Jordan Lukrich

Media Arts & Animation

Media Arts & Animation Instructor
The Art Institute of Portland


If you love what you do, those 12-hour days will be worth it. Jordan Lukrich , Media Arts & Animation Instructor , The Art Institute of Portland
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I was bored and not studying when I went to junior college—but still getting A’s. Reading and regurgitating facts wasn’t for me. I always loved drawing and acting, and when I came here I was finally challenged. I love the challenge of creating something from scratch.

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

I share things I’ve learned in the industry—like meeting deadlines and setting up files cleanly and properly. I stress that it’s important to like your work, but it’s really not for you, it’s for the client. I show them how to detach themselves from their work so they can take criticism without being offended. I also tell them that they get out of this what they put in .

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring, and how do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits.

All my classes are basically structured the same way: I demonstrate something, then we all do it together as I talk through it, then students do it as I go around and work with anyone who doesn’t understand it. I find that students are hesitant to say that they don’t understand, so that one-on-one time is really valuable. I try to push students just outside their comfort level, because that is where they grow. You learn by encountering problems and having to troubleshoot to find the answer.

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

Collaboration in this industry is everything, because nobody completes a project by themselves. Our program is broken into job categories so that students have to collaborate with the people behind and ahead of them to keep up. Time is money in this business, so the more time you waste because you didn’t coordinate your efforts with others, the more money you burn.

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

Be a good, driven, and nice person. Even if you’re not the most talented person, if you’re easy to work with and people like being around you, you’ll go further than a talented jerk.

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

Make sure you love what you do. At the end of the day, it’s still a job and you can burn out. But if you love what you do, those 12-hour days will be worth it.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I teach because I love it, not because I have to.