Career Information for a Degree in Illustration or Drawing

Illustration and drawing are suitable majors for creative students with a passion and commitment to art. After completing a degree program in illustration or drawing, one could work in a range of career fields. Read on to learn about a few of the options open to those who complete degree programs in drawing or illustration.

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What Is a Degree in Illustration or Drawing?

Many art academies and universities offer bachelor's degree programs in illustration, although drawing programs are often combined with another discipline, such as painting. In a drawing and illustration degree program, students may learn art history, drawing skills, color theory, design and digital art. Students also study the human body to learn figure and gesture drawing.

Many programs require applicants to submit additional materials with their high school transcripts, such as letters of recommendation and an art portfolio. Associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs are available in illustration or drawing.

Careers Opportunities

Those who have completed a degree program in illustration or drawing may find a variety of career options as illustrators, multimedia artists and animators or sketch artists. Possible job titles include illustrator, sketch artist, animator and multimedia artist.

Illustrators

Illustrators create drawings and advertisements for books, magazines, textiles, wrapping paper, stationery, greeting cards, calendars and many other media. Illustrators may also work in the medical field, although they may need additional education to be familiar with biology and human anatomy. Illustrators work with traditional tools, as well as digital programs.

Employment opportunities for illustrators exist in publishing, advertising and related industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that the mean annual salary for all fine artists and illustrators was $54,000 as of May 2012 (www.bls.gov).

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia artists and animators continue to enjoy high demand for their services, especially in the fields of movie special effects, video games, advertising and computer design. Many animators and multimedia artists need to be familiar with computer programs in order to create realistic 3-D models and images. The BLS listed the mean annual salary as $69,560 for these workers in May 2012.

Sketch Artists

Sketch artists use a variety of media, such as pencils, charcoal and pastels, to create drawings, and they often focus on human subjects. Many sketch artists are employed by court systems for drawing pictures of witnesses and other courtroom images. Some sketch artists use their skills to produce renderings of suspects for use by law enforcement.

Others sketch artists are employed by fashion designers to create drawings of proposed designs. Alternatively, some artists in this field make their livings as caricaturists or public sketch artists, setting up shop on the street or in other populated areas to draw portraits of customers.

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Jobs and Salary Info for an Illustration Major

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
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    • Colorado (1 campus)

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    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
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    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Science - Animation Technology
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  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Michigan include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Advertising and Commercial Design
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Graphic Design
        • Illustration and Drawing
        • Industrial Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Virginia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Virginia Commonwealth University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Graphic Design
        • Illustration and Drawing
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Rochester Institute of Technology include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Advertising and Commercial Design
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Graphic Design
        • Illustration and Drawing
        • Industrial Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Photography, Film, and Video

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