SXSW Gaming Expo
As any gamer knows, SXSW is one of the premier events for seeing what’s coming down the pike in the gaming industry. And this year, we were right in the thick of it. Find out about our booth and the games that fellow Ai students showcased at this exciting conference.
Game Art & Design
You can learn how to take games from concept to market-ready—and turn your skills and passion for gaming as you prepare for a career as a key player and virtual storyteller.
Visual & Game Programming
Blend a programmer’s skills and an artist’s vision to solve creative and technical challenges and bring life to video game levels, characters, and stories.
NEW Software Development for Creative Technologies
Turn your passion for creative problem solving into preparation for a career developing software and programming solutions designed for creative industries that are more intuitive, functional, and inventive.
NEW Instructional Technology & Design
Use design technology to create innovative online education platforms and experiences as you have the opportunity to learn to engage and educate students.
Meet our Faculty
Kevin MartinAudio Production
"You may be very talented, but it's when you start to collaborate with others that things really start to happen."Read More
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I use my industry experience to give students some practical tips. For example, when you record drums in the studio, it’s important to measure the distance of microphones from the instrument. You could carry a tape measure, but when I worked in studios in Nashville, we measured with the microphone cable. Simple solutions like that can come in handy for students when they start internships or their first job in the business.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
In teaching audio post-production, I take a short piece of video that students choose and have them strip away the audio using a digital audio workstation like Pro Tools or Apple Logic*. They then recreate the audio by sourcing sound libraries and doing their own recording. Students help each other by recording or serving as voiceover actors or sound effects artists. By the time they’ve finished the project, they’ve gained a deeper appreciation for how the magic of audio transforms a piece of film or video.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
In my Video Production class, students from Audio Production, Digital Film, Web Design, and Graphic Design each propose an idea for a 30-minute TV or web program and we pick one by popular vote. Then comes the writing, storyboarding, building sets, and lighting and set design. When we start shooting, students get to wear many hats—director, camera operator, floor manager, video switcher, teleprompter, etc. The experience creates friendships along with a solid final deliverable that everyone can add to their demo reels.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
You may be very talented, but it’s when you start to collaborate with others that things really start to happen.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
Someone I worked with at LucasArts once told me that you won’t like everyone you work with, but if your standards stay strong, your art will speak for itself. Some of the best work comes from teams that love art, but not each other. It sounds a little harsh, but it’s true.
*Apple, the Apple logo and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Read More...
Trey GallaherGame Art & Design
"Critiques and group discussion are where students stand to benefit the most."Read More
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
From a young age, I knew I wanted to be an artist of some sort. When I took my first art history class in college I saw the work of Artemisia Gentileschi and knew what I was destined to do.
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?
Whenever possible, I try to use samples of my own work or an anecdote from my professional experience to set the tone and create a picture of the industry practice and standard. I have always been a hands-on type of teacher. I try to show, not tell, and demonstrate the skills and steps required to achieve a higher standard.
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?
In my character design classes, I give an assignment where students explore abstract visual concepts through thumbnail sketching and silhouette refinement. I begin by showing them how to get started, what methods and tools to use, and set them to work. Through their own exploration and work they find a spark of originality and an idea that sets the direction for further development. They are often surprised by their own discoveries and in finding something unique and special in their own working process. This is the heart of what I do. I teach process for image creation and visual problem solving thereby unlocking my student’s potential.
What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?
One of the many rewards of attending a traditional brick and mortal college in the modern age is the collaboration and feedback you get from an on-ground experience that generates and fosters professional working relationships. By having a diverse student body with a variety of design concentrations, students are exposed to neighboring disciplines often working together on projects exchanging ideas and both giving and receiving feedback. Critiques and group discussion are where students stand to benefit the most. Students find themselves surrounded by other creative individuals attempting to solve similar types of design problems. Through this exchange and collaboration, they make connections and form lasting bonds that carry on after their college life and into the professional work place.
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?
Work ethic and accountability are the two biggest requirements to becoming a professional. Taking personal responsibility for the development, execution and on-time delivery of the highest-grade work possible is the sign of a student that is ready for the industry. When students enter The Art Institute, it begins with their passion and talent. Our job as faculty is to guide that passion and talent through challenging course work and instruction that will better prepare them for the demanding industry standard. A strong work ethic and accountability are the promise each student must make to themselves in order to achieve success.
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?
For over thirteen years at Ai I have been continually amazed by the high caliber of work our students achieve. I have a strong respect for the discipline it takes for students to stay focused on their goals in this busy and challenging age. I applaud and consider it a privilege to stand behind them in their dedication to their own passion, talent and decision to make their dreams a reality.