Emer Tanciato

Emer Tianciato

When students are working in the classroom, I imagine that they are on a professional team with me in the industry. This allows me to use every opportunity in the classroom to expose my students to how the industry works. Emer Tanciatco , Adjunct Faculty , 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 first started my education journey, I was a computer science major at San Diego State University. Eventually I decided that I wanted to create art for video games, but I could not find an education program that offered the major, so I eventually majored in graphic design. I started work as a comic artist for a bit, but found that it could not support my lifestyle. I worked in different jobs but still had that desire to work in games. I finally decided to go back to school and learn how to design games and ended up obtaining another degree from The Art Institute of California—San Diego. 

My father bought me the Atari 2600 and I loved to draw. This sparked my desire to create art for games and being part of the industry. 

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 take my personal experience from working in the industry and apply it to my classroom. When students are working in the classroom, I imagine that they are on a professional team with me in the industry. This allows me to use every opportunity in the classroom to expose my students to how the industry works. 

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 the past, I worked on an "Iron Chef"-inspired competition called "Iron Student." The students would create a game asset in four hours based on a random subject. The objective of the assignment was to have the students apply the culmination of their knowledge from their previous classes and apply it to one assignment. It motivates them to design an asset in a specific timeframe and challenges them to see how far they can push their idea. 

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

Collaboration is always important. Most projects in the industry rely on collaboration.

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?

It’s important that a student really wants to be in this industry and demonstrate the level of commitment that will allow them to move into the industry at all times. 

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 have been teaching at Ai California—San Diego for over 8 years and I am proud to be an alumni. I was thankful to graduate from Ai California—San Diego and have been working in the industry ever since. I have been willing to give back what I have learned in the industry to the students because I think it is beneficial. 

I am a huge "Star Wars" fan, love ComicCon, and Disneyland.