Mobile App Now on the App Store and Google Play

written by Georgia Schumacher 12 December 2014

Mobile AppThe Art Institutes now has a mobile app available on the App Store and Google Play!

The latest version of our app not only makes it easier than ever to access your classroom on the go, but also helps you to stay on top of important dates and information!

With this mobile app, you can:

• View current and past grades and classes.
• Check upcoming assignments and add them to your phone's calendar.
• See campus news or class announcements.
• Read and respond to discussion questions.
• Sign up for academic and financial reminders.
• Call or email important school contacts with one click.

To start using The Art Institutes app today, download the app to your device at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/art-institutes/id673233935?mt=8 or https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.artinstitutes.m&hl=en. When you first access the app, you’ll enter your username and password and then create a 4-digit PIN. After this initial use, you’ll only be required to enter your PIN.

Of course, our mobile won’t replace your computer, which you’ll still need to attend class and work on assignments, but it can be an extremely helpful back-up tool to have.

If you have any questions about our mobile app, please contact technicalsupport@aii.edu or download our Student Support Mobile App Guide [PDF].

9 Interview Questions You Can’t Afford to Answer Incorrectly

written by Georgia Schumacher 10 December 2014

Answering questions

In studying the creative arts, you may not have thought much about formal interviews. However, if you want to earn a living creating and working in your field, you'll need to be just as prepared as you would for any other career.

Know what common questions to expect and how best to answer them so that your personality and talent shines through. With a bit of preparation, you can look like a superstar in any interview and find the right organization for your artistic career goals.

1. Tell us about yourself.

With this likely being the most common interview question, your answer isn't the time for a full recounting of your life history. Focus on your craft, as that’s what the interviewer is interested in learning about. Briefly explain how long you’ve been an artist and share any artistic achievements relevant to the position.

2. What do you know about us?

This question is checking to see how much you prepared for the interview. You aren't expected to know every detail about the company or organization, but a basic understanding is necessary.

3. Why do you want to work here?

Answering "because I need a job" isn't what the interviewer is looking for. This question often follows the previous question. Convey your genuine interest in the company and explain why you believe your artistic skills would be a great fit for the organization. Explain your excitement at the thought of putting your creative talents to work for a company you truly believe in.

4. What are your strengths?

The interviewer wants to know your work-related strengths and weaknesses. Be prepared to back up your strengths. If you call yourself a problem-solver, make sure you have an example in mind of a time you solved a important problem and how this impacted your project.

5. What are your weaknesses?

Be honest with your weaknesses, but also explain how you overcome them. If you explain that you're a perfectionist, explain how you don't let that keep you from meeting deadlines or performing your job.

6. Describe your creative process.

This behavioral interview question allows the interviewer to gain an understanding of your work style and to determine whether you would be a good fit for the company culture. Practice articulating your creative process so you can describe it in a brief, easy-to-understand manner. Remember, the company isn’t just interviewing you ─ you’re interviewing them to see if you would want to work there. Be honest about your true creative process, rather than saying what you think they want to hear, because you want a job where you have the freedom to express yourself.

7. What media or methodologies have you used or do you use?

You may be asked as a general question: What methodologies do you prefer to use? Or, you may be asked while looking at a piece from your portfolio: What medium did you use? Either way, keep your explanation simple and refrain from using technical jargon unless the person interviewing you is using it. This is often a way to assess your skills and understanding of specific techniques.

8. Describe your creative inspiration.

This is another commonly asked question that allows the interviewer to gain a deeper sense of your personal values, personality traits, and genuine passion for the job. You’ll make a great impression if you can explain with confidence exactly what inspires you to do your best work. However, if you appear stuck when trying to identify a solid reason you enjoy your craft, the interviewer may question your dedication.

9. What type of work have you done in the past?

An interviewer wants to know that you have the creative skills needed to produce top-quality work for the organization. For this line of work, it’s not enough to simply discuss your past achievements ─ you need to showcase your talents by bringing your portfolio along. If possible, include pieces in your portfolio that are relevant to the specific job, to prove you have what it takes to shine in the position.

Hosting Thanksgiving on a Budget

written by Georgia Schumacher 24 November 2014

Thankgiving turkeyIf it’s your turn to host the big Thanksgiving dinner, there's no need for hectic last minute scrambling for the right decor or to break the bank as you create the perfect holiday meal.

Anyway, isn't the holiday really all about spending time with the people you care about and being grateful for what you have? Whatever you do (or don't do) beyond those two simple acts is entirely fine!

Table settings

Don’t have enough place settings for everyone? It’s perfectly fine to mix and match dishes. If you have them, choose ones that have the same color scheme or a similar style. If you're set on having matching dishes, consider asking friends or neighbors who are going out of town to borrow their dishes. Many stores also sell high-quality plastic plates which look nice and reduce the amount of cleanup you have to do after your guests leave. Who even notices the plates when they're gobbling down a delicious meal anyway?

