Amina Patton

Graphic & Web Design

Graphic & Web Design Instructor
The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston

Amina Patton

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

In my sophomore year, my original pieces were featured heavily in my high school’s literary magazine. The recognition I got was uncommon for a sophomore, and it sparked my pursuit of a creative career. But it was the experience of designing the publication that inspired me to focus on graphic design.

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

Students can have a hard time seeing the big picture, so as often as possible, I pass along anecdotes from my professional career to put assignments in a real-world context. I also share resources, tips, and tools that were crucial to me in the field— everything from client management to ideation tools to presentation advice.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

In my Capstone class, students design a public health campaign. It reflects my background in healthcare as well as my approach in the classroom. I push students to research and design interventions for real-world issues. Often they pick issues that mean something to them personally...they become deeply invested, empathetic to their audience, and more thoughtful in their design choices.

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

We don’t design in a vacuum, so learning how to communicate and work with others is crucial. Breaking boundaries across disciplines helps students learn from each other and practice the communication skills they’ll need in their professional lives.

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

Asking questions can help bring new ideas to life, break down barriers, and open up lines of communication. Don’t be afraid to ask.