Illustration programs come in all different shapes and sizes. Confused about what program you should go into? Let’s take a look at some to help you discover what the best illustration program might be for you.

Illustrators provide drawings in many different fields including medical, fashion, agriculture, manufacturing, book and magazine publishing, marketing/advertising, video gaming and more. Some illustrators might use computer software to digitally create or modify their illustrations. Students often choose to specialize in one type of illustration program such as fashion, children’s books or medical. Where does your passion lie? Do you want to be a fashion designer? Do you like to draw? Or are you more into creating graphics on a computer? 

An associate’s degree in illustration will prepare students for some entry-level jobs or to become a freelance illustrator. Bachelor’s degree programs provide education that will enable graduates to qualify for most entry-level positions or to take on freelance jobs. Quite often a master’s degree in medical illustration is required for medical illustrator jobs. Other master’s programs typically cover more specialized skills such as graphic design or digital media and are appropriate for illustrators who want to specialize.
If you are interested in a career in fashion illustration, you should choose a program that specializes in that field as the curriculum will be greatly different than that of a general illustration program. To be sure the program you choose is accredited you can visit the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Many illustrators will specialize and/or find consistent work in such fields as:

• Book design and illustration 
• Television, cinema and other multimedia endeavors 
• Comic books and graphic novels 
• Textbook illustration 
• Web design 
• Scientific and other specialized illustration 
• Storyboarding 
• Caricature 
• Fashion and costume design 
• Cartooning

Illustration is a competitive job market, with many illustrators working as freelancers on short-term projects for a variety of companies. Training and experience in using different software packages is an important part of an illustrator’s resume because many jobs require the use of a specific software product, so choosing an illustration program that incorporates the most popular software products is important. 

Some illustrators are employed by advertising agencies, design companies or publishing companies but many are self-employed. Those who have chosen to specialize in medical or technical illustration will draw for textbooks, journals, product manuals and other technical documentation. Medical illustrators also earn the highest salaries due to their more intensive education and specific subject knowledge. Fashion illustrators will draw for magazines, catalogs and other fashion publications. General illustrators may draw for any number of purposes including product packaging, advertising, websites and may also be hired for fashion or technical illustration jobs.

What you should do:

• Decide what illustration program is best for you. 
• Take some career testing which many institutions offer.
• Make sure you start your research so you will have enough time to make good decisions and collect the information you need.
• Prepare your questions for the institutions that may have the program you are 
• Study the information that the institution has on the programs that interest you.
• Visit the institution and meet some of the instructors.

There are many options out there, and if you do your part to discover the illustration program which holds your interest, it will be well worth your time and effort. Best of luck to you and have an enlightening journey!

Did you know:

According to US News and World Reports the following are the top 2010 National Schools offering Art majors

1.      Yale University – New Haven, CT
2.      University of Chicago – Chicago, IL
3.      Northwestern University – Evanston, IL
4.      Brown University – Providence, RI
5.      Rice University – Houston, TX

If you are interested in the Best Illustration Programs, you may also be interested in finding more information on the Best Animation Programs, Good Multimedia Programs, Good Game Design Programs and the Best Fashion Programs. Feel free to browse these art school profiles and securely submit your information to request information.


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