I didn’t go to college. I couldn’t take it, so I went to the next best thing. Art School. Now, I was nineteen and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I loved art. And I knew I hated school, so I started asking around about what Art School options were out there.
My Dad ended up setting me up with an interview with the people down at a local Design Agency in Downtown Sacramento. Two of the guys there told me that they moved to Atlanta to attend a small design school called Portfolio Center and that one of them had actually taught there for a short time. Now, at this point I was looking at all my options. I had looked into schools in Oakland and San Fransisco, but none of those schools really sparked my interest. Plus, they were 4 year degrees, and PC was a two year specialized school. In other words, you get a certificate and they help you get a job. Sounded good to me.
I moved to Atlanta in March of 2001. I grew up pretty fast there as all my friends were four years older then me. You see, most kids at Portfolio Center actually go to a normal college first. They then graduate and decide they want spend more money on school. But really, most people use PC as a graduate school, or finishing school. I was the baby, yet most people I came across claimed they wished they had done what I had done and skipped regular college. I guess I just knew what I wanted. I just like to draw pictures.
So after being at PC for a while, I realized that I am one of about ten Illustrators. Portfolio Center is a very small school made up of about 300 kids. I would say over half are designers, a quarter photographers, and the rest are made up of Art Directors, New Media, and then Illustrators. It was strange, but I ended up liking the fact that I was in the minority. Plus, the designers were put through hell, and all we did was paint and draw all day. I was a 19 year old stoner from California; I loved it.
Most of my friends were designers. They were all very talented but had a lot more work then me. I got the nickname “Danger” because I was such a bad influence on my overworked designer friends. Now don’t get me wrong, I did work. It was just that I was so talented, that I didn’t need to work that hard. (sarcasm) But really, I did learn a lot about drawing and painting. Plus, I did take my first classes in After Effects, Flash, and Lightwave which I use on an everyday basis now. PC was a great starting point for my career, and I loved every moment I was there.
Portfolio Center, with the help of my Illustrator instructor Gary Weiss, got me my first opportunity in the real word. They set me up with an internship at Indigo Studios. I have worked there ever since. PC gave me the knowledge and professionalize that I needed to get a job in the real world and succeed at that job.
And plus, if I hadn’t gone to PC, then I wouldn’t be here in Atlanta, and I would never have meet my beautiful wife Priscilla. I can’t deny that PC was one of the best decisions I have ever made and It was a major turning point in my life. I suggest that if anyone out there wants to be a designer, or wants to work in the creative advertising business, then Portfolio Center is the way to go.