Brandon Blackshear

Brandon Blackshear

Collaboration contributes greatly to a shared vision. Brandon Blackshear , Faculty , The Illinois Institute of Art — Schaumburg

What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional? 

I’m one of 8 children, so I believe that my creativity began to grow by adding a twist to “hand-me-downs.” 

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?

In my experience, most students have the requisite creativity to be successful, but either lack the work ethic, ability or time management skills to meet their potential. I believe that’s where I‘m able to help them most.

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?

The class assignment that most exemplifies my approach is the sport coat in Intro to Tailoring. It’s the one project that offers the students an objective look at their ability to execute at a high level. 

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

Collaboration contributes greatly to a shared vision. It’s my hope that we can begin creating more mandatory classes that cause students from different programs to collaborate on final projects or portfolios. 

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? 

Revisit just about every cliché that pertains to success and you’ll find they’re actually true. To the second question I would say, “You get out what you put in.” Another cliché. Another truth.

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 love what I do!