Introducing Our Portfolio Gallery (And 5 Reasons to Start Using It Today!)

written by Georgia Schumacher 27 January 2015

We’re excited to announce that The Art Institutes has partnered with Behance ─ the largest online portfolio site ─ to create a dynamic new portfolio gallery. As a student or an alum, you’ll now have the opportunity to share your work with one another, with clients, and with potential employers on one easy-to-access platform.

Portfolio site

Here are 5 great reasons to create a profile on the site and use it regularly!

1. Gain Exposure for Your Work

After putting your blood, sweat, and tears into your pieces, you owe it to yourself to give your work the exposure it deserves. Gain a following by uploading your work to the site to let everyone see what you’re capable of creating!

2. Connect with Potential Employers

Your creative talents can take you far in life, so join the site to showcase these skills to potential employers. Hiring managers, recruiters, and potential clients are checking out the works of art on display, so don’t miss your chance to get discovered.

3. See What Your Peers are Doing

A lot of very talented people teach at, currently attend, and have graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh ─ Online Division. Check out the amazing pieces created by these members of your creative community and get inspired by the incredible works they’ve produced.

4. Manage Your Online Portfolio

It’s important to keep on your online presence up-to-date, but with so many different places to upload your work, this task can be daunting. Combat this by managing your online portfolio here and syncing it with your other existing accounts on sites like Behance and LinkedIn.

5. Get in Touch with Other Creatives

Whether you’re looking for someone to partner with on a project or simply want advice from an established professional, use the site to contact students and alumni with any questions you have about their work, creative inspirations or for advice on getting started in a particular industry.

Ready to get started with the new Art Institutes Portfolio Gallery? Sign up here and get to work!

Save the Date ─ The 2015 Commencement Ceremony

written by Georgia Schumacher 23 January 2015

Attention graduating class ─ your big day is almost here! The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division commencement will be hosted on Friday, June 19, 2015, at 12:00 PM at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, 4141 5th Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh President George Sebolt as well as the deans, the department chairs, and faculty members will lead the procession into the auditorium to the accompaniment of Pomp & Circumstance.

Please mark your calendars, and note that an email invitation will be sent out in March with more information for all pending graduates and those who graduated during the 2014-2015 school year.

Everyone is invited

Tickets are not needed for entry, so you may bring as many guests as you’d like to the ceremony. Spread the word to your friends and family now, so everyone can make the necessary arrangements to attend!

A call for student speakers

We are also looking for prospective graduates to deliver the student address for the June 2015 Commencement. If you’re interested in delivering the commencement address, please email a copy of your speech to Jeff Braun at jbraun@aii.edu by Friday, May 22, 2015.

Can't make it to Pittsburgh?

Don’t miss the chance to celebrate all that you’ve accomplished! If you won’t be able to travel to Pittsburgh for graduation, you can still participate in your own local campus commencement ceremony. Please contact your Academic Counselor for details.

Get social

As graduation approaches and your excitement builds, don’t forget to tag your relevant Instagram photos, Facebook posts, and tweets with #AiGrad!

Twists and Turns: My 21-year Journey

written by Student 21 January 2015

By Angela Korynoski, 2014 Graduate, Associate of Science, Graphic Design
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division

Angela

"The plan was written"

If you saw me walking down the hallway, you would have no idea of the journey I have taken to accomplish something many others have not been able to do.

You see my journey began in 11th grade. I begged my parents to travel 2 hours out of their way to visit an art school. After wearing out the words, “Please, please, please,” they gave in to my whining.

I convinced them that the ride wasn’t as long as it seemed, and we arrived at the building safely. With amazement, I walked the halls of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, smiling and gazing and touching all the wonderful artwork that I saw. I hung on every word of the tour guide. My stepdad laughed at my silly drooling face. But that was it! I was sold. The plan was written and The Art Institute was in my future.

"I always knew there was a creative side"

But the plan was cut very short. Because, at the start of my senior year—October 18, 1992 to be exact—my life was changed forever as I knew it. I was in a serious car accident. Many tell me that I had a guardian angel with me that night. You see, I broke my neck and my nose, dislocated my shoulder, cut up my face, got hypothermia from landing in the ice water, and temporarily lost the use of my upper body. Yep, that’s right…my hands were gone, and, with them, my dream of art school, or at least so I thought.

After a year of rehab, I was mostly back to normal, but I wasn’t able to venture away to school like I wanted, and I settled for a Personal Computer Specialist Degree from a local tech school. This was not a bad career choice, but I always knew there was a creative side that needed to surface in me. I felt stifled.

10 years, 3 children, and a divorce later, I thought to myself, “I really want to go to college.” I thought maybe I could just take a class or two so I could say that I attended The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I made a phone call and to my surprise they said they had a Delayed Start Date listed for me. I was flabbergasted and knew I was meant to be there. I made arrangements for the kids to stay with their dad and my family during the week, and I would drive back and forth in between my classes and on weekends. But after a year of burning the candle at both ends with double classes, a part-time job, and mommy duty, I fell apart and gave up. I was internally destroyed and disappointed in myself. 

"I am saying this to you with the largest smile on my face"

However, 2 years ago, I said to myself, “I MUST TRY AGAIN!” There was no way I would be able to attend the campus in my original program of Industrial Design but I figured I could adapt. The staff at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division was incredibly helpful with transferring my classes that pertained to a Graphics Design degree program so that I could finish my college dream online, in the comforts of my northern home beside my family.

Balancing schoolwork and life was no doubt an issue that I often struggled with and there were many moments in which I thought there was no way I could get through it. I had moments of exhaustion, tears, and plain old loss of focus, but the people at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division and my family were amazing in picking me up and putting me back on track.

So I am saying this to you with the largest smile on my face and a small tear in my eye, “I completed all of my courses for my Associate of Science Degree in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division as of October 25, 2014!”—21 years later, but nonetheless, I DID IT! 

I end this story of my journey with a few words of advice: listen to your heart, go after your dreams. and have faith!

11 Apps to Try This Month

written by Georgia Schumacher 15 January 2015

Person using phoneThe world of technology has created numerous platforms for artists to practice their craft and share their work through social media.

Mobile apps offer limitless potential for those who aspire to broaden their skill sets, and these 12 apps -- most of which are available at no cost-- are all worth a look.

1. Loop

Art and design students who'd like to play with animation will adore Loop. The app allows users to create animations and GIFs with frame duplication, specialized tools and sketching capabilities.
Cost: $0.99

2. 2Do

This application certainly lives up to its name by keeping you on top of that hectic and never-ending to-do list. Manage projects, notes, and deadlines with its helpful interface and timely notifications.
Cost: $0

3. Brushes

Convenient and fun, this mobile painting application gives you access to a brush and canvas any time and anywhere with the availability of your iPad.
Cost: $0.

4. Glitche

This innovative app allows you to transform ordinary pictures into pixelated artwork that you can easily turn into shareable GIFs.
Cost: $0.99

5. Artsy

This app earns its reputation for being "the art world in your pocket." Much like Pinterest, Artsy allows you to browse or keyword search artwork to constantly discover new concepts, genres and emerging talents.
Cost: $0

6. Popplet

Popplet is ideal for brainstorming your way through the creative process either individually or as part of a team. Concept maps can be shared among fellow students along with images, comments, and feedback.
Cost: $0

7. ScatterBrain

Let's face it: creative types aren't exactly known for their organizational prowess. Fortunately, ScatterBrain allows you to label and search important dates, deadlines, and notes.
Cost: $0.99

8. Tayasui Sketches

This artsy app affords users an interface with watercolor, charcoal, architecture and illustration features for a broad spectrum of possibilities.
Cost: $0

9. Penultimate

Creative writers and busy students alike will enjoy this note-taking app that saves notes in a searchable database and artfully depicts your unique penmanship for a personalized touch.
Cost: $0

10. Keezy

Musicians can create melodies on the go with this handy app that allows you to record, save, and mix sounds.
Cost: $0

11. The Art Institutes App

Our mobile app, available on the App Store and Google Play, makes it easier than ever to access your classroom on the go, and also helps you to stay on top of important dates and information!
Cost: $0

8 Steps to Overcoming Your Fear of Failure in 2015

written by Georgia Schumacher 13 January 2015

Overcoming Fear on Tightrope

2015 is here, and whether you are currently pursuing a creative arts career or interested in taking this path, you probably have set related goals for the New Year. Perhaps you want to start a freelance photography business. Maybe you want to put together a stellar portfolio website. Possibly, you've decided to continue your education and expand your current knowledge and skills. Whatever it is, don't let your fear get in the way.

The fear of failure destroys focus and cripples talent. Don't defeat yourself by succumbing to it. There's a light at the end of the tunnel of perseverance: success!

1. Imagine your success

Wash that fear away by first envisioning your resolution coming true. Picture completing the kitchen you wish to design. Imagine that comic strip finished and ready for publishing. Get it in your mind that your goals can be achieved by imagining your success.

2. Get to work

You may think you lack what it takes to complete the task, but don't let that fear of failure stop you from trying. Take action, start working, and see what happens.

3. Take risks

Don't be afraid to take a risk or try something new. It could open more opportunities for and even lead to new and improved goals. You never know how high you can fly if you don't take risks.

4. Understand failure is inevitable

Nearly every person fails sometime on their road to success. Realize that you may hit a few speed bumps or you may have to start over once or twice. Just know that failure doesn't mean you can't reach the destination. It only means that there's still work to do.

5. View failure as a learning opportunity

When you fail, try to see what you need to fix, where you need to improve, and what you need to learn. This important data will help you do better next time.

6. Stay determined

Stay determined and persistent. Don't lose sight of the end goal of success.

7. Get help

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Maybe others see things differently and can provide the insight that will lead to a breakthrough.

8. Fail until you succeed

Keep working at it and go through these steps until you reach your goal. Success won't be instantaneous. Rather, it's a result of working hard, accepting failure, and making changes, until you finally get it right. Keep moving forward and you will eventually arrive at success.