Art Institutes

Media Arts& Animation

I want to create my own future.

All kinds of industries—beyond just entertainment and media—need creative minds to bring ideas to life. Animators. 3D animators. Multimedia artists. Special Effects artists. Along with others, they put their skills and imaginations to work everywhere from film and TV to medicine and law. If you have the talent, passion, and tenacity to follow that career path, Media Arts & Animation degree programs can prepare you for a life of doing what you love. In our creative and supportive environment, you’ll use industry-specific hardware and software in an environment that’s as challenging and competitive as the real world. You’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty*. It won't be easy. But nothing truly worthwhile ever is.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/376 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will have the opportunity to:

  • Demonstrate application of learned concepts from foundation level art courses. These would include: drawing, color, form, design, composition and foundation level digital art skills.
  • Demonstrate an applied technical knowledge of animation tools and software according to current industry standards.
  • Demonstrate a practical understanding and application in the principles of animation, acting and movement and cinematic storytelling as it relates to 2D and 3D animation (as applicable).
  • Demonstrate professionalism, through the creation and presentation of a portfolio and self promotion package, according to current industry standards.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conceptualize, plan, execute, and deliver quality animation projects.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work on team-based projects.

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

It's sink or swim. And I'm ready to dive in.

As a digital storyteller, you’ll find yourself right in the middle of a highly competitive, fast-paced and constantly evolving profession. That’s why it’s critical that you immerse yourself in learning every creative and production phase—from concept through delivery. In our program you’ll start with fundamentals in drawing, composition, color, and design. From there, you can learn to express your ideas in pictures and words. You can create the characters and their stories, then bring them to life in the worlds they inhabit. You can compose the shots and sequences of action, then edit it into a presentation ready for any screen. You’ll work with the same kinds of technology professionals use. You’ll be challenged with assignments drawn from the real world, and you’ll collaborate with your peers, just as you would in a production studio. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet Our Alumni

  • The Art Institute of California - San Diego alumni Brian Townsend

    Brian Townsend

    Media Arts & Animation , 2010

    "The skills I learned in school helped me turn a hobby into a profession."

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    Brian Townsend

    Brian Townsend describes himself as a kid who was always drawing in his notebook instead of taking notes. His natural creativity led him to a career as a 3D artist and photographer on the design team for Microsoft Surface tablets. He had the prestigious honor of creating all of the shots used by the CEO of Microsoft and President of Windows when the Surface tablet was unveiled—his design work was also displayed prominently on the screens in Time Square in New York City.

    Brian creates all of the marketing shorts and 3D animations for the tablets and his job involves photography, 3D animation, and graphic design. “Often I help the design team photo realistically visualize [new concepts in 3D] long before they physically exist. This helps them work through design variations as well as communicate their ideas clearly to the engineering teams who actually build the products,” he says. Brian adds that the most important part of his job involves telling a clear story as quickly as possible, using images and animation.

    In addition to his creative pursuits, Brian is a military veteran who served as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army and achieved the rank of Specialist. He served in both Korea and Iraq, and believes that his military training provided the discipline he needed to transition to school and finally to a civilian career with Microsoft in Seattle. “My time spent in the service prepared me for school in ways I never imagined. Had it not been for the Army, I wouldn't have had the same work ethic that allowed me to get so much out of my education.”

    Brian, who in 2010 earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Arts & Animation from The Art Institute of California—San Diego, says that the skills he learned in school helped him to turn his creative passion into a profession. “[In my job], I use skills I learned from the foundation classes on up through the most advanced classes. I can’t emphasize the importance of the fundamentals enough though. I fall back to those constantly and I still reference my fundamentals of design and color theory books.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/376 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    *As of 2012, a campus of Argosy University

    Read More...
  • The Art Institute of California - San Diego alumni Corey Bolwyn

    Corey Bolwyn

    Media Arts & Animation , 2008

    "Embrace the artistic vision and the technology that will push the art. Every film has its extraordinary challenges and none of them ever feel the same."

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    Corey Bolwyn

    Corey Bolwyn’s love for animation began when he was a child, playing the game Dragon’s Lair. “I was blown away by Don Bluth's character ‘Dirk the Daring,’” he says. Years later, Corey has helped to create movies that could provide that same inspiration to the next generation. Corey, a Character Technical Director for Walt Disney Animation Studios, has worked on Academy Award winning major motion pictures including “Big Hero 6” and “Frozen.” His most recent accomplishment is creating animation for the recently-released “Zootopia.” His role on the film was Character Technical Director and Technical Animator.

