Get to Know Us

Get to know our world-class staff and see why we’re one of the top arts universities in the country.
Want to get in touch with us? Visit the Directories.

Nicolás Villarreal

Director of Visual Development

Nicolás P. Villarreal was born and raised in La Plata, Argentina. He studied at the Escuela of Animacion y Cinematografía de Avellaneda, and under the tutelage of well-known Argentinian artist Miguel Alzugaray. He has been working as a traditional animator, character designer, sculptor and Visual Development artist for films and video games including Walt Disney Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, Jim Henson Studios, Sega, DigitalDomain and Amazon Studios among others.

Chris Carman

Associate Director of Visual Development

Chris Carman is a versatile and communicative graphic artist with strong background in Web and Mobile based games, apps, as well as design for the entertainment, education, and design industries. He currently works for Zynga and has previously worked for Adobe Systems/BYXB, Multiverse, Bardo Entertainment, Electronic Arts/Maxis, Giftventure Entertainment, and others.

Jeremy Saliba

Online Curriculum Coordinator

Jeremy Saliba received his BFA in Illustration with an emphasis in 2D Animation from the Academy of Art University. He is currently Online Curriculum Coordinator for the Academy of Art University's School of Visual Development. He has been a part-time instructor at AAU since January 2007. In addition to teaching, he is also a Cover Artist for Dynamite Entertainment;  Comic Builder at Madefire; and Art Director for UltraSylvania, a graphic novel.  Previously, he has worked as a Digital Artist, Concept Artist, and Character Designer for various companies.

Francis Hsu

Full-Time Faculty / Curriculum Coordinator

Francis Hsu received a BFA in Illustration from Academy of Art University. He has many years of professional experience working for film and games in studios such as Weta, ILM, and Lucas Arts. Francis has been teaching Figure Drawing and Background Painting at AAU since 2000 and is currently Full-Time Faculty / Curriculum Coordinator for the School of Visual Development.

Alessandro Squitti

VIS Production / LA Italian Lead Faculty

Originally from Rome, Alessandro Squitti has a Master’s Degree in Italian Language and Literature from Sapienza University. He joined AAU as a Lab Technician in 2000 and has helped organize the Fall Animation Festival and Spring Show. As a freelance web designer and videographer, he’s worked with Current TV, Notable Inc. and Red Clover Studios, and the company he co-founded, CurlyHairedPeople Films, has created more than 20 short action films, including award winning music videos. He also promotes community events for the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco.