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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.

Programs : Illustration (BS), Illustration & Design (BFA), Visual Arts (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

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

Minneapolis: 15 South 9th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402

Denver: 1200 Lincoln Street Denver, CO 80203

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

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

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

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

Brookline: 10 Brookline Place West Brookline, MA 02445

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

Sunnyvale: 1120 Kifer Road Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Seattle: 2323 Elliott Avenue Seattle, WA 98121

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

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

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

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

Philadelphia: 1622 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19103

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

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

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

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

North Hollywood: 5250 Lankershim Boulevard North Hollywood, CA 91601

Tinley Park: 18670 Graphic Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

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

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

Henderson: 2350 Corporate Circle Henderson, NV 89074

Dallas: Two North Park East Dallas, TX 75231

Pittsburgh: 420 Boulevard of the Allies Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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

Phoenix: 2233 West Dunlap Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021

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

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

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

Novi: 28125 Cabot Drive Suite 120 Novi, MI 48377

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

Jacksonville: 8775 Baypine Road Jacksonville, FL 32256

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

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

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

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

San Francisco: 1170 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102

Chicago: 350 N. Orleans Street Chicago, IL 60654

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

Overland Park: 8208 Melrose Drive Overland Park, KS 66214

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

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.

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

Campus Locations :

Atlanta: 1100 Spring Street Suite 102 Atlanta, GA 30309

Denver: 3150 South Sheridan Blvd. Denver, CO 80227

Are you interested in pursuing a high-tech career? Getting an education from ITT Tech is a great place to start!

Programs : AS - Visual Communications, AS - Graphic Communications and Design, AS - Computer Drafting and Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

Getzville: 2295 Millersport Highway, P.O. Box 327 Getzville, NY 14068

Albany: 13 Airline Drive Albany, NY 12205

Pittsburgh: 10 Parkway Center Pittsburgh, PA 15220

Harrisburg: 449 Eisenhower Blvd., Suite 100 Harrisburg, PA 17111

Marlton: 2 Greentree Center 9000 Lincoln Dr. E, Suite 100 Marlton, NJ 08053

Plymouth Meeting: 220 W. Germantown Pike, Suite 100 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

Tarentum: 100 Pittsburgh Mills Circle Suite 100 Tarentum, PA 15084

Old Forge: 1000 Meade Street Old Forge, PA 18518

Liverpool: 235 Greenfield Parkway Liverpool, NY 13088

Bessemer: 6270 Park South Drive Bessemer, AL 35022

Webster: 1001 Magnolia Ave. Webster, TX 77598

Seattle: 12720 Gateway Drive Seattle, WA 98168

Huntington: 5183 US Route 60, Building 1, Suite 40 Huntington, WV 25705

Greenfield: 6300 W. Layton Avenue Greenfield, WI 53220

Kansas City: 9150 East 41st Terrace Kansas City, MO 64133

Corona: 4160 Temescal Canyon Road, Suite 100 Corona, CA 92883

Cordova: 7260 Goodlett Farms Parkway Cordova, TN 38016

Richmond: 300 Gateway Centre Parkway Richmond, VA 23235

Norfolk: 863 Glenrock Road Norfolk, VA 23502

Youngstown: 1030 North Meridian Road Youngstown, OH 44509

Norwood: 333 Providence Highway Norwood, MA 02062

South Bend: 17390 Dugdale Drive, Suite 100 South Bend, IN 46635

Little Rock: 4520 S. University Avenue Little Rock, AR 72204

Everett: 1615 75th Street SW Everett, WA 98203

Owings Mills: 11301 Red Run Boulevard Owings Mills, MD 21117

Earth City: 3640 Corporate Trail Drive Earth City, MO 63045

Salem: 2159 Apperson Drive Salem, VA 24153

Jacksonville: 7011 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 140 Jacksonville, FL 32256

Philadelphia: 105 South 7th Street, Ste 100 Philadelphia, PA 19106

Spokane: North 1050 Argonne Road Spokane, WA 99212

Knoxville: 10208 Technology Drive Knoxville, TN 37932

Nashville: 2845 Elm Hill Pike Nashville, TN 37214

Columbia: 720 Gracern Road, Suite 120 Columbia, SC 29210

Lathrop: 16916 South Harlan Road Lathrop, CA 95330

Omaha: 9814 M Street Omaha, NE 68127

Portland: 9500 NE Cascades Parkway Portland, OR 97220

Las Vegas: 2445 Fire Mesa Street - Suite 200 Las Vegas, NV 89128

Indianapolis: 2525 N. Shadeland Ave., Ste 103 Indianapolis, IN 46219

Murray: 920 West LeVoy Drive Murray, UT 84123

Swartz Creek: 6359 Miller Road Swartz Creek, MI 48473

Rancho Cordova: 10863 Gold Center Drive Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Woburn: 10 Forbes Road Woburn, MA 01801