    Corey is a graduate of The Art Institute of California—San Diego.* He earned a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation in 2008.

    Working as a member of the creative team, Corey was tasked with achieving the artistic vision of the film’s directors—while staying on time. “You have to find a balance between the highest quality possible versus knowing when to stop due to time constraints.”

    Corey describes “Zootopia” as a very stylized film. “We had to hit very silhouette-driven shapes in our character’s performance. You can see this style in the art book and in the film. Besides the shape language, most of the characters had moving fur and clothes going over the fur. This makes life very challenging at times. The fur likes to come through the clothes—if you don't know what you are doing.”

    Corey adds that some departments at Disney work more closely together than others. “I happen to be in a department that is very close, and we are all very technical and artistic. The two disciplines require that we collaborate closely and feed off of each other. If you don't, you won't last long.”

    Corey has now been in the animation industry for eight years, and he believes that the biggest change in that time is the complexity of animation. “Technology allows us to create very hand-crafted films—literally anything you want to make. Even within our department there are so many varying disciplines where artists are experts. It really is quite fascinating.”

    Corey recommends that current students keep learning and growing. “Embrace the artistic vision and the technology that will push the art. Every film has its extraordinary challenges and none of them ever feel the same.”

    * As of 2012, a campus of Argosy University

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/376 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • The Art Institute of California - San Diego alumni Enrique Torres

    Enrique Torres

    Media Arts & Animation , 2005

    "[My education] helped me to keep up with the fast pace that is the entertainment world."

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    Enrique Torres

    Enrique Torres is a freelance 3D generalist, character artist, and designer who generates 3D assets for designers. Enrique enjoys the challenges of his career and the knowledge that he can keep growing. “There’s no limit on how far I can get in terms of success and knowledge as an artist. I can make choices to increase my career or I have the choice to stay where I am.”

    Enrique says that his most proud professional moment came when he won an Emmy for the show “Sports Science,” which aired on ESPN. “I have an Emmy with my name that I get to keep. It’s on a display at my house.” Enrique says that his influences include everyone from from comic book artists to classic artists. “Jim Lee was always my favorite. Heinrich Kley was someone who [truly inspired me].”

    Enrique, who in 2005 earned a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation from The Art Institute of California—San Diego, says that his education exposed him to a variety of software. “There were times when I had to use what I was taught [in school] to finish big-budget projects. [My education] helped me to keep up with the fast pace that is the entertainment world.” Enrique believes that there are four key attributes to success in his industry. “One is talent. Two is networking. Three is professionalism. And four is always have a positive attitude.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/376 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    *As of 2012, a campus of Argosy University

    Read More...
  • The Art Institute of California - San Diego alumni Erica Alexander

    Erica Alexander

    Interior Design , 2015

    "Working on group projects [in school] was so helpful because I'm constantly working with other designers, clients, sales representatives, and architecture and design firms."

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    Erica Alexander

    Erica Alexander is a designer at Tangram Interiors in Santa Fe Springs, California. She’s responsible for space planning, field measures, client management, and CET Design—a visual space planning software package. Erica works on multiple projects at a time and says that she is constantly growing as a designer. “[Learning other computer programs in school] helped me to catch on to [CET] quickly. Working on group projects was so helpful because I’m constantly working with other designers, clients, sales representatives, and architecture and design firms. Knowing how to hear what people are saying and how to combine ideas from multiple people is very helpful.”

    Erica’s biggest challenge has been “figuring out her place” within Tangram Interiors. “It took me several weeks to understand how the company works within the context of the larger field of interior design.” She began listening to others around her and learning from fellow designers who took her under their wing. This helped her to feel comfortable and confident in her position at the company. Erica recommends that students and those new to interior design keep pushing forward, no matter how difficult things get. “Many times I didn’t think I was going to make it or could make it through the classes—yet I made it through.”

    The creative collaboration at her workplace serves as inspiration for Erica. “I am constantly talking with other designers and have helped other [them to] consider new ways of planning a space.” She credits her education with helping her to find her place in the interior design world. “When I interviewed with Tangram, I knew that all of the hard work had paid off. I got many compliments on my portfolio and I knew that this was a place that I had to work.”

