Media Arts & Animation
Stay hungry. The industry moves fast. Mark Yeager , Faculty , The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, a campus of Argosy University
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
There actually was no defining moment. I just knew. The only other option that excited me as much was becoming an Astronaut. Now, I draw astronauts. ;)
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
Teaching the students through my lens as an industry-trained designer is very important. I do this by providing examples of current and past client projects, in some cases, even through the actual project files. I also share "war-stories" of client-interaction and teach them about conducting themselves professionally while still standing up for their creativity.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?
Every course has a project that simulates that of a design studio. This helps with the learning curve of being creative on a deadline. If we train students like they’re in the industry, when they get out there, it will be an easier adjustment.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
Animation is a team-based industry. Starting that model in the classroom by crossing between programs provides students with the great opportunity to experience the challenges and inspirations that come with collaboration at an early stage in their careers.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Never miss a deadline. Be on time. Draw every day. And stay hungry. The industry moves fast, so it’s wise to be on top of the trends as well as understanding the traditions and history of the field.
As an instructor, my role is to provide the foundation for student success in the industry. We want our graduates to not only be employed, but be happy with their creative career. I love the responsibility and opportunity of this role.