Part 4 (go here for part 3)
I returned to San Francisco and reworked some of my portfolio sketches. I contacted DesignworksUSA and Ashcraft Design, since I received the warmest receptions at those places, to ask nicely if they would be kind enough to write me recommendation letters; and they did. The DesignworksUSA CEO even critiqued my portfolio & helped me organize its format. I even requested one of my teachers at SF State University to write me a recommendation letter to attend Art Center, which they did. So now, I had a newly revised portfolio and letters of recommendation. I felt I was ready to apply again. And again, I received that little white envelope from Art Center denying my dream. Frustration was really setting in now. I was 0 for 2 now. I contacted the DesignworksUSA CEO to notify him of the bad news. He seemed quite surprised and perturbed. He said, “I’ll call you back, I need to call them myself!”
Within a half hour the DesignworksUSA CEO returned my phone call. He informed me that the term I was applying for was full, but he insisted that the school meet with me. He told them, “This kid is different! You need to meet him!” So a meeting was arranged for me to meet with the head of admissions at Art Center.
I drove my beloved gadget filled Honda back to LA once again for my meeting with Art Center. Until this point Art Center was only the myth of a mystical place for me. I was about to visit and set foot on the campus for the first time. I parked right in front of the gallery next to the bridge and proceeded to the admissions office. I was extremely nervous at this point. I was about to come face to face with my destiny. When I checked in at the counter, instead of meeting with the head of admissions, as I was led to believe, I was directed to a counselor. As we sat down, the counselor pulls a piece of paper from her shirt pocket. She proceeds to tell me, “You know you didn’t make it!” I was well aware of this fact, many times over! She reviews my file and looking through the recommendation letters asks why so many influential people want me to attend this school. My response, “I have this car.” And off we go to see the car (seeing this car seems to be a reoccurring theme by now). After the song and dance, we return to the admissions office again. I am asked to sit and wait. A few minutes later a gentleman comes in to meet me. “Hi, I am so-and-so (not their real name) head of admissions. I hear good things about you. Can you show me this car?”
Let’s do the show again. He asks why my name sounds familiar to him. I reply, “ The CEO of DesignworksUSA…”
He said, “That’s right, he insisted that we meet.”
I was then told, that Art Center needed to review my portfolio again. They proceeded to locate my portfolio that was still in their office. After reviewing it again, they mentioned that they wished they had met with me sooner. If they knew I had these special talents (the car modifications), things may have been different. I was a bit offended by this comment. They suggested that I take night classes at Art Center to improve my portfolio and re-apply again. I contacted the CEO at DesignworksUSA to update him on the situation. He says to me, “Looks like they see something they want. The ball’s in your court now…”
Concludes in part 5!