    Erica, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from The Art Institute of California—San Diego, says that she’s pushing herself to understand products and how the design process works. She’s currently working on an account that combines educational, healthcare, and corporate design. “[It’s giving] me a small taste of everything that Tangram does.” She views this as a challenge to build her knowledge and experience. “[Tangram] made me feel so welcome. I knew that this was what I was supposed to be doing.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/375 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • The Art Institute of California - San Diego alumni Karla Franco

    Karla Franco

    Fashion Design , 2014

    "What I enjoy the most about my career is the satisfaction of making someone feel confident and beautiful."

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    Karla Franco

    Karla Franco is working as a sample maker for designer Michael Costello in Los Angeles, California. She’s responsible for constructing garments, patternmaking, fittings, and creating samples. “My typical work day consists of making samples for Michael Costello that [are] showcased in different fashion shows around the world. I usually make one to two samples of gowns or other garments a day.”

    She adds that she’s proud to have won The Art Institute of California—Los Angeles’ fashion show and landed a job with a notable fashion designer. “I get inspired everywhere I go, but what I get most inspired from are all the cultures I get exposed to. I also love getting inspired by different geometric shapes. Many of my designs are composed of triangular patterns.” Her artistic hero is Frida Kahlo, who Karla describes as “the best example of someone who believed in herself and expressed her emotions through her art—even her toughest moments.”

    Karla, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of California—San Diego, says that her education provided essential knowledge for her career. “It educated me on all the basics and technical skills I needed to become a successful designer.” She adds that current students should be well versed in social media and its ability to showcase fashion to a wide audience. “I believe that the internet can be a double edged sword. It affects designers positively in show casing our work but it can also affect it us by increasing competition. Anyone can just post anything in their social media and knock off designs, but overall it's great as it creates opportunity. Competition is a great way to motivate us [to do] our best.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/369 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • The Art Institute of California - San Diego alumni Matt Sloman

    Matt Sloman

    Culinary Management , 2014

    "[Since completing my education], I have a much better working knowledge of how the kitchens and the back of the house works."

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    Matt Sloman

    Matt Sloman is a banquet supervisor at Harrah’s Southern California Resort in Valley Center, California. He’s responsible for planning and executing client events as well as overseeing staff, servers, and housemen who work at the event venue. “The one thing that I enjoy most about this position is the interaction I have with both clients and guests alike. The ability to make people smile is what keeps me going every day,” he says. Matt adds that he always put his best effort forward. “[I] know that how I respond to a guest’s questions or requests could make their experience either great or less than great.”

    While he’s only been in his position a short time, Matt is excited to have instituted a new staff training program. “Ensuring that we are performing to the highest possible service standards available [is important to me].” He adds that one of the biggest challenges to working in his field is the technology involved in processing client invoices. “Great service is great service and that will never change.”

    Matt, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management from The Art Institute of California—San Diego, says that his education provided a strong working knowledge of both the kitchen and back of house. “This helps in providing a much better product to the customer.” Matt recommends that current students soak up knowledge in all areas of the kitchen, hotel, or resort. “One thing about the banquet department is that we interact with almost every other department. It really helps if you know what those departments do.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/368 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • The Art Institute of California - San Diego alumni Sean K. McCreery

    Sean K. McCreery

    Culinary Arts , 2007

    "Being a chef allows your inner artist to come out in your food."

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    Sean K. McCreery

    Sean K. McCreery is an operations manager at Sodexo in Vail, Arizona. He supervises 100 employees to ensure that 12,300 children are served two healthy meals each day. In his position, Sean oversees the daily food service operations for 17 schools, grades Kindergarten through 12th. “I always need to give more than 100% daily. Being a chef allows your inner artist to come out in your food. Food service [can be] a thankless job, but I get gratitude by seeing the smile after that first bite—and the silence around the table from the people eating my creations,” he says.

    Sean’s busy workplace means that he’s constantly learning and teaching. “When you have a wealth of knowledge, everyone wants to ask you the questions. In doing that, I became more of a teacher.” His experience in the United States Marine Corps added to the leadership abilities he brings to workplace and kitchen. “In school [and now], students looked to me for help, guidance, and mentorship.”

    He adds that the challenges of his career mean he’s also evolving as a manager. “Being in charge of a multi-unit operation is where my career is going. I think the next step for me will be to start my own consulting firm. I want to help others achieve the success I have in my life.”

