Richard Blumenstein

Headshot of Richard Blumenstein

The devil is in the details, pay attention to the details. Richard Blumenstein , Lead Faculty , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional? 

I worked at a factory job for a year after graduating high school. I came home and sat down, tossed my hat on the couch, took off my shoes, and then sat in the chair to take a nap. Not five minutes later my father came home and did the same exact thing. It was a wakeup call for me. I called my art teacher, we put together a portfolio, and I applied to a dozen different art schools, and in a week I was driving down to Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. A week later, I was accepted and within the month I started.

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?

I really try not to allow students to be under the realization that they are immediately going to be accepted in the industry. It’s work, no matter if you're Indie or AAA. You have to work at your discipline to be the best in the industry,  NOT the best in the class.

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

I try to answer the WHY on every assignment I teach. I feel that if you know the reason why you’re doing something then it makes it easier to understand. To push yourself is a constant state in artistic endeavors. Even today I go to professionals like Daarken, Alex Negrea, Stephane Wootha and more to get feedback. Use your teachers to help you grow as an artist.

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Collaboration from other programs helps fill the roles. Artists are not good without programmers.

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

The devil is in the details, pay attention to the details. Keep pushing yourself and don’t give up. You may not be qualified for that AAA position now, but if you start small and build up your work, you will be.

Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes? 

I was an adjunct instructor for years and have seen quality students. As a Lead Faculty, I hope to lead every student to be a quality artist.