Graphic & Web Design
Web Design Instructor
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division
Be patient and put your best foot forward to get the job. Kim Avery , Web Design Instructor , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division
In high school I didn’t play sports or engage in a lot of outside social activities. So I started playing with different types of mediums in art class. I soon realized that this was something I could be good at, and it sparked a passion in me to perfect my drawing and artistic skills. That’s when animated film Beauty and the Beast came out. From the moment it started, I knew I wanted to continue in the art field and create things everyone could enjoy.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I have a diverse background, with degrees in fine arts and applied media arts and variety of professional experiences. When students share their goals and frustrations. I try to help them see that networking and getting their work in front of others will help build their portfolios—which will open up more opportunities.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring—and how do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?
I consider myself a hands-on instructor who’s available to my students and tries to make a connection with students on an individual level. They don’t all learn the same way, so feedback needs to be personalized. I try to show them that they can do it if they take their time and ask questions. Video feedback helps me show students options in terms of fixing coding mistakes while providing examples to guide their project.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
Collaboration is essential in everything we do. Working with peers from different programs helps students get the most out of everyone’s skills. What one person may lack, another may be able to do well...it’s about communication and seeing what tasks everyone’s comfortable with.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Be patient. So many students seem to be racing through things because they’re juggling so much at one time. I urge them to balance life and schoolwork so they’re not always trying to beat a deadline.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
Be patient and put your best foot forward to get the job. It’s challenging to embark on a creative career—especially if you’re critical of your own work. Confidently articulate the thinking behind your work.