M. Scott Hull
Media Arts & Animation
The Art Institute of Las Vegas
Produce a reel so filled with the “Wow Factor” that the company or team you are desiring to work for must hire you. M. Scott Hull , Lead Instructor , The Art Institute of Las Vegas
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
It was the day I picked up a crayon at the age of 5 and started drawing with my father. We drew owls. He was my inspiration and my support, he always supported me. So, from that point on all I did was create, in some form or another. I started taking several art classes focusing on traditional mediums. This took up my weekends and chances to surf with my friends. So, you can imagine that sometimes I just wanted to quit or just complain. Yet, I stuck it out … because it was my passion.
How do you use your professional background in the classroom experience?
Artists are sensitive to challenges. They welcome a large challenge if it aligns with their creative side. Yet, they can be timid towards and withdrawn from a challenge if it’s less creative based. Having struggled as an artist myself, I’m able to engage with students on a very real and personal level about the types of challenges, creative and not, they currently are facing and will face in the future.
How would you describe your teaching style and approach to mentoring students?
Artistic students today are crazy talented. They have a goal. Now, sometimes that goal can be large and cumbersome. This can create frustration, however I encourage students to get their ideas organized. This practice gives them a detailed look into their individual concepts. Then, they can see if their idea is logical, productive and above all achievable. If we can see that, then I will approve it.
Also, I try to stay flexible in my teaching. As an artist, we must be improvisational and open to new and crazy ideas. As a teacher, I offer the same approach within my classroom. Engaging with a student on a creative level can be delicate. On one hand, you want to adhere to your curriculum so they become productive professionals but on the other you do not want to stifle their creativity. So being open minded and fluid within my teaching styles ensures that I’m able to prepare students as well as encourage them.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
I teach animation and it is tough enough for my students to conceptualize, prepare, assess, research, and develop their projects. For them to have to post produce their media alone would be incredibly stressful. This is when collaborations are a must. My animation students will collaborate with visual FX students, audio students, as well as film students for final editing. Not only does this interaction alleviate work on my students, it lifts their projects to the next level. It also, allows them to create relationships for working in the industry after graduation.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
A solid work ethic. I want my students to be disciplined not only with their creative talents but also in their ability to accomplish what they say they can do. Your word as artist is all you have.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
Be fearless. Produce a reel so filled with the “Wow Factor” that the company or team you are desiring to work for must hire you.
If you are crazy talented or you have a son or daughter that is creatively gifted then send them to study here. Let me and the other instructors inspire and challenge them. I truly love teaching and I am truly blessed to be part of my student’s unique and creative journeys.