I took a CGMA class for the very first time this year. Specifically I took Armand Serrano’s Environment Sketching for Production. I hunted for reviews of the class to see what I was getting into, and found very little, so I thought I do a short summary of how my experience went.
Armand Serrano is an amazing artist who is known for his works in Disney as well as Sony feature films. He’s been working a very long time and is currently a vis dev artist at Disney. During the lectures, I found his voice nice and relaxing and enjoyed seeing many examples of his studio work.
In this class, you create and take ownership over your own project and ideas while Armand guides you through the process to develop pieces suited for production. He helps you cultivate your project and skills to bring out the best in your artwork. This is not a class of technical “how tos” (eg. how to paint, how to draw perspective, how lighting works, etc). This class pushes you to sketch, explore, research, and most of all, think, about your ideas. I myself like to rush to find the final image and paint to completion. However, this class forced me to sit, explore, and work that brain of mine. I had fun with it and my pieces were better for it. My favorite Armand quote is “We are not just draftsman, we are CONCEPT artists”.
The best part of the CGMA class is the Q & A. Definitely, definitely, take advantage of this time to ask questions. I found most of the best information came these sessions. Armand clearly loves teaching and it shows!
Overall, I highly recommend this class. Go take it! Go after your dream! :) You can do it! Get started now!