Professional Practices for Digital Arts Majors

ARTC 4090, Fall 2010

Wednesdays* 1:00-3:20 pm

* Some Monday classes are required. Do not schedule anything on Mondays during class time.

Classroom:  Room 129 Fine Arts Center


Professor Dr. Dena Elisabeth Eber                                                                                             Office:  Room 123, Fine Arts Center

Phone:  372-8526                                                                                                                               Office Hours: Tues 10:00am-1:00pm




Prerequisite: Must be scheduled to Graduate in Digital Arts December 2010 or May / August 2010 and concurrent registration in ARCT 4180


Required Readings: Will assign throughout the semester.  Most are posted online with class assignments.



This course will help you transition from academia to life after college. In the case of digital arts, this could mean many things, but we will focus on three paths: graduate school, industry, and studio art practices. In each case this course will, above all, help you focus on your art and its development as a whole, understand yourself as an artist, and present yourself, your ideas, and your art.


CLASS FORMAT: What you get out of this class is wholly dependent upon your preparation and participation. Most classes will include some of the following: discussions of readings, visitor presentations, student presentations, instruction on preparing yourself for the next step after school, and informal critiques. Participation is a GRADE (see grading below).


Requirements: Each student is expected to complete all the assignments and required readings, which includes bringing readings and notes from readings to class. During discussion and lectures, students are expected to engage in meaningful classroom participation. Details of the various assignments will be discussed in class.


NOTE ON THE BFA SHOW: The focus of this course is not to make artwork for the BFA exit show.  That content is covered in ARCT 4180.


Grading Standards:

"A"s are given for excellent projects that are turned in on time! "C"s are given for projects completed on time but average in quality and quantity. Missed assignments are automatically and F.

You will be graded on an equal balance of the following:


Class participation

Class preparation

Each Project (Equal weight unless noted)



If your assignment is up to 24 hours late, I lower you grade by one letter, 24 to 48 hours late, I lower you grade by two letters and 48 to 72 hours late, I lower you grade by three letter grades. No assignments are accepted after three days and you will receive an "F" for that project.


Attendance: Attendance is not only mandatory but it is crucial to your success in this class. If you are not in class, find out from the other students what was covered and if work was assigned. Absence is not a valid excuse for coming to the following class unprepared, or for not having an assignment completed that was given while you were gone. This class will adhere to the following Attendance Policy:


1.               Because this class meets only once a week, you may miss a maximum of TWO classes without penalty.

2.               Missing more then 10% of regularly scheduled course meeting times (2 classes) results in the reduction of your final grade by one letter grade per absence beyond the second, and continues for each additional absence up to the 4th absence.

3.               Missing more then 20% of regularly scheduled course meetings (4 classes) results in automatic failure for the course. (Formula: #5=F).

4.               There are no "excused" or "unexcused" absences. There is only presence or absence.

Arriving for class will be counted as late. Three late = 1 absence

Role will be taken at the beginning of each class. If you wander in late, it is your responsibility to make sure I mark your arrival.

5.               Do not leave class early. If you absolutely must, you have to clear it with me first, or you will be considered absent for that entire day.

6.               In the event of a mental or physical health emergency or another similar crisis that may cause you to miss more than two classes, please set up an appointment with me to discuss your options


TOPICS TO BE COVERED:  Subject to changes, additions, and subtractions.

                 3 paths (Industry, Artist, Grad School)



                 Artist Statement

                 Cover Letters          

                 Presentation Packets

                 Legal Issues           

    contracts, copyright, digital arts, insurance      

                 Demo Reels                              

                 Creative blocks      

                 Getting art exhibited and sold

                 SIGGRAPH, web presence,

                 competitions / juried shows

                 pricing work            

                 Speaking about your work    

                 Health issues          





PROJECTS: Specifics will follow. Subject to change, additions, and subtractions


Professional Presentation:  Present your professional packet (Due Nov 17th, Dec 01 or Dec 08)

This will be a presentation of your professional packet (explained below). 10-15 minute presentations will happen on Nov 17th, Dec 01 or Dec 08.


Professional Packet (due Nov 17th)

The final Professional Packet is your presentation for a job, gallery, graduate school, etc. It is unlike your BFA portfolio (for 4180) as this includes materials to get you a job, while your BFA portfolio is a body of artwork for your BFA exhibition. The final packet is due Nov 17th, but various drafts of the parts will be due throughout the semester. It will consist of:


1.               Artist Statement

2.               Artist Biography  

3.               Resume

4.               Cover Letter                           

6.               Other Visual Material           

                 Prints, Demo Reel, Digital images, depending on your focus.

7.               For Grad School only:  Essay and/or application

8.               Promotional material   

                 Such as buttons, stickers, business cards, brochures

9.               Portfolio book       

                 Includes your statement, bio and still images of art.  Note:  Use screen grabs for time based works

10.            Updated BGSU web portfolio



Readings throughout the semester: Readings will be discussed in class. Note that participation in these discussions is part of your grade. YOU MUST BRING YOUR READING WITH YOU TO CLASS THE DAY IT IS DUE OR YOU WILL BE CONSIDERED ABSENT FOR THAT DAY!


Essays and small assignments due throughout the semester


Visiting Artist lecture: 

Due any time up until Dec 1

You are required to attend a minimum of ONE artist lecture or workshop during the semester.  You will need to write a summary of the presentation.


Research on what you think you will do next:  Find information about one of the areas listed below including what they request and in what format. Then, prepare a mock application.   Due Oct 27th.

                 Graduate Schools (Contacts, applications, materials needed, requirements, etc.)

                 Gallery or Museums (Contacts, gallery names, materials needed, cover letters, etc.)

                 Industry jobs (Contacts, company names, materials needed, cover letters, etc.)


Enter a Juried show: Prepare a show / festival application package and send it. Deadline October 6


(Optional) Make Contact: Make contact with the companies, graduate schools, or galleries you found in your research. Due as you complete them. Let me know of your progress in some written format. This is a way to get bonus points.


Student Project Use: Projects created in any Digital Arts course may be used by the School of Art for the purpose of promoting the student, the department, and/or the university in general. These materials may also be used for instructional purposes in future courses. Please inform me if you do not want your projects used.


Student Concerns: Any student who wishes to discuss accommodations on the basis of a disability please talk to me during office hours.