TEAD Mission Statement

Anyone who has worked in Entertainment Production would probably agree that a good portion of your skills are learned on the job. This resonates heavily for The Essential Art Department. Our mission at TEAD is to help bridge the gap between classroom and field experience, by educating individuals starting off in their careers or even just transitioning into the workforce, by providing real-world examples, resources, and discussions. The Essential Art Department® aims to bring together industry veterans from all entertainment industry disciplines with young professionals to create an inclusive, teachable community.

The Essential Art Department® was started by industry professionals who know the value of the skills that have been passed down through generations of the trades within the industry. TEAD is our way to bring together our community and share our techniques with those starting their journey or anyone interested in gaining more experience.

The Essential Course Catalog

Why Choose The Essential Art Department® Courses?

  • Knowledge

    Taught by current industry professionals, you will be given insight into the entertainment industry from those who are passionate about sharing their knowledge & skills.

  • Let's Talk! Series

    Live Zoom class sessions with your instructor and classmates. This is valuable time to create relationships and ask any & all questions!

  • Downloadable Resources

    Downloadable industry resources and information that you can take with you after the course ends.

  • Year-Long Access

    Access to the course material for extended time allows you to download and reconnect with the subject matter talked about within each session.

  • Feedback

    Direct feedback from your instructors on any topic! We will give you feedback on projects, guidance on jobs, and we are full of meaningful and fun advice!

  • Networking

    Access to industry contacts helps you start to build your network. Your instructors are the first building blocks to networking and expand your industry connections.

  • Resume & Portfolio

    Our instructors can give you pointers and guidance on building your resume and portfolios so that you get NOTICED! They know what the industry is looking for.

  • Certification

    Successful completion of each course will earn you a TEAD certificate to add to your resume.

  • Priced for Value

    With multi-week intensive courses, packed with knowledge and information. Our courses are on-par with a college-level classes but at an affordable price point.

  • Essential Scholarships

    Need based scholarships for students are offered through generous funding of anonymous donors. Students can apply for scholarships as they become available through our scholarship section.

  • "Essential Ready"

    Students who successfully pass coursework will have the opportunity to build their brand awareness and have a link on our "Essential Ready" page. Prospective employers have access to student bios and links where they can find a perfect fit for work and job opportunities that will fill an "Essential" need.

  • Passion

    The Essential Art Department is built around the idea that passion should drive what you do. Through these courses we hope to instill passion and creativity for you to take your career to the next level!

What Our Students Are Saying

“I can’t recommend this course enough! Fantastic instructors that pull back the curtains on the mystery of how to start a career within this field!”

Michael Francis / Student - CC101/102 Fall 2021

“From practical knowledge involving contract negotiation, unions and kit fees, to more personal topics like taxes, personal finances and even more importance of balancing a personal life - this course covers every important aspect of entertainment you did not learn in school. Not only that but the teachers provide a level of attention and care on par, it not better, than any university course. The instructors are at the top of their field and bring that relevant, on-the-job expertise to class every time. I can not recommend this course enough if you want a career in entertainment!”

Jackson Mancuso / Student - CC101/102 Summer 2021

“I wish I had taken this class before interning in the industry. This class really helped me understand many aspects of the entertainment and themed entertainment industry, the work force, and myself as an employable candidate. if you have any interest in entertainment, this class is a must!”

Xochilt Khoury / Student - CC101/102 Summer 2021

“The quality and extensive depth of content offered in this course is unparalleled. I had taken art direction classes at school prior to taking this course, yet walked away knowing more than I ever thought I could! If you have any interest in themed entertainment or film, I can not overstate how much I recommend taking this invaluable opportunity to learn from two incredible teachers!”

Dominic Diaz / Student - CC101 Spring 2021

“I can honestly say that Brandi was one of the best instructors in my college experience. Because of her, I'm not afraid to be myself, speak up and simply NOT BE AFRAID of anything put in my way. I love the way that she approaches teaching, relating everything to real world situations, which has helped tremendously. She has taught me that everything is possible no matter how big or small it may be. She also taught me that it's ok to be "weird" and be yourself. Thanks to Brandi for all your motivational speeches and amazing teaching skills.”

