Norm Engel

Media Arts & Animation

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

Norm Engel

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

In the early 1990s I started experimenting with computer animation. That’s when my technical and artistic skills came together to form a perfect outlet for expression.

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

I share my story with students so they understand how they can use their skills in diverse ways. I’ve worked on literally hundreds of commercial productions. Many have aired on network television, PBS, MTV, VH1, and CMT. I also continue to pursue the fine art of painting. My canvases can be found in many private collections and galleries worldwide. All this adds credibility to what I teach, as well as a sense of the possibilities that are available.

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

I teach a variety of classes that involve teamwork. It’s an important thing to learn, as the industry demands that animators work in teams; they subdivide the work to achieve bigger goals than an any one individual could achieve.

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

The reason I enjoy teaching is selfishly simple. This truly is a labor of love. I’m an artist surrounded by extremely creative people. Artists share—that’s what we do. The faculty and students here are all creative artists sharing and growing. The ideas, the energy, the enthusiasm, and the politics of art. Wow. I live the life of an artist…how cool is that?