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Art Institutes

Gaming & Technology

Program Areas

Game Art Design Program

Game Art & Design

Jasmine Sur

Media Arts & Animation , 2014

The Art Institute of Las Vegas

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You can learn how to take games from concept to market-ready—and turn your skills and passion for gaming as you prepare for a career as a key player and virtual storyteller.

Visual_Game_Programming_program

Visual & Game Programming

Ivy Hou

Game Art & Design , 2014

The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

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Blend a programmer’s skills and an artist’s vision to solve creative and technical challenges and bring life to video game levels, characters, and stories.

Meet Our Faculty

  • Annin Barrett

    Annin Barrett

    Fashion Design

    "Keep at it. Never stop learning."

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    Annin Barrett
    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 take classes to visit design archives for professional level research, and I bring in guest speakers from my network.  

    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?

    I often have students work in pairs or teams to pitch ideas, iterate designs, and revise prototypes. This interaction creates lots of energy and inspiration. Focused group research and discussion develops new work that surprises everyone with its innovation.

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

    Design is all about teamwork.  Understanding and valuing different perspectives gives projects more depth of meaning and reaches more audiences.

    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?

    Keep at it.  Never stop learning.

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

    My website address is
    anninbarrett.com. Read More...
  • Casey Martin

    Casey Martin

    Interior Design

    "Go see the world, meet new people, see new things."

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    Casey Martin
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I always migrated to the creative side of things, but a year into an architecture program I realized I was destined to create captivating interiors. Bringing people alive in spaces is something I strive for in every project.

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

    I teach based on real-world scenarios and experiences. I want my students to feel as if every project, every class is grounded in reality. I reach out to many industry professionals so students can hear from a range of professionals—and start building relationships in the industry before they graduate.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I teach mostly studio classes, so I spend a lot of class time working one-on-one with students. I also think that discussions and examples of real-world projects is a fantastic way to learn. I often bring in examples of projects I’m working on so they can see the work in progress.

    In what way do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    I’m always pushing students to go further, posing questions so they can find the answers themselves. I encourage them to talk to their peers and ask the hard questions—that’s the best way for them to learn.

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

    Collaboration is a huge part of the design process. We can’t solve problems alone. I teach many group-project classes as well as cross-listed classes with Industrial Design students. It’s all about blending ideas from many different disciplines and working together to create a solution.

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

    The world is changing, and no one does just one thing anymore. Be flexible in what you can offer, always work hard, and be prepared.

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

    Take every vacation day you have. Go see the world, meet new people, see new things. As creatives, we need to resupply our creative minds. We need that escape and that inspiration—and travel is, in my opinion, the best way to do that.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I grew up in the Middle East, and one of the things I love most about teaching here is the diversity.

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  • Elizabeth M. Lockwood

    Elizabeth M. Lockwood

    Interior Design

    "Design is messy, challenging, and very rewarding."

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    Elizabeth M. Lockwood
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I was always getting in trouble for challenging the status quo. I realized I had a knack for solving complex design challenges—even after being told “no.”


    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 try to put myself in my students’ place, asking myself what I wish I’d known about my profession before I got into it. What theory could I have used? What resource would’ve been helpful? Then I think about how I can effectively share that knowledge with students.


    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?

    I love sharing my passion for design with others. I love the iterative process and the endless possibilities. I challenge students to research, investigate, collaborate, and explore every facet of a design so they feel confident that what they’re proposing is well thought out. In Hospitality Design Studio, we work on the technical and collaborative skills needed to be an innovative designer. I use metaphor and storytelling to help deepen students’ knowledge—for example, we do an organizational ball toss exercise where students discover how team members perform in a group project. The metaphor of tossing the ball translates to how team members juggle multiple tasks during a project.


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

    I’m a connector. I love linking people and ideas together. When I introduce collaboration to students I begin with this quote from Keith Sawyer: “When we collaborate, creativity unfolds across people; the sparks fly faster and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Collaboration drives creativity because innovation always emerges from a series of sparks—never a single flash of insight.” It’s critical for designers to learn how to work effectively in teams.


    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?

    Ask questions. Network with peers, faculty, staff, and guest presenters. You never know where a great job will come from. 
    Design is messy, challenging, and very rewarding. You have the opportunity to influence others’ lives with your design.

    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 get to know my students and help them design their own story. What story do you want to tell? I’m here to listen.


    What was the inspiration for your artwork?

    The design investigates a balance between modern Pacific Northwest aesthetics and the essence of how a building can nurture a valuable quality of life for a family.

    The residence capitalizes on the natural landscape to sustain resources. Horizontal planes extend the eye revealing framed views evoking passive building strategies and creating a place of comfort and refuge.


    Please explain what we are seeing in your pieces.

    2,300 square foot new residence in Clackamas County, including a topographic site plan, first and second floor plan, and building section exploring solar orientation exposure. 

