As an educator I enjoy creating it all, the big picture moments of curriculum development, to the focused points of classroom assignments. From day one my students understand that I see them as illustrators, and it is my job to show them what that means conceptually, technically, and professionally. In the classroom I create an environment where students understand how their experiences work together to prepare them for future challenges. I proudly plant my flag in the sequential learning camp and believe that this approach helps students become uninhibited problem solvers.
Philosophically I believe strongly that illustration and communication design walk hand in hand in the design world and I emphasize this connection at almost every level within my classroom experience. While illustrators may use the tools of fine art, it is vitally important that students understand that they speak the language of design. To reinforce the connection between communication design and illustration, I introduce fundamental concepts such as type and image relationships and the importance of visual hierarchy, in tandem with illustration history, media techniques, composition and color, in project assignments. It is essential that students understand how their work functions in the real world; to that end I develop assignments for print, screen, and product that challenge students to work creatively within diverse parameters. Critiques are an essential component in the learning process and to that end I always engage in 1:1 conversations and have group discussions for important stages in the illustration process. I strive to keep my critiques lively and focused and infused with just enough humor to keep everyone on their toes.