A Thank You to Veterans

written by Georgia Schumacher 11 November 2014

US flag

This Veterans Day, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division extends our gratitude to all those who have served in the U.S. military—including our many brave military students, faculty, and staff—for their courage, commitment, and patriotism. We remember and honor these individuals for the numerous ways they have made our world a better place throughout history.

Today and every day, our faculty and staff are committed to supporting each of our military-affiliated students as they prepare to pursue rewarding creative careers. Last month, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division was honored to be named a 2015 Military Friendly® School, and we remain dedicated to offering flexible degree programs, scholarship opportunities, academic support, and transfer of credit policies that can help make education more affordable and attainable for all students.

At The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division, military students are encouraged to join our chapter of the Student Veterans of America in Connections (under the Organizations tab), a network where peers can provide academic and personal support, share helpful information, and discuss a wide range of topics and common interests. We also encourage military students to explore the resources and organizations available via the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Thank you again for the sacrifices you have made and all that you have done for this country!

What do your color choices say about your brand?

written by Georgia Schumacher 21 October 2014

Color is more than just a personal choice when creating art, or designing advertising and marketing materials. Every color choice makes an emotional impact on the viewer and can cement the understanding of a brand in consumers' minds.

Colors

Warm versus cool colors

Typically, colors are divided into two groups: cool colors and warm colors. Warm colors, like red, orange, yellow, gold, and brown, typically make you think of heat or light. Cool colors, on the other hand, are associated with tranquility and nature—colors like blue, green, purple, and grey. Cooler colors are found on the lower right hand of the color wheel while the warmer colors are on the upper left hand of the color wheel.

Choosing colors from one group or another can change how the viewer feels about a painting, product or brand. For example, say you are creating a logo for a company that sells blankets. To convey a sense of warmth, you might choose a color from the warm color palette. On the other hand, if you are creating a logo for a snow cone company, you want a color that feels chilly, like blue. Colors like blue, green and purple can literally make people feel colder.

Saturation

How these colors affect viewers has a lot to do with how bright or saturated they are. For example, red can be a very stimulating color, but if you bring down the saturation, the viewer may associate the color with a sense of calm.

Color by color

Psychology studies have shown that different colors have different affects on humans. Here are a few:

• Red raises blood pressure, encourages people to gamble more and is the color of love. 
• Blue is calming and is one of the most popular colors in the world.
• Orange makes people think of bargains.
• Green van spark creativity and outside-the-box thinking.
• People often think of boredom or cleanliness when they think of white.
• Black is thought of as sophisticated.

No matter if you are into fine art, design or marketing, considering color psychology can help you to convey your intentions to the viewer. When choosing colors, always think about your product and service and find colors that make sense for you!

5 Places to Find Creative Inspiration

written by Georgia Schumacher 7 October 2014

When asked about his creative process, author Kurt Vonnegut advised that, “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.

Luckily, creativity never demands perfection. Instead, your success at a creative arts school and in your creative career relies heavily on bravery and the ability to color outside of the lines. Yet sometimes, creative thought can start to flounder amid expectations of the tried and true. When you need a creative boost, try these 5 things to resuscitate your imagination and lead you toward your most inspired creations.

Fall nature scene

1. Nature

There's a reason people talk about the importance of "getting back to nature." The simplicity of the living world lies in stark opposition to fast-paced city life and 9-to-5 stuffiness. Fresh air, chirping birds, and rustling leaves serve as more than just a scenic backdrop — they summon primal instincts that take humans back to their roots, which can help resolve common barriers like overthinking and nitpicking.

2. Art

Artist Marc Chagall once said, "Great art picks up where nature ends." Whether through art galleries, showings, museums, or books, studying other artists' interpretations of the world around them is an ideal way to awaken your own inner curiosity and creativity. Trying new mediums can also help you and learning new techniques in your art school classes can also provide wonderful ways of connecting to untapped ideas.

3. Silence

Silence is known to be golden, but it's a state too many people avoid. Sitting in solitude without the distractions of conversation and television is a powerful experience that lends itself to deep thinking. With only your mind to guide you, your inner thoughts will surface without outside influences. Getting comfortable with silence through meditation or simple bouts of quiet time summons the creative energy that's often overshadowed by everyday noise.

