Jim Felgate

Graphic & Web Design

Design Instructor
The Art Institutes International Minnesota

Graphic Design Faculty Member Jim Felgate

Learn to come up with unique, original ideas—and be able to translate these thoughts into your work. Jim Felgate , Design Instructor , The Art Institutes International Minnesota
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

As a child, I was always intrigued by logos, marks, and symbols. I knew I wanted to do something related to visual art and communication. I initially planned to study architecture, but the college I attended had just started a graphic design program. I’d never heard of that. But once I realized what it was about, I was hooked.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

I bring an industry perspective into class, and keep students up to date on industry demands and changes. I always share real-world stories and experiences, and I gear assignments and projects toward giving students the relevant skills they need to enter the profession.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

In my Print Production course, I challenge students to create a print campaign to promote tourism of a particular state. They’re encouraged to work with very technical aspects of file preparation and output for 4-color process printing. It’s a real-world assignment that helps them learn new concepts and understand the world of printing.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

When students from different programs work together, they see how groups work in real-world situations. Learning from the perspective of others and experiencing new ways of thinking are a big part of preparing students for success.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

To me, encouraging students to believe in themselves is crucial to their growth. And becoming a problem solver is key to making it in the professional world.

What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

Learn to come up with unique, original ideas—and be able to translate these thoughts into your work.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’ve found that a creative environment is such a great place for learning and discovery. Working with Students in other in creative fields of study really enhances to the overall learning experience.