Art Foundations Instructor
The Art Institute of Houston
Be in the moment, because the moment will pass. Leslie Magdaleno , Art Foundations Instructor , The Art Institute of Houston
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
When I was five, a woman dressed in a cat costume came on a local kids’ TV show and asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, “an artist!”
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I don’t just teach, I get in my studio and make art, network, and enter competitions. I consider myself a teaching artist—the two careers compliment each other in many ways. I discuss what I learn during the creative process in my studio. Being in the classroom surrounded by students fuels my artistic practice.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
In Color Fundamentals, students do an assignment called Color Matching, where they must exactly duplicate a business card-size photo using traditional media. They learn a bit of art history and develop their eye for color, value, texture, and intensity. And they’re always surprised by the results of their efforts.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Take on the creative task of each assignment fully, while minimizing outside distractions.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
Embrace the moment, because the moment will pass.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’ve grown as a faculty member and an artist over my long career here.