Michael Briere

Graphic & Web Design

The Art Institute of Houston


I find that the greatest help I've received comes from the end of my own two arms. - My Grandmother, Ida Drawdy. Michael Briere , Instructor , The Art Institute of Houston

Academic Credentials

M.A., Humanities, California State University
B.F.A., Fine Art, Ringling College of Art and Design
A.A.S., Fine Art, Seminole Community College

Graphic Design Experience since 1973 includes: Graphic Designer, Universal Marketing Concepts; Freelance Illustrator, M. J. Briere Illustration; Art Director, Lawrence Nelson, N.Y.; Illustrator, Brooks Air Base; Art Director/Creative Director, G. Tiner Agency; Artist, Deterline Company; Artist, Bainbridge Commercial Jewelry; Illustrator, U.S. Army.

What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

In the sixth grade (1965) in Washington, D.C., I visited an avante-garde gallery with my scrawlings. A friend of the family wanted me to get some feedback from an industry professional. The gallery owner liked my work, offering me tips, and I was hooked.

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 show my professional work and talk about my experiences in the field, ranging from being an art and creative director in San Antonio to being a typographer and art director in NYC to being a freelance illustrator in Houston.

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?

One I have enjoyed is Forced Connections, the second project when I have taught Graphic Symbolism. It pairs unlike, dissimilar concepts to find new, hidden meanings as a visual response students make about popular thoughts – a “mixing of metaphors.”

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

I enjoin student response as a group, to media I show and questions I ask about project activities as assignments, in order to give a more complete understanding of the assignment, and to get student “creative juices” going, in regard to the project.

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?

I impart to students my conversation about what I have seen as an artist and a human being.

Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

I enjoy what I do at the school and I always try to make human connections, as the song title “Closer to the Heart” by Rush suggests.