Professional Writing

Professional Writingfor Creative Arts

I have a way with words. And the drive to make them my career.

Writing is what you love to do. It’s the art of persuasion, the expression of imagination, the rush of inspiration. With the exponential growth in digital content, there’s a need for captivating stories and characters for entertainment, publishing, TV, film, and video games. Advertising, websites, blogs, social feeds, and news outlets need compelling narratives. Business, medical, and technical fields need clear, convincing exposition. It takes writers to create all of that, and one of those writers could be you. So if the written word is what drives you, your first stop should be here. In our Professional Writing for Creative Arts degree program, you will find yourself surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students—and pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty*. Easy? No. Worth it? Without a doubt.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Writing for Creative Arts

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Writing for Creative Arts

Outcomes
See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/5301 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will have the opportunity to:

  • Demonstrate effective written creative and expository communication by considering various audiences and contexts, and providing sufficient, relevant information on a topic that is organized, complex, and employs successful rhetoric.
  • Demonstrate, through research techniques, copy editing, and self-critique, knowledge of multimodal forms of expression.
  • Develop and apply concepts based on an understanding of appropriate media/technology as well as analyze and incorporate aesthetics and layout in the design process for various forms of communication outlets.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the conceptual thinking process through work that reflects current cultural, social, economic and, industry trends as well as emerging technologies.
  • Demonstrate professional presentation skills, articulation of visual problem solving, and mastery knowledge of ethics, business practices and industry standards.
  • Demonstrate, through digital publications, a sound knowledge of content management, and media content creation utilizing industry software.

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

Shortcuts don't interest me.

Just because writing comes naturally doesn’t mean it comes easily. Deadlines are real. The competition is real. The need to think, work and react quickly is real. Our program is meant for students with the real drive and determination to forge a career. Here, you can develop and polish the real-world skills you’ll need to succeed. You’ll have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of storytelling structure and technique, build a foundation of rhetoric and creative writing skills, and develop the technical, interactive, advertising, and business writing abilities that can expand your opportunities. You can gain a working knowledge of current software, a command of spelling and grammar, the ability to defend your work, and a grasp of industry trends. Plus, you can work in a unique, eye-opening atmosphere with other creatively driven students pursuing careers in design, photography, filmmaking, video production, media arts, game design and more. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet our Alumni

  • The Art Institute of California - Hollywood alumni Christian Ferretti

    Christian Ferretti

    Fashion Design , 2011

    "I believe what is going to carry you through is your passion. In the end, if you don't have love for what you do, there is no point."

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    Christian Ferretti

    Christian Ferretti is a men’s outerwear designer for Guess? Inc. in Los Angeles, California. He designs blazers, vests, and outerwear, and says that fashion is a career that requires determination. “The majority of circumstances in your career will take commitment. I had to work long hours and weekends to be able to finish collections that were due.” He emphasizes the need to work well in a team and to look to the bigger picture when decisions don’t go your way.

    “Sometimes you may not agree with the decisions made by the person in charge but you need to understand it is not about you. It’s about the team.”

    Christian has faced challenges in his career, including taking a year off of school for personal reasons. “I wish I hadn't done that. I think it is imperative to stick it out and finish the goal you have set for yourself.” His passion helped him to get back into school and complete his degree. And he tells current students that without that same passion, they cannot succeed. “I believe what is going to carry you through is your passion. In the end, if you don't have love for what you do, there is not point.”

    At work, Christian has an inspiration board that he uses to brainstorm ideas. He updates the board with photos, fabrics, and magazine tears and uses that information to think about his target customer’s lifestyle. ”I constantly share news about fashion and bring my recent vintage finds to work. I also communicate my vision through the way I dress daily.”

    Achieving a place of prominence in the fashion world takes time and Christian says it’s important to take internships and even unpaid work to gain experience. “I have proven myself in the company I currently work for by creating styles that sold well.” He’s also been interviewed by CNN en Español and was featured in newspapers and magazines in his native Ecuador.

    Christian, who in 2011 earned an Associate of Science in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of California—Hollywood, says that his education helped him to understand the importance of deadlines. He also learned that feedback is an important way to grow as an artist. “Critiquing is not always destructive. [It] can make you better.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/277 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • The Art Institute of California - Hollywood alumni Deborah Capstone

    Deborah Capstone

    Digital Filmmaking & Video Production , 2015

    "Listen to others and explore possibilities. Keep creativity flowing and make it fun to do hard work when needed."

