The Advantages To Earning An Illustration Degree
An illustration degree is a great educational foundation for a creative and artistic career producing images for various publications and forms of media. Illustration degree programs give students the knowledge and technical skills necessary for employment as qualified professionals within the field. Illustrators make pictures for magazines, books, commercial products like textiles, wrapping paper, stationary, greeting cards, and calenders. Illustrators also create digital formats for websites, games, broadcast media, and videos. Some illustrators work within the medical fields using digital or traditional tools to create images of surgical procedures, human anatomy, 3D models, and 3D animations. Other illustrators work within science fields drawing organisms, atomic structures, molecular structures, geologic formations, and planetary formations. Many times medical and scientific illustrators create publications and audiovisual productions used for teaching and instruction. Illustrators also may work for attorneys and lawyers creating images and exhibits for use within court cases. Illustration degrees are one of the best means of propelling personal, educational, and professional goals for students with an interest in illustrating careers.
Many students find pursuing an online illustration degree one of the most affordable, convenient ways of expanding their education. Most colleges and universities have created online degree programs to meet the demand of online students. Online programs offer virtually the same educational experiences as their traditional, on campus counterparts with added benefits of a more personalized degree and flexible course scheduling. As many students often maintain work or family responsibilities while completing their degrees, online programs are a great match for students with obligations beyond education. Online courses consist of groups of 25 students with 24 hour access to class materials and instruction. Online classes also offer students one on one interactions with professors, instructors, and classmates through Internet chats. Online degree programs provide students with an innovative curriculum focused upon expanding knowledge and skills necessary for future success.
What Students Learn Within An Illustration Degree Program
Students enrolled within an illustration degree program gain a solid educational background complete with information regarding studio art, liberal arts, business, technology, and communications. Most illustrators are required to complete a formal bachelor’s or master’s degree within the discipline of fine arts to qualify for employment. Some students complete associate’s degrees as the first step of their education in the field of illustration.
Courses within an associate’s degree program include: analysis of form; photography and imaging in digital media; figure drawing; figure modeling; introduction to anatomy; intermediate figure drawing; perspective; composition for the artist; written communications; color and design; clothed figure drawing; still life painting; illustrative imaging in digital media; designing careers; employment communications and practices; art history and appreciation; art history through the 15th century; introduction to painting: figure; heads and hands; art history through the 19th century; creative persuasion and argument; perspective journalism; story, process, and techniques in illustration; and history of American illustration. Graduates who complete associate degrees may advance to employment as assistants to illustrators and other related jobs or advance studies to higher degree programs.
Courses at a bachelor level include: introduction to illustration; illustration forms; drawing techniques; color theory; analysis of form; photography and imaging in digital media; figure drawing; figure modeling; introduction to anatomy; intermediate figure drawing; perspective; composition for the artist; written communications; color and design; clothed figure drawing; still life painting; illustrative imagine in digital media; designing careers; employment communications and practices; art history and appreciation; art history through the 15th century; introduction to painting: figure; heads and hands; art history through the 19th century; creative persuasion and argument; perspective journalism; story, process, and techniques in illustration; history of American illustration; clothed figure drawing; illustration principles, practice, and media; written communications, narrative storytelling in English composition; cultural ideas and influences; interactive and vector art in illustration; historical awareness; quantitative literacy; and portfolio preparation and self promotion. Graduates who complete a bachelor degree program may advance to employment or graduate level degrees.
