Nancy Jones

Nancy Jones

Use your vision to give voice to your style and your message. Nancy Jones PhD , Assistant Professor , 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 been interested in working creatively.

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?

My professional background is grounded in the visual arts, as well as in the theory of visual literacy.  All of the courses I teach utilize my background. I view art and design as a visual language that is developed through formal skills and also with the expressive message. How well viewers understand designs is the determining factor on whether the design is successful or still needs work. I teach students awareness of visual literacy by investigations with color, form, and composition among other things. I also try to help students find and strengthen their own style and vision.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

Milestone 5 is the most intense time—it’s when I really see how each student is developing. It’s when I’m both the most supportive and the most critical. Because students are working creatively and independently at this stage, it’s when they can most benefit from my feedback. 
I encourage revision to really get the final working at it’s best.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

Every project should not only enhance knowledge about the material, but also promote good skills in working as a team and within a community. Collaboration improves students’ presentation, interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills.

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

Develop your technical skills, and use them to create work that makes an impact.

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

Use your vision to give voice to your style and your message.