Matty Gilliland

Future Art Teacher Art

Matty Gilliland set out to be an artist, but he didn’t expect the shift in his priorities that led the Sand Springs native to Tulsa Community College.

After serving in the military and graduating from the Art Institute of Dallas, Matty began using his art skills as a toy designer. It was only a short-term gig as an art instructor that inspired him to pursue teaching.

“I liked it so much I decided I want to teach art,” he said.

Now, while the Art major pursues an associate degree, he works part-time as a painting instructor.

“There’s something kind of magical to give somebody some of what I know,” Matty said. “Before long they don’t even need me and they’re an artist in their own right. That satisfies me in a way I can’t describe.”

Gilliland plans to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Tulsa, but said the low cost at TCC gives him an opportunity to make the most of his veterans’ benefits.

“I thought I could go here a little cheaper on my own before I tap my benefits,” he said. “TCC gives me a strong local path to my goals.”