The Illustration BFA program encompasses a wide range of professional markets, including graphic narratives from children's books to comics, character design, concept art, editorial, and surface design.
The Illustration program is all about productivity, professionalism, and serious play: you choose illustration because you have a story to tell, a character to bring to life, a sequence to storyboard, or are just compelled to make stuff. Using visual language and a wide range of tools and methods, you'll have the skills to conceptualize and execute projects that prepare you for a career in the professional world. We promote a variety of approaches to studio work, from traditional to experimental, from 2D to 3D, from classic mediums to the latest digital technology.
You'll begin with courses like Illustration Now, which combines making lots of work with exploring the many areas that contemporary illustrators occupy. Followed by Principles of Illustration in your second semester, where you learn the process by which great illustrative ideas are conceived and developed with art direction into compelling images. Your first year builds the foundation for you to become more sophisticated and thus professional in developing concepts, using appropriate techniques, and creating and presenting engaging work. This is an ongoing and iterative undertaking that begins in art school and continues throughout your art career.
Our innovative departmental offerings include a variety of approaches to making illustration including courses like Alternative Comix & The Graphic Novel, The Illustrated Product, Concept Art, Animal Anatomy, Character Design, Visual Journalism, Intro to Indie Games, Techniques: Mixed Media and many more. We encourage you to develop and follow what inspires you and to explore any of the many art making and academic approaches offered across programs at Lesley.
We guide you to your goals through rigorous and engaging course work and critique, individual mentoring, healthy and supportive competition and collaboration with your peers. Our active community includes the Illustration Club, well known visiting artists, trips to museums and other places of interest, exciting professional internships, and a philosophy of involvement in global and popular culture.
We know that the successful illustrator has a strong and unique voice that combines ideas, mediums and techniques, and the professional marketing skills to successfully promote work - from visual narratives in children's books and comics, to character design, storyboard, editorial, and surface design, Illustration offers infinite possibilities for you to leave your mark.
We are committed to your growth through a solid general education and studio based learning. It is our goal to help you develop awareness and self-direction as well as critical thinking and the concrete skills of your craft. We are committed to your development as an artist who knows the value of hard work, passion, innovation, fearlessness, collaboration, and play. Illustrators are shapers of popular culture both high and low; you've got something to give the world and we are here to facilitate that.
Specific evolution of skills for Illustration Majors:
Beyond traditional super-heroic narratives, sequential art in America (and beyond) is wide-open in both content and format. From short, autobiographical meditations to thousand page historical epics, indy and alternative authors create comics from low-tech to polished, from low-brow to avant garde. Weekly assignments will push your storytelling skills, while class lectures demonstrate the vast range of comic book genres and production methods. Your comics can be anything you want, and in this class, they will be.
Body Adornment & Fashion Drawing is a drawing course in which students examine adornments, such as garments, tattoos, piercings, hairstyles, and jewelry, and how they are used as expression and self-identification. Through readings and lectures students are presented with the cultural context to understand adornment in its many forms, knowledge that will serve them in the development of characters for illustration, sequential narratives, and animation. Students experiment with a variety of media, drawing from radically clothed models, and developing adornments and fashions of their own.
View the Illustration Course Catalog
Visual Narratives Minor
Book Art Minor
Illustration APC Certificate
All Art and Design Majors and Minors
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Design and Illustration Alumni Paints 20th Anniversary Mural at TD Garden
View Winning Work From Illustration Students.