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Course Descriptions

The classes listed below are not necessarily offered every term. For current class schedules, or to register, select Register Now .

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  • ACN-142

    Basics of Digital Photography

    Don't be a victim to your digital camera! Take command of your camera and learn how to get the results you want. Whether you are just starting out with photography or need a refresher course, this class will get you started from the ground up. This class will cover all basic camera functions, proper exposure, depth of field, composition, lighting and the challenges of shooting in a digital world. Demonstrations will augment in-class lectures, critiques and hands-on computer time. A significant portion of the class will focus on the use of Adobe Lightroom as today's 'darkroom' for image adjustment, delivery and asset management. While this class may touch on Adobe Photoshop, this is not a Photoshop class. Students must have a digital SLR camera with manual exposure adjustment capabilities as well as access to a computer with Adobe Lightroom 3. (Adobe Lightroom is available at the Art Center Student Store for $99 with valid ACN student ID.)

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-401W

    Color in Photography

    Delve into a world of color! Through readings, critiques, lectures and assignments, we will explore color theories, how color is created, color as a cultural tool and the history of color photography. We will also examine technical and practical issues such as color balance, additive and subtractive systems, proper color correction, color management and lighting. Classroom discussions will cover a diverse group of artists, including Alfred Stieglitz, William Eggleston, James Welling, James Turrell, Lita Albuquerque, Anish Kapoor, Mark Rothko and Yves Klein.

    Prerequisite: Basics of Digital Photography or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor. Required: access to a camera with manual controls for exposure and color balance; digital camera is preferred although a film camera with manual controls can be used.

    1.5 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-274

    Conscientious Photography

    Social and cultural photography continues to be a powerful force in both the commercial industry of photography as well as the fine art world-Taryn Simon, Rineke Dijkstra, Alec Soth, Jim Goldberg and many other photographers are working in advertising, publishing editorials in W and The New York Times and exhibiting in the Whitney Biennial, The Museum of Modern Art and in prestigious galleries around the world. In this course, we will examine diverse approaches and focus on how to develop and articulate projects with a social and cultural awareness. We will not only explore the masters of this language but also investigate the techniques of photography, including cameras, lighting and editing. Assignments will help students discover the issues and concerns that have the potential to become powerful photographic projects. Each student will develop a final project with a conceptual and aesthetic continuity that shapes their subject into a coherent visual statement. Prerequisite: Basics of Photography or by permission of an Art Center advisor.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Summer

  • ACN-481

    Crafting a Meaningful Career

    Change is inevitable. The days of getting an education, going to work for a company for thirty years, retiring, and playing golf until you die are long gone. By some accounts, Americans will have seven or more career changes during their working lives. Whether those changes are big or small, they all involve introspection on what you want out of your life, risk assessment, and consideration of the impact your decision will have on the lives of those you care about the most. This unique course offers you an opportunity to: examine the pros and cons of past employment; deep dive into what motivates you; and create a plan to confidently move on to the next level. It's about defining your unique purpose and how to make it a reality, not about filling in a slot on an HR staffing chart. Drawing on more than 40 years of experience as a creative consultant, Tony Luna will help you discover your new role and connect with a growing network of talented people who are now living their dreams. Redefine your goals and explore the exciting possibilities your talent has in store for you in this information-packed, vital, and enlightening class! In the words of George Eliot, "It's never too late to be who you might have been."

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-356W

    Creative Sketchbook Seminar

    Develop creative ideas, imagery and your own personal style, all within a sketchbook format. The sketchbook is the most unintimidating place to explore and is the perfect vehicle for creating the seeds of future projects. It can also become a fascinating work of art unto itself. In this inspiring one-day workshop, students will explore a variety of media and creative exercises including collage, evidence journaling and collaboration. Great for beginners or beleaguered professionals longing for some creative fun. Bring a new sketchbook,pencils and box lunch. Optional supplies: Collage materials/found papers, acrylic paints, inks, brushes, pastels, glue sticks, aluminum foil and blow-dryers.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-344

