Debbie Baskerville

Fashion Marketing & Management

Fashion Instructor
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Debbie Baskerville

Grades matter, but learning is the goal. Debbie Baskerville , Fashion Instructor , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I’ve always loved making things with my hands and observing patterns in the world around me. When I took my first textile design class, those two loves came together.

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

Students often come in with a romanticized idea of the fashion industry, so I stress the fact that it’s mostly hard work. I share my experience working as part of a design team, and how you don’t need to become a famous designer to have a rewarding fashion career. My favorite part of sharing my experience is when I teach our Textiles class—that’s my background and my passion. I want to make sure students leave here with the industry knowledge to impress future employers.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I meet each student where they are, then work to advance from that starting place. It’s important to me that they have as many opportunities as possible to learn and grow. So I offer in-depth feedback and suggestions, then allow for revisions and updates. Grades matter, but learning is the goal. We learn better when we don’t just look at something and move on, but put it into practice,

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

Do your research, be realistic about your expectations, and stay well-informed. And don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions.