One of the advantages of taking a class through Otis Extension is learning from instructors who are working professionals. In addition to teaching the marketable technical skills that are a hallmark of any Extension course, instructors also inject their industry knowledge into the curriculum.
“The insights I bring come from my own formal arts education and from the many things I’ve learned while working as a creative professional in the areas of illustration, graphic design, motion graphics, and digital media,” says Moshe Godwin, who teaches the Extension courses Digital Drawing 1: Illustrator and Digital Design Tools: Media, which are foundational courses in the Motion Graphics, Animation, UX/UI for Web Design, and Graphic Design certificate programs (courses can also be taken individually). Godwin has been teaching with Otis Extension for over 20 years and has served as both a mentor and career advisor to many students.
His full-time job is as a multimedia specialist for the Educational Technologies Network (ETN), a unit of the Communications Department of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, where he produces award-winning videos and promotional materials about LACOE’s various educational programs. He has a BFA in Illustration from ArtCenter College of Design and extensive experience in the areas of graphic design, motion graphics, digital ads, web graphics, digital illustration, and print design.
Godwin describes his Extension classes as suitable for anyone looking to become more proficient with Adobe Creative Cloud’s digital apps (Illustrator, Photoshop, In Design). Students can gain the necessary skills for working as a motion designer, animator, graphic designer, multimedia specialist, or any number of jobs in the creative industries.
“My favorite educational outcomes involve the students who come to class with little to no experience working with Adobe Creative Cloud and then end up producing some of the most amazing, portfolio-worthy artwork.”
Class projects are modeled after the types of assignments a creative professional would encounter on the job. “My favorite educational outcomes involve the students who come to class with little to no experience working with Adobe Creative Cloud and then end up producing some of the most amazing, portfolio-worthy artwork,” Godwin says.
He conducts his classes online using a live, real-time format with a geographically diverse group of students joining remotely. “We leverage the tools available via the Zoom web conferencing app to create a highly interactive experience that is especially suited for learning digital design apps while also enabling full-on student participation.”
Each class session is recorded so that students can easily go back and review what was taught. All course materials, including class recordings, are stored online and are readily available to students anytime, anywhere. Students also are invited to share their own work while being given the opportunity to offer constructive feedback on the work of their classmates.
The outlook is strong for a career in creative fields. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, special effects artists or animators can earn an average salary of $98,950 per year, with growth in the field projected at eight percent from 2022 to 2032—faster than the average for all occupations.
Through a certificate from Otis Extension in such fields as motion design, animation, UX/UI for web design, or graphic design, a student can expect to create a professional-quality portfolio demonstrating conceptual, design, and technical proficiency for an entry-level position or above. Additionally, Extension offers opportunities to connect with a network of creatives and receive career support, including career counseling, career assessment, internship advising, and employer networking opportunities.
“The thing I enjoy most about teaching Extension students is being able to help them learn something new while seeing them unlock their creative potential,” Godwin says. “That experience never gets old.”
Otis Extension offers a wide range of beginning, intermediate, and advanced art and design courses for students of all ages to pursue their artistic and professional development. Learn more at otis.edu/extension.