    Sean began his education after serving in the Marines as a chef. “I have a bit of a different [background] story,” he says. From a young age, he knew he wanted to be a chef. “It was very challenging trying to learn all the jobs and becoming good at each one. But looking back at my wealth of knowledge, it was well worth all the hard work.”

    Sean is a graduate of both The Art Institute of California—San Diego and The Art Institute of Portland. He recommends that current students challenge themselves with higher goals. “When you get to one goal, strive to get to the next.” He says that he realized the benefits of his education when he was placed in a management position. “It is all a growing process and a mind set of being able to strive to attain the goals you have set in life.”

    *as of 2012, a campus of Argosy University

    Read More...
  • Kayla Ervin

    Kayla Ervin

    Graphic & Web Design , 2014

    "My education gave me a solid understanding of the principles of design and led me on the path to what I do today."

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    Kayla Ervin

    User Interface and User Experience Designer for Southern California's SBM Management Services

    Kayla Ervin is a user interface and user experience designer for Southern California’s SBM Management Services, where she creates wireframes, user flows, and user interfaces for web and native mobile applications. Kayla also designs user onboarding tutorials, analyzes patterns with user testing tools, and suggests improvements. She says that a typical day involves creating wireframes and high fidelity mockups. “I work with an existing brand’s look and feel so there is a lot of reusing what already exists in different ways.”

    She says that it’s important that current students stay focused, finish their projects, and hold onto them. “You can always come back to projects and refine them for your portfolio.” She adds that the biggest challenge she’s faced in her career was presenting her work. “You have to do work that you love and work that you're proud of to be able to present it in a confident manner. When you aren't confident in your work, you still need to show confidence when presenting to a client.”

    Kayla’s level of commitment to her profession extends beyond the work day. She is continually learning and increasing her skillset on her own time. “I've worked on freelance projects and projects just for fun to increase my skills outside of work,” she adds. At work, she enjoys collaborating with her team. “I always try to give positive and constructive feedback to my coworkers to help create the best solutions possible.” She adds that there’s nothing better than seeing her work appreciated and praised by her team.

    She plans to continue growing in her career so that she can eventually work for companies that make products she enjoys using in her personal time. She says that she finds inspiration by using chrome extension and ios app panda, which bring the design community together and focus on what’s new in the industry. “It's very inspiring to see what leaders in the industry are up to and even be able to interact with them.”

    Kayla, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of California—San Diego, says that while she’s not technically a graphic designer, her education provided a solid understanding of the principles of design. “I learned a lot about all the tools [used] in the industry and made some invaluable connections from going there.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/372 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • Phil Esteban

    Phil Esteben

    Culinary Arts , 2008

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    Phil Esteben
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What Will I Study?

Media_Arts_Animation

I'm ready to start telling stories.

Our Media Arts & Animation curriculum will truly put you to the test. Because it was designed by industry experts to help put you in a position to succeed in field where the only limit is your imagination. You'll study:

  • Digital Imaging
  • Life Drawing for Animation
  • Character and Object Design for Animation
  • Cinematic Storytelling
  • Digital Editing
  • Computer 3D Modeling and Animation
  • Principles of Animation
  • Acting / Movement
  • 2D Animation
  • Storyboard Rendering for Animation
  • Camera and Lighting Techniques
  • Creative and Collaborative Project Management
  • 3D Modeling
  • 3D Character Animation
  • 3D Textures
  • Web Animation

I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Media Arts & Animation degree programs are built on that creative foundation. It’s also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But we temper the tough with the support you need to make your creativity marketable. We provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. Here, you’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. So if your heart is telling you that you belong in a creative field, you belong here. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

 

Meet Our Faculty

  • Kathie Taylor

    Kathie Taylor

    Fashion Design

    "One of my favorite assignments is when students create designs for a local, upscale boutique for the chance to actually sell it there."

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    Kathie Taylor
    What drew you to become a creative professional?

    In my career as a journalist and in the fashion industry, I understood that communication was the common thread between my love for each fields. Both fashion and journalism seek to communicate what is taking place in the world at the moment. They are both powerful expressions of the times, and a reflection of our need to create constant change.

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

    I often use examples of my experiences in the classroom – both good and bad. It’s my way of preparing my students better than I was prepared to start out in the industry. Students need to know, now more than ever, the realities of working in fashion, so any opportunity I have to impart that knowledge, I use.

