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About the artist

Please feel free to view my creative resume or teaching resume (PDF) and find out more on my LinkedIn page.

In addition to solving clients' needs by directing and creating commercial projects, I have a special interest in animation as an educational tool. My work in this area advances the use of animated communication design to achieve greater public understanding and interest, especially in the sciences. Carefully designed static and moving visual schemas and narration, built on a foundation of cognitive research on how people learn from animation, are needed to facilitate meaningful learning. A broad array of decisions can tip the efficacy of an animated instructional tool – it is important to note that animation is not inherently effective in instruction – and the designer is called upon to understand and apply best practices that will aid the learner. Designers and scientists must work together to translate academic knowledge into digestible, accurate, eye-catching materials. Each expert forms one half of a complementary pair that together work toward fostering the next generation of global problem-solvers.

My professional practice as an animator spans more than 20 years and includes a wide array of broadcast and instructional work, including leading the modeling team for Disney's three-time Emmy winner Rolie Polie Olie, creating the Telly award-winning "Cycle of Destruction" PSA for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and directing animation for Mattel, Discovery Channel, Minnesota State Lottery, and much more.

My primary occupation since 2003 is in animation instruction. One of the core animation faculty at The Art Institutes International Minnesota, I design and teach intermediate- to portfolio-level courses in a broad range of 3D computer graphics. Furthering my own formal education, I completed my Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2013. Here I focused on formalizing the approach to designing animations for learning, creating "Geothermal Energy: Enhancing Our Future" and its supporting thesis "Sci Candy: Animation-Based Learning and the Next Wave of Science Education."

You can find my statement of teaching philosophy in the teaching section of my portfolio.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact me at shannon@shannongilley.com.