what I get. Probably 10 or 10 to 15 candidates (CHRIS: you see? you see?) you see the same exact thing (CHRIS: you see what, I mean?) CHRIS: I, I don’t want to burst your bubble But the idea that you’re gonna go to school and be Influenced by your peers. By the teachers who teach the same assignment over and over again. To give you a portfolio that the school becomes known for It’s not that realistic to say like my portfolio is so different. It’s so amazing MARCEL: When I first started out. The thing that got me work. Was people were looking at other high profile clients or projects that I was you know working on. Whether or not I had really worked with that client or project. (CHRIS: right) because I was just picking up things and redesigning them. I didn’t necessarily say if I had worked with that person. And, my designs were good enough to start getting me real clients and real jobs. And that was the thing that differentiated me from the art school students. CHRIS: When we go to the grad show. We generally see in a very tangible way A minute and a half demo reel, montage. Kind of if you’re good. Minute and a half. Okay, so what’s the minute and a half? 90 seconds, okay. Right, those — you guys are in motion and animation. So you have a 90 second demo reel. So you’re saying that Demo reel is worth one thousand Dollars a second See? (AUDIENCE: LAUGHS) That’s what you’re saying. A thousand dollars a second. That’s how good your reel is? (AUDIENCE: LAUGHS) I don’t know MATTHEW: I have a A different opinion about the Network. Cause I also went to Art Center. But I think my network from Art Center is significant– significantly changed my path. To, amm, afford the lifestyle and career I have now. So I, I think that I’ve been able to maximize my network out of Art Center. CHRIS: Okay, let’s make it less, ahh, soft and fuzzy and tell me how the network helped you. I’m not challenging you — (MATTHEW: yeah, yeah, yeah) I just want to know the details. MATTHEW: no, no, absolutely. CHRIS: all right, let’s talk about it. MATTHEW: During school, halfway through, I went to art center for print. I was gonna go there for branding or packaging. (CHRIS: Me too) I was still trying to figure it out. Then around fifth term, umm, just because of the people that were around me. Specifically Chris Real, who’s now director over at, at Motion Theories, like we were in the same. We were in the same class. He was all about animation that and that was his goal going in. Motion graphic specifically. I had no idea what that was and then I met him. And, then he introduced me to a lot of other motion designers at Art Center (CHRIS: Yeah) And then all of the p– past graduates at Art Center, and then I started taking classes. I took your class. Interned for you. Freelance, and now I’m staff here. So (CHRIS: Okay.) I think most of my career is because Umm, it started from that (CHRIS: a chance encounter, a friendship) exactly (CHRIS: Exposure to something). I got very lucky. CHRIS: Okay. (MATTHEW: Yeah) Now, I, I kind of like to think of that more like the butterfly effect. Or like one wing flaps and it affects the tree and then this and it’s a hurricane in America kind of thing. There’s a lot of Domino effect kind of things. I think when I think of a network, I mean like the Harvard Network Where your bros from school are starting companies. And they hire you and it’s like ah, that’s why people go to Harvard. Because of the people you’re going to need that are gonna be captains of industry. Is that the network you guys are talking about or there’s more like butterfly effect network? Because there’s a thousand people have touched my life, who have influenced my direction one way or the other. (MATTHEW: mm hmm) And, it’s like one of those Back to the Future stories where you remove one of them and then I’m not here (MATTHEW: right, right) But I can’t attribute to that all to like well because I did that. Like if the girlfriend didn’t break up with me I would still you know be living at home. Who knows? You know what I mean? (MATTHEW: right) There’s too many like those kinds of things But