As an artist in animation and documentary art practices, and considering that a small percentage of art students get to build their career as traditional artists in galleries and museums, my goal is to help my students to recognize their skills and how they can be translated into non-traditional career paths. I want them to be able to imagine and build alternative pathways that fulfil their creativity as well as career goals. The rewarding aspect of teaching for me is to be inspired by each student with their specific practices and see their inspirations in other disciplines in an interdisciplinary area. For me, this process of translation, creation, connection and communication through different media is the magic of art in general.
I have received my undergraduate degree in the school of the Art Institute of Chicago which has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary and conceptual art practices. This experience has shaped my process as a uniquely creative style. At SAIC, I co-founded the Animate club with the goal of creating a space for young animators in mind. The means of achieving that goal included, among other things, events for students to meet, collaborate, learn, and contribute to the community, workshops to complement the education offered through the courses, and forums and discussion panels inviting a diverse group of young and senior artists to help enrich their experience and insight through collective thinking and idea generation. This experience has equipped me with executive and leadership skills that I find helpful in an art classroom.
As a graduate student at Duke University, I have had the opportunity to assist in two courses called Motion Graphics and Immersive Virtual Worlds. In these experiences, I was able to learn two completely different methods of teaching, assessment and engaging with students and learn from them both as an instructor and a student. These experiences help me to use the mentorship of experienced professors and create my own syllabus and teaching practice. I am interested in the difference between real and unreal, real and surreal and their complicated connection with perception and representation in temporal form. I am also interested in storytelling that is heightened by utilising contrasting scales of minimalistic drama and I often explore that relationship of scale, color and negative space in animation and digital screens to explore new ways of storytelling techniques. I’d love to share my experience and knowledge with my students and as a teacher, I would like to find a conceptual ground to teach technical skills that are changing and updating on a daily basis. By pursuing my education to a PhD degree I am planning to gain more experience as the Instructor of Record, especially for courses that I have designed their syllabi myself.
In the classroom, I have realized that students gain more benefit from creating, making and first-hand experience rather than long lectures. I would like to create an atmosphere where supervised and guided studio work is as valuable as the seminars about theoretical studies and art history. I’d like to use intriguing assignments that require theoretical thinking in the creative process and further their conceptual depth in the critique sessions that are done as a group in the classroom. By using a variety of assignments such as fieldwork, teamwork, and public artwork, I’d like to help my students utilize a wide range of media that will help them in their main artistic process. I have been faced with a large gap between social sciences and art and I would like to support my students to go after the topics that might seem complicated but are essential for creating impactful art.
Overall, in my classroom, students get to use and build up their multimedia skills based on conceptual and theoretical thinking. By completing a variety of assignments, they build a portfolio that can help them further their career path beyond just being a traditional artist into problem solvers and thinkers and benefit from transferable skills that art education has to offer. They learn to think critically about their own work and also criticize their peers and how to create impactful art.