Create immersive worlds as a visual storyteller through the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration program at ArtCenter. Modern imagery involves problem-solving, conceptualizing, and multifunctional artistic capabilities—all skills you’ll grow and develop alongside your ideas and philosophies of art and consumption. As an illustrator in print, digital, and multimedia contexts, you’ll be uniquely situated to open conversations about the social, political, and cultural concepts that define your generation.

Program Overview

With the guidance of award-winning artists and illustrators, you’ll master techniques in drawing, painting, and illustrating for emerging media, then specialize your craft in one of six tracks. In cross-disciplinary collaborations, you’ll sharpen your individual voice and prepare to work on dynamic team projects with leading game design, film, and commercial studios. Courses on business and professional practice will equip you to thrive as both an employee and an entrepreneur within fast-paced creative industries.

Six Different Illustration Tracks

The illustration major offers versatile options for deepening your craft in illustration design, entertainment arts, entertainment arts consumer products, fine art painting, motion design, and surface design. On whichever path best suits your professional goals, you’ll develop specialized tools and practices for thriving in your career.

Illustration Design Track

Sketch, draw, paint, and more as you prepare for a dynamic career as a visual storyteller. Immerse yourself in technical elements like perspective and drawing hands along with market-relevant skills for children’s publishing and illustrating for the New York Times.

Entertainment Arts Track

Generate interest and intrigue as an animator with skills in character design, storyboarding, developing action, creating backgrounds, and more. You’ll be prepared to work in all kinds of entertainment media, from films and TV to commercials and video game design.

Entertainment Arts Consumer Products Track

Craft stories and products that engage audiences. The consumer products track pairs expertise in entertainment arts with experience researching market trends and turning fresh ideas into real-life products.

Fine Art Painting Track

Ground your work in deep-rooted study of craft, technique, art history, and conceptual processes. In courses on materials, composition, color theory, narrative, and more, you’ll hone your skills and develop a portfolio of unique paintings.

Motion Design Track

Produce advertisements, public service announcements, music videos, and films informed by technical and artistic elements of motion design. From title sequencing to VFX, you’ll master sequential design and cinematic motion in order to excel in the industry.

Surface Design Track

Apply your touch to textile design and graphic illustrated imagery for soft goods, interior design, fashion, and gift consumers. Examine trends, materials, consumer products, and techniques for surface designs that pop in a crowded market.

What You’ll Learn

The BFA in illustration fosters skills that you can transfer across creative industries: from fashion and entertainment to gallery installations and fine art, music motion graphics to visual albums, interior decor to toy design, and much more. Expand your understanding of the world—and its influence on your art—in humanities and science electives. Experience the contemporary illustration scene firsthand in discussions with visiting artists and lecturers, portfolio design labs, and our prized short-term study abroad opportunity in London. Forge your future success in the illustration degree track that most closely aligns with your career goals and creative aspirations.

Careers in Illustration

Translate your creative gifts into an engaging, meaningful career with ArtCenter’s bachelor’s in illustration degree. Our graduates’ work appears in Big Five publications, Marvel VFX, high fashion editorials, Dreamworks storyboards, street art festivals, Skechers shoes, video games, Metallica posters, and so much more. At ArtCenter, you’ll develop versatile techniques, analyze salient historical and cultural influences, and emerge with a distinct artistic voice. Prepare for careers in:

  • Advertising Illustration
  • Animation and Gaming
  • Character Development (Television, Print)
  • Comics
  • Digital Illustration
  • Educational Illustration (Products and Promotions)
  • Fashion Illustration
  • Gallery and Exhibition Installations
  • Illustrator Representation/Agenting
  • Licencing and Product Illustration
  • Print Media
  • Publishing
  • Storyboard Art
  • Technical Illustration
  • Toy Design
  • Visual Development Artist for Feature Animation, Entertainment and TV

Learn more about Illustration at ArtCenter

Get feedback on your admissions portfolio and receive guidance throughout your application process.

Mentorship Program pairs students with mentors: Jerron Hess and Karen Kuo

To explore the creative portfolios of our graduating Illustration students, please visit the Grad Show website.

Student Gallery


Ann Field

I see a new power on the move: The triumph of the handmade, manmade individual work with a voice.

Ann FieldChair, Illustration

Illustrate This! Illustration Alumni Forge Many Career Paths

Sponsored Projects

Sponsored Projects bring industry professionals into the classroom

Earn Your BFA in Illustration at ArtCenter

Make images that transcend the boundaries of tradition in ArtCenter’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration program. Design your studies around your interests in one of six illustration tracks and develop a portfolio marked by thoughtful creation, philosophical reflection, and cultural awareness that will distinguish you and your blossoming career.

portrait of a woman

Take the first step toward a career in illustration.