Jill N. Nichols

Jill N. Nichols

Learning isn't about instant gratification. Learning is about future fulfillment. Jill N. Nichols , Interior Design Instructor , The Art Institute of Charleston, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

My great-grandmother was an artist, and all the women in my family who’ve been her namesake have naturally become artistic. It was destiny.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

Certain aspects of the profession often stifle creativity, and until a person is comfortable with their own creativity, adding the demands of the profession can limit ideas. I try to create a more realistic sense of the time constraints and problem-solving skills successful professionals need. 

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?


My "intersecting planes" project is a great exercise in conceptual design. It forces students to see what isn't there—and see beyond what’s given to them.

How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

I guide them toward thinking of everything around them in new ways—especially their own limits.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

Only by recognizing the areas where you’re not as capable, and reaching out to others who can fill in the blanks, can we come up with truly great ideas.

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


Your creativity can only go as far as your character allows. Know your character.