    Creative Strategies Pro

    Imagine a cure for cancer. Now imagine what the the logo would look like. This course outlines the breadth of creative services and approaches needed to tell compelling stories to market and sell professional services in the areas of academia, health care, insurance, legal marketing, financial services, environment, government, and more. Learn to convert complex business ideas into effective brand strategies and integrated marketing campaigns. Gain an understanding of how creative fits into the world of professional services by developing fictitious case studies or using real life existing examples. Topics covered include: brand, marketing, sales, thought leadership, design, technology. This is an ideal course for working professionals (junior designers, designers, art directors) and design students alike who want to deepen their creative corporate experience, glean best practices, and/or build upon their portfolios. Prerequisites: mid-level design experience and strong working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and PowerPoint and access to a personal computer with this software). Multimedia skills (Web/video/animation) are encouraged, but not mandatory.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Summer

  • ACN-007

    Design 360

    Are you interested in art or design, but not sure which area suits you best? Would you like to sample each major offered at Art Center? Then this class is for you! Design 360 explores the major art and design fields offered in Art Center's degree program, including: advertising, graphic design, photography, filmmaking, fine art, illustration, product design, environmental design, entertainment design, and transportation design. Through projects centered around one major theme, you will have a chance to explore the principles of each of these art and design disciplines. Drawing skills will be emphasized as an essential way to communicate your ideas. This class is the perfect first class for adult students (over age 18) who are either new to design or seeking to expand their creative horizons.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-126

    Exploring Studio Lighting

    In this hands-on continuation of the Exploring Lighting class series, you will become familiar with studio lighting equipment (studio strobes, tungsten lighting, grip equipment, etc.). Projects will include still life photography, product photography and portraiture. Enrollment limited to 10 students.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • ACN-311

    Intermediate Photo Methods

    Working in black and white or color, traditional film or digital capture, produce a portfolio of creative work-essential for survival in the rapidly changing contemporary art world-and be prepared to have your thinking and approach to image making challenged. Referencing the history of photography, this intermediate course emphasizes visual communication, strong subject matter, lighting and composition. Assignments range from portraiture and still life to advertising and conceptual thinking. A lighting demonstration and a class visit to the instructor's photography studio in Culver City is included. Please bring your portfolio to the first class meeting.

    Prerequisite: Basics of Digital Photography or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-152

    Intro to Filmmaking

    Learn the fundamental concepts and practices involved in filmmaking. In this course, directing and cinematography are closely linked and students explore methods that make a film play. Emphasis is on effective communication, storytelling and creative editing techniques for story enhancement. Students will make three short films. Required: access to a digital video camera and editing system (Art Center's cameras and computer lab facilities are not available for student use.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-485W

    Launching Your Art Career

    Eager to exhibit your work but not sure what steps to take? This no-nonsense seminar will help get you started. Topics include: setting goals, making connections, managing time, selling your work, and creating an action plan. Open to students and emerging artists who are looking to launch or refocus their art careers, find exhibition opportunities, etc.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-011W

    Photo 101: Analog to Digital

    This seven-week crash course in the principles of photography is ideal for anyone who wants to gain confidence in basic camera operations and develop a strong technical foundation. Techniques and concepts covered include aperture settings, shutter speed, depth of field, film selection/ISO setting and proper exposure for both 35mm film and digital SLR cameras. Students must have access to a 35mm SLR or digital SLR camera with manual capabilities. No darkroom work is required. Required: access to a camera (digital preferred) with manual controls for exposure and color balance.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-102W

    Photo 102: Taking the Streets

    In this course, you will fine-tune your camera skills and publish a collection of photographs online. You will learn how to focus your "photographer's eye," discover your photographic "nouns"-the persons, places and things that speak to you-and clarify your personal vision as you refresh or continue your visual voyage. You may choose to shoot traditional or digital imagery. Access to a 35mm SLR or a digital camera with manual capabilities is required.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-358

    Photographing People

    Interested in portrait, fashion and fine art photography? Gain new insight to your work and enhance your technical, conceptual and personal perspectives on photographing people in this new intermediate-level course. Assignments will focus on the psychological challenges involved in photographing individuals, and provide you with the tools to articulate these challenges. This course will explore people photography through a broad perspective and also examine both historical and contemporary developments. We will look at which photographers inspire us, discover what they are doing, and understand how they are doing it. In addition to assignments, students will create a personal series of images with the goal of integrating their newfound perspectives on light, narrative, intention and exploration.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-589W

