Nathan Anderson

Media Arts & Animation

Media Arts & Animation Instructor
The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston

Nathan Anderson

Say yes, and let the journey begin. Nathan Anderson , Media Arts & Animation Instructor
, The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston

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

My artistic epiphany happened some time during the Kansas City Art School summer program I attended between my junior and senior years of high school. Realizing that there was a way for me to make a living at what came naturally to me was, in a word, inspirational.

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

I strive to provide students a balanced set of educational goals. While holding their work to the industry standard is a laudable goal, I think it’s more important to help them build the skills, attitudes, and effective work habits that’ll help them succeed—and sustain that success throughout their careers.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I assign homework that puts into practice the techniques we’ve covered in that day’s class...then in the next class I share some more advanced techniques that yield better results. I do this to show students that they’re entering an evolving field of art and technology. There will always be some new tool, technique, software or hardware that’ll make them say, "How did I live without this?" The key is to have as many creative tools as possible, so that when there’s a problem you have many options for solving it.

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

No artist should create inside a bubble. Sometimes a fresh perspective on a creative problem yields a better solution. I always urge my students to find that one other artist who they feel comfortable showing their work to...someone who’ll critique their work without the usual platitudes or flattery. That person will be a friend and colleague for life.

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

Say yes to anything a prospective client or employer asks of you—even if you have no idea how you’ll do it, even if the prospect terrifies you. Say yes, and let the journey begin.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I take great pride in my students and their accomplishments. This school has done a great job creating a curriculum that teaches the skills to become creative professionals, while fostering an environment of artistic exploration.