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Affinity Sections

Welcome to Otis College and to the Foundation (first year) program. You are about to begin your professional training in art & design. To prepare for your course advising session, please read through the Course and Section descriptions and preview the Section schedules and faculty bios provided below

Foundation Courses and “Sections”

Students enrolled in the Foundation program take their studio courses with a section, or group of students who, as a learning community, share the same weekly studio schedule, faculty, projects, and assignments. Sections allow students to bond well with their classmates and learn quickly in a familiar environment.

The Foundation Department plans to offer a combination of online, blended (online with some on-campus meetings), and on-campus classes in fall 2021. 

In partnership with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, we will work to ensure a safe and healthy environment for students that will include physical distancing, adhering to mask requirements, and regular cleaning and campus sanitation. To read more about Otis College's plan for fall, please visit the Otis Forward page.

Decision One: Choose Life Drawing I or Creative Practices I

Artists and designers are often said to have the ability to ‘see more’. The creative person's curiosity naturally leads them to notice and consider their environment in detail, observing all that happens around them. This ability to observe, to perceive, is a skill that students begin to refine from the first day of classes!

First year foundation students can choose between two emphases of study, both of which take an expanded approach to seeing.

Life Drawing I provides students with the opportunity to develop key fundamental observational drawing skills while learning the skeletal and muscular systems of the human figure. Even if you’ve drawn from life before, this class will help you prepare for your major, refine your drawing skills and develop your personal drawing practice. Foundation faculty demonstrate step by step structural drawing processes that lead students through the analysis of drawing 3-D form. The six-hour studio offers students the time necessary to discover and develop their drawing skills. The final drawings are accomplished works that reflect the curriculum and the student’s personal approach. Life Drawing is especially important if you are considering entering Digital Media, Toy Design, Communication Arts (Illustration emphasis) or Fashion Design.

Creative Practices I gives students the opportunity to develop key observational and conceptual understandings of the individual maker in dialogue with the natural world, urban Los Angeles and world culture. In this studio, students develop keen perceptual skills through investigation and research using lens-based media; analyzing movement, motion, and gesture. Structured as a series of projects that begin with ideation and resolve in a finished product, the materials and methods include a variety of 2-D, 3-D and 4-D, chosen in response to concept. This course is especially designed if you are considering entering Fine Arts, Product Design, Communication Arts (Graphic Design emphasis). This course, Creative Practices I or Creative Practices II, in spring 2022, are also available if you are considering Digital Media or Communication Arts (Illustration emphasis).

Decision Two: Choose an Affinity theme

Foundation sections are created around broadly transferable making and thinking skills and themes or skill-bases that some students might find particularly interesting, or share an affinity for. Each Section’s name indicates its identifying theme or topic, which inform select learning experiences unique to that section throughout the school year. 

Decision Three: Choose a Section

As part of registration, you will select a Foundation section. In choosing a section, consider its theme/topic. This fall 2021, we will offer sections that are blended, meaning that the classes that make up your schedule will be taught in person and online, and fully online sections for students who need to study remotely. 

It is important to select a section that will help you both to develop your current interests and support your curiosity about things that you’re less familiar or comfortable with.

As you read through the section descriptions, below, think about your future as an art/design professional and ask yourself if there is some aspect of art and/or design that you might like to emphasize. No matter which section you choose, you will be mastering foundational skills, learning about cognitive and visual organization, participating in insightful critiques, and developing your inquisitive minds as a vital step toward college—and professional—success.

Sections for Creative Practices I

All sections filled

Sections for Life Drawing I

Made by Hand—3 schedules available (Sections C, N, O)

Students enrolled in these sections approach each class project with an emphasis on broad, transferable traditional and progressive art and design skill-building as well as enhancing their personal creative practice. Inventiveness is emphasized by discussion, demonstration, and the introduction of exemplars and their practices. Students in this section work by hand, as well as by using photography, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

Section C 
Section N
Section O

Making Through Technologies—2 schedules available (Sections D, H)

The Technology sections include additional instruction in photography, Photoshop, and Illustrator in the courses Principles of Design and Connections through Color and Design. In these courses, students have weekly access to computer labs and mobile computing stations in both semesters. Students also have the opportunity to work by hand using analogue materials.

Section D
Section H - Fully online evening PDT section