Illustration Bachelor of fine arts degree

95a65650-e2b7-432c-bafd-7b07804a39fd | 101499

Overview

Traditional drawing skills, the latest digital imaging technologies, and sculpted dimensional methods combine for effective visual communication.


The illustration major prepares students for a variety of careers within the visual communications field. The major provides an educational environment that supports the creative development of students and helps them to achieve their individual goals. Course work emphasizes traditional drawing and painting skills, the application of the latest digital media, and the use of dimensional media. Students learn conceptual skills, professional practices, and narrative story telling techniques while developing an individual style. These techniques and styles are then applied to produce illustrations suitable for advertising, publishing, editorial, and the service and gaming/entertainment industries. 

Electives

Students may select electives that enhance their studies or allow them to pursue an area of personal or professional interest. Electives are available in graphic design, illustration, graphic visualization, industrial design, interior design, fine arts studio, environmental design, ceramics, glass, metals, textiles, woodworking, film making, photography, and imaging technology. To be eligible for these electives, students must complete the foundation program or have the permission of the instructor. Additional selections are offered as special topics courses.

Industries


  • Performing and Fine Arts

  • Journalism, Media, and Publishing

  • Advertising, PR, and Marketing

  • Design

Typical Job Titles

Advertising Illustrator Architectural Illustrator
Animation Artist Art Director
Book Illustrator Caricaturist
Character Designer Comic Artist
Concept Artist Courtroom Artist
Digital Artist Dimensional Illustrator
Diorama Artist E-Learning Illustrator
Editorial Illustrator Fashion Illustrator
Game Assets Illustrator Graphic Designer
Graphic Novel Illustrator Illustrative Designer
Model Maker Motion Graphics Artist
Multimedia Illustrator New Media Artist
Political Cartoonist Presentation Illustrator
Production Artist Sequential Illustrator
Social Media Illustrator Storyboard Artist
Technical Illustrator Textbook Illustrator
Theater set Artist Visual Developer

Featured Work

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Curriculum

Illustration, BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ARTH-135
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic): History of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval
The subject of this course is the history of western art and architecture from Prehistory through the Middle Ages. We will examine the form, style, function, and meaning of important objects and monuments of the past, and consider these in their social, historical and cultural contexts. A chronological study will allow us to recognize when, where and by whom a given object was produced. Once these decisive factors are established, we may try to determine why the object was made, what it meant in its time, place and culture, and whose ideology it served. Since we are dealing with visual information, the primary goals of this class are to learn how to look, and how to describe and analyze what we see. At the end of the term, students will be prepared to pursue additional courses in the discipline, for they will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors.
3
ARTH-136
LAS Perspective 3 (global): History of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern
The subject of this course is the history of western art and architecture from the Renaissance through the early 20th century. We will examine the form, style, function, and meaning of important objects and monuments of the past, and consider these in their social, historical and cultural contexts. A chronological study will allow us to recognize when, where and by whom a given object was produced. Once these decisive factors are established, we may try to determine why the object was made, what it meant in its time, place and culture, and whose ideology it served. Since we are dealing with visual information, the primary goals of this class are to learn how to look, and how to describe and analyze what we see. At the end of the term, students will be prepared to pursue additional courses in the discipline, for they will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors.
3
FDTN-111
Drawing I
This course is an introduction to the visualization of form, thought and expression through the drawing process. Concepts are introduced by lectures, discussions, demonstrations, research, and assigned projects. Designed to provide a broad introductory experience, students will experiment with a wide variety of media, tools, techniques and subjects to develop drawing expertise and problem solving skills related to design and composition. Course work will be assessed through critique, facilitating self-assessment, and the growth of both a visual and verbal vocabulary. The focus of the course is to provide awareness of the full range of ways in which drawing is used as a tool for both self-expression and communication.
3
Choose one of the following:
3
  FDTN-112
   Drawing II
This course is an introduction to the visualization of form, thought and expression through the drawing process. Concepts are introduced by lectures, discussions, demonstrations, research, and assigned projects. Designed to provide a broad introductory experience, students will experiment with a wide variety of media, tools, techniques and subjects to develop drawing expertise and problem solving skills related to design and composition. Course work will be assessed through critique, facilitating self-assessment, and the growth of both a visual and verbal vocabulary. The focus of the course is to provide awareness of the full range of ways in which drawing is used as a tool for both self-expression and communication.
 
  FDTN-212
   Drawing II Workshop: Topics
This course is an investigation of the visualization of form, thought and expression through the drawing process. This workshop provides students with the opportunity to learn more about a particular experience in drawing while still covering required foundation elements. Different topics may be taken in the same semester. Topics may only be taken once. Concepts are introduced by lectures, discussions, demonstrations, research and assigned projects.. The focus of the course is to provide awareness of the full range of ways in which drawing is used as a tool for both self-expression and communication.
 
FDTN-121
2D Design I
This course is a structured, cumulative introduction to the basic elements and principles of two-dimensional design. Organized to create a broad introductory experience, the course focuses on the development of both a visual and a verbal vocabulary as a means of exploring, developing and understanding two-dimensional compositions. Concepts are introduced through lectures, discussions, demonstrations, research, assigned projects and critiques. The course addresses a wide variety of media, tools, techniques both traditional and technological, and theoretical concepts to facilitate skill development and experimentation with process. Visual comprehension, the ability to organize perceptions and horizontal thinking that crosses other disciplines and theories, are key foundational components to the development of problem solving skills. Accumulative aspects of the curriculum included the exploration of historical and cultural themes and concepts intertwined with aspects of personal interpretation and experience.
3
FDTN-131
3D Design I
This course presents a progressive study over two-semesters in terminology, visual principles, exploration, concept generation, process, and techniques of three-dimensional design. Using hands-on problem solving, student will develop an informed understanding of the 3D form and space with an emphasis on the elements and principles of visual design and their function as the building blocks and guidelines for ordering a 3D composition. A heightened awareness of form and space will be developed through lecture, assigned projects, and critiques. Students will also develop a personal awareness of problem seeking and solving, experimentation, and critical analysis. **Note: May be taken as a one-semester offering**
3
ILLS-206
2D Composition & Color
This course will provide students with instruction and assignments to practice and apply compositional picture plane dynamics using representational subject matter. Students will explore the principles of composition through the use of formal visual elements such as line, shape, value and color to achieve effective two-dimensional compositions.
3
ILLS-209
3D Applications: The Figure
Students will build upon their experience in 3D Design I including materials, and building processes, while constructing the human figure. Sculpted figures will portray accurate human anatomic structure, inference of function, and balance.
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
0
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Choose one of the following:
3
 
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry)
 
 
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles)
 
 
   LAS Perspective 7 (mathematical)
 
Second Year
ILLS-213
Illustration I
Illustration I is the primary core course for illustration majors in their sophomore year. The students approach major elements of technique, application, and theory in relation to becoming illustrators. Studio sessions involve basic problem solving, anatomy, pictorial composition, media applications, figurative expression, use of reference tools, and illustrative techniques. Class structure allows demonstrations of processes and experimentation for assignment development. Group and individual critiques will be used to evaluate work.
3
ILLS-214
Anatomical Illustration
This course will provide an in-depth anatomical approach to drawing the figure. Students will obtain instruction and practice at drawing human anatomy including body and head postures, facial expressions, and hand gestures. Students will learn anatomical proportioning while drawing from observation from models to convey emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, disgust, etc. Students will also learn to use photo support references. Works will be created in black and white and in color media using light and dark, and warm and cool effects.
3
ILLS-218
Dimensional Illustration I
This course will introduce students to an alternative style of illustration that will expand their thinking into the third dimension. Emphasis will be placed on planning and preparation of compositional elements in three-dimensional sculptural form and creative problem solving. Students will be encouraged to explore a variety of materials and techniques to complete projects.
3
ILLS-219
Digital Illustration I
Digital Illustration I will provide students with methods of conceptualizing, organizing and executing illustrations using the computer. Projects will expose students to various types of digital techniques using vector and raster-based software applications, and a variety of input and output devices for the creation of professional level assignments. The course will emphasize conceptual problem-solving methodology and the language of visualization while providing a consistent foundation for digital illustration as it relates to professional illustration production. Color systems, digital terminology and pre-press file formats will be covered.
3
 
Art History Elective†
3
 
CAD Studio Electives‡
6
 
Illustration Professional Elective§
3
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
Third Year
ILLS-313
Illustration II
This course will focus on preparing students to create work for a variety of illustration markets including the advertising, editorial, corporate and book publishing markets. Emphasis will be placed on the development and creation of a variety of finished illustrations that will demonstrate understanding of current industry trends and standards. Students will gain insight into the differences and nuances of these illustration specializations. Creative problem solving, stylistic self-expression, and technical proficiency will be emphasized. Students will participate in individual and group reviews and critiques.
3
 
Illustration Professional Electives§
12
 
CAD Studio Elective‡
3
 
Art History Elective†
3
 
Free Elective
3
 
LAS Immersion 1 (WI), 2
6
Fourth Year
ILLS-413
Illustration III
This course will focus on preparing students to function as professional working illustrators. Students will prepare and supply professional business materials such as job cost estimates, work and job delivery schedules, etc. along with assignment work. Emphasis will be placed on the development and creation of a variety of finished illustrations that will demonstrate understanding of current industry standards. Students will gain insight into pricing, time management, and effective communication relative to the illustration profession. Creative problem solving, stylistic self-expression, and technical proficiency will also be emphasized. Students will participate in individual and group reviews and critiques.
3
ILLS-501
Illustration Portfolio (WI)
Illustration Portfolio is the final preparatory course for the Illustration major. Its purpose is to provide students with information, strategies and guided instruction to market themselves and organize and create their final portfolio. Writing will be a substantial component of this course. The course will include marketing and business practices for the professional illustrator. Students will receive individual critique and analysis of work created in prior studio classes and progress to the definition of a career agenda. Projects will be customized for each students body of work and their career intentions. Presentation methods and business protocol will also be addressed. The final culminating project will be a finished portfolio. In addition to the portfolio document, students will be instructed in job seeking strategies including creating mailers and promotional materials, interviewing dynamics, resume writing, and correspondence.
3
 
Illustration Professional Electives§
6
 
CAD Studio Electives‡
6
 
Free Electives
6
 
LAS Immersion 3
3
 
LAS Elective 
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
120

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

† Art History electives are non-studio courses offered in CAD or in COLA that are coded in SIS with the Art History attribute of ARTH.

‡ Studio elective courses are those designated with studio/lab contact hours listed in the course description. 

§ Illustration Professional Electives are ILLS-300-level or higher.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • Studio art experience and a portfolio of original artwork are required for all programs in the schools of Art and Design.
  • A portfolio must be submitted. View Portfolio Requirements for more information. 

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree

Courses in studio art, art history, and liberal arts. A portfolio of original artwork is required to determine admissions, studio art credit, and year level in the program. View Portfolio Requirements for more information. 

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer

Related programs or studio art experience in desired disciplines. A portfolio of original artwork is required to determine admissions, studio art credit, and year level in the program. View Portfolio Requirements for more information. Summer courses can lead to third-year status in most programs.

Learn about admissions and financial aid