Grady Williams

Media Arts & Animation

Faculty, Media Arts & Animation
The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Grady Williams

Students need to get over their insecurities and speak positively about their work. Grady Williams , Faculty, Media Arts & Animation , 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?

I was in junior college making a database for locating which streets needed attention and working as computer programmer for the city of Los Angeles. During this process, I had to revise the code and realized how tedious and painful it was. At that moment, I knew that I needed a different career path. I then decided to study illustration at the Art Center in Pasadena, CA.  

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 tell a lot of stories in class and even include my own experiences as a student as well as my professional background. I feel that it gives students a good sense of what they should be prepared for and what to expect after they leave college. 

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 production team classes for animation, the students get to experience working as a team. They develop a project from the beginning to the end; from the initial concept to the final production. Most alumni remark that this was one of the best classes to prepare them for the professional world. They also comment that it gave them insight into the dynamics of working with people. 

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


Students can learn how to raise the expectation of their peers through articulating their concepts and expectations of themselves. 

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?

Networking is key. Students need to get over their insecurities and speak positively about their work. We do a lot of presentations and I always tell students to stop pointing out their flaws, and instead focus on their successes.  

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 illustrate constantly. I just finished illustrating a children's book and I am working on my own project entitled "Loose Tooth." In addition to illustration, I also am still an active animator working on several projects for different small companies.