Graphic Design Associate Professor & Program Coordinator, Brian Tinker prepares students for real world

By Dez Raven

What were you doing at age 9? Brian Tinker, associate professor and program coordinator of graphic design at the Isaacson School for New Media, was selling his first illustration for $15. This was big money for a 9-year-old, and helped solidify his desire to create art as a career.

Tinker had the first inkling that drawing and design could become a life’s calling when he saw his father working with art directors in his home. The young artist grew up creating designs whenever he could. He would make illustrations of the cheerleaders and football players in high school and then would sell these drawings to them. Later he found a thriving career in advertising and loved the energy and the people within this career path.

After working in advertising for most of his life, Tinker experienced some changes that became the catalyst for him to move on. He had grown weary of a client roster heavy with casino clients. He also knew there were preconceived notions in advertising that as you aged you were no longer a valuable commodity “The prevailing thought in ad agencies is only young people can design and connect with young people,” he said. So he started searching for a new path. He taught a couple courses at The Art Institute of Las Vegas, then joined their full-time faculty and found this new career in education to be fulfilling.

Living in Las Vegas, he was hit by the mortgage crash and he saw his once-thriving neighborhood rapidly start to empty out and to become more urban. So he started looking outside Nevada for opportunities, and joined the faculty at Colorado Mountain College in January, 2010.

“I really enjoy helping other aspiring designers,” he said. “I enjoy applying my experience in helping these students in a broad way. I can keep my finger on the pulse of new technology and ideas but my most favorite thing is when I see a student have an ‘aha! moment’.”

Tinker believes there will always be job security for graphic designers, especially in marketing. However, he also believes that in today’s market, graphic designers need to know how to take pictures, capture video, and do editing, sound, journalism and all aspects of new media. He believes the Isaacson School prepares graphic design students to work in the real world. He says the school does great at keeping up with all the new technology that consistently comes out.

“The Isaacson School for New Media recognizes that media changes constantly and it doesn’t fight it but embraces it,” said Tinker. He is passionate, helpful and forward thinking. These traits all make him the perfect choice for the Isaacson School for New Media.

Brian Tinker has a Doctorate in Education from Argosy University, Phoenix, Arizona; MFA in Graphic Design from Miami International University, Miami, Florida; BA in Graphic Design from Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana. He lives with his wife and has four grown children.