Courses, Training, Independent Study
Teaching is my side-gig.
I help creatives — whether student, hobbyists, or practicing pros — get better at business, sharpen their creative skills and build their design knowledge.
I’ve helped train and launch hundreds of successful hobbyists and pros who are pursuing their creative passions and earning a livelihood from their work.
My approach to teaching is structural. I focus on the fundamentals and principles of design, color, drawing, design history and critical practice to build effective design and imagery.
I encourage research and innovation — curiosity, curation, and creation, in that order.
I emphasize creative problem-solving, deep-dive effort, and self-reliance.
Alvalyn taught me character, skills and how to think. A lot of what she taught me is how to see.
Student, ArtCenter Extension
Art Center College of Design
Intro To 3D Design
An introduction to aesthetic theory, this course includes discussion and exercises in design elements, organizing principles and perceptual skills as they pertain to real space. Creative awareness, problem-solving, process, and technical ability are stressed. Principles taught are the basis for all 3D design fields. Assignments are oriented toward understanding and applying design principles.
Crafting Your Creative Brand
This personal branding workshop teaches designers, creatives and artists to develop or revitalize their own distinct, marketable brands out of their values and driving motivators. We focus on self-discovery, and storytelling to make an impact and build a long-term creative career. Students explore their aspirational goals, core values and distinct approaches as the basis for designing their visual brand identity. They focus on presenting a consistent message that’s relevant to clients, collectors, fans and patrons. Approaches to marketing, content creation, curation and establishing one’s authorship are explored. Students develop brand strategies and visual which they can implement immediately to start becoming known.
Otis College of Art and Design
Crafting Your Professional Portfolio
Presenting a cohesive and flexible body of work is necessary for entering the professional creative fields. Whether your intent is to find a job or create an independent business, your portfolio is vital to your success. This course guides you in developing a flexible, professionally-presented and targeted portfolio showcasing your unique approach and point of view. You will select and refine your work and develop printed and digital portfolios. You’ll explore approaches to marketing and promoting your book to ideal clients and employers, and create or update your website and online portfolios and directories. Marketing pieces include a business card, printed and email promotions, and resumé/CV. Upon completion of the course, you’ll have what you need to promote your work to employers and prospective clients.
Color for Digital Designers
Just when you thought you knew all about color… there’s more to know. Designers and artists who use computers and tablets to create their art or for digital production need to know more than the color wheel and color mixing. I created this digital color course to address everything from file types to rendering intents to digital printing.
Introduction to Graphic Design
This foundation course familiarizes students with the basic principles of composition, design methodologies, and career options in professional visual communication design. Through weekly hands-on assignments and resources that focus on layout, typography, symbol design, photography, digital imaging and illustration, students become acquainted with a wide variety of topics in contemporary graphic design. This is an excellent course in which to start building a professional design portfolio. Students can complete their assignments using their own computer or by traditional techniques that are discussed by the instructor in conjunction with each assignment.
Fundamentals of 2-Dimensional Design
This foundation-level course introduces design for the beginner through the application and understanding of 2-dimensional elements and principles. Course offers preparation for beginners and professionals in several design areas. Weekly achromatic (non-color) projects deal with fundamentals of line, space, directional movement, balance, value, texture, pattern, and monochromes. Confidence in hand skills is developed and a final project in the student’s area of interest is required. Students gain exposure to a range of current and historical design forms. Class includes studio time, slide lectures, and critique.
Los Angeles & Online
Elements of Design 1
An introduction to design fundamentals, including exercises in figure-ground relationships, color interaction, line, texture, shape, scale, balance, rhythm, emphasis, and organization of elements
in the 2D plane, this course develops perceptual skills, sensitivity, creative awareness, and the technical ability necessary to handle a variety of design media.
Elements of Design 2
Lectures, demonstrations, and exercises dealing with the understanding of design fundamentals, this course examines abstract structuring in 2D and 3D design, use of construction materials, and fundamentals of modular systems and their modifications and variations.
Covers the perception of color, its permutations, and its dimensions, using traditional as well as contemporary methods, emphasizing individual experimentation through lab exercises and demonstrations. Topics include the color wheel, digital color, Munsell and Albers theories, perception, symbolism, and psychology, pattern-painting techniques, and the applications of color theories to art, architecture, and interior design. Student projects and lectures combine intense exploration of theories with hands-on experience in a variety of media.
History of Graphic Design
Gain a broad understanding of design and its dynamic past to discover inspiration for the present. Survey the history of visual communication, design’s sociopolitical and cultural contexts, and the artistic and technological characteristics of various movements. Concepts of inspiration, curation and creation, authorship and experience are addressed. Students create portfolio pieces inspired by the designers and movements studied.
Drawing For Communication
Develop drawing skills for successful communication in design and illustration. Topics include thumbnails, quick sketches, drawing from reference, compositing, drawing from memory, rendering techniques, and media options. Includes principles of linear perspective, value, proportion and structure. Exercises cover drawing from observation and photographic reference.
I have learned more from this design course then any other I have ever taken.
Student, UCLA Extension