BFA in Illustration - Illustration Design Track

Indulge your passion for creating images in notebooks and on tablet screens, and expand your capabilities for using new techniques, mediums, and software. From storyboard building blocks to attention-grabbing final flourishes, compelling illustrations envelop every aspect of storytelling. The Illustration Design Track of ArtCenter’s illustration degree program equips you to excel in the all-encompassing opportunities of illustration as a full-time creative or an idea-generating entrepreneur.

Program Overview

Convey social, political, and cultural ideas that transcend mere words through the illustration bachelor’s degree at ArtCenter. From graphic design to animation and typography to fashion illustration, you’ll hone your craft and your voice for a broad range of print and digital contexts: editorial, publishing, education, advertising, merchandising, public health, graphic novels, and more. Alongside your illustration design courses, develop a robust understanding of and appreciation for the topics you’re passionate about within the humanities and sciences—topics that can contribute to your success in specialty fields like botanical illustration and children’s publishing.

What You’ll Learn

Cultivate practical skills and elevated expertise across diverse mediums and applications with courses in drawing, painting, and printmaking; art direction; conceptual illustration for editorial, publishing, advertising, and web projects; poster and book cover design; illustration for PSAs; portraiture; hand-lettering; and advanced techniques in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Procreate software. This art illustration degree lays the groundwork for careers in specialities like:

  • Digital Illustration
  • Graphic Illustration
  • Animation
  • Fashion Illustration
  • Scientific Illustration
  • Medical Illustration
  • Natural Science Illustration
  • Botanical Illustration

Careers in Illustration Design

Transform your creative gifts into a meaningful and engaging illustration career. You’ll have the choice to pursue full-time employment with a publisher or advertiser, invest in your own ideas as an entrepreneur, or select the projects that interest you most as a freelance artist or illustrator. The skills you’ll gain in the illustration design program translate across many industries, from high fashion to video game design and medical illustrations to street art. As a capable visionary, problem-solver, and multifunctional artist, you’ll join ArtCenter graduates in creative roles like:

  • Art Director
  • Creative Director
  • Character Designer
  • Conceptual Artist
  • Storyboard Artist
  • Freelance Artist and Illustrator
  • Cover Designer
  • Typesetter

Notable Alumni

ArtCenter graduates are known around the world for their profound talents in conveying social, political, and cultural ideas that educate, entertain, and inspire. For these alumni, excellence in craft grows hand-in-hand with intentional engagement as a creative citizen:

Grant Higa, Illustrator, Wieden+Kennedy, Tokyo
Bijou Karman, Freelance artist/illustrator, clients include Google, Planned Parenthood, the New Yorker
Leonardo Santamaria, First-generation Filipino-American freelance illustrator, clients include NPR, TED, Politico

Your journey toward a career in Illustration Design starts here.

Learn more about ArtCenter's Illustration major

From Risk To Rihanna: Meet Fashion Illustrator Alum Bijou Karman

Track Director
David Tillinghast

David Tillinghast

His work has appeared in major newspapers, magazines and materials for Visa, Freddie Mac and Harvard University, among others

Illustration Design

Student Work

ArtCenter offers six different illustration tracks

Earn Your Degree in Illustration Design at ArtCenter

The illustration design track of ArtCenter’s illustration bachelor’s degree blends artistic excellence with essential knowledge and experience in a variety of illustration business contexts. You’ll join our remarkable alumni as an independent contractor, entrepreneur, or full-time employee creating some of the most compelling and culturally significant visual works of your generation.

Rhianna by Bijou Karmen

Take the first step toward a career in illustration.