Paula Williamson / Designer - Student

“Brandi Creason is one of the most dedicated and easy to talk to teachers that I have ever had. The time spent in her class has been enlightening to say the least, she not only involves moments of lecture but in order to put what she's taught us into practical use, she makes the time for us to get involved in real time projects which have shown us valuable on-the-job training and professionalism. She strongly believes that to learn this business/craft properly you have to be hands on. Not only have I used what she has taught me on projects, but I will always cherish the time she took to make sure that we would be aptly prepared to be on set and know the proper etiquette so that we would go far in our chosen fields. ”

Marcia Dios / Industry Set Decorator-Digital Illustrator-Student

What industry professionals have to say...

“I have worked with Brandi as an Instructor at the Art Institute of California Hollywood and I have found her to be extremely focused and detail oriented. Her teaching is highly imaginative and her ability to develop strong teaching concepts through practical industry standard skills and training, consistently shows in her work. Her methodology is very hands-on, yet she insists that each student develop their own creative vision. Brandi is an excellent Production Designer and Teacher and she has an incredible ability to involve and inspire her students to do their best work. Her projects and assignments range from individual work to complex group projects and all of her students strive to excel in whatever tasks Brandi presents to them. ”

Trefoni Rizzi / Creative Director-Author-Teacher

“Brandi is an extremely talented designer. She works with Set & Exhibit Design students to understand the professions of Set Decoration and Art Direction. She has organized excellent field trips and invited impressive guest speakers to speak to the class. She has an approachable team-oriented style with the students. She is a good role-model for her students. She has an excellent attitude and is always positive about any program she teaches. Although Brandi works in the entertainment industry, she is extremely passionate about teaching. She works very hard to teach professional skills to all students (beginning to advanced). She has the respect of all her students. Brandi has used her professional contacts in the film studio and TV industries to benefit the students.”

Gary LaVasser / Academic Director - AI

“Brandi Creason, who is not only in my humble opinion, a wondrously talented Production Designer and Art Director, but a great collaborator and undeniably - a lovely person. Whether designing a realistic set or an impressionistic dreamscape utilizing forced perspective - her work is always creative and beautiful to behold. In addition, having come out of the theatre, she has the ability to turn less into more and few into many making producers like me look good to our bosses when we come in under budget. Let me close by saying - not only is she a force to be contended with - but she has always gone above and beyond with the young people she has had come intern on sets with her - making sure that they share in the creative process and understand concepts and execution behind all of the design components. Any student would feel lucky to have her as a teacher and mentor.”

William Katt / Actor-Director-Producer

“Brandi is truly one of the “great” ones! Talented, smart, dedicated! Most importantly, she is one of the best collaborators any project or class could hope to have. She brings a passion to everything she works on, and that in turn, becomes infectious (a term that really can be positive). I’ve been fortunate enough to work with her as a designer in a professional capacity, but equally fortunate to interact with her through her teaching. In the past I’ve participated occasionally with her students in the classroom, to share my end of the “entertainment business” and have been amazed at how much they have learned to embrace all aspects of industry, not just the artistic, but everything it takes to execute their artistic vision. This ability to share real world experience within the safety of the classroom is something I have always found inspiring. Her students go forth engaged, passionate, well rounded and well prepared.”

Joel Smith / Universal Studios-Senior Project Manager Prod. Admin.

“There are very few people in a person's life that can truly help mold the person you become. Some may say your family, a close friend, a life partner, and if you're lucky, a teacher. If you were fortunate enough to have Brandi Creason as a teacher, you are a better person because of it. It's very rare to have a person come into your life that is incredibly knowledgeable about the field you are passionate about. I was lucky enough to have Brandi as an instructor for a few of my classes in college while obtaining my BA in Set and Exhibit Design. This was a crucial time in my life as I developed the skills and the path I would take for my career. Having an instructor like Brandi, truly helped mold and develop the necessary skills I needed to be successful. Not only is she knowledgeable about the lessons she is teaching, but she also has a passion for teaching others. Her passion and love for her work are extremely contagious and truly motivates you to soak as much in as you can. If Brandi can even put a quarter of her knowledge, passion, and love into The Essential Art Department, it will still be more than enough to help you succeed in the field of Art Direction. ”

Matt Maldonado / Industry Designer-Student


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