most people I would say, and you guys can disagree with me when you think about the network. We’re talking about people who are gonna hire you. Give you opportunities start companies with you that kind of network. (MATTHEW: Right) That’s a different kind of network. Okay, so is that the kind of network you guys are talking about? The people who can really help you, your career? You can collaborate with, that become captains of industry. Right, so you, you and I know this Matt. Greg and I we all talk about like. Who in our network when we’re looking for can we call upon? Our friends that we graduated with? The ones that are a little bit ahead of us and behind us? Which ones are successful right now, that are running companies? And it went really silent. Who can we call on our network? Like nobody. Less than five people (MATTHEW: It’s slim) It was very slim and I wish Greg were here. Because he’s like almost nobody. I’m the most successful one in my group. (gulp) Network. This is not the Harvard network. This is not the Berkeley network. This is not the Stanford Network. Communication. You’re learning how to communicate? Yeah, would you like to try? We can do a little role-playing. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I think umm. Universally, in art school most art teachers tell you to explain your work. So, from Freshman Year through Senior Year, I think you gained some communication skills. Umm, subconsciously, maybe. (AUDIENCE: laughs) (CHRIS: Okay) AUDIENCE MEMBER: I, am in a different major than everybody. I’m a Concept Art. And, ahh, what’s in my major? I feel like I’m not getting enough communication skills. Definitely like not enough. Umm, because like (CHRIS: Like none?) like none (CHRIS: Yeah, right.) basically. Umm, because like when I went to intern. Ahh, I was just kind of like. I don’t know what to do or what to say, or (CHRIS: right, right, right) yeah, so. CHRIS: I think you guys also like this whole entrepreneurship thing. Think communication is just explaining what you did. That’s not communication. Trust me. We can, if time permits We could do a little roleplay here and you can see how good or bad you are. Because you’ve actually had very little training and And, the only way I know how to say what I know is because I’ve paid somebody for 10 years to teach me. How to speak. How to speak to you. How to communicate my thoughts without being, aah, com–, complicated. Being direct, being clear. So, let’s pretend now that we just destroyed all schools. And, you get to, find a way, to work with these rock star, trailblazing, industry-leading titans. How would you work with them? How would that work? You guys are in the motion industry I have a lot of respect for my, my friend Kyle Cooper. Who is like, a living legend when it comes to main title design. I’d call him up. Kyle, I’d like to work for you. Oh, the job doesn’t pay anything. No problem. In fact you don’t have time. How about I pay you ten thousand bucks? Thinking I just made 15. Because I’m a businessperson Do you think he would say no to you? Maybe, maybe not. Has anybody tried? See this is what I get when we start to think about rethinking, design education. Not going through a process, hoping that you come out the other end okay. Who here believes that if they called up whoever, Danny Yount, whoever your idols are, Ash Thorpe, whoever it is. Do you think if you called him and said for three months I will pay you $10,000.00 Do you think you have a shot at him saying yes? (AUDIENCE MEMBER: I think so) I think so. You guys think so? Ten thousand. I think so. All right. So four a $100,000.00 how many rock star, trailblazing, industry titans can you get at ten thousand bucks a pop? If you paid ten thousand bucks for three months. And your budget was $100,000.00 the number is 10. You would have 10. Now, I just want to let your mind fly because you guys are really good at letting your mind fly You’re very creative Let it fly. Just think for a moment how different your life would be right now. If you just got to know those rockstar, trailblazing, amazing, the guy from Pixar, the