I believe that inspiration is the most important ingredient to active learning. My first priority is to find real-world examples that students feel inspired by, then I enable them to follow that inspiration, building curiosity and enabling my students to direct their own learning.
My favorite feeling is when a student really "gets" a concept. After working on a challenging topic for a while, there's usually a "lightbulb" moment when the students eyes light up and you can see a mixture of surprise, pride, and joy wash over them as they finally understand what we are working on.
That is what motivates me as a tutor: the pride and joy I get in helping my students arrive at thos those lightbulb moments.
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
It all starts with inspiration. The secret to creativity is to keep your inspirations on-hand. Collect your favorites somewhere (Pinterest works well) and look at them often. If you haven't found any already, that's ok too! We can build your list of inspirations together.
From there, with those pieces in mind, we'll then take a look at your most recent work and come up with a plan together for the area or skill you'd like to strengthen in your own work.
Our final goal will be to produce 5–10 pieces that you feel proud of. Ultimately, these should be pieces you'd want to add to your portfolio to showcase your work to prospective study programs or employers.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I earned a BFA in Computer Graphics and Interactive Media from Pratt Institute where I studied human anatomy, character design and animation extensively. I also hold an MFA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in electronic art.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
I generally charge $50 an hour for instruction plus materials, and $0.65 / mile for travel time.
For particularly motivated students, I am willing to be flexible. In short, a motivated student is one who is willing to travel to Troy for sessions to cut down on my travel time, shows a willingness to take risks, produce large volumes of work quickly, and make mistakes. Some of our most engaging works are conceived by accidents that take us in directions we could never have imagined.
How did you get started teaching?
I have taught several courses at the college level.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked with mostly undergraduate students, specializing in those with an interest in game development.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
The way I regenerate emotionally is through tutoring. I recently worked with a student struggling with single point perspective. And the moment we were able to find inspiration in the drawings of Escher, their eyes widened. They started to see how the illusion of perspective works, and boyond — how to manipulate perspective to create mind-bending illusions. Those "aha" moments are the moments I deeply enjoy. They make it easy to work with students struggling with any one particular skill. I know that in the end, they'll get it. And they will have enjoyed the journey.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
My single most important question is who or what inspires your? Once you find that, you have a foundation to get you through the challenges you'll face along the way.