Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Illustration

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The School of Illustration's BFA program embraces the art of visual and conceptual storytelling in any medium. Students develop the skills necessary to transform themselves into skilled, distinctive, professional illustrators able to meet the marketplace’s growing need for artists trained in visual problem-solving in both traditional and digital media. Exciting career paths await in comics and graphic novels, children's books, advertising, editorial illustration, and interactive illustration.

Course Description

Semester 1

  • FND 110: Analysis of Form
    Core / 3 Units
  • FND 112: Figure Drawing
    Core / 3 Units
  • ILL 101: Introduction to Illustration
    Major / 3 Units
  • ILL 133: Digital Media: Photoshop
    Core / 3 Units

Semester 2

  • FA 213: Introduction to Anatomy
    Core / 3 Units
  • FND 116: Perspective
    Core / 3 Units
  • FND 125: Color and Design
    Core / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • ILL 120: Clothed Figure Drawing 1
    Core / 3 Units
  • LA 108: Composition for the Artist
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 120: Art History Through the 15th Century
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer

Semester 3

  • FA 110: Still Life Painting 1
    Core / 3 Units
  • FA 222: Expressive Heads & Hands
    Core / 3 Units
  • GAM 233: Elements of Digital Painting
    Major / 3 Units
  • ILL 233: Digital Media 2: Illustrative Imaging
    Core / 3 Units
  • LA 291: Designing Careers
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units

Semester 4

  • ILL 220: Clothed Figure Drawing 2
    Major / 3 Units
  • ILL 232: Studio 1
    Core / 3 Units
  • ILL 315: Location Drawing & Painting
    Major /3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • ILL 333: Digital Media 3: Digital Paint
    Major / 3 Units
  • LA 121: Art History Through the 19th Century
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 202: English Composition: Creative Persuasion & Argument
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 243: History of American Illustration
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer

Semester 5

  • ILL 243: Advanced Perspective for Illustration, Film & Games
    Major / 3 Units
  • ILL 270: Digital Clothed Figure
    Major / 3 Units
  • ILL 332: Illustrative Vector Art & Motion
    Major / 3 Units
  • LA 110: Writing the Short Story
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 128: The Body As Art: History of Tattoo & Body Decoration
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units

Semester 6

  • ILL 338: Studio 2
    Major / 3 Units
  • ILL 388: Illustration for Consumer Products & Licensing
    Major / 3 Units
  • ILL 493A: Semester Abroad: Artist as Visual Journalist
    Elective / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • LA 124: Physics for Artists: Light, Sound, and Motion
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 127: Topics in World Art
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 171: Western Civilization
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 274: Study Abroad: Art & Architecture of Renaissance Florence
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer

Semester 7

  • ILL 445: Interactive Illustration
    Major / 3 Units
  • ILL 455: Editorial Illustration for Apps and Publication
    Major / 3 Units
  • LA 195: History of Comics: American Comics
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • WNM 249: Web Design 1
    Major / 3 Units

Semester 8

  • ILL 488: Studio 3
    Elective / 3 Units
  • ILL 491: Portfolio Preparation and Self Promotion
    Core / 3 Units
  • ILL 498: Collaborative Project
    Major / 3 Units
  • ILL 500: Internship in Illustration
    Elective / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • LA 218: Blogging: Content Creation & Promotion
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 315: Social Media Strategies
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer

Unit Requirements

Degree Requirements

BFA Illustration Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 107 Writing for the Multilingual Artist or 108 Composition for the Artist
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA and the following general education requirements:
  • 1 Written Communication: Composition
  • 1 Written Communication: Critical Thinking
  • 1 Written Communication: Context & Style
  • 2 Art Historical Awareness: Western Art
  • 2 Art Historical Awareness: Surveys
  • 1 Historical Awareness
  • 1 Quantitative Literacy
  • 1 Cultural Ideas & Influences
  • 1 Employment Communications & Practices

After the above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Academy of Art University / Academy of Art University

Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Drawing

  • Effectively utilize line, edge, value, and design in their work
  • Draw with opinion and evidence of individual style
  • Accurately and appropriately interpret the figure, landscape, and architecture

Composition and Color

  • Effectively use focal point, eye path and value
  • Create coherent thumbnails, comps, and layouts
  • Use color and value effectively to enhance story and ideas

Tools and Technique

  • Execute illustration work using appropriate tools and media

Visual Problem Solving

  • Demonstrate in their portfolio the ability to meet client needs and solve client problems
  • Tell a story visually and/or create visually engaging and conceptually meaningful imagery

Personal Style

  • Illustrate in a consistent and uniquely identifiable style

Critical Thinking and Development

  • Demonstrate the ability to research for inspiration, reference, accuracy, and incorporate findings into client-based solutions.
  • Articulate intentions and analyze whether or not work meets objectives

Presentation Skills

  • Professionally articulate ideas and proposals

Professional Development

  • Create cohesive digital and printed portfolios that incorporate current industry practices and presentation standards
  • Generate and maintain a business/career plan
  • Understand and practice professional pricing, contract, and bookkeeping skills
  • Clearly articulate career goals

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

For nearly 90 years, artists and designers have called Academy of Art University their home. Founded in San Francisco and family owned since 1929, it is the largest private art and design university i ... Read More

For nearly 90 years, artists and designers have called Academy of Art University their home. Founded in San Francisco and family owned since 1929, it is the largest private art and design university in the nation. Read less
San Francisco