Jonas Ma earned acceptance to Columbia University in 2022. He wrote a comment about our school on Yelp.
“Been a student since the summer of my freshman year in high school, and I just graduated in my senior year. Omar pushes me to the better artist I am today. Ms. Wang's hospitality is extremely heartwarming, and the place feels like a second home even though I have to drive one and half hour to get there every time because I live in Irvine.
There are variety of classes to choose. Entertainment design, architecture, fashion design, illustration, fine art, UI design, book cover design, graphic design, font design, and most importantly life drawing class. And Omar treats you like you are a professional artist, not some random kid who likes art. He pushes us to work hard and think outside the box. And most importantly, he will critique your work outside of class all the time. He said "send me work when you are outside of class!" So basically you are having class 24x7 for the entire year if you are working on art constantly. No matter how late it is, he will reply. The group chat the students have is a great community. Students help each other, give advice, help critique. Very comfortable community. And we have big class critique every now and then to not only help students get critique from multiple perspectives, but also train students to know how to speak up and express their thoughts. Omar has transformed me from a shy introvert to an artist who really likes to speak out and critique and express my opinion.” ----Jonas Ma
Eric Lin earned acceptance to Art Center College of Design--Illustration with a scholarship of $22,500/year $90,000/4yrs in 2022. He wrote a comment about our school on Yelp.
“The models of WCAAD weekly figure drawing class are always professional and terrific posers. The most common medium we use for practice is charcoal on newsprint, but we experience with a wide range of mediums such as Chinese ink, oil/acrylic paint, watercolor, etc. Sometimes we are required to draw with certain conditions such as drawing with contour line or drawing without a gesture which forces you to be precise and measure your proportions in relation to other portions of the drawing. These exercises are crucial because they improve your weak points and makes regular figure drawing feel easy. This place is no joke, it's an institution for students that take art seriously. Omar points out constructive criticisms that are on point and direct. I have been to figure drawing sessions in the most well known Art schools in the country, like Art Center in California and School of Visual Arts in New York. to be honest, Omar's figure drawing class is just as good if not better than those ones.” ----Eric Lin
Gianna Ouyang was accepted by Pratt Institute--Architecture in 2022 with a scholarship of $35,000/yr total $140,000. She wrote a comment about our school on Yelp.
“As a high school senior who has attended WCAAD for 2 years and who has just received offers from multiple art colleges, I am writing this review with complete honesty and gratitude.
I'm really grateful that I have the opportunity to enroll in WCAAD's classes and meet two very amazing teachers, Omar and Jack. Both Omar and Jack are incredibly supportive even outside of class time. Throughout the entire process of building my portfolio and application, they were always very responsive to my late-nights and early morning email questions. My teachers really went above and beyond what is expected in the college application, and they really make sure that students are prepared to enter their college lives. They also have a lot of resources. I am able to meet college counselors, learn what it's like in college, and take a glim of the art career fields.
I also really enjoy the environment there. My classmates are really talented and committed. This safe and healthy competitive environment really urges me to work hard and push myself. My classmates are super supportive as we did a lot of critiques to help each other out.
Everybody there is so encouraged to help each other improve and undoubtedly I need to say that I cannot have the skills and achievements that I have today without WCCAD. So if you are looking for an institute to help you build up your portfolio for colleges definitely take WCCAD into consideration.
p.s. sometimes the teachers might be strict about their teaching and hw stuff, but don't be intimidated by that, it will all pay off in the end!! Good luck good luck!” ---- Gianna Ouyang
Lydia Gu was accepted by UCLA in 2012. She and her mom expressed their gratitude to us.
“I began learning how to draw at West California Academy of Art and Design when I was six years old. I specifically remember one of my art teachers telling me to not be afraid of drawing something wrong because these mistakes could lead to other creations I hadn’t thought of before. By being trained to draw with a pen, I wasn’t able to erase any lines that I interpreted to be mistakes, and this led me to become more fearless each time I approached a new project. Taking classes at West California Academy of Art and Design and drawing in general eventually became my outlet for stress, an escape into a world where creativity flows freely.” ---Lydia Gu
“My daughter was not a natural born artist, and she even hated drawing when I took her to learn copying paintings at the age of four. One of my friends then recommended West California Academy of Art and Design for my daughter to try. The first impression was that I loved how the teachers didn’t force the kids to draw what they wanted, but instead encouraged everyone to be creative. My daughter fell in love with drawing right away and later on she won many awards in various art contests. I believe her creativity is one of the key factors that UCLA selected her.” ---- Lydia Gu’s Mom
Dorothy Wei was accepted by Ringling College of Art and Design--Entertainment Design in the Fall 2021 with a scholarship of $12,000 per year $48,000/4 years.She wrote a comment about our school on Yelp.
