Media Arts& Animation
I want to create my own future.
All kinds of industries—beyond just entertainment and media—need creative minds to bring ideas to life. Animators. 3D animators. Multimedia artists. Special Effects artists. Along with others, they put their skills and imaginations to work everywhere from film and TV to medicine and law. If you have the talent, passion, and tenacity to follow that career path, Media Arts & Animation degree programs can prepare you for a life of doing what you love. In our creative and supportive environment, you’ll use industry-specific hardware and software in an environment that’s as challenging and competitive as the real world. You’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty*. It won't be easy. But nothing truly worthwhile ever is.
*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Arts & Animation
Meet Our Alumni
Adam HalbergCulinary Arts , 2000Read More
Senior Vice President - Culinary for Barteca
Adam Halberg is a senior vice president - culinary for Barteca, a company that designs stylish, fun, and accessible restaurants. He works at the company’s Connecticut headquarters and oversees all culinary operations for the company’s “Bartaco” and “Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant” locations. Adam’s tip for a successful restaurant is to build a team of talented, creative people. “Give them rules and then challenge them to break those rules.”
Adam says that every job he’s held brought benefits to him as a culinary artist. He urges budding chefs to understand the commitment needed to succeed in this industry, adding that restaurants do not allow for complacency, because complacency leads to slips in quality. “Nobody is going to make it easier or harder for you. Success comes from within. You must push yourself.”
Adam, who in 2000 earned an Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Atlanta, says that his culinary education provided solid exposure to a wide range of culinary traditions and techniques. Today, he is fortunate to work with colleagues who, like him, constantly strive for excellence. “There are a limited number of people who can completely and consistently self-motivate. Working with a dynamic team helps everyone, including me, [to strive] to do better.”Read More...
Jamika PessoaCulinary Arts , 2004Read More
Field Correspondent for ABC TV's "The Chew"
Working as a field correspondent for ABC TV’s daytime food talk show “The Chew,” Jamika Pessoa travels across the country to highlight culinary events, restaurants, foods, and food trends. She also cooks and reports on-air. “I enjoy being able to make people smile with my food and charm,” she says.
Because she is in the process of building her own brand, Chef Jamika is inspired by celebrities including Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, and Oprah Winfrey. In addition to her work on “The Chew,” Jamika was a contestant on “The Next Food Network Star, Season 5.” She’s also served as a host on TLC’s lifestyle show “Home Made Simple” and has been a guest on “The Today Show” and “The Rachael Ray Show.”
Jamika also owns her own business, working as a personal chef. In 2004, she earned an Associate of Arts degree in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Atlanta—and she believes that her education helped her to succeed in the industry. “My education prepared me with the knowledge and confidence to go out into the culinary world and find my niche.” She recommends that budding chefs seeking the limelight work hard to achieve their goals. “I did not start here. It takes a lot of humility, hard work, patience, and determination to get here. I always have to look for ways to stand out among others.”Read More...
Keith ShroederCulinary Arts , 1995
"My education opened the door to opportunities [in the culinary industry]."Read More
CEO of High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet
Keith Schroder is the CEO of High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet, located in Marietta, Georgia. He’s responsible for developing the executive team at the company and says that there is no “typical” day at his job. Keith is working toward his goal of turning the brand into a $100 million company. “That’s a stretch from where we are now but we have the talent and team to make it happen.”
He describes the culinary industry as challenging. “You’re engaged in constant challenges—itemizing them [is difficult]. Just focus on where you want to go, and go there.” He adds that the best advice he can give to young culinary artists is to “put your nose down and refuse to quit. You [have to be] committed.”
Keith, who in 1995 earned an Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Atlanta, says that his education opened the door to opportunities within the culinary industry. He adds that the school’s career services department helped him to secure his first job at the local Hilton hotel restaurant. Keith believes that his work is a constant and ongoing reward. “Enjoy the challenge so you have a constant source of excitement.”Read More...
Martin NashInterior Design , 1989Read More
Owner of Martin Nash Design
Martin Nash is the owner of his own interior design firm, located in the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center. The 550,000 square foot Center is home to 60 showrooms displaying product lines including furniture, fabric, rugs, lighting, accessories, floor and wall coverings, antiques, fine art and framing, kitchens, bath, tile and stone, and home theater products. Martin works with designers and architects in the showroom selecting furniture, lighting, and art for design projects. He says that the best part of his job is working closely with talented and creative people.Read More...
Martin is proud that his creative passion helped to change the dynamics of the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center—and the surrounding design community. When it comes to inspiration, Martin looks to nature and urban grittiness. “My hero is William Switzer.” And he recommends that current interior design students keep their options open when it comes to a specialization. “Consider the design showroom business as a viable career path.”
Martin, who in 1989 earned an Associate of Arts in Interior Design from The Art Institute of Atlanta, says that his education fine-tuned his design skills. He believes that big trend in the industry is exposure to all aspects of the design process via digital or online catalogs. “Younger designers want their furniture and lighting resources on a computer or tablet. The showroom industry must keep up with the next generation of designers.”
