Katrina Callahan

Graphic & Web Design

Graphic & Web Design Instructor
The Art Institute of Atlanta

VisualDesign

Every class is an opportunity to learn something new. Katrina Callahan , Graphic & Web Design Instructor , The Art Institute of Atlanta

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

It was more of a series of events. My mom taught me to sew at a very young age and I would make clothes for my dolls. Then, as a young adult, I designed and made most of my own clothes, experimenting with color, texture, pattern and unique materials. Later, in graduate school at Texas Tech, I channeled those experiments and modified mural size photographs with many of the same materials I had used in my early years.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

This year there have been several opportunities for my classes to participate in a larger teamwork project. I encourage my classes to take a very experimental approach to their designs. Their designs are then given to another group and the teams work together to translate the designs into other uses and displays. Just like the real world.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

For careers in the design arts, team work and collaboration are the norm. Graphic artists work with illustrators, writers, etc. So it’s important for students to understand how to work with others. If they can’t take their talents and translate them to their coworkers, the final project will not meet its full potential.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Every class is an opportunity to learn something new, whether it is a technique, theory or methodology. Maintaining a positive attitude and approach to creative problems is critical to intellectual growth and creativity.

What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

My best advice to students: A college education is the best investment that you can make for your future. A college degree will provide you with not only skills and knowledge but self-confidence that will serve you for the rest of your life.