Sara Wade

Game Art & Design

Game Art & Design Instructor
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Sara Wade

Never stop learning. Never stop creating. Sara Wade , Game Art & Design Instructor , 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 been drawing and creating for as long as I can remember. I sold my first piece of art when I was just a little kid...a classmate bought a pencil drawing I’d made for one dollar. I guess that’s the moment I became a creative professional.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

I don’t rely simply on teaching specific technical skills. Rather, I emphasize to students that this industry is ever-changing, and success depends upon their ability to stay engaged and keep learning throughout their careers. I bring concrete examples of real-life situations to the classroom to help illustrate this truth.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I think the project-based classes really bring to light the many aspects involved in the game industry. The team production classes are my favorites—they encourage students to get out of their comfort zones, learn by doing, and work with other personality types. They come as close as you can get to mirroring the industry.

What are the benefits of teaching an online course?

Teaching online lets me get to know students from all locations and walks of life who otherwise might not have the opportunity to go to school and study in a creative field.

What are the benefits of an online education for students?

It gives students flexibility that an on ground class schedule can’t match. Students with families, jobs, and even military deployments can still find a way to fit their classwork into their lives.

What are the most student-friendly features of an online education?

Online classes provide a student-focused schedule. Students can learn to work independently under the guidance of faculty, requesting help as they need it.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

Game design and development is rarely an independent activity. Most significant game achievements have been achieved by teams, both large and small. Working on collaborative projects not only expands the creativity possibilities, but also gives students a taste of what a career in the industry would be like. We’re all better when we can work creatively together.

What’s your one piece of advice for a student embarking on a creative career?

Never stop learning. Never stop creating.