Jean-Carlo Tirado

Media Arts & Animation

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

Jean-Carlo Tirado

Through repetition and practice [students] can build their skills and eventually their confidence. Jean-Carlo Tirado , Adjunct Faculty, Media Arts and 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?

Ever since I can remember I was always drawing, and realized that it was something I wanted to pursue as a profession. There was never a singular defining moment, but a series of moments that encouraged me to continue to pursue my goals—from teachers telling me that I would go far, or having artwork being recognized by the schools I went to, or from industry professionals I looked up to giving me opportunities and encouraging me.

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 usually try to instill in them a sense of professionalism. I often try to inform them and relate the classroom and school as a paradigm to the realities of the industry. Whether it’s meeting deadlines by submitting assignments on time or encouraging them to communicate with me through email with any questions or keeping me updated on their projects and if they can meet their deadlines or not. As well as the importance of how they conduct themselves around their classmates for the potential of networking and collaborating for when they graduate and are out in the field. I also like to share stories and show them work that I’ve created that directly relate to the course that I’m teaching and how I go about it so that they can learn from it.

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?

It’s not exciting but in Life Drawing and Gesture I start them off by having them do 50 gesture drawings. That way, they can gain experience by drawing the figure in different positions over and over rather than spending a lot of time on one drawing trying to make it look nice. Through repetition and practice they can build their skills and eventually their confidence. 

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

Collaboration is a very important aspect to the success of students—some students like it and some don’t—but the experiences they go through whether successful or not will always carry on with them on how they avoid or replicate that success when working with others in the future. 

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?

To constantly push and motivate them to evolve as artists and to always continue learning.