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    Deborah Capstone

    Deborah Capstone is the owner of Capstone L.A. Entertainment, where she oversees production and casting. A typical day in her North Hollywood, California office includes meetings, writing, and pre-production. “This industry is ever-changing and evolving,” she says. “Creating an atmosphere where I continually look for opportunity is important. If I stop, the work stops.”

    Deborah works closely with her production crew because she understands that movie making is a team effort. She explains that she felt the same camaraderie in the classroom—working together with instructors and classmates to complete projects. Deborah adds that she was an older student when she started her studies. “I had the fear that I wouldn’t be taken seriously. The reality is that [being older] gave me wisdom to pass on and it was appreciated by my peers in the classroom.”

    She encourages current students to network and learn directly from those in the field. “Be open minded to new ideas and ways of working with people and communicating. Listen to others and explore possibilities. Keep creativity flowing and make it fun to do hard work when needed.” She recently wrote a feature film that was shot in February 2016—and is expected in theaters in fall 2016. She’s also had two screenplays optioned and is shooting a pilot in Guatemala alongside other alumni of Art Institutes schools.

    Deborah, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Science in Digital Cinema & Video Production from The Art Institute of California—Hollywood, says that learning from her professional instructors gave her a real-world glimpse into the industry. She says that success happens when you stick with projects, especially when they are difficult. “There are going to be times when you want to quit. But often those are the moments that stretch, grow, and define you.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/3922 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of California - Hollywood alumni Kelly Rowe

    Kelly Marie Rowe

    Fashion Design , 2013

    "I really enjoy the fact that designers, departments, and people at my job depend on me and the work that I do."

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    Kelly Marie Rowe

    Kelly Marie Rowe is a corporate material research and development associate for BCBGMAXAZRIA Group. She handles all incoming sample yardage for the runway and cut and sew knits divisions. She also assures that all samples meet BCBG standards. “I really enjoy the fact that designers, departments, and people at my job depend on me and the work that I do. One slip up at our level could cost the company [a lot] of money. My job is important to the overall production of garments to be sold,” Kelly says.

    Kelly is proud to play a part in creating the company’s classic style. She communicates daily with foreign and domestic vendors to find new fabrics to show the design team . And she adds that outside of work, she was excited to create her best friend’s wedding dress—a garment that she calls “[her] most successful piece yet.” Kelly looks to nature for inspiration, but adds that she admires anyone who is able to pursue their dreams while keeping a smile on their face.

    Kelly, who in 2013 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of California— Hollywood, says that her education taught her the fundamentals of fabrics. “[Fabrics] are an entirely different beast. And even though I am not currently in a design position, I work very closely with my design teams.” Kelly says that because she earned a degree in Fashion Design, her input is sometimes requested from the design team. “[That] helps me with my future, as well.” She recommends that current students take the time to listen and learn. “Enjoy every moment of it. Good and bad.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/274 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of California - Hollywood alumni Raylene Proto

    Raylene Proto

    Fashion Marketing & Management , 2014

    "[My education taught me] the industry and the business. I can be in a business meeting, product development meeting, or a marketing meeting and understand exactly what's going on and what's expected out of me and my client."

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    Raylene Proto

    Raylene Proto is the CEO and founder of PROTO-type Business Solutions in Los Angeles, California. She works with clients across the country, providing business advice to the fashion community. “About 90% of the people [who contact me], I met via a networking event or through one of my workshops,” she says. Raylene works for designers, designer’s vendors, and fashion bloggers. She helps bloggers to drive more traffic to their sites—and works to finalize licensing agreements for capsule and personal collections.

    She explains that she consults with designers to help them get to the next level while remaining compliant with state regulations, manufacturing regulations, and laws. “For my more established designers, it’s consulting on label law, marketing material, and made in America regulations. I even have a referral service where I refer designers out for fabric sourcing services, tag sourcing, manufacturing, web design, domain services, IT services, and marketing design.” Raylene also reviews contracts and negotiates terms for designers with their vendors.

    Raylene created the concept for her business while still a student at The Art Institute of California—Hollywood. “The idea for PROTO-type resulted from a project I [created] for my entrepreneurship class. [Now], I get to do workshops and guest speak at schools, along with having the opportunity to be a guest editor for some online fashion magazines.” Raylene says that fashion law is still new but is becoming increasingly recognized. To break into that particular industry, she also took separate legal studies courses.

