Art Institutes

Professional Writingfor Creative Arts

I have a way with words. And the drive to make them my career.

Writing is what you love to do. It’s the art of persuasion, the expression of imagination, the rush of inspiration. With the exponential growth in digital content, there’s a need for captivating stories and characters for entertainment, publishing, TV, film, and video games. Advertising, websites, blogs, social feeds, and news outlets need compelling narratives. Business, medical, and technical fields need clear, convincing exposition. It takes writers to create all of that, and one of those writers could be you. So if the written word is what drives you, your first stop should be here. In our Professional Writing for Creative Arts degree program, you will find yourself surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students—and pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty*. Easy? No. Worth it? Without a doubt.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Writing for Creative Arts

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Writing for Creative Arts

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/5312 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 effective written creative and expository communication by considering various audiences and contexts, and providing sufficient, relevant information on a topic that is organized, complex, and employs successful rhetoric.
  • Demonstrate, through research techniques, copy editing, and self-critique, knowledge of multimodal forms of expression.
  • Develop and apply concepts based on an understanding of appropriate media/technology as well as analyze and incorporate aesthetics and layout in the design process for various forms of communication outlets.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the conceptual thinking process through work that reflects current cultural, social, economic and, industry trends as well as emerging technologies.
  • Demonstrate professional presentation skills, articulation of visual problem solving, and mastery knowledge of ethics, business practices and industry standards.
  • Demonstrate, through digital publications, a sound knowledge of content management, and media content creation utilizing industry software.

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

Shortcuts don't interest me.

Just because writing comes naturally doesn’t mean it comes easily. Deadlines are real. The competition is real. The need to think, work and react quickly is real. Our program is meant for students with the real drive and determination to forge a career. Here, you can develop and polish the real-world skills you’ll need to succeed. You’ll have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of storytelling structure and technique, build a foundation of rhetoric and creative writing skills, and develop the technical, interactive, advertising, and business writing abilities that can expand your opportunities. You can gain a working knowledge of current software, a command of spelling and grammar, the ability to defend your work, and a grasp of industry trends. Plus, you can work in a unique, eye-opening atmosphere with other creatively driven students pursuing careers in design, photography, filmmaking, video production, media arts, game design and more. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet Our Alumni

  • amanda_burnham

    Amanda Burnham

    Graphic & Web Design , 2008

    "[My education] prepared me for the actual process of developing a website. With the instructors checking in at every milestone of the project, it simulated client interaction and feedback."

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    Amanda Burnham

    Director of Web Design and Development for Monster Design Company

    Amanda Burnham is the director of web design and development for Monster Design Company. She oversees all incoming web projects and manages workflow, design, development, and intern work. “I've worked for Monster Design Company since my 2011 [which was] my first year attending The Art Institute of California—San Francisco. I was lucky to be [hired on] before I finished my degree. I also work freelance on the side.” Amanda adds that a typical workday includes checking the job board, organizing projects by priority, and delegating as needed. She’s focused on completing jobs before deadline.

    She understands that it’s easy to feel pressure during school but emphasizes to current students that school is only temporary. “Keep pushing, be professional, and put out only your best work. You never know who is watching and who could help you get a job in the future.”

    Amanda cites a challenge that she experienced in her work—when she had to customize a WordPress website for a client. “I had a client that wanted a portal for users to apply to be an agent for his company. I wanted to use a particular plugin to do this, but because of the highly sensitive information we were capturing, I needed to find a way to make it as secure as possible.” She researched and customized plugins to accomplish the task. “From my experience, there really isn't anything you can't do on the web. If you don't know how to do it, spend a few hours on Google and make a plan.”

    Amanda adds that her career is detail-oriented and that designers have to love what they do. “If you don't [love what you’re doing], you're not going to care very much about the quality of your work. Even with the ‘not so fun’ jobs or clients, you need to find the excitement in every job. Passion and dedication is what clients and employers notice.”

    She works in a small team environment, which has enabled her coworkers to become close friends. “Not only do we collaborate on many projects, but we also come up with our own crazy ideas for projects to do on the side. I think we all compliment each other very well.”

    Amanda, who in 2008 earned an Associate of Science in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that in school, she worked on web projects from start to finish. “It prepared me for the actual process of developing a website. With the instructors checking in at every milestone of the project, it simulated client interaction and feedback. Also, student feedback gave me many sets of eyes [on my work] and I believe made me a stronger designer.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/386 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, a campus of Argosy University alumni Eric Drake

    Eric J. Drake

    Culinary Management , 2015

    "The knowledge and skills I gained in school [are used in my job] every single day."

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    Eric J. Drake

    Floor Manager at Bumble

    Eric J. Drake is the floor manager at Bumble, a farm to table restaurant in Los Altos, California. He oversees front of house management, runs the floor, and expedites hosting and serving of customers. Eric enjoys the human element of his job—serving people and working with his employees. “I love having a hand in making someone’s day better. Food is a great way to do that,” he says.

