"The statement should be no more than 500 words in length and should give an overview of the applicant's academic and personal experience, describing preparation for and commitment to further study at SCAD, as well as educational and professional goals and aspirations."
Throughout my life, there hasn't been a moment that I didn't enjoy drawing. From being a five year old who wanted to draw all the sprites from her Pokemon games, to a teenager copying feverishly from the pages of her piles of manga with the rest of the school's Anime Club, my life has been predestined with a love of art, but only as a hobby, I always thought.
However, my life was turned around at sixteen, forcibly becoming a high school dropout and having to move halfway across the country due to my dad suddenly being laid off from his government job. As I spent night after night in off-road motels in the middle of bone-cold winter, I thought about my future, what I would do about college and beyond. I was convinced I couldn't do art for a living; 'a lack of talent, a lack of any knowledge of the subject in a professional light, it's only good as a hobby', I repeated to myself like a mantra as I scrolled through slow loading art blogs on backcountry Internet.
I was just absently sifting through my feed when I came to a picture by one of my favorite artists at the time. There was nothing particularly amazing about it, and maybe it was partly due to the sudden 360 that my life had taken, but as I looked at this picture, failing to choke back tears at 3 in the morning, the idea that I definitely have nothing more in life I want to do but draw planted firmly in my head, and from there I saw drawing as more than just a hobby, filling the empty hours brought on by the awkward age of being too young for college and a job but too poor to enroll back into the local high school, with not just copying idly from comics and games, but actively doing self-study as much as I could.
Being poor has been a roadblock for me academically, either causing me to move, making it hard to focus, or preventing me from going to school in general, but for the first time in my life I'm in a position mentally, emotionally, and financially where I'm able to focus on school to the best of my abilities. Initially it was difficult finding a school, but during my search, I came across an old comic artist I adored when I was younger, and I found out that they had gone to SCAD themselves, and even offered online courses, and that was all it took to convince me to apply.
My admission to SCAD will allow me guidance from a professional always needed in my self-study sessions, and the knowledge necessary for me to break into the art field and become a comic artist to create the things I love in my life.
Jordan, are you telling the reviewer that you have absolutely no preparation whatsoever for attending SCAD aside from being a one time member of the anime club in your high school? If that is the case then we have a definite problem here. Your response to the prompt contains too much dramatics and very little response to the prompt, specifically in the "describing preparation for and commitment to further study at SCAD" portion.
As a personal statement about having to overcome an obstacle in your life, this essay response just might work. However, as a response to requirement specific prompt questions, it fails miserably. Are you sure you do not have any other artistic inclinations, participation, or training, no matter how limited, that can help to at least provide a quick insight into your artistic inclinations and interests? You really have to provide something along those lines.
In addition to that missing information, you also failed to provide a direction as to where you hope your studies at SCAD will take you in the future. You need to properly reflect your career goals and aspirations at the same time as your reasons for attending SCAD. This essay just doesn't work.
You should try to revise the essay after doing some reflection of the prompt requirements. Consider the information that you can provide which will definitely strengthen the essay. I would happily pick out some starting points for you to use from your original essay if it existed. Unfortunately, there is no sign of the information we need :-(
Thank you for the feedback! I rewrote my statement and would love to hear your opinion,
My life as an artist started ...
Jordan, this a very good improvement to your essay. You amanged to show a process by which you were able to continue your education / preparation for attending SCAD even without a formal high school education or training. I would like you to try something to further improve your essay though. Would you mind adding to the part about how you managed to teach yourself how to draw using the internet based free lessons that you came across? If you can describe how difficult this was for you to do, and yet you managed to develop an impressive portfolio, I believe that it will show how you are determined to succeed despite your shortcoming academic-wise.
Now, is the comic-artist that you came across a notable name in the industry? It might be of benefit to you to mention his name and how that meeting inspired you to pursue a degree at SCAD, even though others would believe that you would not qualify to even apply at the university.
When you talk about your future about a storyboard artist, try to present an idea of what your short and long term plans for after graduation. Don't just mention the occupation you want to work in. You have to show a definite career path and a sense of how you plan to do that.
If you don't want to do anything in your life but draw, maybe that means you think of EVERYTHING in life (metaphorically) as drawing. My own art is writing, and in my work/family/social life I always think of it as writing. I always try to make the decision that will bring about the best story, even if it is a bit reckless. Ultimately, a life is really a story. But that is because I'm a verbal/auditory thinker. Maybe you are a visual thinker, and to you life is a series of sketches, moment after moment. If you 'don't want to do anything in life except dray' it's probably important to extend the meaning of that assertion and use the concept of drawing as a metaphor for living a full life.
Here is a famous expression I read somewhere: "The full life is painted with broad brush strokes."
...as much information as I possibly can in a timely manner ----- You could change this sentence to it omits the 'timely manner' part (because it's not helpful) and replace it with a list of 2 or 3 very specific subjects or skills you want to learn. In this regard, I think and important word is 'quirky'. It's hard to define, but you can google it. Recently I began to think a lot about that concept. If you are extremely interested in a particular kind of art, it seems random and quirky. It intrigues the reader.
show a definite career path and a sense of how you plan to do that.--- This is great advice! I always remember the writing strategy called 'show, don't tell!' and I think the most important place to use it is in an essay like this. The object of the game is to 'show' the reader that you are the type of student s/he favors when reading these essays. How does the reviewer determine who to favor? In some research studies, an important concept that emerged is 'likability'... and that is not very encouraging, because it shows that the reviewers favor the people who they tend to 'like' instead of the people who are most deserving. But there is another characteristic that makes reviewers want to favor you: drive/determination.
Whenever a young, teenage character on a film is portrayed as someone with drive/determination, the filmmakers do it by showing that the youth is engaged in many projects aligned with her/his interests. So, while other teens are out playing games, the driven character is at home working alone on a project related to her/his interests. It inspires the audience. Everyone can relate to it if you describe a time of real inspiration, when you worked alone toward a goal that you found exciting.
I believe that having to be self-taught instilled in me a certain kind of determination, focus, and drive that will surely be of great use to me in my time at SCAD. ----- The words 'I believe' are overused in essays like this. If you believe it, you can be bold and state it as a fact. That's what I do. Sometimes it might make people think I am presumptuous or closed-minded, but it still makes the writing more interesting.
More importantly, this (above) is an example of 'telling' instead of 'showing'. You can replace this whole sentence with one that is about specific kinds of art study you're undertaking. Example: You might have a hero, a particular artist whose work you love.