Terry CookCulinary Arts , 2012Read More
Executive Chef at The Palm Restaurant
Terry Cook is the executive chef at The Palm Restaurant in Dallas, Texas. He oversees the menu, maintains standards in the restaurant, and provides leadership to his staff. Terry also enjoys preparing special items that expand the culinary tastes of his clients. “I like to take ingredients that most people are afraid to eat and prepare them in a more accessible dish,” he says.
A typical work day includes setting up the kitchen, preparing menu specials, and ordering supplies. Terry is proud to look back at the work he’s put into his career—and see that it’s elevated him to the position of executive chef. He recommends that current students always be open to new techniques and suggestions for growing their culinary skills.
Terry, who in 2012 earned a Culinary Skills Diploma from The Art Institute of Atlanta, says that his education provided the skills and fundamentals that he needed in a culinary career. He encourages others to experiment with ingredients and try new restaurants. “The culinary world is always changing. It is our job as chefs to always be evolving our dishes. Try not to remain [stuck] on one trend or idea.”
What Will I Study?
I'm ready to start telling stories.
Our Media Arts & Animation curriculum will truly put you to the test. Because it was designed by industry experts to help put you in a position to succeed in a field where the only limit is your imagination. You'll study:
- Digital Imaging
- Life Drawing for Animation
- Character and Object Design for Animation
- Cinematic Storytelling
- Digital Editing
- Computer 3D Modeling and Animation
- Principles of Animation
- Acting / Movement
- 2D Animation
- Storyboard Rendering for Animation
- Camera and Lighting Techniques
- Creative and Collaborative Project Management
- 3D Modeling
- 3D Character Animation
- 3D Textures
- Web Animation
I'm looking for my proving ground.
At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Media Arts & Animation degree programs are built on that creative foundation. It’s also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But we temper the tough with the support you need to make your creativity marketable. We provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. Here, you’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. So if your heart is telling you that you belong in a creative field, you belong here. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever love.
*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.
Booker W. Edwards, Jr.Audio ProductionRead More
Booker W. Edwards, Jr.
I grew up in the 70’s listening to R&B and funk music. I fell in love with music and sound, and I was fascinated by how it made me feel. I named my first dog Jungle Boogie after the Kool & The Gang song, and by age five I knew I’d have a career in music.
It's very organic, because I can relate so much to many of the paths that our students have taken to get here. I see their desire to take what they love and make a living at it. I pull directly from my experiences so they can learn from my mistakes. Many students come in with career blinders on...they think music is all there is to audio when there’s so much more. I was like them until I found a mentor who opened my eyes to the opportunities, and I try to do the same for my students including being honest, sharing accomplishments, failures, and challenges, and teaching them to take responsibility for their own success. I want my students to leave here with a realistic view of the industry—hard deadlines, rigorous and challenging projects, honest constructive critiques, and reward for a job well done.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
I present projects in the context of contract work with a client. Students receive a letter from a client detailing what they want, when they need it, and how it's to be delivered. Students execute and deliver the project. Of course, I’m actually the “client.” The pay is their grade—if the work is good, the grade reflects that; if not, there’s specific feedback from the client. It’s all about practicing for a career, not just trying for a grade in class.
In the real world, audio engineers work with artists and producers, sound designers collaborate with film and TV directors, and so on. Our campus is a microcosm of the media/entertainment industry. Audio, Digital Film, Animation, Game Design, they all have an audio aspect. We’ve created a special topics class that puts Animation, Video, and Audio students together on a project encompassing all three disciplines. If our students learn to collaborate here, they’ll be ahead of the game when they get out there.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I love sharing my experiences with the next generation of professionals. When a former student comes back to campus and says, "Thank you for helping me," or tells me I had some impact on their life, the feeling is truly priceless.Read More...
Erin FreemanGraphic & Web DesignRead More
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
When I was four, I drew some amazing aliens with a black Sharpie...on the roof of my dad’s green Ford Pinto. My mom had always stressed the importance of women in the workforce, and how everyone had something special to contribute (even marker murals). I knew that I wanted a career that I considered to be an extension of myself.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
Moving from a classroom environment to a creative industry is a huge challenge for students. Suddenly they’re working on multiple deadlines, in different scenarios, alongside various work personalities. I try to prepare them for it by sharing my experiences in the form of case studies. They get a sense of reality and we forge a common bond that helps me become a better mentor.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
In Corporate Identity and Branding class, designers are assigned a creative brief, conceptual and sketching exercises, logo development, a standards manual, and supporting graphic collateral. I call it a “high learning curve” course, because by the end of the quarter, they start to understand the entire design process, including the designer/client relationship. Playing the roles of designer, client, researcher, collaborator, printer, and presenter gives them a greater appreciation of the industry.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
It’s easy for a design student to work as a “party of one” in a Mac bubble. But in the real world, many designers work in groups. I encourage students to share their ideas with their classmates so they can produce more robust solutions. And when students from different programs brainstorm together, they find solutions that may not have happened alone or with students with the same major.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Listen to your intuition. That voice will get you through a challenging project and help you cut through the clutter when you’re on your own.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
Fight complacency. Challenge yourself to find the best solution through creative experimentation—while walking through the fear of failure.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m grateful that I get to work with such creative minds who want to grow and learn. The biggest thing I impart to my students is how to cultivate and nourish creativity, the fuel that pushes us every day.Read More...