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?
That would have to be when my high school art teacher told me I could make a living creating art. Then, at my first year at Syracuse University, I discovered Industrial Design and the rest, as they say, is history.
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?
Since I am a working designer, I always relate what I’m teaching to how I use these techniques in the real world of design.
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 approach is simple—build a good foundation and everything will stand on its own! Practice the basics. Also, I do a hands-on sketching process, where I take students through the design process steps, one by one.
What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?
I do not have my students do group projects, but they collaborate in brainstorming and critiques.
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?
Get a thicker skin! Everyone likes to play designer, give input/criticism, but, as designers, we need to be able to listen to criticism—good, bad, or nonsensical. Good ideas can come from anywhere, especially where we least expect it, so listen with an open mind!
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 30-plus years of footwear design experience, allowing me to teach classes that are relevant to tomorrow’s budding designers, especially students who are looking to get involved in designing footwear. Currently, Inspired2Design Inc.—my design consulting company—is continually conceptualizing, innovating, creating and designing products for brands such as Bushnell, Mizuno, Chaco, Teva, Smith Sport Optics, and Columbia Sportswear, to name a few.
How can people find out more about you and your artwork?