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"If you can dream, you can do it." - Art Institute of San Francisco Application Essay


bohemianmoon 1 / 1  
Dec 12, 2009   #1
I'm applying to the Art Institute of San Francisco to study animation- and I would really like some feedback. This is my first time on Essay Forum, but I welcome constructive criticism! Thank you.

Some of my earliest memories recall bright, sunlit days spent playing with endless toys- all from Disney animated films. My room was a homage to the movies- a princess-themed bedroom set, plushies from various of the films (My favorite being a giant Mufasa plushie), and shelves with entire collections of toys from the movies. My parents like to say that the first movies I ever saw were Robin Hood and Dumbo; apparently, I'd watch one, then the other ceaselessly for a year. Like so many other children of my generation, I was raised on Disney animated films- and the films of what many have referred to as "the Disney Renaissance", including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, etc. To say they did not affect who I have become would be a lie- for those movies taught me to dream, and imagine, and believe in the magic that the Walt Disney Company is so well known for.

Unlike many of my counterparts, I have not drawn all my life. At the same time, however, I was not totally disinterested; I excelled in my elementary art classes and even took a separate art class for a year or so. But I knew there were those around me who seemed to have the natural gift, and to me it seemed a plane that I would forever admire, and never participate in. All that changed, however, during ninth grade. That year, my best friend at the time introduced me to an online community wholly for artists- and showed me the drawings a girl who claimed to only be a few years older than me, and could draw as well as any of the animations I'd always loved so much on the television screen. It opened my eyes, and made me wonder- If she, so young, could manage a drawing like that- Why couldn't I? With this thought in mind, I began to dedicate to drawing.

It's been two years since then, and I've come a long way. I've spent hours poring over endless books on anatomy and nude photography, trying to teach myself, as my original inspiration did, the secrets of the anatomy of the human body- not only how it looked, but how it moved, and how, more importantly, it communicated. I've learned somewhat how to bring my characters to life- and with the characters I have created I have learned to give them stories, and personalities. Nevertheless, I am nowhere near where I want to be. As a child, I dreamt of someday, somehow, participating in the company that made me who I was, and who defined my childhood- and that dream has never changed.

With the help of the Art Institute in San Francisco, I hope to refine what I have learned thus far; To refine and expand my horizons, so I can bring the art that I have learned to love so much to life. As anyone knows, knowledge is the key to the future, and I believe the institute holds the key to my future not only as an animator, but as a better person. I hope to learn the skills that so many before me have put to use to entertain and nurture past generations, the skills of expression, and movement, and life. From my professors, I hope to learn everything there is to learn and more, for I know most have actually worked in this filed, and therefore contain plentiful, worthwhile knowledge.

With the task of honing my skills as an artist and improving my art also comes the new challenge of entering a new stage of my life; of becoming an adult, and all the responsibilities this entails. With the knowledge that I will be wholly responsible for my life and my work I look forward to advancing into a secondary-level education, into putting forth all the best of me into my work, and learning, for the best part of my desire to become an animator is not that I am doing it for money, but because it is a subject I have truly been passionate about my whole life, whether as an animator, or a spectator.

Walt Disney once said, "If you can dream, you can do it." I've been dreaming all my life of doing something important, to myself and to others. Perhaps, to some, being an animator is not a profession that will have some great effect- but I disagree. Just like I, and so many others of my generation, were affected by the 2D Disney films of my time, so I want to join the ranks of other animators who were influenced by Disney's films, and create the films for the next generations to come, hopefully causing the same effect they had on me, and so many others like myself.
Jeannie 10 / 214  
Dec 13, 2009   #2
This essay is nicely planned, Maria, and the information is comprehensive! Great place to start. There are some sentence and paragraph structure issues, but they are easily fixed:

Some of my earliest memories recall are of bright, sunlit days spent playing with endless toys- all from Disney animated films. a vast sea of toys that were based on characters from Disney animated films. My room was a homage to the movies: a princess-themed bedroom set, plushies from various of the films (m y favorite being a giant Mufasa plushie), and shelves with entire collections of toys from the movies.

I would switch your order around when you list the items in your room so we can get rid of the parentheses...

" My room was a homage to the Disney movies: a princess-themed bedroom set, a collection of characters lining the shelves, and plushies from various films scattered across the floor. My favorite was a giant stuffed 'Musafa'."

I messed up somehow, and now I keep having to go back and forth between editing screens and your post...I will see if the Moderator's can help me delete this and start over, otherwise it will take forever...Don't worry, I'll be back :)

Jeannie
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 14, 2009   #3
Hi Jeanie, I almost missed your comment there. Are you able to add another post now that I posted? BTW, if you have tabbed browsing (i.e. mozilla firefox is what I use, on a PC), you can just copy the web address of the essay, open a new tab and go to it, and then just tab back and forth. tabbed browsing is cool.

Nice to meet you Maria!

How about countless instead of "endless", and Ill also switch 2 words around:
... countless toys- all from animated Disn ey films.

Below, I'll add some punch to the paragraph by streamlining:
Like so many other children of my generation, I was raised on Disney animated films- and the films of what many have referred to as during "the Disney Renaissance", including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, etc.

...but etc is not good, not graceful, so I'll put two sentences together and cite a source instead:
...during the "Disney Renaissance" (Greydanus, 2000) including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, etc. , and to say...

That is great... so at the end you would have to add this little reference note (see below)
Reference:

Greydanus. (2000). Notes on the End of the Disney Renaissance. Available:
decentfilms.com/sections/articles/quovadisdisney.html

(referencing a source like that is not often done in admissions essays, so I think it would set you apart.)

Nice! This essay gives a good feeling to the reader, I think. Toward the end, you start 2 paragraphs with "with the..." so maybe one should change to a different wording...
Jeannie 10 / 214  
Dec 14, 2009   #4
This idea has me jumping up and down! Yes! This would totally set you apart!
Great advise, Kevin! (and thanks for the good catch! yes, I can post now :)

OK, I look forward to your reply, Maria. Let us know what you think, and feel free to ask questions. I really think this essay has a lot of potential.

Blue skies and soft, velvet, plushies! ;)

Jeannie
OP bohemianmoon 1 / 1  
Dec 16, 2009   #5
I had to turn in the un-edited version of my Essay because I was on a deadline, but I'm positively ECSTATIC to see your replies. Thank you,Jeanie and Kevin for your wonderful advice and revisions- I'm editing my essay right now, as my admissions officer allowed me to resubmit due to a few minor spelling errors I spotted.

So thank you, thank you and thank you again!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 19, 2009   #6
Your welcome, Maria! Good luck in your application/admission...


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