4. Music

Music

Aldous Huxley stated, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” Whether it's the melody or lyrics that move you, listening to music allows you to connect to the medium while simultaneously looking inward. The reflective ability of music is both powerfully inspiring and unifying. When coupled with other artistic endeavors like drawing or writing, its creative impact is readily achieved.

5. Journals

Many people who swear by journaling note its ability to get to the bottom of what's really inside your heart and mind. If you feel stuck or confused in your creative process, allowing yourself to write freely is a wonderful way to unlock inner feelings that can shed light on issues you didn't consciously know were affecting your work. As author Christina Baldwin says, "Journal writing is a voyage to the interior," and we think it's a voyage worth taking—during art school and beyond—for its creative merits.

Need a little help in your math class? Join MATHLIVE!

written by Georgia Schumacher 18 September 2014

Math problemThe Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division prides itself on the student support provided by our staff and faculty alike. Our admissions representatives, academic counselors, students finance counselors, librarians, and tutors are always there to lend a helping hand. Our newest addition to our extensive academic support offering includes our new MATH1010 webinar series MATH LIVE!, held twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays.

Each MATH LIVE! webinar is a 60-minute informal study session with a full-time math faculty member. In these weekly sessions, you can ask math questions, enrich your grasp on the class material and gain useful assignment guidance. By attending a MATHLIVE!, you can receive 5 bonus points, with the possibility to earn a maximum of 10 points toward your total points for the course.

Come prepared with specific questions, such as “Can you show me how to factor “x^2+5x+4?”, so that you make the most of your time in the session. All questions are welcome but more general questions (such “I don’t understand quadratic equations. Can you help me?”) are difficult to answer in a short period of time.

How to Register

Sessions are open on Monday evenings at 7:30 PM ET and on Thursday mornings at 11:00AM ET. If you’re interested in attending, register here to reserve your webinar seat. After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email with information needed to join the webinar.

For more upcoming events, visit our Events calendar in the Campus Common.

Accessibility and Attracting a Larger Audience for Your Video Game

written by Georgia Schumacher 10 September 2014

It's relatively easy for creative minds such as game developers to think, "Am I creating the next Skyrim or Temple Run?" Yet the majority of games, whether indie or mainstream, are far from this narrow criteria. Before breathing life into your project, ask yourself a finer question: who needs accessibility? If reaching a wider audience is a part of your goal, read these tips on how to successfully integrate simple features into your game.

1. Focus on a Specific Constraint

Every game is built to test the skills of its players in a genuine way; dynamically mapped controls or even perfectly timed, auditory cues mean the difference between "GAME OVER" and saving the princess.

While you’re in the development stage, creating accessibility options should come naturally as you decide how your game will challenge users and the different levels at which it makes sense to challenge these individuals. For example, an intense RPG (role-playing game) deserves a feature that decreases the overall difficulty of each level or the complexity of the in-game economy, if at all possible, for those who have cognitive issues.

2. Test, Test and Test Some More

There is no better way to decide if a new option is useful for its intended audience than by testing it on those who need it; gather a group of hopeful players, watch them play and let them unleash their critiques. Seeing a gamer struggle with a puzzle or task will certainly shape future progress.

3. Shout It from the Rooftops

Advertising is the most crucial part of getting others to experience the features you've worked tirelessly on. To date, very few games make it apparent that accessibility options even exist within the settings. For those shopping for such features, it becomes a difficult treasure hunt. Tell others about what you've made, and the good reviews should start to pile up.

4. It's a Perspective, Not an Impairment

No matter what may hold back a person from experiencing certain aspects of life, there is still a gaming fiend within everyone. More importantly, if a game designer rightfully assumes that any one of their future users may have an issue with coordination, hearing, cognition or vision, simply working with that in mind could make the final product more attractive to all — even if it means taking a little more time to add in a few extra settings that provide clearer fonts, reconfigured controls, or an array of difficulty levels.

Sources: http://igda-gasig.org/ | http://gameaccessibilityguidelines.com/