Traeton Garl, MFA

Digital Photography

Photography Instructor
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Traeton Garl

Know what sets you apart from the crowd. Traeton Garl, MFA , Photography 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 always been drawn to the arts. A creative profession seemed the natural course for me.

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

I share many of my real-word experiences in the classroom—both successes and failures. I want my students to learn by example, to understand how to deal with and overcome obstacles, and to see how the learning relates to the reality of the marketplace.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I encourage each student to use the assignments to help them find their passion and discover their unique voice, so they can express it through their work.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

It’s all too easy to become stuck within a singular, narrow approach to a problem. Collaboration broadens the perspective, which can ultimately help deliver a more effective result.

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

Your education is an investment yourself.

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

Know what sets you apart from the crowd. Everyone has a camera, and anyone can take a picture. So why would anyone consider hiring a photographer when they think they can do it themselves? The value comes from understanding what makes you unique—and how you convey and express this unique vision through your creativity.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I see my role as mentoring and sharing my wisdom and experience to inspire the next generation to become leaders.