Kevin M. Free

Kevin M. Free

Teaching at The Art Institute of Charleston is a dream come true. I have the opportunity to work with new artists and help them develop a vision all their own. I get as much, if not more, pleasure out of seeing their work come to fruition than I do from my own artistic endeavors. Kevin M. Free , Photography 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?

From the first time I picked up a camera as a high school sophomore, I knew there’d never be another career for me. I’ve pursued my love of the still image on many levels, and I’m beyond thrilled to teach the art form that’s forever ingrained in my soul.

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

I talk to my students regularly about the path I chose for a career. Sharing these insights into my journey opens up an avenue to express themselves creatively.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

The assignment I most treasure is having students talk about the person or people who inspire them. It gives me insight into their vision—and I learn about the work of artists I may not have known.

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

Artists thrive when they’re inspired by other creative people. When you bring a wide range of disciplines together, great things can be accomplished.

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

Don’t be afraid to fail. Taking chances can push your work to new heights.

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

Be humble. Don’t let your ego get in the way of an opportunity to learn.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I simply love to teach. I get more satisfaction from seeing students achieve their goals than I do in creating my own work.