    Powerful Presentations

    How to tell it so you can sell it. Whether you are a creative or business professional, you must learn to connect effectively with your audience and communicate your ideas in a compelling way. This inspirational workshop will help you hone one of the most critical and often overlooked skills that everyone must possess: the professional presentation. Learn how to take your presentation skills to the next level using words, voice, body language and visuals. Mastering these skills is vital to your professional success whether you are a designer, artist, entrepreneur or business leader.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-387

    Sketching for Non-Designers

    This class is designed for everyone who says they "can't draw" because we believe that you can. With a few simple techniques and practice, you will learn to sketch quickly and confidently and use your newfound skills in day-to-day activities - from note-taking to leading meetings on a whiteboard, or winning at Pictionary.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • ACN-165

    Storyboarding

    This course provides an introduction to the versatile field of storyboarding.Class discussions and demonstrations will cover different styles and techniques of sequential art used in live action, animation and commercial applications. Through a combination of in-class and homework assignments, this course will teach you the necessary mechanics of visual storytelling and help you develop an individual and industry-typical style. Special guest speakers will round out the classroom experience. Students may draw by hand or work in digital formats using Wacom boards and laptops. Note: access to Art Center's computer facilities is not included. Please provide your own equipment and software if you wish to work digitally. This course is designed for students and professionals who wish to expand their skills or seek to develop their portfolios for entry into Art Center's full-time degree programs.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-434W

    Surface Design: Illustrator

    This one-day workshop provides an overview of Adobe Illustrator tools, tips, tricks and best work practices needed to create commonly used vector-based repeat patterns for the surface/textile industry. Hands on projects during the workshop will allow you to practice full drop, half drop, brick, diamond, mirror and scatter-toss repeats. Other topics include precise measurements, color editing, pattern swatches, pattern maker, manual pattern layout, custom brushes, technical requirements for mass production, and more. Adobe Illustrator is ideal to use for vector-based artwork and is equally important as Photoshop is for continuous tone artwork. Equal knowledge of both programs is crucial for professional level work in the field of surface/textile design.

    Prerequisite: Digital Design 1, or basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-433W

    Surface Design: Photoshop

    This one-day workshop provides an overview of Adobe Photoshop tools, tips, tricks and best work practices necessary in creating commonly used repeat patterns for the surface/textile industry. In-class hands-on projects will be done to practice full drop, half drop, brick, diamond, mirror and scatter-toss repeats. Other topics include precise measurements, color editing, define pattern, pattern layers, manual pattern layout using both transform and offset options, technical requirements for mass production, and more. Adobe Photoshop is ideal for continuous tone artwork and is equally important as Adobe Illustrator is for vector artwork. Equal knowledge of both programs is crucial for professional level work in the field of surface/textile design.

    Prerequisite: Digital Design 1 or basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-484W

    The Next Great Idea

    In this one-day workshop, you will develop a keen awareness and understanding of the methods that artists, designers, and copywriters use to grow their creativity, with special emphasis on creative problem solving in a visually-oriented workplace. Gain a better understanding of the creative process, simplified; from idea to final execution and how it differs from what most people do today; how to come up with a wide range of potential solutions for visuals and/ or written word; what to do to put yourself in a creative state of mind; and understand the differences between creative play and creative problem solving - and how both are necessary. Open to students and working professionals with an interest in advertising, illustration, fine art, graphic design, photography, film, and product design.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • ACN-420W

    Writing Workshop for Artists

    From artist statements to applications for art schools, residencies, grants, and exhibitions, writing has become increasingly more important in an artist's practice. The first part of this seven-week workshop focuses on writing an artist statement in which you will explore different ways to describe your work. During the second part, you will work on an application of your choice as you learning about different types of applications and research venues for residencies, grants, curatorial proposals, and art exhibitions. Through discussions of your work and those of other artists, you will begin to articulate your thought processes in writing, cultivate new ideas and further develop your practice. Strongly recommended for those who are applying to art schools.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer