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teaching philosophy

Teaching is my greatest privilege and making art is my greatest joy in life. To be able to do both is the best way for me to spend my time. It’s an opportunity to interact and affect the lives of our future through young, curious minds. I am in constant reflection of my views and philosophies on education, instruction, and teaching methods, especially as my classes get more diverse and inclusive.

Teaching is an art in and of itself. Every student is full of unique potential, regardless of their background. I create an atmosphere of trust, respect, open-mindedness, and creativity in my classes. By teaching from a place of honesty and enthusiasm, I provide a safe and productive classroom where students can take risks, make mistakes, and perform in ways that exceed their expectations. I inspire them to grow in ways they never thought possible. If you show a genuine interest in your students and a genuine interest in their individuality and concerns, they will have a much greater chance of success, of wanting to succeed. I believe through embracing diversity we naturally create an environment of inclusivity and equality. I create assignments that incorporate objective principles and subjective discoveries and encourage my students to explore and be open to learning from all their experiences. When you allow students to learn through the lens of their own experiences you bring unique talents and discoveries to the classroom. My goal is to help students be better, more open humans and better artists who are confident in their messages and ready to create the next generation of contemporary art and design.

I bring an inspiring vision of the future and motivate people to engage in the practice of realizing that vision. To be a great leader you have to love what you do and be passionate and knowledgeable about your craft. Students depend on their teachers for guidance, advice, and honesty. I treat students with respect and their artistic practice with reverence and guide them to discover their creative voice. I am supportive, direct, and constructive and I really try to see the unique possibilities in each of my students. The main thing I have learned from 20 years of teaching is that there is a common goal for all students, but each one of them travels a unique path.

Research interest

My research interests are in the areas of mythology, cultural anthropology and storytelling. My career in filmmaking and television has enabled me to explore characters, archetypes and the traditional roles they play and how those stories translate into contemporary media. My interests are in how we communicate the myths in modern imagery and language using film, television, news cycles, fashion, and art. I spent the past twelve years studying religion and spirituality by immersing myself in different faiths/doctrines, each for a one year time period. I study the books, myths, rituals, icons, and attire. The films and paintings I make only scratch the surface of what I have learned about myself, the world, and how humans tell stories and understand their place in the Universe. I would like to continue this research with the end goal of creating a series of books, paintings, and films that retell the myths of spirituality in a modern, relevant way. Now, more than ever, it is so important for humanity to become conscious of our oneness as a species and our spiritual differences. Art can communicate ideas in ways that are democratic, beautiful, inspiring, and expandable. It has the power to blur lines, tear down walls, and unify us in ways language cannot.  My exploration of this language and the various mediums I use to express it are a scratch on the vast surface of this subject matter.

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