Tony Ferguson on tue 21 oct 08
There is a lot of good advice and energy directed toward you. I hope you will consider what many of us are saying, with a grain of salt always, but do consider, internalize, and think about how you are putting yourself out there.
I was not aware at all that a school would take a video applications and not in the fall. Most applications are due in January through April at the latest.
From the programs I have applied to, its always been slides (hopefully now digital files), letters of recommendation, application, and what I love the most, the application fee. Like you Dayton, we pay and we pay and we pay. Their system. Don't like it but if you want to play you gotta pay. You want to change things, I believe a person should always start with them self and work from the inside--this usually has a gravitational effect on others as you develop excellence.
Some tips as you are applying for school.
1. apply to more than (1) school, like 5 or 7.
2. get your letters of recommendation in order months before you apply--this means you talk to them, and if they agree, send them an addressed envelope to the schools you are applying for, a link to update work you've been doing or video. This is application etiquette as was so kindly taught to me. Include a resume so they can see what you been doing or narrative. They are busy people and can't keep up on everything. Doing as much to make it easy for them communicate you respect them.
3. If you can not visit, call and talk to each instructor in the department ask them for 5 minutes and let them know you are applying--introduce yourself, ask some genuine questions, communicate your desire to be in that program. Do not act like you would be doing them a favor but don't be meek either so they question whether or not you can be successful in their program. You have 5 minutes to communicate your passion and show you can listen.
4. The Work - When you select your work, show the best work you've done. And then ask 5 people you feel are far superior to yourself to look at your selections and kindly ask for feedback as you make your final selections. This is also the time to not have uncle Tim shoot your photos because he can. Beg, borrow or steal (not really, barter or pay someone) to take professional images of your work. This is not the area you want to skimp on, really.
5. The essay. Why you want to go to school. Be honest. Tell your story. More importantly, tell how getting further education will help you obtain your goals, your love of the arts, how the arts have helped you grow, develop, become a better and more aware person of your culture and the world. Do not be pretentious or desperate on either side of the spectrum. Talk about your influences and your teachers/artists and how you valued those relationships which from my reading of your posts, you do value good teachers--and there are plenty out there.
There is a saying in the East, When the chela is ready the master appears. If you don't get into school, although you may feel ready (and brother I've been there 3 times) you may not in fact be ready. However you chalk up the circumstances, blame the system, in the end, you have to look at yourself and all the circumstances that have brought you to this moment.
Your path may not be what you think it should be, so its time for re-evaluation, soul searching, true honesty about your strengths, weaknesses, and a step toward renewing yourself in a direction that seems right for you.
I would say don't give up but make sure you self evaluate on the inside instead of finding fault with everything outside which I have been guilty of as well. I speak to you from experience, having been where you are and in many ways still there/here.
You have skill but skill is not enough--it is just one aspect of character which as you develop will develop in your work--and those instructors can see it--the good ones and they will also see your potential. But if you make it hard for them to see that by putting all this other stuff out there, you are sandbagging yourself when you really don't have to.
I have no doubt you can do it. Keep more of your opinions to yourself (time to be the strong silent type) and work out your ideas in the clay. Let the clay speak for you.
Artist...Clay, Web, Photo, Video
...where the sky meets the lake...