    How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?

    This industry is very competitive. And a great way to challenge students is to give them some healthy competition in the classroom. One of my favorite assignments is when students create designs for a local, upscale boutique for the chance to actually sell it there. Prior to the visit, they research the store to better understand what would sell in that store. When we take the trip to the boutique we meet with the owner who sits with each student and briefly reviews their designs, lets them know if they are on target and gives them advice on how to improve. They then take that input, update their designs and then pattern and sew the garments. The boutique owner then visits our classroom to see the outcome of the projects and decides which one will be featured in his store for sale. The garment gets displayed in the store with a placard that describes the collaboration between The Art Institute of California—San Diego and the boutique. It is a very rewarding and real life experience for students.

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

    This is the synergy I love about The Art Institute of California—San Diego. I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), which is only a fashion school. Our fashion students at Ai often collaborate with other students on projects, particularly those in photography and graphic design. And even occasionally with our culinary baking and pastry students. It’s a win, win for all as it teaches how different perspectives can contribute to something unique and new.

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

    I often tell students to be patient with themselves, push your creativity and don’t give up. Fashion is a constantly changing industry–there is always room for more. Persistence pays off.

    Anything else?


    As a designer, I established my own line of women’s non-traditional suits, under the label ARTICLES, that was picked up by Nordstrom’s Savvy Department buyers in Los Angeles, San Diego and local boutiques.

    After receiving contracts as a freelance designer for manufacturers on the east and west coasts, I established a clothing label, JONZ, which was showcased at The Fashion Group International's (FGI) annual Style Awards show. My unique belts and handbags have also made celebrity television appearances, and can been seen in editorials for WWD and Vogue Magazine.

    In addition, my artful designs have also been showcased in local museums. I have even costumed theatre productions of Peter Pan & Wendy and The Laramie Project. Read More...
  • Jessica Newman

    Jessica Newman

    Interior Design

    "Have a passion for drawing and design."

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    Jessica Newman

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

    I always knew I’d be an artist. I've been drawing my entire life. It just seemed like a natural and obvious fit.

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

    When I first meet students, I show them my portfolio so they can get a sense of my work and who I am as an interior designer. I’ve worked in large firms, mid-size firms, small firms, and as a freelancer. So I talk about interior design from many points of view to give the students an idea of which type of environment they’d like to work in.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    In my Sketch and Ideation class, I begin each session with a 30-minute drawing. We have two cups—one labeled “spaces,” the other “styles.” The space cup is filled with slips of paper with different types of interior spaces written on them...penthouse living room, exterior courtyard, etc. The styles cup features different motifs like industrial and art deco. Students choose one slip from each cup, then we draw the space and style combination. This exercise helps them in two important ways. First, the only way to get better at drawing is to draw; second, it helps shift their attitude away from focusing only on the outcome of a particular drawing.

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

    In Hospitality Design, we team up with Culinary Capstone students, who come up with an original concept for a restaurant in an international location, including a "bank-ready" business plan. They then pair up with Interior Design students, who work with them to design the space and build a model. The project is capped off with a celebration during the portfolio show, complete with samples from the restaurant's menu.

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

    Have a passion for drawing and design.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Take advantage of as many internship opportunities as you can while you’re here. It’s a great way to see where your skills fit in the industry and get the kind of experience you can’t get in a classroom.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I'm a practicing artist who paints cityscapes.

    Read More...
  • Scot Trodick

    Dr. Scot Trodick

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Creativity is going to be the needed skill in the coming age and right-brainers will become a sought after resource."

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    Dr. Scot Trodick

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

    In 5th grade I created a graphite drawing of the Headless Horseman and the piece was displayed in the school hallway. The feeling was so rewarding and I’ve always remembered that. Drawing has been something I was doing on an ongoing basis since as far back as I can remember.

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

    I have worked with a variety of different companies ranging from corporations to start-ups which include Planetwide Games, Warner Bros., Marvel, National Geographic Kids, Sony Online Entertainment, and Paramount Pictures. From all of this industry experience I have gained many skills and insight and I weave those into the majority of my classes.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I love hands on activities that let students explore creativity and real-world business skills. One example would be a project where the students work in a group and create an entire online business from scratch. And it’s done live. It’s hosted on the student's web server space and is built to function as a real online business entity. After the initial setup, the students are tasked to make business decisions about their online company.

