I did... at The Stranger.
sweet christ yes. I was making that in 98! walking to the ride free zone getting shoved by MTV camera men on the bus to work! I left soon after that... moved into the renovated entire top floor of an industrial building for $450 a month. I paid $500 in Seattle for a walk-in closet.
a) Art, we're all scared of your work, but that's not a bad thing
b) school is for suckers. No, seriously ... I went to JC and a California State University and took workshops at the California College of Arts and Crafts and the San Francisco Center for the Book / Pacific Center for Book Arts. I learned more technique and skill from those weekend workshops and on the job than I ever did in school.
That said, school was not a bad place to be. I don't think we can be decent designers without an all-around education, and for those of us who are more inner-directed, we can get that education outside of a school environment. Some of us need the framework of a university setting. Certainly, having access to the design and art and rare books section of the university library probably taught me more about aesthetic than all the classes I ever took combined.
i did what art suggested - i volunteered to help out at my local offset printing shop (thanks ian!). awesome experience. i also volunteered at a screenprint shop (thanks rumplesilkscreen!). i took one offset printing course ($150) through my local community college, and another course for Adult Learners at my local high school ($35). that's all. luckily, or happily i should say, all the teachers and people that ran the shops could see i was nuts about print, and gave me plenty of advice n stuff. everything else i've learned was from making zines and designing posters. oh yeah, bought some lino carving tools for like $10 and taught myself that as well. it's funny how these things can pay off - i actually taught art classes to little kids for 4 summers through the public library system, for $30 an hour, and you know who recommended me? one of the screenprinting instructors at the Ontario College Of Art & Design, that i had met through a friend! all of these mentors <sigh>.....just goes to show, you can have no dinero and still get the j-o-b done.
yeah, i know a great artist, who is self-taught for the most part, and he got on my case becuase i don't take enough advantage of the facilities where i work (a GIANT university with great libraries and galleries). but all the reading and examination seem like only half of it. i've been in the art school environment before and in retrospect, found it pretty important to my development, as well as alot of folks around me. i guess when i posted this i was just wondering a little bit about the individual growth of you as artists, in comparision to my own. and also, ideas about some of the lesser known schools that may sway my decision. but i thank everyone who has had anything to offer on this matter.
Actually, Art, I don't think you'd be bounced. Sure, Heller and the other AIGA bigwigs would put a lot of stock in formal education - it made them who they are. But you've accomplished something that the design elite (unfortunately) value even more: you get in the annuals. I can attest that it's become a popularity contest. I used to argue that annuals were meaningless, and I still do to a point. I used to say that clients don't read annuals - only designers and ADs do. But something changed my mind.
I ran a project that had writeups, spaced a few months apart, in HOW, Print and Publish. After each article or interview, I got inundated with calls from new clients, designers and illustrators who wanted work, and people who wanted to outsource random jobs. Mostly stuff I was unqualified for. And then a strange thing happened: I got calls from AIGA people, people who I had admired as a student when I went to ATypI meetings, asking me to work with them on AIGA and regional association related projects.
Then I took a job with the government, didn't do any flashy stuff to get into the pages of those magazines, and was promptly ignored by all those big ADs and principals and famous foreign designers.
Anyway, my whole point: there are lots of different marks of status out there - an education from an accredited design school is only one of them. Unfortunately, our profession is still so ego driven and full of windbags that getting into the annuals, no matter who the judges are or what they're judging for, makes one a part of the club (not that you don't deserve to be part of the club).
Sorry for being so inarticulate. It's early still.