Robin Masi

Graphic & Web Design

Art Foundations Instructor
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Robin Masi

Enjoy the ride... being an artist is one of the best professions there is. Robin Masi , Art Foundations Instructor , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

As a working artist, I enjoy sharing my travel and exhibition experiences in the classroom. Recently I posted photos of my trip to Milan and the Duomo Cathedral for my course in Perspective. I asked students to create digital overlays of the perspective in this complex structure, so they could apply their knowledge to a beautiful work of architecture. Whenever I exhibit my work, I post images so students can discuss how the process works; I encourage them to start exhibiting as soon as they can.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?


One of my favorite class projects is showing students the basics of portraiture. I’ve developed a step-by-step tutorial in both video and text form they can follow when they do their own self- portraits. I also ask for a before-and-after-version. Once we’ve viewed the “after” version it’s such a pleasure to see how they react to being able to create their own, or another’s, likeness.

In what way do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

I push students through the critique process. I provide video critiques, which engages them more in the areas of improvement to the work. But we don’t stop with one revision. I encourage students to revise and redo their assignments as many times as they like in order to push themselves to their fullest potential. They’re often surprised at how much they can improve their work and come close to realizing their creative vision.

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


Work hard, be persistent, take risks, and push the work further.

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


Present yourself and your work professionally. Take yourself seriously. Be willing to take input and rework any project required. Enjoy the ride...being an artist is one of the best professions there is.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I get so much joy working with nervous beginning students and seeing how, with some instruction, their whole way of perceiving the world and themselves as creative individuals expands.