2D and 3D
SUMMA CUM LAUDE
I LOVE HISTORY
Students need to learn how to problem solve. They need the opportunity to discover for themselves and practice their skills in authentic situations. Since I teach graphic design and fine art courses I make a strong effort to inform students what to expect from clients, to give them real world projects and develop a curriculum around student interests while covering the basics. My students take part in contests and I have them research job listings. We go over job interview questions. These are the skills a lot of art schools lack. The business of being an artist or designer.
Prior to each assignment I present the class with a power point and lecture that exhibits samples from the past because I believe our students must know history. These can be works created by art historical masters or former students who demonstrated a great understanding of the assignment. The students are then asked to research and come up with concepts through sketches and proposals. I lecture and demonstrate for approximately 1/3 of the class and the other 2/3 is spent with the students working. It is important to demonstrate skills and practice in the classroom while giving students time to work on their own. It has been my experience that if a student is shown how to do something in the classroom or studio it can replace a stack of handout explanations. Most people learn by seeing and doing so I attempt to incorporate both into our class meetings.
Outcomes are measured by critiques and rubrics. Our critiques are group discussions where students post their artwork collectively and we discuss what was done right and what could be changed to improve the composition. My students know there is no 100% right or wrong way to create a work of art and I ask them to think about different avenues of exploration. Each student knows that their voice matters and each opinion is valid because art is subjective.
I fill out rubrics while reviewing each project, and each students is provided a copy of the form. My goal is not to trick students, I tell them what I want, the same way a gallery, employer or client would. If they meet my requirements in a clear, creative manner it is reflected in their grade. The students definitely evolve and grow throughout the term and I find a lot of times that the students who were on the shakiest legs at the start of the term often blossom into the strongest artists and designers. It is my belief that everyone has potential. If potential is combined with a desire to learn there is no end to the heights our students can reach.
I believe as an artist and instructor it is my responsibility to support and intellectually challenge my students (1) how do they successfully implement the principles of design; (2) think critically and learn how to be intellectually curious (3) cultivate an artist who is able to speak intelligently about themselves and their art and have the ability to market themselves as professionals.
Students do not come to class as blank slates, we all have baggage. What we have experienced in our lives makes us and potentially our art uniquely us. I embrace active learning. A professor can lecture for hours on setting up an ad, but until you get the students in the lab setting up files and editing photos it’s foreign. Or demonstrating what happens when you save an image for web. By familiarizing we change how something is perceived. Each 3.5 hour studio class I lecture for approximately the first hour, then the students work while I go around the room guiding and chirping in when necessary.
Effective instructors need to be at the cutting edge of recent scholarship, in order to help students see what is possible in our field of work. This could be how technology such as 3D printing or apps such as Adobe Capture that can get a student editing a file from their phone.
Throughout the term I hammer into my students that they need to be curious. Technology and trends come and go. It’s up to them to research and critically think about the best way to solve an issue. I guide them to sources and ask them to tell me what they find. Sketchbooks and strong concepts are a must. Without a solid concept behind a line of art it’s just fluff. When students have their work placed firmly on concepts and research it’s easier to defend or describe their work.
Being an artist and designer myself I try to be an example. Engaging students with real-world examples, enthusiasm, and a sense of lightheartedness seems to help most students achieve a level of comfort while speaking about their art. My classroom is treated like a place of business. So if you will be late they email me. It prepares the students for life and it teaches mutual respect.
My work is shown regularly and I have been published in several books and magazines. I share call to artists with students and incorporate art contests regularly into the semester projects. I teach fine art and graphic arts students how to create digital portfolios and show them sources where they may get them printed ( Blurb). Or locating the best template for online printing. It’s not just building work, kids need the business/marketing side too.
As I teach I will continue to incorporate techniques of self promotion and real world experiences. Teaching art is very rewarding; I often learn things from my students that enhance my understanding of news trends and artists that I might not have otherwise encountered. Teaching is an opportunity for me pass forward the vast knowledge gained from all of my wonderful professors and mentors. My job is to relay information and create intellectually curious questioning human beings.