Classes at a master’s level include: concept, technique, and illustration; drawing from the imagination; layout design for animators; Chiaroscuro; character design and drawing for animators; art historical awareness and aesthetic sensitivity; sustained figurative concepts; head drawing; digital painting; portrait painting; children’s book illustrating; visual elements of story; the graphic novel; situation and environment; cross cultural understanding; professional practices for illustrators; comics: pencils and inks; history of comics; digital drawing the fantastic figure; advanced perspective for illustration, film, and games; comics: creating manga; watercolor for illustrators; visual development for illustrators; eccentric illustration; decorative illustration; fantasy illustration; illustration concept and narrative; wildlife illustration; interactive illustration; clothed figure: color and value; digital painting and portfolio development; drawing for film; portfolio preparation and self promotion; concept, technique, and illustration; narrative illustration; sustained figurative concepts; drawing from imagination; creature design; thesis development; process and practice as research; visual text; and sequence and series. Graduates from a master’s degree program are often qualified as experts within the field. Some graduates may choose to advance to doctoral degree programs within field related to illustration (as doctorate degrees in illustration do not exist) and work as instructors within universities upon completing their PhD.
Prospective Jobs For Illustration Degree Graduates
Graduates with illustration degrees may find employment within a competitive and growing field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) expects growth for illustrators, artists, animators, and multimedia specialists to increase by 12 percent through 2018 at an average rate in comparison to other occupations. The BLS predicts that illustrators who specialize their degrees within animation, digital, and multimedia fields will find the best employment opportunities. Additionally, graduates with specialties in medical illustration and scientific research may also find the best employment options. Competition for employment for graduates from illustration degree programs is expected to be high as the number of available jobs is significantly less than the number of qualified applicants.
Graduates who display creativity, style, and talent who complete formal studies, specialize their degrees, and master artistic techniques are generally preferred over graduates with less training and skills. Graduates who complete an associate’s program generally qualify as technical assistants to more experienced illustrators, digital media specialists, visual artists, animation storyboard illustrators, medical and science illustrators, fashion illustrators, advertising executives, and sketch artists and work their way up to advanced positions upon gaining work experience.
Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs often work as illustrators, animators, medical and science illustrators, fashion illustrators, character designers, computer games visual artists, digital media specialists, multimedia artists, comic book illustrators, greeting car illustrators, television storyboard illustrators, children’s book illustrators, visual development illustrators, and technical, magazine, advertising, editorial, graphic novel, and concept art illustrators. Individuals with graduate degrees in the field of illustration often work as instructors within colleges and universities or as upper level executives within advertising, marketing, and publishing agencies. Many graduates upon gaining necessary work experience and adequate funding work as freelance illustrators.
Salary Range For Graduates With Illustration Degrees
Graduates with illustration degrees have salaries reflective of their organization of employment, level of education, work experience, area of specialty, and reputation as an artist. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports medial salaries for illustrators ranges from $29,230 to $60,650 annually. Multimedia artists and animators earn $41,710 to $77,010 annually per the BLS. The BLS also reports salaries for illustration graduates within picture and video industries is $65,600 and median salaries within advertising industries $52,530 annually. Graduates who work as freelance illustrators have earnings that vary tremendously. Generally as a freelance illustrators establish their client base and reputation their earnings are less than those who are well established.
Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Illustration Degree Graduates
Graduates from an illustration degree program often find long term career success within several industries upon gaining relevant experience. Growth in employment of illustrators is predicted to increase by 12 percent until 2018 and remain stable per reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Qualified graduates from illustration degree programs will find strong competition for jobs though an increasing demand for web design and animation professionals provides ample employment options. Graduates who complete formal degree programs, gain hands on experiences from internships, hire agents, and distinguish their work with style and creativity often find an increased employability and many advancement opportunities.
Many illustrators begin their careers at an entry level within firms and businesses working with more experienced artists and acquiring at least one to three years of experiences before advancing to projects with less experience, increased responsibilities, and higher earnings. Graduates with advanced degrees who work as illustrators within publishing, multimedia, advertising, and even Internet firms and businesses are often promoted to supervisory positions as art or creative directors. Some graduates with advanced degrees go on to teaching positions within art schools, colleges, and universities. A majority of most illustration degree graduates work as freelance illustrators and consultants within self operated firms after establishing their reputation, gaining experience, and acquiring funding. As with most artistic fields, graduates who adapt to changing trends and technology while meeting industry standards and consistently refine their skills often find rewarding careers as illustrators within an exciting field.