Peter Infelise

Web Design & Interactive Media

The Illinois Institute of Art — Schaumburg

Peter Infelise

I try to weave stories and lessons learned—both good and bad—into my demos and critiques. Peter Infelise , 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?

The very first time I was paid for using my artistic skills. When I was in high school, I was commissioned to paint a large mural on the side of a building. I knew then that I wanted to spend my professional life creating things.

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?

As a professional web designer and motion graphics artist, I strive to bring my experience into the classroom in two ways. First, I design many of my demos around the skill sets that are needed by professionals in the field. In addition, I try to weave stories and lessons learned (both good and bad) into my demos and critiques.

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?

For the midterm that I give in my Image Manipulation class, the students transform a photo of themselves into a zombie. It is a fun and expressive way for the students to demonstrate the skills that we have learned and practiced over the previous five weeks which include masking, selecting, and the use of layer blending modes.

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

When students collaborate, there is the potential to create something special that a single student is unable to do alone. Collaboration is one of the most important steps in prepping a student for the  workforce, in which they will almost certainly be working in a team environment.

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?

Always be thinking about your portfolio and try to get a minimum of one portfolio project out of every class. In addition, study the work of current professionals in your field. Know what the current trends are and where the bar has been set.