    Raylene, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Marketing & Management from The Art Institute of California—Hollywood, says that her education provided a solid foundation in the fashion industry. “When I made the decision to pursue fashion law, I knew I needed to know the industry and the business. [My education] allowed me to accomplish that through classes and the experienced instructors. I can be in a business meeting, product development meeting, or a marketing meeting and understand exactly what’s going on and what’s expected out of me and my client.” She adds that the weekly presentations she was required to complete helped her to get over a fear of public speaking—allowing her to participate in workshops and lectures.

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/281 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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Classroom Experience

Professional Writing

All I need is the right experience.

The Professional Writing for Creative Arts curriculum is rigorous, all-encompassing and designed by experienced industry and education innovators. In today’s market, employers are seeking talent they don’t have to train. So we'll help you get ready to hit the ground running as you study:

  • Fundamentals of Marketing
  • Advertising Copywriting
  • Advertising Storyboarding & Scriptwriting
  • Public Relations
  • Scriptwriting
  • Applications & Industry
  • Information Architecture
  • Fundamentals of Web Design
  • Introduction to Writing for Interactive Media
  • Introduction to Research Methods
  • Principles of Rhetoric
  • Journalism
  • Foundations of Professional Writing
  • Marketing Communications
  • Myth & Symbol
  • Introduction to Literary Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • The Language of Business
  • Story Writing
  • Content Management for Web Media
  • Lifestyle Writing
  • The Editorial Process
  • The Publication Process
  • Communication in the Global Marketplace
  • Ethics in Professional Writing
  • Creative Nonfiction Writing
  • Grant & Proposal Writing

I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. We know that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Every day is a battle to bring your ideas to life. And because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But our “tough” comes with the support you need to make your creativity marketable. We provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. Here, you’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. So if your heart is telling you that you belong in a creative field, you belong here. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

 

Meet our Faculty

  • Fashion Instructor Julia Irene Szkiba

    Julia Irene Szkiba

    Fashion Design

    "My students are passionate about their future, and I'm happy to be a part of the journey."

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    Julia Irene Szkiba

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

    I’d always loved fashion—working with textiles, drawing, and painting. I had a great high school art teacher who suggested fashion design. With his help, I pulled together a portfolio so I could get into a fashion program. It was a great "light bulb" moment. I gained some great experience during my internship with a children’s wear company, and from there was I able to work with some great firms, picking up more skills and experience, and here I am!

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

    I try my best to give the students a real-world sense of the industry. I share how I started out, how I’ve worked to keep my skills and experience relevant. I’m able to give them a realistic view of the industry. It’s very competitive, and you have to be creative and also have a great sense of the business side.

    How would you describe your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I go beyond using the textbook to create handouts, power points, etc. that relate more closely to what they’ll likely encounter on the job. I want them to think about where they’ll be when they’re done with school—while they’re still in school. I encourage them to look at their class assignments as potential portfolio pieces that could impress employers.

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

    I think of the instructors who went above and beyond for me, and I try to do the same for my students.

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

    Down the road they may work with someone with a different skill set, and what better place to learn to network than here on campus? In my Event & Fashion Show Production class, Fashion students work with students in Photography, Set Design, etc. It’s great to see them working in teams, as well as finding their own individual strengths.

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

    I tell them not to get discouraged, to learn everything they can from instructors and classmates, and to network. I also tell them to be flexible and open to unexpected possibilities, using my own experience as an example. I got into this industry wanting to be a costume designer for films and TV, and I veered off into children’s wear. I’ve found I actually love this category.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    My students are passionate about their future, and I’m happy to be a part of the journey.

    Read More...
  • Media Arts & Animation Instructor Rafael Duffie

    Rafael Duffie

    Media Arts & Animation

    "Decide what you want to do—and do it with all your heart and soul."

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    Rafael Duffie

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

    My defining moment was in 2007, when I was in the Navy on a six-month tour in Iraq and Afghanistan on board the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis. As the webmaster and designer in the media department, I spent that entire tour teaching myself Autodesk Maya® from a book. That’s when I decided I wanted to work in the film and game industry and pursue creativity as my lifelong career.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    For my Sales & Event Promotion class, I assign a visual merchandising (window display) project. Students work as a team to come up with a theme, budget, props, background, visual elements, and ways to communicate their message. The students learn to work as a team, be creative individually and collectively, be aware of budgeting, and know how to communicate a message visually.

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

    As an example, the window assignment with visual merchandising forces students to push themselves creatively in ways they haven’t before. After completing the project, they’re really proud to have work they can add to their portfolio.

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

    It lets them network and learn about each other and their various projects. They get a deeper understanding of an area that may not be their strong point, learn to take responsibility for themselves and each other, and build positive relationships.

