Adnan Razack

Graphic & Web Design

Miami International University of Art & Design

Adnan Razack

The ability to adapt and diversify is extremely important and something that I strive to impart in the classroom! Adnan Razack , Faculty , Miami International University of Art & Design

In what program do you teach in?

I am in the Design Department. I teach in Advertising, Graphic Design and Web, and I have students form those major program areas, as well as Visual Arts. 

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

At 16 years old, I was given an internship—a suggestion made by one of my art professors in Miami (I started art school for my first degree quite early). I have always had the capacity to draw relatively quickly and was asked by my boss, the Art Director, to sketch quickly, in line art, some ballet dancers. In response I did about 8, and he selected 3. Three days later he asked me to get the Sunday paper and there on page 3 was my illustration on a rather large ad format accompanied by bold and whimsical type as it was used to advertise the launch of a new grand ballet company. The feeling I got as a kid was overwhelming, a sense of accomplishment that, to this day, still sends the marvels of delight and bliss each time I see my work printed. I knew then I absolutely wanted to be in this business. And well, since 16, that business is all I have done. 

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?

This is in many ways the basis of how I teach. I am in this business still, now, for over three decades. My experience and background working with clients, whether in New York City, London or Paris and South Florida provide me with a lot of tools I can use in the classroom. I always provide my students with context and perspective, not only on how the industry works now, but where we came from and what we can expect in the future. Today, digital plays a crucial role and it is important to stay abreast of the trends and new media opportunities. 

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?

Actually, almost every class I teach this happens. Each assignment relates to the industry, but I ensure we push that limit of creativity a bit more, as the industry can be conservative in design and concepts. We examine not only the creative process, but also the psychological and lifestyle reasons as to why the consumer will be attracted to what you—the student—does. After all, it is a commercial business and how we make the public feel and elicit a purchase is everything! I am a strong believer in encouraging students to believe in themselves yet remain malleable and humble. Criticism needs to be offered as a means for improving the mindset, as well as the project at hand. This I aim to do at all times. 

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

Collaboration is what much of this business is about. It is, after all, the art of making the public feel something to do something. Many of my classes will have Advertising, Graphic & Web Design, as well as Visual Arts students and recently we were working with Interior Design students. The ability to adapt and diversify is extremely important and something that I strive to impart in the classroom! 

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 want my students to enjoy what they do, as that is what I have aimed for in my life journey. As they embark to their tomorrows, keep an open mind to immense possibilities! I am very grateful that I truly enjoy what I do, always have! Teaching at Miami International University of Art & Design is truly great. The city is bustling in a rhythm like no other as it has this feeling of diversity and cultural exchange that, though can be challenging at times, does prove at the very least wildly interesting! And our campus is a marvelous reflection of this!