Anderson B. English, MFA

Media Arts & Animation

Media Arts Program Chair
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

Anderson English Media Arts Program Chair

...the expectations will be that you are...ready to give it your all in an effort to make the best work. Anderson English , Media Arts Program Chair , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

It happened a few years removed from high school. Though I took photography courses in high school and continued on with more after I graduated, I had not enrolled in college. I was turning 21 and floating through life when my high school teacher, who I continued to stay in touch with, told me to get a portfolio together and enroll in college. Essentially, he was saying to get serious and get on with it. Going to college was one of the best things I ever did. It opened the doors to so many opportunities and relationships.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

Collaboration is the key to any kind of success, in any kind of occupation. As I noted in the first response, relationships and opportunities go hand in hand. Collaboration springs from that or into that. Though many of us would like to think we can go it alone and think we are the smartest people in the room, the reality is we don’t know everything and we have to work with others in order to get things done correctly and done well. Success, in whatever form, is the byproduct of collaboration.

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

Get a sense of humor. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you are doomed. Of course you will take your work seriously, but there will be times when things don’t work out. Laugh and move on, because you are only as good as your next piece...and your next piece better be good! If you are going to get into this business, remember that there are a lot of people who want to do this work, too. The question will be how willing are you to fully commit to your craft because the expectations will be that you are engaged, open to new ideas, able to take criticism and ready to give it your all in an effort to make the best work.