Concept Design Academy – Intro to Story Development Class Review
Kevin Chen started Concept Design Academy years ago. I met Kevin at Associates in Arts in 1999. I haven’t taken an art class since 200. 😐 So I signed up for this class which was instructed by Louie Del Carmen. The word “Intro” made it sound friendly enough. The first 5 out of 10 weeks was a breeze. I mean the class exercises where hard, but I didn’t feel much of a work load. There was a lot of good lecture notes within that time. From weeks 6-10 however, I was drawing my butt off. One week, I spent 40 hours doing storyboard homework. This was when I learned that I draw too inefficiently, and that made the story “telling” happen way too slow. With a day job and freelance art work, this really killed me. I didn’t sleep much at all. I was just exhausted even though it was fun. The other last 4 weeks got a little better. I was doing about 20-25 hours of homework with storyboarding. It was a ton work even to edit a story a second and third time. Louie was a very good instructor. His notes and suggestions were very sound. My classmates were also very good artists. Everyone had their own voice. It was a great experience despite how difficult it was to write, draw, and pitch the boards. I definitely learned a ton. A huge thing that this class forced me to do is to think about what the story is really about. I’m reminded to check for message and direction clarity, and how to find ways to cut anything that is not necessary to drive my plot. The critiques were very constructive and my classmates offered some good suggestions on how to improve my stories. It was a pleasure to watch my classmates and Louie pitch also. I learned so much from everyone there. This class offered me a great opportunity to get to know some very talented classmates.
The main goal that I had was to get back in touch with the art world and it’s people and to learn how I can improve my story and storytelling. I must say that I am proud to be able to say that I was able completed every assignment on time. This was not an easy task. If you can bare to work hard drawing story; I highly recommend that you take this course. it will do a lot to help you on your endeavors as a storyteller. My experience there will help me greatly to produce better comics in the near future. Below are some photos of our class in action. I went to two other workshops during this term. One was called “Story Illustration” instructed by Chris Appelhans. The second was called “Environment/Lighting Design” instructed by Khang Le. Both workshops were very good. For someone who wants to get a sampler to an area of specialization, I highly recommend these one day workshops before deciding on signing up for a full 10-week course in it. I am feeling very inspired now. It’s time for me to get back to drawing my comic book Hiraku finally! 🙂