gal from, amm, oh, what is it called? Dreamworks or whatever company. Let’s say we have these ten people, ahh, $10,000.00 and we only pick five so now we’ve spent 50K. Let’s say one of them is in Paris, in the UK. And let’s say Brazil Just for, and, whatever right. Maybe one’s in Japan, where else? Brazil. (AUDIENCE: LA) LA, Berkeley? Berlin, yeah, perfect, I like that. Okay. Let’s say it costs you 5K to live there. Okay, let’s say, right? (CLEARS THROAT) That by my my math is 25 right? You still have $25,000.00 for Party money, I don’t know You’re still doing really well. Now get this you get to live in Paris, in the UK, in Brazil, in Japan, in Berlin to study under five masters. How attractive is that option looking? What’s your name? (VIN: Vin) Vin. I’m just, who’s your, who’s your idol? Who’s your? VIN: Amm, Ash Thorp? (CHRIS: Hold the –) Ash Thorp. CHRIS: Ash Thorp. Okay. I’m Ash. I’m totally like Ash. We’re gonna have a phone conversation. Okay? (VIN: Okay) Okay. Go ahead ask me. Hey, Vin. VIN: Hey. Ash. Can I give you $10,000 and would you let me study? Umm, whatever you do for three months? CHRIS: And you’re just gonna shadow me? VIN: Yeah. (CHRIS: Okay) awesome. CHRIS: Where did the school come in? VIN: Ammmm (CHRIS: Nowhere) VIN: Well, I feel like you (CHRIS: did, did we talk about school?) no CHRIS: Nah. It, it doesn’t come in. You think they care if you went to Otis? if you went to Art Center or Cal Arts or community college? CHRIS: Really? VIN: But wouldn’t they want to see though, like your work? (CHRIS: No) before they hire you? CHRIS: What did you ask me to do? (VIN: Shadow you…Okay.) CHRIS: Noo, you guys. You think, and you’ve been sold a bill of goods, that going to school gives you something It did in the 80s. It doesn’t in 2016. Nobody cares. I had many friends, people I’ve hired people I’ve worked with. People who have gone on to have very successful careers that went to some school or no school you’ve never heard of before AUDIENCE MEMBER: What about credibility? you know you’re fresh out of high school immature. And, you want to go shadow this guy like? CHRIS: You know, you know the kids that are calling me? They’re 16 years old they’ve been freelancing for two years. (AUDIENCE: LAUGHS) So obviously the things that I’m saying to you. In this kind of cold hard reality fantasy thing. It’s, it’s a little disturbing maybe. MARCEL: I think what you’re trying to do is quantify something that is not quantifiable It’s qualitatable [sic] and I get it. I get where you’re going with the numbers and everything and I get where you’re going with the mentorship. But if you think about how many people we even have in LA in this society. And, think about the rock stars that they would want to, in a theoretical world that you have laid out, each and every one of these students in here. There’s only a finite amount of rock stars that they would be interning or apprenticing with CHRIS: I’m not sure we’ve exhausted the supply of rock stars. Because we’ve never asked them because this is such a bold and weird model Because you know what happens? People say well, I’d like to intern an apprentice for you. How much are you going to pay me? That’s what they say. They don’t say I’d like to apprentice for you, shadow you, you don’t have to do anything. I just want to see and be part of every major conversation you have and I will pay you. I’ve not heard of anybody doing that yet, and you know where I got that idea from? Sad to say? Is the, The Apprentice? There was that kid, that guy. He wasn’t a kid. He was a millionaire himself. He said I’ll give you a million dollars. If I can learn from you in the next six months. CEASAR: So I disagree that it’s not quantifiable because they put a price on it and The people like the private art schools. So (CHRIS: Ooh you’re right) So they put a price on it. So they’re, they’re saying hey, this is what we offer. Amm, (CHRIS: And, this is what it’s worth) and this is what it’s worth and this is what it’s worth, so For us to like, we can debate like how much of it is like X amount of dollars But they put a price on it