Art School For The Freelance Illustrator

by ryan

Art School For The Freelance Illustrator

Is It Necessary?

You do not need any sort of certification to become a freelance illustrator. However, based on my personal experience as an illustrator, I would highly recommend it.

I attribute most of my success to the 4 years of training that I received from College. I like to think of illustration as a sport. For instance, you could learn basketball on your own but you are better off training with a team if you want to get into the NBA. Not to say that you can’t or shouldn’t practice on your own time as well.

What Type Of Education/School Is BEST For Freelance Illustrators?

You want to find a program specifically tailored towards illustration; whether that is technical, medical, editorial, commercial or book illustration. Look for programs developed for your specific practice.

Here in Canada, I know that Sheridan College offers an excellent 4 year BAA illustration degree program. There are also colleagues like OCAD that offer specific art programs for illustrators.

Benefits Of An Art Education.

Learn and experience all the traditional and digital illustration disciplines (painting and drawing to web design and motion graphics).
Learn about the business of illustration. For example, contract and industry practices.

Prepares you for the real world so by the end of the program, you will have a ready portfolio and website.

Accelerated learning. You get to work with real working professionals who can see your weaknesses and strengths. Working with them directly help you quickly develop the skills and habits needed for the profession.

Be picky when you are choosing an art school. A tip is to research art college/schools that other successful illustrators have attended. They will usually list information in their bio.

Hope you find this article helpful. Feel free to share your perspective and experiences about art education below.

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