“Seven years ago (the year of 1999), my daughter became a student of West California Academy of Art and Design by chance. Now she received offers with scholarships from Yale, UC Berkeley, Duke, Brown and other top universities at the same time. She chose Yale University. I am so proud of her and meanwhile I am also proud of myself because as a mom I made a right decision seven years ago for my daughter to learn art at West California Academy of Art and Design, which became a bridge between her high school study and future success. Being creative and skillful for all school projects, she has received multiple high school academic honors, collectively leading her to be accepted by the top universities.” --------Qin An Zhou’s Mom
Laurraine Guo earned acceptance to Rhode Island School of Design—Apparel Design in 2016. She expressed her gratitude to us.
“I will always remember the afternoon when I received the email from RISD notifying me of my acceptance to the school. I could hardly believe what I read. It was the best moment in my life! I feel lucky that I have made a right decision to choose West California Academy of Art and Design to help prepare my portfolio, which obviously sets me apart from other candidates! It was very intense and challenging to get a strong portfolio done within four months. I know now, I would never have met college portfolio requirements without guidance from Mr. Omar and other professionals at West California Academy of Art and Design. ” ----Laurraine Guo
Jack Wang earned acceptance to SVA--School of Visual Arts, New York in 2022. He wrote a comment about our Academy on Yelp.
“Everything began for me with a phone call with Ms. Wang and the portfolio preparation teacher, Omar. I was a lost sophomore student in high school that just decided to pursue art, having no professional art training, but in a dire need to create a portfolio. Choosing to join the West California Academy of Art and Design, and to study under Omar is the best decision I have made in all my life. Omar is the last person I would think of when I picture a teacher, but he would be the first person for me to call when I need a portfolio. He guided me throughout my two-year journey, telling me which classes to take would benefit me the most, pushing me to become a better artist, and pulling me out when I felt like I hit a dead end. I took classes everyday that the studio is open since Omar and I both knew I did not have the most foundation, three hours of portfolio preparation on Monday through Thursday, and both sessions of life drawing on Friday and Saturday. I hated it at first because I did not have any time for my personal life, always looking for a way to get out of class. But after a few months, I saw my skills improve so much that I could not stand looking at my old art. While I just received my first acceptance letter from my dream school, SVA. I would recommend this place in a heartbeat.”—Jack Wang
Ashley Xiang was accepted by Cornell University- Architecture in 2020. She wrote a comment about our school on Yelp.
“I was just starting my college application process when I realized most of my colleges required specific portfolios. The academy helped me strengthen my foundational skills and develop a well rounded portfolio that showcased my specific skills! Omar always provided great critiques and advice on specific pieces and on essays. Overall, it was a great experience, super helpful, and I was able to get accepted into my dream school so I highly recommend enrolling or even going in for a trial class!” ----Ashley Xiang
In 2013 Shirley Jiang wrote a comment about our school on Yelp. She was accepted by UC Berkeley--Computer Science in 2016.
“I've been attending West California Academy of Art and Design since 2003 at age five. It's been ten years now and in that time, I've participated in many contests and have had my share of wins. I don't do that much anymore, but I still continue to go because I simply enjoy it, for the love of drawing. I’ve improved so much over the years with my teachers. They've helped me a lot to understand the concepts and it shows in my constant improvement. What I've learned here, I've been able to retain in real life. I am able to do all of those drawing assignments I have to do throughout elementary, middle, and high school, able to draw and actually be proud of my work, and able to just reel in the idea that this was something I made with my own mind. Maybe that's why I love coming here so much: improving and doing something I love to do in a way that makes me happy. I really appreciate what this school and my teachers have done for me. Thanks for all the times and more to come.”—Shirley Jiang
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