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Illustration Schools

You might have discovered you had a love of creating visual art as early as when you first put crayon to paper as a child. The most fundamental skills of a visual artist are imagination and the ability to draw -- to communicate in pictures through the use of various media such as pencil, ink or paints. Illustration uses these fundamental skills. Art school can build on them and provide training for a career as an illustrator.

Vocational art school can help you develop the basic skills you need to establish a portfolio of your artwork, which is as important as a resume when pursuing a career in any of the art and design fields. In addition to illustrating all different types of publications from children's books to medical texts, the skills you learn can open the door for you to explore a number of other interesting career paths open to illustrators, including animation and graphic novel illustration.

Career specializations in illustration

Many illustrators choose to work as freelance artists so that they can broaden their skills by working on many different types of illustration projects. Others work for companies large and small, in industries that include advertising, motion pictures and video production, retail stores, publishing and design services. Typical occupations for trained illustrators include the following:

  • Advertising or marketing artist -- designing illustrations for ads, promotions, websites and corporate branding
  • Animator -- creating characters and settings or 3D models for animated movies, videos and even video games
  • Comic book artist/graphic novelist -- writing and illustrating comics and graphic novels
  • Fashion illustrator -- working with fashion designers, fashion magazines, or retail clothing stores
  • Storyboard illustrator -- drawing storyboards for film, animation and television projects

Certifications and degrees for illustrators

Many independent art schools and colleges offer everything from certificates and associate degrees to bachelor's and master's degrees in fine art for illustrators. A prerequisite for any program includes basic drawing skills. Curricula include drawing, painting, and color and composition in a number of different media, with each degree level providing the opportunity to deepen your artistic experience and skills. Each type of program may offer courses which include the following:

  • Certificate: non-credit program for adults includes graphic design, intro to illustration, studio, business of illustration
  • Associate (AA): typically two years of full-time study includes form, figure drawing, digital media, art history and painting
  • Bachelor's (BFA): program includes core liberal arts studies, illustration, intro to anatomy, figure drawing, digital media, painting, collaborative project
  • Master's degree: three-year program of studio work in the major, directed study and liberal arts graduate level courses

Salary and job projections for illustrators

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.com) does not break out salaries or employment growth projections for illustrators. Their data are grouped with that of other artists such as painters under the category of fine artists. The national average salary for all fine artists as of May 2013 was $50,900. The majority of fine artists, including illustrators, are independently employed.

Job growth for all fine artists nationwide is expected to be less than the average for all occupations, 3 percent from 2012 through 2022, according to the BLS. However, they report that these 5 states employ the largest number of fine artists, including illustrators, while Projections Central shows those state projections and annual number of job openings as follows:

  1. California: 10.1 percent growth; 240 jobs
  2. New York: 4.4 percent growth; 90 jobs
  3. Florida: 11.9 percent growth; 60 jobs
  4. Washington: 15.4 percent growth; 70 jobs
  5. Texas: 18.5 percent growth; 50 jobs

Talent, diligence and hard work are required to make it as an illustrator. By doing everything you can to hone your skills and learn the business side of making a living as an artist, you are giving yourself better odds to succeed. Taking advantage of an art school program if you want a career in illustration can be the first step in the right direction.

Sources:

Art and Illustration Major, Great Careers, John Brown University, http://www.jbu.edu/majors/art_and_illustration/careers/

Craft and Fine Artists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/craft-and-fine-artists.htm

Fine Artists, including Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271013.htm

Fine Artists, including Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators, Long Term Occupational Projections, 2012-2022, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Illustration, Ringling College of Art and Design, http://www.ringling.edu/learn/majors/illustration/

Illustration, Academy of Art, https://www.academyart.edu/academics/illustration

Illustration Schools
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With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create. Please Call 855-816-4001 to speak to a customer representative.

Programs : Illustration & Design (BFA), Illustration (BS), Design Research (BFA), and more..

Campus Locations :

Schaumburg: 1000 N. Plaza Drive, Suite 100 Schaumburg, IL 60173

Fort Lauderdale: 1799 S.E. 17th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Atlanta: 6600 Peach Tree Dunwoody Road, NE 100 Embassy Row Atlanta, GA 30328

Denver: 1200 Lincoln Street Denver, CO 80203

Miami: 1501 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 100 Miami, FL 33132

Minneapolis: 15 South 9th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402

Portland: 1122 N.W. Davis Street Portland, OR 97209

San Bernardino: 674 East Brier Drive San Bernardino, CA 92408

Santa Ana: 3601 West Sunflower Avenue Santa Ana, CA 92704

Milwaukee: 320 East Buffalo Street Suite 100 Milwaukee, WI 53202

Seattle: 2323 Elliott Avenue Seattle, WA 98121

Sacramento: 2850 Gateway Oaks Drive Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95833

