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Illustration Design Degree Outlook

Like artists or animators, most illustrators lean toward drawing by hand. Many illustrators love to draw so much that they often take art classes before they seek higher education. Many illustrators can make a good living without a college education, but they will benefit from learning computer and business programs offered by colleges, as these lessons can help to expand the illustrator's skills.

Illustrators often work on contract, or by the project, as many companies now utilize computer animators or clip art to achieve objectives that illustrators filled many years ago. With that said, illustrators who develop a niche for their skills can find work within various industries.

Illustrators can work as story board artists for studios that produce television commercials, movies, or other multimedia presentations. Other jobs include those with publishing houses to design book covers and illustrations for magazines or books. Still other venues include specialized skills in medical illustrations, or those utilized by various industries that deal with animal health. Both the latter opportunities include specialized education to learn anatomy. In many cases, the illustrator works alone, no matter whether it's at home or in a commercial studio.

Illustrators can lean toward a more graphic aspect to their work, or a fine arts application. Graphic illustrations often are more straightforward, leaving little to the imagination. A fine arts, or conceptual, application would allow the artist some freedom in interpretation of various materials. The medical illustrator, for instance, has little leeway in how anatomy must be represented, especially if that illustration is used by professionals to conduct lessons or to perform medical analysis.

Many colleges offer degrees in fine arts; but it if you know you want to study illustration specifically, it would be best to find a school that combines a fine arts program with a program that caters to drawing with various media including computers. Multimedia programs often contain a component that deals with illustration as well. If you take art classes on the side, this can only add to your skills as a top-notch illustrator.

Some illustrators also develop products for expression that can be sold in venues such as art galleries, art fairs, or in online galleries. Additionally, some illustrators may enter the fashion field as fashion illustrators or costume design illustrators. Skills in drawing, painting, and in computer generated illustrations can help the illustrator become an artist known for a wide range of expression and technique. Sometimes this may spell more money in the bank account than if the artist developed one specific style.


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Master of Arts in Visual Communication Design
  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
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Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
  • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
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  • Online Courses
Graphic Design (BS)
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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  • Flexible Scheduling
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