    Eric explains that when he joined the restaurant, he quickly realized that there was a lack of communication between the front of house and back of house. He set out to fix that problem immediately. “Now everything is organized and communication with the kitchen is much better.” Eric mentions that he supports the new trend of mandatory tipping—or eliminating tips altogether and paying employees a higher wage.

    He gained his passion for food from his mother—and adds that his father taught him what it takes to be successful. Eric adds that the industry can be challenging but urges current students not to take things personally. “People in this industry are passionate. Keep your chin up, brush off [any disagreements in the workplace], and go on doing your job.”

    Eric, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that his education provided the knowledge he needed to transition into a culinary career. “A degree doesn’t make you a great manager, that can only happen on the job. But the knowledge and skills I gained in school [are used in my job] every single day.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/1410 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, a campus of Argosy University alumni Lucia Mendez

    Lucia Mendez

    Fashion Design , 2015

    "[My education] covered every area of the fashion industry."

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    Lucia Mendez

    Technical Designer for BYER California

    Lucia Mendez is a technical designer for BYER California, based in San Francisco. She’s responsible for writing specs, sketching new designs, and specing sample garments. “I [joined the] company right after graduation,” she proudly states.

    Lucia says that her grandfather inspired her to pursue fashion design. Today she is excited to be part of a nationally recognized fashion company. “[My work] is in an area that may not be as creative, but it is essential for the fashion industry.”

    Lucia, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that her education provided a solid foundation for her transition into the world of fashion. She recommends that current students stay focused. “Know what you want and once you start, do not stop. Don’t give up.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/380 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of California - San Francisco, a campus of Argosy University alumni Marichuy Reynoso

    Marichuy Reynoso

    Fashion Design , 2007

    "[My education provided] a thorough overview of the field."

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    Marichuy Reynoso

    Brand Manager for Vince Camuto

    Marichuy Reynoso is the brand manager for Vince Camuto. She’s based in San Francisco’s East Bay. Marichuy is responsible for relationship building and merchandising, as well as evaluating floor space, product on hand, and updating mannequins on the merchandise floor. “I enjoy the experience of understanding what customers buy and don’t buy. This is great information when designing,” she says.

    Marichuy is proud to be in a challenging career that makes her leave her comfort zone. She recommends that new designers remember to master the basics. “The human body has not changed. However, fibers and new technologies are changing, especially in performance wear.”

    Marichuy, who in 2007 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that her education provided a thorough overview of the fashion industry. She also credits the school’s career services team for helping with her job search. Marichuy adds that it’s important to participate in fashion shows to show off skills. “[Internships are also important]. They are solid experience that appeals to employers.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/380 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.

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  • Sabrina Padua

    Sabrina Padua

    Fashion Marketing & Management , 2016

    “No matter how long the days are, I enjoy that I get to be in this industry making a difference, alongside my team. It's great to finally be able to have a career that I've always envisioned myself being in.”

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    Sabrina Padua
    Researches and Creates Trend Plans Two Years Before Final Product Hits Stores 

    As the product line coordinator for Lucy Activewear, Sabrina Padua has many responsibilities. She coordinates and manages data pertaining to the product line, product creation, and development—and works with the “tops” category team to help to determine new product and consumer needs, price points, and strategic developments. Prior to her current position, she worked with prAna, Mel Cotton’s Sporting Goods, Forever 21, and Urban Outfitters.

    Each day is a balance of new tasks and outstanding projects. “My work consists of creating multiple presentations on PowerPoint [for] different cross-functional partners, managing data pertaining to the product line on multiple Excel files, and ensuring the integrity of its contents. I also attend prototype fittings, organize salesman samples, attend meetings with different teams (design, product development, marketing, sourcing) to go over seasonal collections, and coordinate all of the important gates and milestones when it comes to the product life cycle,” she says.

    Sabrina adds that she didn’t quite know what to expect on her first day at work. “I had butterflies in my stomach and I would think to myself, ‘Am I going to do a good job? What if I don't catch on? What if this isn't for me?’ But the moment that I walked into the office and met everyone, all of my fears were put to rest. I realized very quickly that I knew my strengths and my skills, and I was prepared for any challenges that may come.”

    She explains that fashion takes a high level of commitment—but it’s an exciting field full of creative individuals. “[I work with people that] I can learn from and look to as role models. I see what it takes to be successful and I strive to learn and adapt quickly, and to contribute to the future of the brand as much as I possibly can.”

    Working on projects two years before they hit stores can be a challenge. “We are really in the forefront of the product's lifecycle. I help my team brief the new ideas and we work together with the designers to create an entire product line. My team goes out in to the market to find out what styles, fabrics, and technologies are trending, and we work with our designers who then create the collection based on the details our findings.” From that point, the project evolves to include fittings and samples of the designs that will be available in stores.

