I am an Art and Design Educator with almost a decade teaching my craft in the secondary level, at both a local high school, and local college. I am also an active Freelance Designer and Artist, with clients in Milwaukee and Chicago, and have shown my art in a few galleries from LA to Detroit. I began messing with… Read More
I am an Art and Design Educator with almost a decade teaching my craft in the secondary level, at both a local high school, and local college. I am also an active Freelance Designer and Artist, with clients in Milwaukee and Chicago, and have shown my art in a few galleries from LA to Detroit. I began messing with graphic design in middle school and ran with it in high school. Back then that meant Art and Tech Ed classes. I interned junior year in a print shop, stuffing envelopes and fixing toilets. By senior year a new teacher brought Photoshop into the art room, and I found my place in the Design world.
Shortly after entering college for Graphic Design, I switched to Art Ed, and graduated with my teaching degree and license in art, hoping to teach GD to students. It took a few years, but i now have established a growing digital art program at Oak Creek High School, becoming a strong area school, and preparing my students for a life and education as creatives.
Almost three years ago I earned my MFA in Media Design from Full Sail University, learning how to take design, technology, and creative direction and combine them into a triple threat in this ever growing, technology driven design world. Read Less
Steven Heller, renowned author, and co-founder of the Design Entrepreneur program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, begins describing his program as one for the “I can do everything generation.” Being of this generation, and witnessing the past eight years of young artists and designers passing through… Read More
Steven Heller, renowned author, and co-founder of the Design Entrepreneur program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, begins describing his program as one for the “I can do everything generation.” Being of this generation, and witnessing the past eight years of young artists and designers passing through my studio, I find myself in agreement. Artists today, compared to those of twenty-five years ago, when I started kindergarten, are entering a world after high school that expects everything of them, and they expect every opportunity to do it all. Artists are not single disciplined studio artists anymore. The world has moved past that. Art students are now designers, in the strictest sense. In today’s ever evolving market, visual problem solvers are needed at a growing rate, for an ever-growing plethora of design positions, some which do not even exist yet. From the drawers turned illustrators, commercial artists turned website designers, and product designers turned industrial designers, what is expected is not a single-minded, discipline based artist. Being a Designer now involves understanding design, HTML coding, technology trends, and the user experience. Students continuing on into a two or four year degree need to be prepared designers, understanding a problem, visual or otherwise, from beginning to end. It is no longer the debate of Form over Function, Function is Form, and Design students are no longer a single step in the process to a product or idea’s creation, they are a co-pilot along the way, mixing design, poli-sci, and engineering into a final, user-centered design.
A modern art and design program would reflect these changing trends, descriptions, and students. Within my current practice, I identified early on that the students in my studios were only receiving traditional studio based disciplines, and moreover, being separated at an early junction into 2D or 3D. I introduced a new direction for students, starting with a new one-year foundations course, with the help of a forward thinking principal, curriculum director, and supportive department. These classes combined both 2D and 3D art, leading up to 21st century design classes and an expanded AP course selection. This allows my students to gain the skills needed for the careers that exist today. They can combine what they are exposed to daily with what they love doing in my studio. My philosophy is to guide them into creative fields where they can do what they love for a living. The “I can do everything” generation when given the chance in my studio, branch out into other electives, combining other passions into cross-curriculum projects, making connections between Business Ed, Autos, Welding, Woods, T.V. Productions, Consumer Ed and Creative Writing. My studio is increasingly filled with non-traditional art students. These students were mixing everything they know into a new avenue of study, combining multiple disciplines into their course selections, aiding them in whatever they choose to do upon graduation.
A modern art and design program prepares students interested in art to become the multi-disciplined Designers they want to and need to be in this ever morphing and evolving world. The advancement of the products and technology used in this global economy all start with a designer. The world of tomorrow is started with the designers of today, and those designers need the inspiration, education, and motivation that a dedicated staff can foster in them, a staff that is knowledgeable with the past, active in the present, and flexible with the ever changing future. Read Less