Vicki Stephens

Vicki Stephens HS Sub

The most critical advice I offer is to be prepared. Do your research, attend to every detail. Vicki Stephens , Adjunct Faculty , The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston

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

I suppose that defining moment would be the first time I sold my work as a teenager, illustrating calendars for a restaurant.

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 talk a lot with students about the industry, especially the world of printed matter. I use my experience in production management to highlight what it is that designers need to know in order to compete in a competitive market.

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 have a hands-on approach to teaching, so all of my projects consist of Concept/Design/Delivery. In most cases, students are learning to express these concepts in programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign. I work with the class as a group and each student individually in order to encourage development and success with the task at hand.

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

I believe the spirit of collaboration helps to enhance the learning process. Students need to know one another and work together for a common goal. The diversity in our students' experience and discipline play an important role in helping to clarify their future success.

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 n a creative career?

Focus! The most critical advice I offer is to be prepared. Do your research, attend to every detail. It will be evident in your work that you did. If it is not, prepare to fail.

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 am happy to be a part of The Art Institute team here in San Antonio. I find teaching challenging and inspiring and look forward to each class being better than the last.