Creative Entrepreneurship

Our faculty are practicing professionals across a number of fields — and in many cases, their creativity merges with an enthusiastic entrepreneurial spirit.

They are successful business owners and freelancers who use their creative knowledge and skills to execute big ideas and help move industry forward. They truly practice what they teach. Entrepreneurial opportunities are widely available for students across RIT, too.

Faculty and students who lead business endeavors in creative fields include:

A collection of character illustrations.

Workinman Interactive

Many RIT alumni have gone on to work as game artists and designers at Rochester-based game studio Workinman Interactive. The company — started by Associate Professor Jason Arena, co-program director of New Media Design, and Keith McCullough ’03 (New Media Design) — focuses on the youth market. Workinman has created more than 1,000 games and interactive experiences for high-profile clients such as Disney, Mattel, Nickelodeon, Nintendo and Sesame Street. Much of Workinman’s workforce graduated from RIT, with a host of those employees (past and present) going through programs in the College of Art and Design.

Pictured: a collection of character designs for Workinman games by Bryan Williams '08 (Illustration), artist/animator for the company.

The Command+g logo.

Command+G Design Lab

Under the guidance of Assistant Professor Keli DiRisio, four former Graphic Design students — Erica Boyd, Trista Finch, Shannon O’Grady and Morsal Sahar — co-founded Command+g Design Lab. Initially intended to be a women’s design group, Command+g quickly evolved into a business as demand for the team’s work skyrocketed shortly after forming.

Buoyed by a business plan supported by the College of Art and Design Dean’s Office and donations, Command+g employs students at RIT for all aspects of running the business. It also provides a platform to build their portfolios in a professional design studio setting.

Command+g has executed design work for numerous clients, with a specific focus on community-minded initiatives that assist nonprofit organizations. A signature project was a rebranding of Foodlink, which provides food assistance to food pantries across Rochester and upstate New York.

Other clients include Inclusivity, Inc., Mr. Grey’s Strays, NC Events and various departments on RIT’s campus.

A smiling Rachel Jerome Ferraro poses for a photo with a student.

Rachel Jerome Ferraro, Assistant Professor, Advertising Photography

In addition to her photographic work being exhibited around the world, Ferraro has been widely published by editorial and advertising clients. Her impressive list of clients includes Amazon, MTV, NBC, The New York Times, TIME, Vogue and The Weather Channel.

Gary Jacobs wearing a hardhat.

Gary Jacobs, Assistant Professor, 3D Digital Design

Jacobs is an architectural illustrator and environment concept artist who owns Jacobs Illustration. While his clients are located throughout the U.S., his design work can also be found locally in the walkway canopy at the Greater Rochester International Airport. He completed the concept design and 3D model used for the structure.

Clay Patrick McBride on the set of a photoshoot adjusting lighting.

Clay Patrick McBride, Senior Lecturer, Advertising Photography

McBride has photographed some of the biggest names in pop culture for publications such as New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Sports Illustrated. His portfolio of portraits includes Allen Iverson, Jay-Z, Kanye West, LeBron James, Metallica and Norah Jones.

Peter Pincus sitting at a desk.

Peter Pincus, Assistant Professor, Ceramics

Pincus runs a studio in Penfield, N.Y., where he creates beautifully colored vessels that wow audiences all over — including his 60,000-plus Instagram followers. He exhibits his work nationally and internationally, and can be found in numerous private and public collections, including the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art and the Everson Museum. Pincus is also a 2017 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award recipient

Dave Sluberski giving a lecture in front of a class in a studio.

Dave Sluberski, Senior Lecturer, Film and Animation

Through his company West Rush Media, LLC, Sluberski has produced, designed and mixed audio for a wide variety of broadcast media and digital distribution networks. His clients include the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, WXXI Public Broadcasting Council, University of Rochester and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as well as independent filmmakers. An expert audio engineer, Sluberski’s many accolades include winning a 1994 Peabody Award — which honors the most enlightening and powerful stories in broadcasting.