Disney-Pixar’s Coco won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature at 2018’s Academy Awards and the proudest of them all was Daniel Arriaga, Pixar’s Animation Studios senior director and alumni of the Academy of Art University (AAU). Coco vibrant graphics were based on El Día de los Muertos and Mexican heritage/culture and for AAU’s alumni Daniel Arriaga it is his accumulative education of artistic direction and animation that aided in Coco’s success. He aimed for a respectable and authentic display of Dia de los Muertos. Coco dismiss the American understanding of this holiday (Mexican Halloween) and shows its truth (honor of dead love ones) and Daniel admit the skeleton ancestors was a creative challenge, but in the end successful. During the interview, Mr. Arriaga answered AAU’s students’ questions who have interest in arts/animation careers. He advised making portfolios of their proud work, telling them to be open-minded, and determination for perfect their craft, as he did through-out attending AAU and presently.
Moreover, other than the Academy of Art University producing a great director it stands by its objectives in which consist of educating their students about the broad range of art and design, cultures, global issues, and diverse perspectives, and lastly but not least how to govern in an ethical and efficient fashion. The university maintain up-to-date industry professionals, advanced facilities, and a wide variety of majors. Some of the university’s majors included: Acting, Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architecture, Art Edu., Art History, Fashion, Fine Art, Game Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Arch. & Design, Jewelry & Metal Arts, etc.
And behind AAU’s success to produce accomplished alumni, is its accreditations. In 2007, the Academy of Art University received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges; as well as, it being an accredited member of the National Association of Art and Design. Additionally, their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Master of Fine Arts degree are accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. Lastly, their Master of Architecture degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board and the Bachelor of Architecture program was granted.
In support of their students work AAU annually holds alumni art shows and gallery exhibitions in San Franciso consisting of over 70 students. Also, the Academy of Art University has been requested to present their students’ pieces twice a year at New York Fashion Week. Alumni from AAU have been hired by companies such as: Apple, EA, Nike, Pixar, Zynga, etc. Furthermore, their students constructed a user interface for NASA for astronauts can remotely land-based robots.