The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division
Believe in yourself and in your work. Gabi Etenberg , Photography Instructor , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
At age 13, after reading Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, I felt inspired to create visual artwork.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I use the experience I’ve accumulated in my career to introduce real-life situations and construct scenarios that students can relate to as they begin to understand and anticipate their future as graduates and professionals. My feedback always includes tips, suggestions, and guidance to give them a broader perspective on the real world.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
Sometimes students are shy about working with life models for portraiture, or hesitant to put themselves in “director mode” in setting up a photo session. I make sure to guide them through the process and help them start to feel comfortable with the role.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Perseverance, patience, and professionalism.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
Believe in yourself and in your work—and in the value of your degree and the things you’ve learned.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I get enormous satisfaction from being able to help my students achieve their goals.