Tracy Goodman

Design & Media Management

Foundation Arts Instructor
The Art Institute of Portland

Tracy Goodman

If you don't have a passion for this, you might want to seek another career. Tracy Goodman , Foundation Arts Instructor , The Art Institute of Portland
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

It started innocently enough. In high school I worked as a clerk in a department store. One day I found myself collecting items from around the store and (re)designing end-caps to pass the time. When I got positive feedback, a light bulb went off.

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

I draw on my professional background to share real-life experiences—and consequences—with my students. I do not, repeat, do not accept late work. I explain the consequences for turning in a project late. I use the example that, in the construction industry, every day a building isn’t completed on time costs the contractor $100K-plus.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?


My approach is to introduce new concepts in their simplest form. Students feel empowered, validated, and engaged when they can easily comprehend new concepts. I assign projects that encourage students to examine and apply new design concepts in their specific majors. They’re most inspired, committed, and engaged when the material is relevant to them.

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

Teamwork is a major component of the design process. Though students from various disciplines share the same design foundations, each brings a unique perspective and expertise. Promoting the marriage of ideas and execution brings about a more unique, well-rounded solution.

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


Be here because you want to be here.

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


If you don’t have a passion for this, you might want to seek another career.