Continuing Education Instructor Neal Peterson talks about his love of graphic design and teaching.
Continuing Education Instructor Neal Peterson talks about his love of graphic design and teaching.
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Everyone takes classes for different reasons, whether it's building up a portfolio, expanding skills for work, or just exploring the field . . . we all share a passion for design and the creative use of type and image.

How did you first become interested in graphic design?

Since I was a kid I've been drawn to art and design. In the third grade, I remember telling a friend that I wanted to be a graphic designer, though I didn't know what it was called. At the time, I just wanted to design the big billboards I saw on the highway.

Neal Peterson

Peterson teaching Continuing Education students


What do you do when you aren’t teaching Continuing Education classes?

Every day is different for me! I work with a mix of large and small clients on branding and design projects. I'm also working on a series of photo collages of cities which requires a lot of travel, photography, and Photoshop.

What other creative outlets do you have?

Sometimes I go to the MCAD Figure Drawing Co-op to keep up on my drawing skills. It's a good way to get off the computer and get my hands dirty. I also play guitar and write music. I find that different creative outlets inspire each other.


At MCAD, I get inspired by my students and their curiosity about art and design—they're always bringing fresh perspectives to the table.

What do you think is unique about graphic design classes at MCAD?

We have such a great mix of students with all types of backgrounds. Everyone takes classes for different reasons, whether it's building up a portfolio, expanding their professional skills, or just exploring the field, but we all share a passion for design and for the creative use of type and image.

Neal Peterson

Continuing Education instructor Neal Peterson


What do you find rewarding about teaching both youth and adult Continuing Education students?

I love finding the similarities between the two, like when an adult gets excited like a kid or a kid gets the serious focus of an adult. When the inspiration strikes, I get to see it unfold and try to help them through the creative process.

What is the learning environment like at MCAD?

Welcoming, exploratory, advantageous.

What inspires you artistically?

Everything! I think you can find beauty and inspiration in anything if you're looking for it. At MCAD, I get inspired by my students and their curiosity about art and design—they're always bringing fresh perspectives to the table.

Neal Peterson

If you could condense your experience and knowledge into one tip for aspiring artists, what would it be?

I have two. Have fun—focus your time and energy on doing what you enjoy most. And be yourself—don't measure your success by what everyone else is doing.

 

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