Amy Ruedinger

Foundations Instructor
The Art Institute of Portland

Portland General Education Faculty Amy Ruedinger

Keep growing creatively by challenging yourself to push through doubt and fear. Amy Ruedinger , Foundations Instructor , The Art Institute of Portland
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

When I drew my favorite cartoon character and it looked accurate and full of personality.

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 often speak of the process of being a creative—the discipline, motivation, and hours of working on your art/designs. Also, discussed are the ways one receives accolades and sales/marketing. I let my students know about my exhibitions and invite them to openings. When they come, it is a great experience in the realities of being a professional creative.

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?

My final projects all require the students to use everything learned in the class and to “top themselves.” This often inspires them to do just that. They get to choose concepts to explore, which gives them autonomy. The biggest joy for me as a teacher is to have my students impress themselves with what they make.

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

Collaboration is very important. Getting along with others and working together successfully are skills I also teach. In Foundation classes, students from all the majors are in the same class. By working together collaboratively, their different approaches and viewpoints are shared, which broadens everyone’s knowledge of the creative arts.

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?

I teach in the Foundation Department at Ai Portland. The important concepts for success I teach are to follow instructions accurately, meet deadlines, arrive on time every time, learn to listen, be respectful, presentation of yourself and your work is VERY important, be likeable.

How can people find out more about you and your artwork?

My website—