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

    Collaboration is a huge part of the creative process. It helps us see things differently. The ability to work with others in order to come up with better ideas and new ways of seeing things is a crucial skill in staying ahead. Right-brain skills and collaboration will be crucial in the coming age.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    You get what you put into it. Great things do not come from an epiphany; great things come from hard work. As one works hard toward a goal, great things begin to happen and ideas begin to flourish.

    Anything else?

    I currently teach in the Design department but have also taught classes in Media Arts and Foundations. My experience has been awesome! I enjoy getting to teach the subject matters I love every day. My role as a faculty member, in my eyes, is to not only educate, but to also motivate and inspire. Passion to do what one loves has to be nourished. Creativity is going to be the needed skill in the coming age and right-brainers will become a sought after resource. The truly successful will realize that they have the ability to nourish and build on their creative capacity.

    Read More...
  • Genadi Radiul

    Genadi Radiul

    Audio Production

    "A good sense of humor is a very valuable characteristic to have when entering a creative field."

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    Genadi Radiul

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

    I was playing for quite a bit before I decided to enroll for a degree at the Vilnius Music Conservatory in Lithuania. It was attending college for jazz music performance that solidified my path.

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

    I try to conduct my classroom as a professional environment. I am professional and I expect students to be the same. One example of this is being on time and completing projects as according to the spec sheets. This may seem like a simple concept, however, if students are conditioned to this in the classroom, the transition to the real world will be easier.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    My Composition and Scoring class organically merges my professional background and teaching style. There is a unique balance between the degree of flexibility I allow and adherence to creative requirements. This is an advanced class and students will most often realize their creative potential through the duration of the quarter.

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

    The collaboration between making music and designing audio is very apparent. So I make sure that a student's collaborative experiences in the classroom will prepare them for the professional world.

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

    You need support. If you have support, you will succeed. Support, as an instructor, means that I am offering my students creative advice and providing tools to help them achieve their goals.

    What’s some critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    A good sense of humor is a very valuable characteristic to have when entering a creative field.

    Read More...
  • Chef Kelly Funes

    Chef Kelly Funes

    Culinary Arts

    "There's a sense of urgency in the restaurant business—you have to work fast."

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    Chef Kelly Funes

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

    Both of my grandmothers were great cooks, and they influenced my decision to become a chef.

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

    I share what it’s like to work in the hospitality business. I treat the classroom like a restaurant. Students learn restaurant-style plating, timing, and cooking techniques. There’s a sense of urgency in the restaurant business—you have to work fast. I work to instill that in my students.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    In my kitchen classes, I give students an Action Plan assignment. It prepares them for a typical day of cooking. They must type out recipes, and determine the food cost for one of their dishes. The assignment includes a timeline—a game plan of what they’re going to do and when. I also make sure to share my love for different ingredients and dishes that students aren’t familiar with.

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

    Teamwork contributes a great deal to success. It gives students another point of view—and another side of the business. Culinary students may work with Interior Design or Graphic Design students in their portfolio class. Those disciplines are very important when it comes to opening a restaurant.

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

    Work hard and be on time.

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  • Mary Broding

    Mary Broding

    General Education

    "I learn from my students every day. That's what I love most about teaching."

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    Mary Broding

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

    I was in Paris with my high school French club, viewing impressionist work at the Musée d'Orsa. Walking past Monet's Rouen Cathedral series, I was stunned by how paint could achieve the effect of atmospheric shimmer. I walked through the Impressionist section many times, in a haze, absolutely taken with the work. That’s when I knew I wanted to study art history, and either work in an art museum or teach art history.

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

    I primarily teach College English and Creative Nonfiction, and I bring my love of the written word to class. Many of my students have struggled with writing in the past so I ask them to write about something they’re comfortable with and interested in. I want to help them build the confidence they’ll need to express themselves in writing, no matter what profession they choose.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I’m all about experiential learning, getting students out of the classroom and into the community. I recently took my Creative Nonfiction class to the Cannibalism exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Man—then had them write an essay on whether they’d ever consider taking part in cannibalism. Students were eager to respond and ready to back up their answer to the question, drawing from what they’d learned at the exhibit.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    No one is an island, especially today. Students need to learn to be able to get along and be productive with people from different personal and professional backgrounds.

