Totally! Just use your peripherals. Or look for people who are engrossed in a book, or a laptop screen/iphone etc. Most people won’t notice at all, and if they do, just smile sheepishly and show them your drawing. On the few occasions I’ve done that, most people were pretty flattered and wanted to know more about me and what I do. I’ve met some pretty cool people that way! I think the worst thing that ever happened when drawing someone was that the person noticed me staring and walked away, and that happened maybe once out of hundreds of times. Go out there and sketch! 99% of people are delightful.
ACAD is a small art/design college in Calgary, Alberta. Although I can’t personally say anything about SCAD, i’ve heard good things and it seems to pump out some great illustrators. ACAD had the advantage of being fairly close to home, cheap, and pretty well-renowned. It’s also got a reputation for churning out some amazing talent like Jillian Tamaki, Sam Weber, Fiona Staples, Connor Willumsen and Joy Ang. The program might have changed a bit since I graduated in 2008, but I remember it being fairly rigorous and challenging. There was a lot of emphasis put on craft and concept, and professionalism. But more importantly, everyone in my year was really driven and talented, so that pushed me a lot to try and improve. If anything, that’s what going to art school did for me. I’d recommend checking it out for sure.
Edit: Oh “Answer Privately.” Oops.
Yes! I went to ACAD after high school. If you want to become an artist, drawing from life is a good start. Honestly, just drawing anything as long as you’re learning and improving. I highly recommend looking at Bridgeman, mostly because he deals more with surface detail rather than going really deep into anatomy. That stuff is important to learn, but I think it’s really easy to get overwhelmed with it, especially in the beginning.