Decor

Let's start this by saying a spread of your favorite dishes surrounded by the smiling faces of your friends and family might be all the decor you need. It's simple, practical, and visually appealing. If you like having more on table though, use as many items as possible from what you already own. Consider arranging flowers, pine cones, acorns, and/or branches from outside in a vase to create a festive fall look in the dining room. Or, if you want to purchase a few items for decor for this year and future Thanksgivings, check out thrift shops or your local hobby and craft stores, which often have items on sale and coupons available online or in flyers.

Meal Planning

Keep the food you serve on the simple side, since fewer ingredients means a cheaper bill. The turkey is the star of the show! Use boxed stuffing mix and frozen vegetables for side dishes. Other ideas to save money on food include:

Plan ahead. Look for deals on turkeys between different supermarkets.

Use coupons. Many common side dishes and ingredients like green beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie filling go on sale just before the holiday.

Make it potluck. Have the desserts or side dishes be potluck style where everyone (or at least those who live nearby) brings something. Most people are more than willing to contribute a dish!

Keep it simple. If it’s a small gathering, consider purchasing a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey.

Hosting a Thanksgiving feast doesn’t need to cost a fortune. By planning ahead, you can create a scrumptious meal that's long on entertainment but short on expenses.

Related Post: 7 Foods We're Craving This Fall

3 Photography Blogs for You to Follow

written by Georgia Schumacher 20 November 2014

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First Years' Focus and Fire

http://firstyearsfocusandfire.blogspot.com/

Melanie Fiander is a senior full-time faculty member at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh -- Online Division, where she teaches photography and time-based media. Her blog, First Years’ Focus and Fire, is intended to supplement what students can learn in the first few years of their diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree program. She typically publishes three posts per week:

Make it Mondays, with tutorials, advice for class, photographers tips, and more
Website Wednesdays, which highlights a variety of educational and inspirational sites
Pho-Tog Fridays, which can introduce you to new and talented photographers

The Blog of Professor Phillips

http://professorphillips.blogspot.com/

Stephen John Phillips is a faculty member teaching photography at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh -- Online Division as well as a freelance photo illustrator. He has been teaching and taking photographs for over 30 years. His blog is intended for those students who have graduated recently as well as those nearing graduation, with the goal of helping these individuals prepare to enter photography careers.

To name just a few, his clients have included:

• The Baltimore Sun
• Crown Random House
• The Discovery Channel Magazine
• Marvel Comics
• The Maryland Ballet
• Simpson Racing (NASCAR)
• World Wildlife Fund

Student Ambassador's Blog

http://pspnmentor.blogspot.com/

The Photography Students Professional Network regularly selects current students to write for this blog as Student Ambassadors. The posts on this blog include helpful advice on coursework, photography projects, online communication, and more! Every day of the week typically has an assigned ambassador, so readers get to hear from a variety of people with diverse opinions and interests!

Check out these blogs or explore our programs in the area of photography today!

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any website linked to this website/newsletter. The links are provided for your information and convenience only. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division does not endorse, support or sponsor the content of any linked websites. If you access or use any third party Web sites linked to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division’s website, you do so at your own risk. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division makes no representation or warranty that any other Web site is free from viruses, worms or other software that may have a destructive nature.

Where Wearable Tech Meets Fashion

written by Georgia Schumacher 18 November 2014

Wearable techTechnology and fashion are both huge industries, and designers from each sector are coming together to spark a revolution in the way we use technology. Wearable technology could change the lives of fashion-conscious people for the better, whether it's T-shirts that monitor your health or jewelry that lets you know when you have messages or calls waiting.

Wearable Tech at New York Fashion Week

Although wearable gadgets were once clunky and inelegant, the latest generation of wearable tech aims to look beautiful and perform flawlessly. In fact, wearable technology has so convincingly crossed over into fashion that several high-tech accessories were featured during the 2014 New York Fashion Week.

Designer Rebecca Minkoff was one of the big stars of Fashion Week, with her high-tech jewelry that delivers some real functionality, as well as beautiful design. For the fashionista who doesn’t want to take time out from socializing to reach into her bag and check her mobile phone, there's a gold bracelet that connects with the phone using Bluetooth and subtly delivers a notification whenever a call or text comes in.

Ralph Lauren smart T-shirts were also featured at New York Fashion Week. These biometric wearables use silver-coated threads to conduct electrical signals through the shirt, allowing them to measure your heart and respiration rates, as well as your movements as you walk, run or play sports.

Fitness-Tracking Fashion

Many fitness-related wearable gadgets, such as the Fitbit Flex, are already very popular among runners and sportspeople. Fitbit Flex is a wristband that monitors the steps you take and the calories you burn, and watches over you while you sleep to assess the quality of your nighttime rest. Their most well-known wristband looks very technological, with its bright colors and light-up display. However, with the right design input from fashion houses, fitness-tracking wearable tech could deliver the same functionality in a much more subtle and fashion-conscious way. With its line of Tory Burch bracelets and pendants, FitBit may already be leading the industry in that arena.

With fashion designers taking on the challenge of incorporating wearable tech into their existing lines, there's the potential for wearables to develop into clothes that look and feel as good as the tech that powers them functions.