The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration program at UArts provides a well-rounded approach to the unique art form of illustration. You'll learn skills in painting, drawing, figure modeling, creative visual problem solving, graphic design and much more. Illustration is a unique art form that is defined not by its medium, but by its context.
Loveis Wise BFA '18 was commissioned to illustrate the cover of The New Yorker magazine, a professional illustrator's career goal, just three weeks after she graduated from the University of the Arts.
Meet the Top Student Illustrators in the Country
Each year, the Society of Illustrators celebrates the top college junior illustrators in the country. UArts students consistently rank among the top, having won the award the past two years. Click the images below to learn more.
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Sample Courses in the Illustration Major
Drawing: Objects & Space
Drawing: Natural Forms & The Human Figure
Body as Form
Illustration I: Pictorial Foundation
Illustration II: Illustration Methods
Words as Pictures
Illustration III: Materials, Concepts and Formats
Illustration IV: Applications
About the Curriculum
The Illustration curriculum is a blend of drawing, painting, figure modeling, picture making, illustration, creative visual problem solving, digital experiences, self-discovery through mentor-student relationship, history of pictorial image making, and specialized graphic design courses. Some courses are geared to developing foundational skills and others more focused toward professional application. This curriculum offers its majors a wide selection of unique options to explore related to their field and interest of study.
Instructional emphasis is on discovering and developing the artist within the illustrator and their unique point of view. When artists find their unique expression, they can take advantage of all the outlets available to their work. The program prepares individual students for a life in the arts and the flexibility to enter diverse professional areas within it.
Students graduating from the Illustration program will:
- Demonstrate knowledge of figure study and picture making, along with traditional and digital technical skill development, leading to successful image making as it relates to the multi-faceted and ever-changing illustration industry;
- Discover and develop point of view. This includes acquiring critical drawing and thinking skills and developing intellectual curiosity leading to successful problem solving and meaningful visual communication;
- Understanding the unique aesthetic of the illustrator as designer and the development of knowledge and skills leading to successful design outcomes;
- Discover the languages, concepts, and practices of contemporary illustration across connected disciplines and have options to further explore those areas in depth;
- Acquire and demonstrate knowledge of the history of illustration;
- Demonstrate habits of mind (studio process, research, personal discipline, time management, professional culture of the program) as well as the ability to critique, articulate their work, and present ideas;
- Acquire and demonstrate knowledge and skills of professional development (presentation, audience awareness, marketing, promotion, business, Web design, entrepreneurship). Preparing for a life in the arts and the flexibility to enter diverse professional areas within it.
To earn the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration, students will complete a total of 126 credits as follows:
- 39 credits in the Illustration Major
- 18 credits in College of Art, Media & Design Core Studies
- 6 credits in School of Design Core
- 4.5 credits in Creative Practices and Collaborative Studio
- 12 credits in Art History
- 30 credits in the Liberal Arts
- 15 credits in Free Electives
Within the Illustration Major, concentrations are available by completing additional coursework in one of the following areas: Animation Movement, Animation Visual Development, Game Art, Graphic Design Communication, Graphic Design Typography, Photography, Painting, and Printmaking.
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Learn about UArts alumni Leanne Biank, Leah Greenberg, Grace Hirsch and Natalie Jablonski, illustrators, art directors, and designers at Printfresh Studio in Philadelphia.
Our alumni work with a variety of companies and organizations internationally. Below are a few places our alums have landed.
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