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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), Design & Technical Graphics (BS), Graphic Design (AS), and more..

Campus Locations :

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

Denver: 1200 Lincoln Street Denver, CO 80203

Minneapolis: 15 South 9th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402

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

Tinley Park: 18670 Graphic Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

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

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

North Hollywood: 5250 Lankershim Boulevard North Hollywood, CA 91601

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

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

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

Henderson: 2350 Corporate Circle Henderson, NV 89074

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

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

San Francisco: 1170 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102

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

Overland Park: 8208 Melrose Drive Overland Park, KS 66214

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phoenix: 2233 West Dunlap Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021

Dallas: Two North Park East Dallas, TX 75231

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

Seattle: 2323 Elliott Avenue Seattle, WA 98121

Sunnyvale: 1120 Kifer Road Sunnyvale, CA 94086

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

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

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

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

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

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

Campus Locations :

San Diego: 3870 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite 310 San Diego, CA 92123

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

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

Ontario: 3110 E. Guasti Road Ontario, CA 91761

Mesa: 1620 South Stapley Drive Mesa, AZ 85204

Phoenix: 9520 West Palm Lane Phoenix, AZ 85037

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

Murrieta: 25240 Hancock Avenue Murrieta, CA 92562

Gardena: 1515 W. 190th Gardena, CA 90248

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

Woodland Hills: 5955 DeSoto Ave Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Pasadena: 299 N. Euclid Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101

San Marcos: 277 Rancheros Drive San Marcos, CA 92069

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

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

Lancaster: 1220 W. Avenue J Lancaster, CA 93534

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

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

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

Riverside: 6465 Sycamore Canyon Blvd Riverside, CA 92507

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

Sanford-Brown can help prepare you for a rewarding career in health and dental care, business, paralegal, criminal justice, Design & Media Arts or information technology.

Programs : Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications: Graphic Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, and more..

Campus Locations :

Seattle: 625 Andover Park West Seattle, WA 98188

Saint Paul: 1345 Mendota Heights Rd. Saint Paul, MN 55120

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

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

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 :

Campus Locations :

Erie: 5757 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506

New Horizons Computer Learning Centers has grown to become the largest independent IT training company worldwide. We offer more courses, at more times and in more locations than any other company in the computer training industry.

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

Campus Locations :

Omaha: 2521 N. 120th st. Suite 400 Omaha, NE 68164

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

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