Student Represents Phoenix, AZ, in Annual Photography Contest

written by Georgia Schumacher 27 February 2015

Lisa Hanard, a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design student at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division, was selected to represent her city of Phoenix, AZ, in the photography division of the 6th Annual RAWards, moving on to the national stage of the competition! More than 15,000 artists across the country participate in the indie arts award competition each year.

The RAWards has a total of 9 categories, including visual artist, fashion designer, musician, filmmaker, hairstylist, makeup artist, photographer, performer, and accessories of the year.

The final winner in each category will be announced on Monday, March 2, 2015. Congratulations and good luck Lisa!

Check out some of Lisa’s amazing photographs:

Lisa Hanard with her photos

Lisa Hanard photo

Lisa Hanard photo

Lisa Hanard photo

Lisa Hanard photo

See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/198 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Tips for Getting Great Winter Landscape Photos

written by Georgia Schumacher 18 February 2015

Do you love snow-covered mountains and icy lakes? Spring will be here before we know it, and, for those of you in colder climates, there may only be a few weeks left to capture this breathtaking winter beauty.

Winter landscape photography can be fun and rewarding, but can also bring a unique set of challenges. These challenges include the need to find contrast and patterns in a snow-covered setting, to use appropriate exposure levels, and to protect yourself and your equipment from cold, snow, and dampness.

1. Expose Snow Correctly

Snowy landscapes are difficult to photograph well. In an attempt to avoid overexposure, camera settings often reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor, resulting in snow that looks drab and gray. Adding +1/3 or +2/3 exposure compensation forces the camera to let in more light, bringing the snow back to pure white, which can be very effective in high-contrast winter scenes.

2. Look for Contrasts and Patterns

Photos of winter landscapes need more than snow to make them interesting. Look for dark elements that contrast with the whiteness of the snow, such as evening shadows or the bare skeletons of trees, and include them in your composition. Also, keep an eye out for interesting patterns, such as criss-crossing branches, rocky features, rough tree bark, and long shadows, which can add texture to your photos. Landscape photography classes can teach you how to compose images to highlight the most interesting elements of a scene.

3. Stay Warm and Comfortable

You’re unlikely to take your best photographs if you are shivering and your fingers are numb with cold. Wrapping yourself up in gloves, a hat, and sturdy boots before heading out reduces the risk that you will have to cut your photography session short due to extreme cold. If you’re driving in snowy conditions to reach the perfect shooting location, bring a charged mobile phone, blankets, water, and snacks in case you break down and need to call for help.

4. Protect Your Equipment

Rapid transitions between very cold and warm environments can cause condensation to build up in your photography equipment. When you come in from a winter shoot, wrap your gear in a towel so that condensation can be absorbed as the equipment gradually warms to room temperature. This simple step protects your camera equipment from the harmful effects of moisture so that it will stay in good working condition for many seasons to come.

Interested in studying photography? Explore our photography programs!

How to Find Gifts for Your Fellow Creatives

written by Georgia Schumacher 11 February 2015

GiftSearching for the perfect gift is always challenging, but adding a little creativity into the overall process makes it much more enjoyable. From modern online tools to tried-and-true investigative techniques, it's easy to select a meaningful present for the artist in your life.

Helpful Shopping Strategies

Plenty of methods allow you to brainstorm gift ideas, and many apps make it easy to narrow down gifts by interest and even personality type. The days of wandering throughout the mall helplessly are over thanks to the following strategies.

Peruse Blogs: Blogs are the magazines of the internet, and they can provide major insight into your recipient's wish list. Check out the ones he or she frequents for product listings or insightful reviews.

Shop Small: Some of the best customized gifts are found at local boutiques and gift shops, and they're worth visiting to get an idea of possibilities. Shopping small is an excellent way to support your community and local business owners as well (many of whom are artists themselves).

Get Personal: Gifts.com allows you to narrow products by gender, age and interests. Simply choose the most applicable trait that relates to your intended recipient, and let the site show you page after page of options. In addition, stores like Uncommon Goods provide filtering tools that let you narrow gifts based on hobbies and pursuits.

Employ a Decoy: If all else fails, lovingly trick your gift recipient into helping you "shop" for someone else -- say, someone who has a lot of the same interests as he or she. You can always get some useful information through this technique, and it's a great way to avoid a gifting disappointment in the making.

Creative Gift Suggestions

Leave those boring gift cards to the amateurs, and score bonus points by thinking outside the traditional gift box.

DIY: What's more meaningful between two artsy types than a do-it-yourself gift? Whether it's a classic painting or handmade jewelry for Valentine's Day, that personalized touch makes any gift more memorable and cherished. A handwritten card is a sweet accompaniment.

Inspirational: Artists need their muses, which is why an encouraging present is a wonderful idea to brighten up a home office. Consider quote displays or a cleverly designed teapot to help fuel productivity. Design magazine subscriptions or books, cameras, and record players are excellent choices to inspire, as well.

Decorative: Many great gift ideas center around the home, and these are easily tailored to the recipient based on aesthetic preferences. A wall tapestry, colorful knitted throw or framed art can help spruce up a living space, while scented candles add to a creative atmosphere.

Practical: Creative types have a reputation for keeping things a little messy, so why not help organize a work space with some stylish accessories? Whimsical bookends, unique storage supplies, or a versatile wall organizer can help reduce clutter while adding some visual appeal.

Memorable: Surprise your loved one with an unexpected day of fun. From stargazing with your sweetheart to taking your bestie on a road trip to see his or her favorite band, the experience is something you can share together.

Gift-giving is meant to be enjoyable for both the giver and recipient, and with the help of some planning and personalization, shopping for that artistically-inclined loved one has never been simpler.

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!

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