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Illustration Curriculum


General Catalog: Illustration

The Illustration emphasis is centered around four core classes:

Illustration 1: Process ART 2450 | This course is designed to cover a range of topics in Illustration. Students will be introduced to the various paths they can take within illustration, including editorial, publishing, advertising, visual development, surface design, and fashion Illustration. The wide breadth of content in this course will reinforce critical aspects of the Illustration process, to include: conceptual thinking, expansive iteration, storytelling, and working within set project parameters. Students will learn that Illustration is not a medium or a way of making images, but rather a purpose, which can be approached from countless directions. This course is not media specific, and students will be encouraged to experiment with both analog and digital. Throughout this course, sketchbooks will be used as a problem-solving tool, as well as a means of visual exploration. Students will be introduced to the work of a wide range of contemporary and historic illustrators practicing in the paths covered by the course.

Illustration 2: Narrative Approaches ART 3280 | In this course, students will deepen their engagement with source materials by learning to analyze writing, and draw out interesting stories from even the blandest text. The course will cover strategies for pulling themes and key information from text, and students will have opportunities to write and illustrate their own stories. Focusing on editorial, publishing, and advertisement markets, students will gain experience illustrating a wide variety of source materials including: journalistic articles, short fiction, children’s book prose, poetry, scientific journals, interpretive signage, and ad briefs. Students will learn about the role of an illustrator as a collaborator, and how partnerships can help shape their vision in positive and unexpected ways. This course will prepare students to confidently approach any type of source material and transform it into a more powerful visual narrative.

Illustration 3: World & Voice ART 4050 | This course will explore the concept of creating immersive worlds and developing cohesion between images. Students will be encouraged to think about what they are drawing both on and off the page, and how to adapt their work to fit different markets. Aside from broad visual topics such as sequence and continuity, students will begin to look at other potential avenues for illustration, example: character design, visual development, packaging and identity, surface design and sequential art. Students will use this course to develop a consistent way of looking at and interpreting their surroundings on the page, and learn to inject authorship into their role as an illustrator.

Illustration 4: Capstone ART 4400 | In this course, students will work on assignments that more closely simulate industry requirements and expectations, aiming to create work that is polished and portfolio-ready. Professional development will be a large component of Illustration 4, and students will gain enough knowledge to feel confident to enter out into the professional environment, exploring topics like creating a portfolio website, self-promotion, finances, ethics, and both seeking out and creating opportunities for themselves. By the end of the course, students will have a website with a portfolio of work, as well as marketing materials (postcards, business cards, and other other eye-catching promotional materials).

In addition to these courses, Illustration students will be required to take:

Drawing 1 ART 3130 | An in-depth investigation of drawing process, to include an emphasis in design, color, and exploration of a wide range of wet and dry media.

Drawing 2 ART 4110 | This course builds upon components presented in ART 3130 and DRAW 3130 with an investigation of drawing as an organizing tool for thorough and personal image exploration.

Painting 1 ART 3110 | The course introduces materials, techniques and the processes of painting.

Figure Painting ART 3150 | This course builds upon components in ART 3120 and ART 4120 with the human figure as its subject. Students will concentrate on forming and structuring ideas for proper expression of visual literacy.

Figure Structure ART 3120 | This course is a deep exploration into the architecture of the human anatomy. The live model, skeleton, anatomy book, and flayed cadaver sculpture are all used to explore the form and space of the human figure. Perspective, cubic space, and topography are emphasized as the plastic means of expression. The human figure, rather than an absolute reality, is a continuum or synthesis of various ways of knowing.

Life Drawing ART 4120 | This course builds upon components presented in ART 3120, DRAW 3120, ART 3130 and DRAW 3130 with increasing effectiveness in drawing the human figure and increasing the use of the figure as an expressive metaphor. Relative emphases are adjusted to the needs of the individual student.

Digital Drawing ART 3135 | This course enhances the studio fine arts experience by introducing students to experimental mark making and digital drawing. Through a combination of studio-based and lab-based class sessions, students explore the possibilities of mark making through traditional drawing and digital drawing. Within the traditional drawing lab, students learn a variety of drawing approaches using both dry and wet media. Within the digital lab, students learn how to utilize their traditional drawings in a digital application, as well as how to create digital drawings. This combined traditional and digital studio course opens new, creative directions, facilitating the integration of dynamically evolving new media platforms for application in fine arts practice. It is recommended to complete ART1020, ART 2200, ART2250, or ART2205, before taking this course.

Communication Design 1 DESGR 1100 | This studio course, required of all BFA majors in Graphic Design, introduces students to the elements and principles of graphic composition, and the language of visual communication. Students will learn, explore, and apply both manual and digital methods towards the completion of theoretical design assignments.

Typography 1 DESGR 1600 | This studio course, required of all BFA majors in Graphic Design, introduces students to the basic elements and principles of typography, form and space Students will gain an understanding of typography as an integral part of design and develop basic typesetting skills.

History of Graphic Design DESGR 2600 | An overview of the history of graphic communication. Topics covered include: the invention of the written language, the origin of printing, graphic design in the Renaissance and Victorian eras, Art Nouveau, Pictorial Modernism, International Typographic Style, Post-Modernism, contemporary conceptual and new wave movements. Emphasis is on the Post-Art Nouveau eras.

Printmaking | Students may choose between ART 3034 (Intaglio), ART 3032 (Lithography), ART 3033 (Screenprint), and ART 3031 (Relief I)

Complete at least 3 of the following:

  • ART3045 - Landscape Painting/Plein Air Painting (3)
  • ART2740 - Digital Imaging for Visual Artists (3)
  • ART3715 - Digital Photography for Visual Artists (3)
  • ART3180 - Drawing Installation (3)
  • ART3160 - New Media Painting (3)
  • ART4180 - Special Topics (3)
  • ART3360 - Book Arts: Letterpress Printing I (3)
  • ART3310 - Relief I (3)
  • ART3320 - Lithography I (3)
  • ART3330 - Screenprint I (3)
  • ART3340 - Intaglio I (3)
  • ART3420 - Figure Sculpture I (3)
  • ART4140 - Drawing III (3)
  • ART4170 - Advanced Figure Painting (3)
  • ART4185 - Urban Artworks (3)
  • ART4900 - Special Topics in Studio Art (3)
  • ART4150 - Advanced Life Drawing (3)

Complete at least 2 courses from: Courses from ARTH 3000-4999

  • ART3010 - Language of Color: Beauty, Power, Meaning (3)
  • FILM3110 - History of Film until 1952 (4)
  • FILM3120 - History of Film from 1952 (4)