Casey Arguelles Gregory

Interior Design

Adjunct Instructor, Design Foundations
The Art Institute of Houston

VisualDesign

To make it in this field is simple—you have to want it enough to never stop pushing yourself and your ideas. Casey Gregory , Adjunct Instructor, Design Foundations , The Art Institute of Houston
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I knew when I was a child that I loved art, because it allowed me to create something out of nothing. Undergraduate and graduate studies gave me the tools and expertise to turn it into a career, and now I paint full time, teach part time, and write about art in regional and national publications. It was school that made me realize that art could be a profession, and I hope to pay that forward to my students.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

I constantly encourage my students by telling them that art is a viable and exciting way to spend your life, but I try to make them understand the single-mindedness that one has to have to be successful. I hope my excitement about creating is an energizing force in the classroom.

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

When I teach color fundamentals, I have the students do a research project on color in film or video games. They analyze and research color meanings and applications in the moving image. It is often very eye-opening, because color in film is sometimes a subtle thing that we don’t take much notice of.  

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

It’s important, especially in the beginning stages (foundations), to see the interconnectedness of design and art. I think students are used to a “silo-ing” of disciplines, but when you’re talking about broad concepts such as the elements and principles of design, they can begin to see how these things are as relevant in fashion as they are in fine art or graphic design.

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

I would say don’t be discouraged by your failures. Creatives have a lot of competition and there will be some disappointment. Even famous artists have gotten rejection letters! To make it in this field is simple—you have to want it enough to never stop pushing yourself and your ideas. It is so worth it.