Bryan Key

Graphic & Web Design

Graphic Design Instructor
The Art Institute of Houston


Be curious, try new things, and never be afraid to mess up. Bryan Key , Graphic Design Instructor , The Art Institute of Houston

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

I’ve always enjoyed being both creative and scientific. When I chose a college major, I went the design route over engineering—and I’ve never looked back. But the creativity has changed over time to include different design topics, photography, and now teaching.

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

I do my best to prepare students for the challenges and demands they’ll face as professionals. I want to make sure they understand how to fully develop a concept, how to speak professionally to their clients, how to read and understand the background information provided for a job, and how to meet deadlines.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I want students enjoy every project, but I require them to research topics for their designs and consider many perspectives. I believe a designer needs to be curious and open-minded, since they never know what their next project may entail.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

Working together helps students begin to understand the real-world work environment, where they’ll rarely be the only person working on a client’s project. Collaborating here in school helps them learn to share ideas, understand various roles, and accept responsibility for their part of the team.

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

Be curious, try new things, and never be afraid to mess up. If you never try anything new, you’ll never create inspiring work.

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

Don’t get too attached to your work. Someone will criticize it one day, while someone else will praise it the next. Taking criticism comes with the life you’ve chosen. Accept it and move on.