Durham: 410 Blackwell St. Suite 200 Durham, NC 27701

Tucson: 5099 E. Grant Rd. Suite 100 Tucson, AZ 85712

San Diego: 7650 Mission Valley Rd San Diego, CA 92108

Pittsburgh: 420 Boulevard of the Allies Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Indianapolis: 3500 Depauw Blvd., Suite 1010 Indianapolis, IN 46268

North Hollywood: 5250 Lankershim Boulevard North Hollywood, CA 91601

Charlotte: Three LakePointe Plaza 2110 Water Ridge Parkway Charlotte, NC 28217

Santa Monica: 2900 31st Street Santa Monica, CA 90405

Tampa: Parkside at Tampa Bay Park 4401 North Himes Avenue, Suite 150 Tampa, FL 33614

Dallas: Two North Park East Dallas, TX 75231

Nashville: 100 Centerview Dr. Suite 250 Nashville, TN 37214

Henderson: 2350 Corporate Circle Henderson, NV 89074

Sunnyvale: 1120 Kifer Road Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Arlington: 1820 North Fort Myer Drive Arlington, VA 22209

Troy: 1414 East Maple Road, Suite 150 Troy, MI 48083

New York: 218-232 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018

Decatur: One West Court Square Suite 110 Decatur, GA 30030

Jacksonville: 8775 Baypine Road Jacksonville, FL 32256

Draper: 121 West Election Road Suite 100 Draper, UT 84020

Phoenix: 2233 West Dunlap Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021

Novi: 28125 Cabot Drive Suite 120 Novi, MI 48377

Sterling: 21000 Atlantic Blvd. Suite 100 Sterling, VA 20166

Philadelphia: 1622 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19103

Overland Park: 8208 Melrose Drive Overland Park, KS 66214

San Antonio: 1000 IH - 10 West Suite 106 San Antonio, TX 78230

Austin: 101 W. Louis Henna Blvd. Suite 100 Austin, TX 78728

Cincinnati: 8845 Governors Hill Drive Suite 100 Cincinnati, OH 45249

San Francisco: 1170 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102

Houston: 10740 North Gessner Drive, Suite 190 Houston, TX 77064

York: Formerly Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts 1409 Williams Road York, PA 17402

Tinley Park: 18670 Graphic Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

Fort Worth: 7000 Calmont Avenue Suite 150 Fort Worth, TX 76116

Virginia Beach: 4500 Main Street Suite 100 Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Brookline: 10 Brookline Place West Brookline, MA 02445

Chicago: 350 N. Orleans Street Chicago, IL 60654

Westwood College is dedicated to preparing students with the knowledge, skills and training needed for meaningful employment. Through education, we create opportunities, change lives and impact futures. Please call 1-855-816-4009 or fill out the form!

Programs : Graphic Design: Major in Visual Communications (B), Graphic Design (A), and more..

Campus Locations :

Atlanta: 2309 Parklake Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30345

Denver: 7350 North Broadway Denver, CO 80221

At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career. * Programs vary by location * Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

Programs : Digital Graphics & Multimedia Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

Erie: 5757 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506

Set your career in motion at Virginia College.

Programs : BAC-3D Imaging & Animation, and more..

Campus Locations :

Huntsville: 2021 Drake Ave. SW Huntsville, AL 35801

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

Programs : Visual Communication Interactive/Web Specialization, Visual Communications 2D Print, Visual Communication 3D Animation/Video Specialization, and more..

Campus Locations :

Riverside: 6465 Sycamore Canyon Blvd Riverside, CA 92507

Ontario: 3700 Inland Empire Blvd. Suite 400 Ontario, CA 91764

Alhambra: 1000 South Freemont Avenue Suite A9W Alhambra, CA 91803

Get hands-on training with Remington College.

Programs : AAA in Digital Graphic Arts, and more..

Campus Locations :

Fort Worth: 300 East Loop 820 Fort Worth, TX 76112

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

Programs : Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online), Computer Animation, Bachelor of Science (Online), and more..

Campus Locations :

: , AL

ABCO Technology is engaged in the business of providing job training for all types of applications and software used in the real-world job environment.

Programs : Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Graphic Design/Desktop Publishing, and more..

Campus Locations :

Los Angeles: 6733 Sepulveda Blvd. Suite 106 Los Angeles, CA 90045

Get the career of your dreams with an education from the Los Angeles Film School.

Programs : Bachelor of Science, Animation & VFX, and more..

Campus Locations :

Los Angeles: 6363 West Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028

As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.

Programs : Graphic Design (AS), Graphic Design (BS), and more..

Campus Locations :

Columbia: 9 Science Court Columbia, SC 29203

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