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

    Writing is a constant learning process. Once I let students know that I have a hard time with certain aspects of it, they know it‘s okay for them to struggle, too.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Be realistic. You’re going to fail—and that’s okay. In fact, failing will help make you stronger at whatever you do.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I truly care about our students. We have a fantastic bunch of individuals here who bring a vast variety of experience and knowledge to the table. I learn from my students every day. That’s what I love most about teaching.

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  • Graphic Design Faculty Member Michael Anthony Lynch

    Michael Anthony Lynch

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Always experiment with the concept before starting the actual design."

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    Michael Anthony Lynch
    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. Read More...
  • Otto Lai

    Otto Lai

    Media Arts & Animation

    "Show up on time, do quality work, and be friendly."

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    Otto Lai

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

    In 1995, I was an intern at MTV Animation working on Beavis and Butthead. Watching the artists at work, how they dressed, and how they decorated their work spaces had a big impact on me. I knew I needed to work in a creative environment like that.

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

    In my Media Arts classes, I share stories about how things work in the professional world, including everyday things like how to ask for a raise—to give students a sense of what they can expect when they enter the industry.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    Every project—even the smallest homework assignment—relates to tasks students might do on the job. For example, we work on naming conventions for deliverables like a QuickTime movie or image file. I motivate students by showing them examples of quality work and impressing upon them that it’s within their reach.

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

    Collaboration plays a huge part in the professional media arts world. Teaming up on projects here in school helps students understand how important communication is to the quality of that project.

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

    Show up on time, do quality work, and be friendly.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Teaching is my passion.

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  • "Listen with your eyes."

    Richard Ybarra

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Listen with your eyes."

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    Richard Ybarra

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

    I was born with a good eye for design. As a child, I drew on the walls in our home. In high school I progressed to graffiti. While studying art and photography in college, I entered gallery art exhibitions and won a few awards. That’s when I began to consider design as a career. Working in ad agencies and design firms fueled my ambition and creativity, and allowed me to explore other areas of art and design.

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

    With 37 years in the advertising/design profession and 25 years of teaching, I bring a lot of creativity and knowledge to the classroom. I draw on all that experience depending on the classroom situation.

    How would you describe your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    My class projects let students apply their creative skills and talents to corporate branding, typography, and conceptual design. I encourage them to think smart and work smart. I share my passion, knowledge, and wisdom, and help them develop the independent thinking and organizational skills to become more confident and produce better work. The more they learn about themselves, the more creative they become.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    Working as part of a team helps students understand the process of a given project, and also helps them learn to communicate...to present their work both visually and verbally.

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

    Be more aware of what’s happening in the real world. Read at least one daily newspaper to get a better sense of reality. Attend business and social events to improve your networking skills. Find a good mentor, someone who’s walked the path to success. And most of all, listen with your eyes.

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  • Chef Rudy Kloeble

    Rudy B. Kloeble, CEC

    Culinary Arts

    "Stoke the fire in your heart, because no one else will do it for you."

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    Rudy B. Kloeble, CEC

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

    I think I knew at age three when I was stuffing doughnuts at my dad’s bakery. It was reinforced when I found myself in a foreign country learning how to cook in a three-year apprenticeship program.

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

    My twelve years of European training gave me a professional edge that I can pass along to my students. I bring many years of industry experience, both working for firms and for myself. I stay current with the demands of today’s industry by continuing to work part-time.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I have high standards, and I give students a clear idea of what I expect. Once we create a plan, the steps seem easier and more manageable. One of the most challenging classes I teach is Garde Manger. The Banquet Event Order project is a beast. It demands that students pull from at least two other courses. Menu writing, culinary math, diagrams, and creativity all come into play.

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

    When creative people work together and egos are set aside, creativity explodes and students have fun and push themselves further. In the real world today, graphic design, fashion design, and interior design all come into play when a concept is developed.

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

    Discipline. It’s about how you start your day, how you plan your week, and how you learn.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Ask questions. Practice, practice, practice. And stoke the fire in your heart, because no one else will do it for you.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    The opportunity to influence students is the greatest gift I’ve ever received.

    Headshot by: Victor Morales, The Art Institute of California-San Diego

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  • Tricia Murray

    Tricia Murray

    Interior Design

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    Tricia Murray
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Miami International University of Art & Design alumni Marlon Munoz I'm challenged by the opportunity to take my ideas and bring them to life. Marlon Munoz
Visual Effects & Motion Graphics, Miami International University of Art & Design, 2008