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Grind Before Glory is an artist development program taught by industry professionals. Our courses are designed to be the first step on the path toward becoming a professional artist. 


Aspiring artists need to have a rock-solid foundation upon which to build the rest of their skillset. Without that foundation, pursuing the goal of being a professional artist becomes incredibly difficult, if not impossible. There is nothing more unfortunate than watching an aspiring artist not being able to pursue their passion because somewhere along their journey they missed the things that should have helped them build their foundation. 


Grind Before Glory is an art fundamental skill building program designed to help you hit the ground running as you pursue your dreams of becoming a professional artist. 



Michael Buffington, JR.

Founder, Director of Curriculum, Lead Instructor

Michael has been a Concept Artist in the Video Game and Entertainment Industry for almost 2 decades. He has worked on many projects, most notably Season 3 of Clone Wars for Lucasfilm Animation. For 10+ years, Michael worked as a full time professor and department head for a large private art university in Northern California. 


Known for being a master curriculum designer, he was able to build both BFA and MFA Concept Art programs from the ground up. Using his educational philosophy of “Skill Building & Application”, Michael was able to create a program that gave students the ability to bring their skill set to, at, or near a professional level by the time of graduation regardless of what their skill level was upon entering the program.


For this reason, his program was ranked by The Rookies as the #1 program in the United States for Concept Art (#3 in the world in 2019, #1 in the US in 2020.)


Now Michael is following his passion to help give aspiring artist a realistic chance of achieving their dreams by creating the Grind Before Glory art program designed to build the foundational skills necessary to put people on the path toward success. 


Michael also founded Drawaholics Anonymous; an extracurricular skill development community intended to create a culture of artistic excellence to make people fall in love with drawing. 

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