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

    I preach to my students that it takes hard work to make an impact in the film industry— one that’s always evolving and changing, and where new skills and adaptability are the prerequisites for success. You have to be obsessed with success. You have to work tirelessly to earn your spot, because there’s so much competition.

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

    Make the choice, trust yourself, do what makes you happy no matter what anyone else thinks. Decide what you want to do—and do it with all your heart and soul. To be great at it, you have to practice and practice until your idols are your rivals!

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I love giving back and sharing my experience with my students. This is exactly what I want to do.

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  • Set and Exhibit Design Lead Faculty Designer Trefoni Michael Rizzi

    Trefoni Michael Rizzi

    Set & Exhibit Design

    "Creativity isn't about thinking outside the box. It's about understanding that, to be competitive in today's market, there is no box."

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    Trefoni Michael Rizzi

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

    From an early age, I was always drawing and building things. After working in graphic design and arts administration, I shifted to education, spending three years counseling art students to follow their dreams and pursue their passion. That’s when I realized I wasn't listening to my own advice. So I went back to school to focus my energy on designing for the theatre. Earning my MFA in Theatre and Dance-Design turned my interest into a passion.

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

    As a working scenic and lighting designer, I use the same techniques in the classroom that I use professionally to help students take their design ideas from research to 3D realization. I bring examples of my own work into the classroom, and invite my students to attend productions I‘ve designed so they can expand their visual vocabulary.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    In one of my final classes in the Set & Exhibit Design program, students design Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on a stage the size of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. They need to understand not just a classic text, but how to work within the limitations of a chosen painter or illustrator’s style. As they explore the artist's work, students find nuances and details that expand their vision of the play and see how their design can incorporate the artist's visual world. The project asks them to explore the use of space on a grand scale, similar to music festivals. How do you design a space this large and still keep the focus on a single person? It’s a challenge we deal with every day in live entertainment.

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

    Collaboration is the foundation of all work in this business. From theatre to film to television to theme parks to events and festivals, no one person's vision can be realized without the work of designers, artists, craftspeople and technicians. Whenever I can, I build collaboration into my classes to provide the critical give-and-take experience students need to succeed. Working with students in programs such as Digital Film or Graphic Design or Photography, they learn that sharing their ideas in a group of creative people actually makes those ideas better.

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

    First and foremost, we are storytellers. In all my classes, I strive to engage my students in the process of storytelling through research, dramaturgy, textual analysis, character analysis, concept development, the psychology of space, light, color and texture, and in their designs. Their work is always filtered and critiqued through the lens of whether they’re clearly telling the story.

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

    It’s time management. The live entertainment design industry is an extremely fast-paced, highly competitive world. If you don't learn to manage your time well, someone else is waiting to take your place.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Creativity isn’t about thinking outside the box. It's about understanding that, to be competitive in today's creative market, there is no box.

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  • Chef Instructor Valerie W. Barth

    Valerie W. Barth

    Culinary Arts

    "Do whatever it takes to keep moving forward."

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    Valerie W. Barth

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

    Some of my fondest memories are watching my mother cook. Many of the lessons I learned then are the same ones I share with my students now. I was a special education teacher in Brooklyn when I decided to deepen my knowledge of cooking and expand my kitchen skills by attending culinary school. Working in catering and as a personal chef, I realized that I could bring my greatest strengths and passions together— teaching, food, and people.

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

    I’m a storyteller. The stories I tell are about my professional experiences, and also about my learning experiences in the kitchen. Those experiences influence everything about the way I teach my students. I pass along my recommendations, warnings, successes and stumbles. And I encourage them to seek out others who can help them sort out their own paths.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I try to strike a balance between pushing and nurturing—to create a space where each student can shine in his or her own way. I do this by honoring their wide range of skills, experiences and aspirations, while pressing them to remember why they chose this school and the seriousness of that commitment. And, I reinforce that they’re each capable of making their own unique mark on the world.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    The culinary industry is built on teamwork, so my students work in teams throughout the program. I encourage them to embrace this aspect of the profession early on, and to work to achieve the kind of cohesiveness you see in the best kitchens.

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

    I tell my students that they’re more than capable of achieving their dreams, even in the face of adversity. There will always be challenges, but they can ask for help, tap into their support systems and networks, and adjust course.

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

    Do whatever it takes to keep moving forward.

    Read More...
The Art Institute of Michigan alumni Calvert Griffin [My education] helped me to learn how to be an effective teammate and work well with others. Calvert Griffin
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, 2014, The Art Institute of Michigan