Illustration Bachelor of fine arts degree

95a65650-e2b7-432c-bafd-7b07804a39fd | 6218958

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.

Pre-College Portfolio Preparation Workshop

The School of Art's annual Pre-College Portfolio Preparation Workshop is a two-week visual arts class designed to prepare the portfolios of rising high school juniors and seniors for admission to college art programs. Learn more about the Pre-College Portfolio Preparation Workshop, including information on workshop dates and how to apply.

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

81%

outcome rate of graduates

$27.5k

median first-year salary of graduates

Featured Work

Featured Profiles

Curriculum for Illustration BFA

Illustration, BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
   ARTH-135
   General Education - Artistic Perspective:  History of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of important objects and monuments dating from prehistory through the Middle Ages, and consider these works of art in their social, historical and cultural contexts. The primary goals of this course are to learn how to look, how to describe and analyze what we see, and how to use these skills to understand and explain how art visually expresses meaning. At the end of the term, students will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of the discipline of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors.
3
   ARTH-136
   General Education - Global Perspective: History of Western Art: Renaissance to                 Modern
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of important objects and monuments dating from the European Renaissance through the beginning of the twentieth century, and consider these works of art in their social, historical and cultural contexts. The primary goals of this course are to learn how to look and how to describe and analyze what we see, and to use these skills to understand and explain how art visually expresses meaning. At the end of the term, students will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of the discipline 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 and 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
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies.
0
 
   General Education - First-Year Writing (WI)
3
Choose one of the following:
3
 
   General Education - Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
 
 
   General Education - Scientific Principles Perspective
 
 
   General Education - Mathematical Perspective A
 
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
 
   General Education - Ethical Perspective
3
 
   General Education – Social Perspective 
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
 
   Open Elective
3
 
   General Education – 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-PR)
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 Elective‡
3
 
   Open Electives
9
 
   General Education – Immersion 3
3
 
   General Education - Elective  
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
120

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) 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, cost, and financial aid 

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