Canton: 1905 S Haggerty Rd Canton, MI 48188

Hilliard: 3781 Park Mill Run Drive Hilliard, OH 43026

Clovis: 362 N. Clovis Avenue Clovis, CA 93612

Baton Rouge: 14141 Airline Highway, Bldg 3 - Suite K Baton Rouge, LA 70817

High Point: 4050 Piedmont Parkway, Suite 110 High Point, NC 27265

Saint Rose: 140 James Drive East Saint Rose, LA 70087

Maumee: 1656 Henthorne Blvd. Suite B Maumee, OH 43537

Albuquerque: 5100 Masthead Street NE Albuquerque, NM 87109

Dayton: 3325 Stop 8 Road Dayton, OH 45414

Hanover: 7030 Dorsey Road, Suite 100 Hanover, MD 21076

Troy: 1522 E. Big Beaver Road Troy, MI 48083

Arlington Heights: 3800 N. Wilke Road, Suite 100 Arlington Heights, IL 60004

Tucson: 1455 West River Road Tucson, AZ 85704

Kennesaw: 1000 Cobb Place Boulevard NW Kennesaw, GA 30144

Dearborn: 19855 W. Outer Drive, Suite L10W Dearborn, MI 48124

Henderson: 168 N Gibson Road Henderson, NV 89014

Duluth: 10700 Abbotts Bridge Road Duluth, GA 30097

Atlanta: Two Crown Center 1745 Phoenix Blvd., Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30349

Arnold: 1930 Meyer Drury Drive Arnold, MO 63010

At University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education.

Programs : BS in Communication/Journalism, and more..

Campus Locations :

Woodland Hills: 5955 DeSoto Ave Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Costa Mesa: 3150 Bristol Street, Suite 100, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Diamond Bar: 1370 S. Valley Vista Dr. Diamond Bar, CA 91765

San Bernardino: 451 E. Vanderbilt Way Suite 100 San Bernardino, CA 92408

El Centro: 3095 N. Imperial Avenue Suite 101 El Centro, CA 92243

Phoenix: 2550 W. Union Hills Drive Phoenix, AZ 85027

Palm Desert: 75153 Merle Dr. Palm Desert, CA 92211

Colorado Springs: 2 North Cascade Avenue Suite 100 Colorado Springs, CO 80903

San Diego: 3890 Murphy Canyon Road Suite 100 San Diego, CA 92123

Murrieta: 25240 Hancock Avenue Murrieta, CA 92562

Ontario: 3110 E. Guasti Road Ontario, CA 91761

Lancaster: 1220 W. Avenue J Lancaster, CA 93534

San Marcos: 277 Rancheros Drive San Marcos, CA 92069

Gardena: 1515 W. 190th Gardena, CA 90248

Mesa: 1620 South Stapley Drive Mesa, AZ 85204

Pasadena: 299 N. Euclid Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101

Los Angeles: 14320 Firestone Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038

Further your education and strengthen your skill set at Rasmussen College

Programs : Graphic Design Associates - Web and Interactive Design Specialization, Graphic Design Bachelors - Animation and Motion Graphics Specialization, Graphic Design Bachelors - Web and Interactive Design Specialization, and more..

Campus Locations :

Topeka: 620 SW Governor View Topeka, KS 66606

: 3500 Federal Drive , MN 55122

Fargo: 4012 19th Avenue SW Fargo, ND 58103

Appleton: 3500 E. Destination Drive Suite 100 Appleton, WI 54915

Mankato: 501 Holly Lane Mankato, MN 56001

Minneapolis: 8301 93rd Avenue North Minneapolis, MN 55445

Ocala: 2100 SW 22nd Place Ocala, FL 34471

Aurora: 2363 Sequoia Dr. Aurora, IL 60506

Saint Cloud: 226 Park Avenue South Saint Cloud, MN 56301

Rockford: 6000 E State St 4th Floor Rockford, IL 61108

Green Bay: 904 South Taylor St. Suite 100 Green Bay, WI 54303

Mokena: 8650 West Spring Lake Road Mokena, IL 60448

Bismarck: 1701 E. Century Ave. Bismarck, ND 58503

New Port Richey: 8661 Citizens Drive New Port Richey, FL 34654

Lake Elmo: 8565 Eagle Point Circle Lake Elmo, MN 55042

Tampa: 4042 Park Oaks Blvd Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33610

Circle Pines: 3629 95th Avenue Northeast Circle Pines, MN 55014

Lutz: 18600 Fernview Street Lutz, FL 33558

Wausau: 1101 Westwood Drive Wausau, WI 54401

Moorhead: 1250 29th Avenue South Moorhead, MN 56560

Fort Myers: 9160 Forum Corporate Parkway Suite 100 Fort Myers, FL 33905

Romeoville: 1400 W. Normantown Road Romeoville, IL 60446

You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7. At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.

Programs : Associate's (AABA) - Visual Communication, and more..

Campus Locations :

Schaumburg: 231 N. Martingale Road 6th Floor Schaumburg, IL 60173

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

New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit, co-educational technical college offering over 30 Associate in Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree programs.

Programs : Bachelor of Science in Graphics, Multimedia and Web Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

East Greenwich: One New England Tech Boulevard East Greenwich, RI 02818

Helping creative minds bring their ideas to life.

Programs : Graphic Design (BS), Graphic Design (AS), 3D Animation (C), and more..

Campus Locations :

Pittsburgh: 420 Boulevard of the Allies Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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

Programs : Visual Communication Interactive/Web Specialization, Visual Communications 2D Print, Graphic Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

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

Riverside: 6465 Sycamore Canyon Blvd Riverside, CA 92507

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

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