goals

My goal as a professor is to translate industry standard techniques in graphic design, animation, illustration, and the web, into my classroom. The success of an academic program depends on the quality of our faculty, and my eighteen years’ professional experience adds to the creative power within any Art/Communications Design department.

My assignments are structured to introduce the different facets of a professional graphic designer’s work day, touching upon elements of photo and color correction, color theory, illustration, layout and production, client interaction, job specification, and self-promotion. My approach entails:

  • Incorporating Research Methods, allowing students to use social media and the web to help guide their aesthetic. Often students are allowed to use their mobile devices to browse samples, take photos, record video and sound, and sketch using mobile applications to help acclimate them to digital technology.
  • Experimentation, using free cloud-based open source software (such as Blender) which enables students to master emerging trends in the digital design world.
  • Introduction of Creative Based Social Media Platforms, where students can create galleries to interact with a wider audience and gauge different forms of criticism.
  • Encourage Group/Cohort Educational Practices, where students can learn to be part of a team, learning the fundamentals of time management and culpability.
  • Mentorship and Leadership, allowing students to apply for freelance work and internships with my guidance. Currently I oversee the campus interns as a way to ensure they follow industry standard practices outside of the classroom, and advise students when they are commissioned to create animations, such as the spring 2016 theatrical performance of Chicago on campus. Additionally, I allow students to conduct technical demonstrations, where they instruct their colleagues through personally developed tutorials.
  • Clear Expectations from the Start, as students receive a detailed course syllabus with an accompanying project calendar for each assignment.

Cla

 

I believe that a real world creative environment, though rigorous instruction, enables students to understand the application of the curriculum outside of the classroom. In my class:

  • Students are constantly encouraged to remember that graphic design is a form of communication. I try to push their sensibilities beyond what their subjective taste levels may be, so I assign projects that step outside of their comfort zone. An example would be an assignment for Graphic Design II, where students watched Exit Through the Gift Shop, and they were tasked with creating tasteful street art inspired by the artists in the documentary. As a form of social awareness, they had to conduct visual research on themes related to discrimination, pollution, misogyny, global warming, finding a job in today’s economy, and renewable energy. Students were also instructed on the Fair Use Act, and what properties determine open and restricted usage of content.
  • Analyze personal aesthetic and how to be malleable when confronted with client alterations.
  • Students are encouraged to pay attention to detail, as their mistakes end up being costly in real world environment. Students are taught the importance of following editorial and visual edits, in addition to the punitive damages involved with improper file formats and preparing files for professional offset and digital printing.
  • I prepare an intensive curriculum around typography. Students are expected to adhere to clean productive methods when flowing type, implementing style sheets, working with color matching systems, and avoiding unprofessional mistakes in typographical presentations.
  • Students are taught to understand color usage in branding, while incorporating an emotional color spectrum to connect with an audience. In every logo and branding assignment, I take the students through the emotional spectrum of color and how corporations choose colors to convey examples of comfort, strength, tranquility, or power.

approach

My approach in my teaching methodology is directly related to obtaining qualitative results from my students. As an industry professional, I seek precision in process and the careful steps involved in creating each piece. To help obtain those goals:

  • I post step-by-step instructional videos that I create for each project. These videos allow the millennial generation to interact within a comfortable digital medium, in addition to class lectures and reading assignments. (https://youtu.be/EAnwSi-1rTE; https://youtu.be/N2SJ9BYG65E)
  • I use Plato as an in-class instructional tool, as students are more comfortable interacting with and referring the stored module material.
  • I make myself available outside of the classroom, as students are invited to visit my office in Marketing and Communications. Since my coursework involves an evolutionary track from beginner to advanced comprehension of software and industry standard practices, students are allowed to text me with questions about assignments and troubleshooting software. Additionally, once a month, I conduct a Saturday Study Session in the Parenzo lab from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. An open invitation exists for all students to come in and receive extra help in any graphic design and animation related courses.
  • I communicate technological needs with Instructional Technology and the campus bookstore. Recently I collaborated with the Barnes and Noble Booksellers to bring Wacom tablets to the bookstore. In the fall, our students will be able to purchase this creative tool with their Financial Aid money, allowing them to further their hand-eye coordination with creative digital technology.

Outcomes

Student learning outcomes are essential in a graphic design and animation curriculum. I measure outcomes by submitted projects within the specified deadline, visual complexity, adherence to procedures, and assessments provided on Plato. I provide corrections for every assignment, having one-on-one consolations to discuss successes and ways to improve. There are no penalties associated with alterations, only in instances where students fail to submit the corrected pieces. Students are assessed on:

  • Meeting project deadlines.
  • An adherence to detailed design specifications.
  • Production methods (File Formatting and Typography).
  • If they provided alterations after initial written feedback.

 

Student Gallery: Street Art inspired by Shepard Fairey, Banksy, and Invader. (Photoshop and Illustrator)


 

Student Gallery: Street Art inspired by Shepard Fairey, Banksy, and Invader. (Photoshop and Illustrator)


 

Student Gallery: Photoshop Collages 


 

Student Gallery: Vector Concentrated


Student Gallery: Multimedia