Michael Anthony Lynch

Graphic & Web Design

Senior Design Faculty, Graphic Design Program Facilitator
The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Graphic Design Faculty Member Michael Anthony Lynch

Always experiment with the concept before starting the actual design. Michael Anthony Lynch , Senior Design Faculty, Graphic Design Program Facilitator
, 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?

Throughout middle school and high school, I loved to draw. I was the kid who had a line of students waiting to have me sign their yearbook because I would always draw a picture specifically for that student. After high school I took a few jobs just to pay the bills, but I wasn’t happy. I looked into careers where I could use my art skills, and came across graphic design. I earned my B.A. and started working in the publishing field, designing book covers.

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

After working as lead designer for several publishing houses, I opened my own book cover design business. I learned the design industry inside and out. I bring that knowledge and experience to the classroom...I introduce myself to students as a "designer who also teaches," not a "teacher who also designs.” I’m a designer first, and that’s how I approach each class.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I use a learner-centered approach; my courses consist of a brief lecture, an exercise to illustrate the lecture material, an in-class assignment, and then a workshop segment.

A typical project might be creating a kitchen counter environment that illustrates various personality traits using only items found in a kitchen...for instance, conveying "confidence" by showing a large, shiny chrome cheese grater next to an enormous block of cheese.

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

It gives students a sense of what it’s like to work in the industry—brainstorming to create a brand, working in teams of copywriters, photographers, web designers, illustrators, etc. It helps prepare students to work in an industry where collaboration is key to successful design.

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

Always experiment with the concept before starting the actual design. Many times students—and professionals, for that matter—focus on the end result. I tell students to play in the field of ideas first...experiment with many ideas to solve a single design problem. Committing too soon to a concept may eliminate a potentially brilliant idea that hasn't had time to surface.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’ve taught thousands of students. It makes me proud when I see them succeed in the industry. I couldn't have picked a better career path.