Steven Pierce

Game Art & Design

Instructor, Game Art & Design, Media Arts & Animation
The Art Institute of Colorado

Video game development is the art of the 21st century. Steven Pierce , Instructor, Game Art & Design, Media Arts & Animation
, The Art Institute of Colorado

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

Even as a child I could draw, paint and take photographs. As a college biology major, I signed up for a non-art major sculpture class. My teacher saw something in my artwork and became a mentor as I worked toward a double degree in art and horticulture.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I believe that when students work in teams to create successful level designs, they build confidence and self-esteem. The game development process is not easy. But when new team members work with more experienced students, they quickly learn what works and what does not work. Success breeds confidence. When students share in the design process, they each feel more engaged. They are empowered to take creative chances, which puts them on the path to innovation. Expanding creative innovation is something that is needed in business today. I see this play out in the projects I assign in my classes: Level Design and Game Prototyping, as well as in Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production.

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


Video game development is the art of the 21st century. From 2D and 3D design to story, audio, and animation to programming, creating interactive experiences is demanding, and students need support from other disciplines. Cross-program collaboration generates excitement and creates connections that can help build professional networks after graduation.

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

Be persistent. Work and work, then keep working and learning. Learning is a lifelong endeavor.

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

Tough artistic problems demand varied solutions. Be persistent and follow through with quality and professional courtesy.