themselves so (CHRIS: It’s true) AUDIENCE MEMBER: I don’t know if every single one of my heroes would wanna like CHRIS: Have you tried? AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have emailed my hero, and he did not respond. CHRIS: Okay, (AUDIENCE MEMBER: and) because you know why? Because you sent him an email. So is email a good place to reach people? No. (AUDIENCE MEMBER: Sometimes) No. (AUDIENCE MEMBER: I check my emails) If you if it’s important, okay check this out. You’re driving, somebody hits you. You fly out. You’re in a ditch. You grab your smartphone. You’re busted up. Your arm’s backwards, you’re bleeding all over the place. Mom, I’m in a ditch, please come find me (AUDIENCE: LAUGHS) shcwoop, email. (AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay) CHRIS: Is that what you’re gonna do? Noo. (AUDIENCE MEMBER: You have a point) thank you. Come on. If it’s important to you pick up the phone. Have the courage to use those amazing $100,000.00 communication skills that you picked up from Pixar and call somebody knock on the door. And be persistent. (AUDIENCE MEMBER: I’ll do that.) That’s about leadership. That’s about having entrepreneurial spirit If you want something, you ask for it, and you don’t give up. MARCEL: Where I am in my life right now I feel a need to give back I feel a need to teach, I feel a need to (CHRIS: Me too) to mentor, and I don’t know that I look at my peers And they’re not on that mindset, and maybe when our parents were going to school, when my father was coming up He lived in, he didn’t, he didn’t grow up in America But it was more The elders felt a need to apprent– they felt a need to nurture and I think maybe part of it needs to be put on our generation, to go, we have a duty and an honor to do this. And, I don’t see a lot of that happening It is very difficult for these students to get a hold of the people that they would want to meet. CHRIS: Okay, Marcel. I accept that it’s difficult. Who here has called up their hero. And said I will pay you to teach me all I need to do is hang out with you Nobody has, I, I promise you I’ve done this many times. I asked this question, of course nobody’s doing that, cause they’re stuck on this model. I don’t know what to do. I need some structure, you just tell me and I will follow along. Hopefully I’ll get what I need. Like my whole thing is, umm. This is the way it is. This is the way it always will be, that’s just dogma I don’t really like buy into that. We can create anything. We haven’t even talked about how schools have been impacted by technology. How they’ve embraced technology Because I got to tell you. The way I was taught is still the way they teach now 20 years later. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Just a, just a fun fact, aah. Academia is, the most profiting industry since the 50s. That, and health care system, so. CHRIS: Marcella was saying before, a lot of us didn’t get into normal schools, because we are nonconformist. That’s why we chose this creative path, right? We’re nonconformist. Except for we just conformed right into another bucket. Really, we just did Look at me. I’m a free independent thinking spirit. I’ll do anything I want. But go to school and do the job and du, du, then go to class and get a degree. Isn’t that weird? Why do you go to a class, and hear somebody repeat the same lecture, over and over, year after year, decades after decades? Why don’t we just find? The foremost authority on the subject, the most engaging Charismatic dynamic most prepared person Just record that video once Then have the students watch the video… at home. And then do the homework at school. And the teachers are no longer teachers. They’re just coaches they’re just there to support and encourage you Wouldn’t that be amazing? Except for now, what we have is the exact opposite. We have sometimes okay instructors. Sometimes not and they repeat the same lecture and then the hardest part the part where you have to figure out things using creative problem solving, communication, leadership, management, storytelling skills. Goodbye. Go do it at home

