Johan Klingler


Never miss a deadline. Never feel that a mistake is a failure. And never surrender to your doubts. Johan Klingler , Lead Animation Instructor , The Art Institute of Dallas, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design

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

My classroom projects are based on industry standards and built from my experience in the field.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

In my animation classes I assign projects inspired by my experience in training animators in the professional studios where I’ve worked. For students who are truly dedicated, I offer one-on-one time where I go over their work—just like it’s done in a studio during animation dailies reviews.

In what way do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

The reviews are done as a group; I go over each individual’s animations one at a time in front of the class. That way, students can learn from and are inspired by each other—and even compete with each other, which raises the overall quality of the work.

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

In our department, the student who works alone is the student who fails. Collaboration is intrinsic to both the film and video game industries, so we have students from film, media arts, and video game artists combine their talents on many projects, just as they will in the real world.

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

Real-world experience through classroom assignments.

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

Never miss a deadline. Never feel that a mistake is a failure. And never surrender to your doubts.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Many of the productions I’ve worked on are still in the top 20 animated billion-dollar blockbuster hits in film history.