Balance imagination with skill refinement

Illustrators arouse curiosity, stimulate interest, tell stories, and illuminate issues. Our bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degree program balances imagination and individual expression with continual refinement of skills in drawing, painting, design, and research.

Vanessa Castillo ’16 | FKA Twigs Vanessa Castillo ’16 | FKA Twigs
Sabrina Elahi ’16 | Locks of Hair Sabrina Elahi ’16 | Locks of Hair
Olivia Ferlenda ’16 | Winter Time in the City Olivia Ferlenda ’16 | Winter Time in the City
Daisy Gan ’16 | Cinderella Daisy Gan ’16 | Cinderella
Son Tuyen Huynh ’16 | Fence Son Tuyen Huynh ’16 | Fence
Yoon Ah Jeong ’17 | The Stroke Yoon Ah Jeong ’17 | The Stroke
Lindsey Leigh ’16 | Bug Lineup Lindsey Leigh ’16 | Bug Lineup
Lindsey Leigh ’16 | Cinderella Lindsey Leigh ’16 | Cinderella
Sherry Liu ’16 | Untitled Sherry Liu ’16 | Untitled
Christina Mastrull ’15 | Handmaid's Tale Christina Mastrull ’15 | Handmaid's Tale
Nathaniel McClennen ’15 | Ultimate Playground Nathaniel McClennen ’15 | Ultimate Playground
Christie O'Donnell ’16 | Aesop Christie O'Donnell ’16 | Aesop
Christie O'Donnell ’16 | Postcard Christie O'Donnell ’16 | Postcard
Natalie Riess ’15 | Dragon Spread Natalie Riess ’15 | Dragon Spread
Bernardo Rodriguez ’18 | Untitled for a Reason Bernardo Rodriguez ’18 | Untitled for a Reason
Will Smith IV ’16 | Game Postcards Will Smith IV ’16 | Game Postcards
Will Smith IV ’16 | Kraken Will Smith IV ’16 | Kraken
Lise Sukhu ’15 | Children Lise Sukhu ’15 | Children
Carly Wright ’18 | Wild Things Carly Wright ’18 | Wild Things
Carly Wright ’18 | Bob Ross Carly Wright ’18 | Bob Ross
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Illustration majors take a variety of studio courses, including drawing, painting, digital, and other media to develop competency with a wide range of techniques. They’ll also take classes to develop conceptual thinking, narrative, research methods, and familiarity with the field. Students are strongly encouraged to develop their own individual vision and aesthetic.

The Illustration Concept classes are offered with four different focuses to help students dig more deeply into particular professional areas. If interested, students can explore more than one. The visual development focus grooms students to find work in visual and character development for animation and gaming. The editorial focus is for students interested in magazine, newspaper, book jacket, and online publishing. The sequential focus is for students who want to work in a serial form, whether comics, graphic novels, or children’s books. The licensing focus is tailored to students who want to create products, patterning, packaging, and countless other manifestations of graphic illustration. 

The illustration program offers a multitude of opportunities to intersect with the profession through visiting artists, in workshops and lectures, and on trips to New York City and elsewhere. Students often take advantage of study overseas through SU Abroad, which offers 100 programs in 60 countries. Illustration majors often choose to study at the SU campus in Florence, Italy.

Alumni from the illustration program are successful in such areas as illustration for children's books, comics, graphic novels, newspaper, greeting cards, licensing, advertising, magazine, book and online publishing, as well as visual development in animated films, television, and the gaming industry.

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