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

    ereed@elizabeth-interiors.com


    Read More...
  • Jordan Lukrich

    Jordan Lukrich

    Media Arts & Animation

    "Always try to push yourself to be better and learn more."

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    Jordan Lukrich
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    Fourth grade. We had a small basket of paper on our desks so that we could solve math problems and such, but I always used it to draw. My teacher told me I had to stop using it for drawing, but said that I would probably do something amazing with my drawing.

    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 give the students examples of real-world applications from things I have seen and learned out in the industry, from networking to finding jobs and the realities of what the job entails.

    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?

    Every class is taught the same way, so that I make plenty of time to have one-on-one time with each student. This way, none of them are lost, or fall behind. I tell the students that they need to push themselves outside of their comfort level, because that is where you learn and grow.

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

    Collaboration helps you realize that your idea is not the be-all and end-all solution. You have to work with others, hear other ideas, and take criticism well, because this industry revolves around other people telling you to change and adjust your work.  

    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?

    To always try to push yourself to be better and learn more. I would much rather hire someone who has a slightly lower skill level, but is constantly open to learning and growing, than someone who is amazing but is closed off and stubborn. Best advice I give students is to just be a good person, because you work with these people all day long, and they want to surround themselves with someone positive.

    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 love this job for many reasons, but I love that I am constantly getting new classes. It makes me push myself to learn more and to keep up with new things that are going on.
    Read More...
  • Shelly Lipkin

    Shelly Lipkin

    Digital Filmmaking & Video Production

    "Do the hard work it takes to succeed."

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    Shelly Lipkin
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    The moment I got on stage in college in a production of
    Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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

    I share the things I’ve experienced in the film industry over the past 40 years.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    In my Fundamentals in Screenwriting class, students work up a script idea based on a character we’ve created as a group. This helps them justify that character’s intentions, motivations, and needs. It's a lot of fun and very creative, and we usually come up with fascinating stories.

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

    Never give up, even in the face of an extremely competitive environment. Be realistic about those obstacles, and do the hard work it takes to succeed.
    Read More...
  • Yer Za Vue

    Yer "Za" Vue

    Media Arts & Animation

    "There are no shortcuts. If you want something to move from point A to point B, it's up to you."

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    Yer "Za" Vue
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    It was when my third grade English as a Second Language teacher was drawing ballerinas. I was mesmerized by the beauty and grace behind her work.

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

    After interning at Hallmark Cards and Disney Feature Animation, I moved to Orlando to work on traditional animated films and shorts for Disney, including The Little Match Girl, Brother Bear, Lilo & Stitch, John Henry, Tarzan, Mulan, Pocahontas, and Circle of Life. Much of what I teach reflects the training I received—both as an intern and as a professional. A big part of my job at Disney was taking on new trainees and prepping them for production. I'm used to running a crew of twelve or more artists, so teaching comes naturally.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I teach traditional animation only. There are no shortcuts. If you want something to move from point A to point B, it's up to you. The quality of the animation depends on your experience and your vision. A good example: the flight-animated test my advanced students perform. Each chooses a type of bird and then redesigns it so that it's easily replicated. This exercise challenges their understanding of wind resistance, how to deal with timing based on the weight of the bird, counter-action, follow-through, and more. In animation, a perfect drawing doesn't necessarily equate to a perfect animation.

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

    It's very important. In a course like Pre-Production Team, students work together to create an animated short on deadline. Matching the right students from the right programs to meet the demands of the production is crucial to the film’s success.

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

    I tell them to take themselves seriously. Skills can be learned, but not having the right mindset will hold you back years.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I emigrated to the U.S. from Laos when I was very young. I love what I do, and I couldn't imagine doing anything else. The feeling I get from sharing my good fortune every time I step in front of a class is hard to put into words. I hope that, someday, one of my students will pass this knowledge on to the next generation of artists.


    Read More...
  • Salvatore Reda

    Salvatore Reda

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Curiosity will take you places you never thought you'd go."

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    Salvatore Reda
    What program and at what school do you teach?

    Ai Portland, Graphic and Web Design.

    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    While I was working toward an art degree, I was awarded a studio space for creating art. I spent most of my time in that studio creating large paintings and drawings for a gallery show. When the show was a success, I wanted to keep pushing forward in the creative art world.

    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 take real-world projects and problems from advertising, interactive design, page layout, and creative typography and bring them into the classroom—along with real clients to critique student work. We also visit local design companies to look at new technologies.

    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?

    I often assign a process work book for students to fill with sketches, ideas, and concepts throughout the term. It demonstrates the progress of a project from early stages to completion with full graphic renderings.

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

    Pulling together students’ strengths and skill sets from across all design disciplines, with each student assigned a certain task, helps flesh out the whole project as a unified whole.

    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?

    Curiosity will take you places you never thought you’d go.  Make personal connections whatever you do and keep those connections alive.


    Read More...