Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Every year, we use the first week of May to thank those who have taught us so much. At Skillshare, that means an incredible community of creative instructors who have helped us unlock the best of our creative selves, challenged us to go further, and given us the tools to approach our craft in new and exciting ways.

Learn with Chris Piascik

Discover Chris Piascik’s Skillshare Staff Pick Classes on Animation, Procreate, Lettering, and More.

Every day this week, we’ll be highlighting a teacher from our community. Today, meet Chris Piascik, an illustrator and graphic designer with over 10 years of experience working for the likes of Nickelodeon, Adidas, The Washington Post, Cartoon Network, and more. His approach to animation and lettering made him a quick favorite among the Skillshare community with two Skillshare Staff Pick classes: Frame by Frame Animation: Fun Tips and Tricks for Non-Animators and Making a Fun Animated Logo Using Procreate 5X.

Meet Chris Piascik

My name is Chris Piascik, I’m an illustrator that does a lot of lettering. I’ve been an independent illustrator for over 10 years now, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with clients like Cartoon Network, Adidas, The Washington Post, Nickelodeon, and lots more. Prior to that I worked as a graphic designer for my first 5 years out of school—which made sense, because I went to school for graphic design. Illustration happened accidentally. I started a daily drawing project at the end of 2007 and slowly started getting illustration work based on those drawings. After a couple years it was enough to go full-time freelance.

How did you start working on your craft?

I’ve always loved drawing. Growing up I drew all the time. One of my favorite things to do was to redraw the packaging on records, cassettes, and CD’s around the house.

Where do you go for inspiration?

These days I don’t often set out to find inspiration, but it does come organically. I’m always inspired by what my friends are doing. I recently found this old music book that has tons of really weird and fun illustrations. I seem to find the most inspiration when I’m not actively searching for it.

Finish the sentence: I feel most creative when _____

I’m mindlessly doodling on my iPad while sitting on the couch. OR I’m not in a place where I can draw and my brain keeps dumping ideas on me.

“I really love seeing the different ways students are able to incorporate what they’ve learned from me into their own unique work.”

What’s your favorite part of teaching?

I really love seeing the different ways students are able to incorporate what they’ve learned from me into their own unique work.

Can you tell us about an influential teacher in your life, and what you have taken with you from them?

When I was in high school I was questioning my abilities quite a bit. Prior to that I was dead set on making art part of my career. I remember being in art class working on a drawing from a still-life of fruit and realizing there were, not one, but two, girls in my class who’s drawings looked more real than mine. I thought, if I’m not even the best in my small high school class I’ll never make it. My teacher could sense my frustration and talked to me after class. She explained to me that being able to perfectly copy an apple had very little to do with creating successful art. Sure, it’s impressive, but unless there’s more to it, it’s sort of pointless. She showed me there was value in my work and the imperfections gave it character, and that my humor and personality permeated each of my pieces. I think if she didn’t have this talk with me I would have found myself on a completely different path. I’m forever grateful to her for for that!

Be sure to check out Chris’ classes, and stay tuned for a brand new class coming soon: Incorporate Expressive Lettering into an Existing Image with Procreate.

Learn with Chris Piascik

Discover Chris Piascik’s Skillshare Staff Pick Classes on Animation, Procreate, Lettering, and More.