Trayc Claybrook, MFA
Digital Filmmaking & Video Production
Digital Filmmaking & Video Production Instructor
The Art Institute of Dallas, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design
If it's something you truly love and feel inspired to do, never give up. Trayc Claybrook, MFA , Digital Filmmaking & Video Production Instructor , The Art Institute of Dallas, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
When I was six, my Papaw asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him I wanted to be an artist. With great excitement and much encouragement, he told me that was a great thing to be. It felt wonderful to want to be an artist, and to know that I would one day be one.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I treat my classroom as a studio or set and lay out very clear expectations starting week one. When you’ve been working in an industry for awhile, it’s hard not to bring your experiences to the classroom. I try to create projects that are very close in context to the challenges and opportunities students will encounter as professionals.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring—and how do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?
I remind students that most limits are self-imposed. Fear of success and fear of failure are one and the same. I push students to get out of their comfort zones by assigning checkpoints in all my class projects. There’s always a preliminary review of work the week before it’s due, so I can see where students are in their process and make suggestions as to how they can improve for the final presentation.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
In the digital media industry, no one works alone—collaboration is a must. I work not only with people from my own industry, but with fashion designers, photographers, animators, and chefs. It’s a wonderful and real experience when students team up within their own field of study and across other departments. It truly takes a village.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Never give up. If it’s something you truly love and feel inspired to do, never give up. But you have to put in the time to get better at your craft and understand your creativity. Stay curious and know that you don’t know it all—but you’ll eventually get close.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Our students are creative and curious, and they love what they do. I feel privileged to be able to bring them the knowledge they seek while realizing their dreams.