Joseph Castiglione

Joseph Castiglione

Never apologize for your work as an artist. Joseph Castiglione , Adjunct Faculty, Fashion Design , 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?

One morning, I came into the studio, and I was given the task of designing a set of rubber bath squirt toys intended for babies. I had absolutely no experience designing this type of product! But I sketched up a set of "Fairytale" bath squirties, including a princess, a frog prince, a swan, a castle, and a crown. Sure enough, they were put into production and were a big hit! That was when I realized that if you have a mind for design, you can design anything.

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 love telling my students my stories of what it is like working in the industry. I often pull up websites on the projector and show them products that I have designed that are now available in stores. I share real stories of what to expect to prepare them for the real world. I also try to open their minds and show them that there are many different options out there, and that they should pursue what they enjoy and are passionate about. 

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?

I love teaching fashion styling. I turn my students into legitimate fashion photographers. I get goose bumps when I see their work. I like to keep the energy high, and create a fun, welcoming, and nurturing environment. I feel that the students really thrive when they're not in an intimidating or daunting place. When it comes to critique, I feel that there is always something nice you can say, but then also give constructive feedback in a kind manner. If students aren't scared, they are able to really blossom along the course of the quarter.

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

I always try to remind my students that collaboration is HUGE when it comes to creative industries. From day one I encourage them to work together and help each other out. "It's not what you know, it's who you know," is something I've been known to say many times. And example of this is when my fashion students enlist the help of photography majors to help them with lighting, camera settings, etc, for their fashion photo shoots! I love the teamwork!

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 say, never apologize for your work as an artist. That drives me crazy. You need to come in, present it, sell it, and own it. Always be true to yourself, and follow your passion. You may not have found it yet, but that is why you are here, to try new things and define your point of view as an artist. Don't be discouraged, some things take time.

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 speak three languages, I also teach dance, I'm a certified lifeguard, and I love watching The Golden Girls.