    Sabrina, who in 2016 earned a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Marketing & Management from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that her education taught the key skills needed to transition into the fashion industry. “It’s great to come into the field knowing industry terms, departments, and how they pertain to the product line.” She adds that it’s also important that individuals in the industry continue to innovate and create. “It's good to be adaptable, flexible, and on your toes. There's so many different moving parts when it comes to introducing the product and brand to the market.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/383 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 Francisco, a campus of Argosy University alumni Samson Chen

    Samson Chen

    Fashion Marketing & Management , 2011

    "Soak up knowledge and experience like a sponge. Collaborate with industry leaders and mentors that you want to emulate."

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    Samson Chen

    Creative Entrepreneur at TOA, Article & Goods and Azil Boutique

    Samson Chen describes himself as a “creative entrepreneur” at TOA, Article & Goods, and Azil Boutique—companies that provide handmade or specialized creative pieces. He prides himself in building a business model for these companies out of experience and observation. “[I see] what is missing in the market and [determine] how I can change it, improve on it, or break into it,” he says.

    Samson admits that he had to swallow his fear and believe in his intuition when going out on his own. “Sometimes failure or trial-and-error is the best way of learning.” He enjoys being independent. “The heart and soul I put into my work [makes me feel] satisfied and rewarded.

    Samson, who in 2011 earned a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Marketing & Management from The Art Institute of California—San Francisco, says that his education provided the fundamentals he needed to work in the creative industry. He recommends that current students learn as much as they can—even in unpaid positions. “Soak up knowledge and experience like a sponge. Collaborate with industry leaders and mentors that you want to emulate.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/383 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

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Classroom Experience

Professional Writing

All I need is the right experience.

The Professional Writing for Creative Arts curriculum is rigorous, all-encompassing and designed by experienced industry and education innovators. In today’s market, employers are seeking talent they don’t have to train. So we'll help you get ready to hit the ground running as you study:

  • Fundamentals of Marketing
  • Advertising Copywriting
  • Advertising Storyboarding & Scriptwriting
  • Public Relations
  • Scriptwriting
  • Applications & Industry
  • Information Architecture
  • Fundamentals of Web Design
  • Introduction to Writing for Interactive Media
  • Introduction to Research Methods
  • Principles of Rhetoric
  • Journalism
  • Foundations of Professional Writing
  • Marketing Communications
  • Myth & Symbol
  • Introduction to Literary Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • The Language of Business
  • Story Writing
  • Content Management for Web Media
  • Lifestyle Writing
  • The Editorial Process
  • The Publication Process
  • Communication in the Global Marketplace
  • Ethics in Professional Writing
  • Creative Nonfiction Writing
  • Grant & Proposal Writing

I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. We know that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Every day is a battle to bring your ideas to life. And because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But our “tough” comes 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

  • Kevin Martin

    Kevin Martin

    Audio Production

    "You may be very talented, but it's when you start to collaborate with others that things really start to happen."

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    Kevin Martin

    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.
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  • Graphic & Web Design Instructor Sharon Kaitner

    Sharon Kaitner, M.Ed.

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Most people sleepwalk through life. Wake up. Get out. Think. Walk around without a phone. Experience life. It all contributes to your art."

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    Sharon Kaitner, M.Ed.

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

    There was never a defining moment, but rather a lot of little ones that said, "Here; this is where you feel most alive, this is where you feel most like you."

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

    I offer real-world tips and tricks, and shape discussions and critiques with that same sense of reality. But most of all, I try to teach students to think...to connect the dots and find their own way. It's an ongoing conversation. Those who take what’s offered and build on it with their own drive and vision are the ones that succeed.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I often like sending design students outside to observe and report, usually as a way of exploring personas and user-centered design. Our location in the Civic Center area of San Francisco offers plenty of people-watching opportunities. Students invent a narrative back-story of a person, which leads to a discussion of how our perceptions affect how we design, whether our observations are enough for an understanding of our target audience, and how to measure and correct for our bias.

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

    I'll see in those students faces a flash of delight in some new thought as they go off to do more research about what it means to design for their target audience, to go beyond what they think, to realize that there’s so much more to their world. Then they learn more than I could ever hope to teach.

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

    I can help guide them toward the solution, but collaborating with their peers is where they hear whether or not it works, and what other ideas might work better. That’s the way it is in the real world, where people with different points of view all work toward the same goal. They see how each contributes to the success of the project. It's a big part of preparing students for their careers.

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

    Anything is possible.

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

    Most people sleepwalk through life. Wake up. Get out. Think. Walk around without a phone. Experience life. It all contributes to your art.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I believe in my students so that they will believe in themselves because the hard work comes from within them.

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