13 thoughts on “Should You Go To Design School: Doing The Math on Education

  1. I can see how a design firm would not care about one's education and would be more focused on one's specialty and portfolio. My concern is with non-design companies. For example, if Delta Airlines wanted to hire a graphic designer, I would think they would want to hire someone who has a BA in GD, unless they are looking for a specialty designer.

  2. The proposal of videoing super figures and then distributing those videos eerily resembles the school system in Russian author Zamyatin's "We", an incredibly famous Russian dystopian novel published in 1924. The videos were played for the whole class, and there were supervisors who answered the students' questions. However, that dystopian society also denounced creativity and nonconformist thinking (basically an extreme form of socialism). It's pretty interesting that you are using this video teaching example as a way to further creativity and independence within people.

  3. One thing I've noticed and like about this guy is how he tunnel visions a point from multiple directions to break it down piecewise.

    You pay 100k for a portfolio? for speaking skills? for working with your heroes?

    I'll show you how much you had to pay if you just paid for the portfolio. Then, for just the speaking skills. Then again, just for getting to work with a titan in the industry.

    Such a way of looking at things isn't always accurate but it really helps if you're focused on one goal which you hope to achieve with your education

  4. I am 17 and I don't like my school and education system.
    A small syllabus
    So many borders
    Meaningless grade which says I had this amount of information in this limited time
    And that's why I don't want to be in a college

  5. Mind blowing… Luckily I havnt paid 100k in school… but I understand your concept… Wow… really makes me think…

  6. Your videos kinda became scary. (in a good way) I lost my last designer job because my boss and I had different opinions and goals. Don't wanna dive into that to much. Anyway I was looking for another design job for 1 or 2 months now, but I couldn't find anything. Nobody wanted me, so I thought about going to university and study design. It's crazy that you put out a video like this, where I question my decision again. 😀

  7. I love this video. It was really enlightening for me and pertaining to my personal experiences. I attended the Art Institute of Orange County and went deeply into debt for that decision. While I was there I was told I wasn't a creative. However, at another institution they valued and encouraged my design skills. I've always been a creative person, but I have always been a writer as well. I've struggled to find a career that fit my skills. Any advice for someone like me? It sounds like you are highlighting what took me 10 years to learn. I started in design and ended up doing my MA degree in English instead. I wish you would create a video for someone like me who is trying to find a space where I can use both of my skills. I've been leaning towards illustration and children's books, or just going straight for entrepreneurship. Sometimes it feels like I'm just following the wind. I'd love to get your advice. Thanks!

  8. chris do has decoded the educational system as a whole. unfortunately most of us don't have that 10g's to get started. great fuckin idea though.

  9. OMG! I feel so sad after seeing this video, because i just got an offer form a design school in uk, (which took me 1 year to apply for) and it will cost me 60000 dollars. so I will pay 60000 for a master degree to get a good job.?!?!! I'm Just Now Realizing How Stupid I am.

  10. If you like a design studio and want to get to learn from them (paying $10,000 to shadow them), how do you decide who to reach out to? Client director, creative director, strategy director, etc?

  11. Coming across this video has honestly been the best thing that has happened to me in months. I'm so happy to find people who share similar views like I do. I live in India and here not going to college equals wasting your years. I've never liked college, I did enjoy the discussions and learning methods to an extent but it overall put me off because the whole system was marks based. You needed good marks to graduate, to get into college, to get through an entrance, basically you were valued based on your marks and not by your efforts and this whole mark system was really flawed to me. And so I chose not to go to college and do something on my own, that is self learn. Try and build my own skills, find alternate ways to learn. But again living in an indian society, this wasn't easy. I couldn't afford an art college and ever since I felt on and off with my decisions, feeling like I was missing out on mentorship, friendships, whatever you wrote down in that column, exactly that. I felt like a misfit in a country full of graduates. But I stuck to my plans because I knew I wanted people who don't care about a degree and look at my work and decide whether they want to hire me or not. And art is my passion, I didn't get the logic of paying someone 10 lakhs to teach me something that's natural in me. Something I can practice and get better at.

    This video has really given me that push to look beyond curriculum and education systems, and find my own ways to learn. So thank you so much for putting this material out here for people like me to relate to and know that we're not alone.

  12. Takeaways:

    1:16 Cost vs Value
    Value = What you're getting out of it.

    Cost = Expense.

    9:05 Chris doesn't care what your degree is. With the way that formal education is going, eventually no one will.

    11:12 Gray matter in the brain holds onto facts. White matter is good at connecting things together. Creative people may have more white matter.

    Although they are able to connect things together, they aren't able to articulate themselves. This is why breakdowns like this are important, so you can demistify amibigious feelings about something and concretely look at it objectively.

    15:03 Going to school for a unique portfolio is not a good reason. That's not the result you'll get from a cookie-cutter curriculum.

    16:35 Take the time to do the math on the final product of your education. Is what your making THAT good?

    18:19 There are levels to these benefits. Are you getting the level of benefit from the school that you think you are?

    22:28 Rethink education dogma. There are many ways to skin this cat, make your path interesting, especially when it makes more sense: Call your design idol, pay them instead to learn what you're paying at school to shadow them. Take an entry-level job at the company doing what you want to learn.

    25:37 Tried and true. There are plenty of people who hustled to build themselves. Chris has been friends with them and has hired them.

    28:40 If it's important to you, grow a spine and be persistent in your pursuit.

    30:57 Chris reiterates his point: The future is different. An example of this is Masterclass.com.

    TLDR; If you really want it, you have all the resources to get it at your disposal, what you need is hustle, not school. Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right.

    Thank you Chris.

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