Isabella Bezdicek

Graphic & Web Design

Graphic Design Instructor
The Art Institute of Portland

Isabella Bezdicek

Be passionate about what you do! Isabella Bezdicek , Graphic Design 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 started a foundation program at Portsmouth Art School in England and discovered printmaking. When taking my B.A. in the late 80s, I worked tirelessly on a Macintosh, creating digital environments, and then applying them to traditional prints, using steel etching plates. It was a very new technique back then and it created a buzz. I was hooked.

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

Sharing with the students the day-to-day experiences with clients and industry professionals makes a connection for me to any class I teach. The business of design is just as important as designing and being creative. If you don’t follow the formalities of contracts, deadlines, and problem solving, being a creative becomes problematic. Exploration is also a key to design, and I encourage students to use various medium to visualize ideas.

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?

Using the influence from the company XPlane, I created an exercise that asks students to research a ‘tipping point’ in society. They have to research a subject as a team. The students then have to visualize their findings by designating a student to draw info graphics that support an oral presentation about their subject. Every aspect of design from working in a team, creating visual support and researching is used. This exercise emphasizes the importance of research and conceptualizing for their projects.  

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

It makes the student realize that they have to work with many personalities and can’t choose who they work with. It makes the student realize they can’t let the team down and need to be committed to the project. Many of the projects are group orientated, especially in Environmental Graphic Design. One project is a retail window display that allows students to display skills they don’t usually use in the classroom.

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?

Be passionate about what you do!

Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

I have committed many years of my working life to The Art Institutes and have enjoyed many roles.

What was the inspiration for your artwork?

After years of teaching and working in the graphic design field, I have gone full circle and discovered my passion again for drawing animals. Recreating the mythical animals of the Byzantine and Romanesque era, I then started to create my own creatures with exaggerated characteristics, especially in their eyes and primitive bodies. The use of gold, reds, and blues are typical colors used in Romanesque art, especially the use of gold in the mosaics. I realized that they looked like they were waiting for something and thought the mythical beasts could protect something. So, they have become guardians of treasure, whether it is a necklace, earrings, or keys.

Please explain what we are seeing in your pieces.

Bez and Kin are sacred creatures, hand-painted, and cut out, using a scroll saw. They can be hung on a wall or stand on a window sill. It is an art piece with a function that shimmers in the light. They all have an eye on the past, but a keen sense of purpose. Take a look at these mythical creatures and read their stories on the website

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