I never thought I'd ever say this about an exam, but it was fun. Actual, proper fun.
Assembly was was at 8:30 in the morning, in the entrance hall of the school. We ended up being around 15 people, all waiting anxiously for the instructor to show up and take us to the room where the exam would be. It turned out being this really, really nice and funny guy, who kept making jokes and generally made me feel right at home. He's the head of the Non-Fiction Illustration department, I think... Anyway, we each had our own desk and after setting ourselves up, the instructor gave us a general overview of the exam. And he also told us the times of our individual interviews, which was part of it aswell. But more on that later.
By the time the actual thing started, I was hardly nervous anymore. The instructors (there turned out to be 4 of them) treated the whole thing in such a casual and normal way that all the pressure I'd previously felt just vanished and I found myself going along with all the joking and talking and general good mood.
The first task was the most fun, I think. We received a list of weird animal- and plant names, but weren't told what they actually were. We had to select one of them, create an imaginary animal with it and then had to make a pseudo-scientific profile on said species. With an overview, as well as detail drawings. I picked the "spotted sea hare" and well... I took it very literally. XD The result was really weird, but fun. (Turns out it's a species of snail in reality, lol)
Second task was to draw... wait for it... a popcorn! Classic exam exercise. We had to pick a popcorn from a pile, put it on a white sheet of paper and then copy it 10x enlarged. I must admit, the shading turned out a bit dark on that one... but at least it looked kind of 3d. And that was the main goal of the task anyway...
Third thing was to draw a peperoni. That was the first and only thing we had to do just with pencil (all the other things we had to do in colour). We had to draw it in a way that showed its form and mass, but without any shading. It had to stay a line drawing. I didn't really know how I was supposed to do that, but well... I gave it my best shot.
Last task was the longest and hardest. We received a paper with a pizza recipe on it, which we had to illustrate it in a comprehensible way, without using any words. The only things we were allowed to do in writing were numbers and titles. But once I'd sort of settled on what I wanted to illustrate and in what way I wanted to draw it, the task became pretty straightforward. I can only say that I am really, really thankful for my training in graphic design. It definitely made that task easier!
As for my interview... I'm not really sure if it was good or bad?
As some of you know, I'd originally applied for Illustration Fiction, but was then invited for the Illustration Non-Fiction exam. So, the instructors didn't have all that much to go on, as I'd assembled the application portfolio for Fiction. They asked me loads of questions about why I'd applied for Fiction, if I'd ever considered animation, if I was sure that I wanted to do Non-Fiction, what my motivations were, if I'd ever had formal training, ect. I answered everything as best I could, but they did seem a little sceptical... Or maybe that was just me. Otherwise, the interview went on in quite a relaxed fashion. Those instructors were just the best people!
But yeah, to tell the truth, I have no idea which way this is gonna go. I'll just have to wait and see... Anyway, I'll know in 14 days if I'm in or not.
And even if I don't get in, this exam day was still a brilliant experience!