Andrea Herrera-Nasrallah

Andrea Herrera-Nasrallah

If you have a desire to work in a particular industry, pursue it from the start and remember that small jobs can lead to big places. Andrea Herrera-Nasrallah , Adjunct Faculty, Fashion , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

When I was five years old, my mother told me it was Halloween and that I needed to prepare a costume. As I dug through my drawer and created a princess outfit from everyday clothes and my craft supplies, I saw the power of transformation in creating costumes. I pursued a degree in costume design for theater at UC Irvine and have been a designer ever since. 

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 believe in integrating my experience into the classroom. For example, I bring in pieces that I am currently working on to parallel classroom projects and show examples of real life factory production. I believe this gives them a better idea of the end project as well as adding relevance to their classroom assignments.  


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?

In my classes, I like to incorporate a current trend into their projects. I often have students replicate patterns from fashion magazine tears. For example, in surface design we might source from a trend forecasting report to develop patterns and effects. Recently the cast of Girls was featured on the cover of Glamour magazine and each actress had a unique sleeve design. My class was challenged to replicate each design. This allows students to learn basic skills, while also staying on top of trends and exploring their own creativity.

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

In the fashion industry creative teams and designers often work together to develop lines, so I believe in having students mirror this process as much in the classroom.

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 on a creative career?

I would tell my students to stay passionate. People are often the most successful and invested when they are doing something that they really love. The first career choices really follow you throughout your entire career. If you have a desire to work in a particular industry, pursue it from the start and remember that small jobs can lead to big places. 

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?

The most rewarding part of being a designer is to think of a concept and then see it bring joy to the customer. I'll never forget the time I went to the grocery store and saw a little boy wearing one of my costume designs even though it wasn't Halloween. His costume seemed well worn and loved. To me, that is the satisfaction of all the hard working coming together.