J. L. Van Dall

J. L. Van Dall

I show students excellent examples of work... and press them to exceed that level. J. L. Van Dall , Game Art & Design Instructor , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional

I knew very early on. In elementary school I had my artwork in juried shows. The counselor at the school told me this is something that I should plan on doing when I grew up.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

I talk about my professional experiences as an animator and 3D artist often in class. During my instruction, I talk about how the industry has changed and show examples of the differences.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and inspiring your students to do more?

It’s not just an assignment, but my 3D Animation and Character Animation classes really showcase my methods. In them I show students excellent examples of work that fit what we are doing in class and press them to exceed that level.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

Stressing teamwork and not wanting to disappoint your team is key to success. I don't teach many classes with group projects at this point but when I did, I would tell my students that the habits they develop in class will help them to grow and obtain that job they want. Being collaborative should be a habit.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Be respectful, be on time, ask for feedback, and be a good teammate.