Formal education - illustration

  • Hi everyone,

    I am a practising architect. Recently I have developed this interest for illustration. So I have joined svs learn and is highly inspired by its teaching videos and work of other artists.
    Can anyone tell me some of the best schools for post graduation program in illustration (most of the programs I found are for animation. I want pure illustration, visual story telling) in the world?
    Or does self practicing and online tutorials like this is suffice?


  • Pro SVS OG

    @pn The verdict is out on whether you need formal teaching in illustration or not. Many successful artists are self-thought, and there is a wealth of resources online for learning by yourself (like SVS). So it can definitely work that way.
    I decided for a graduate illustration program, and I enrolled at the AAU on their cibercampus. You do not need to attend in person (you can, if you want to, but it is no requirement) which was perfect for me. I was an Illustration major for 2 years, then switched to Visual Development - it took me 4.5 years to complete the MFA requirements, because I was working full time as well. The AAU was the only choice available at that time because I could not attend in person. I personally loved it without reservations (with the expected ups and downs, depending on teachers), and found the quality and impact of the education outstanding. It is expensive, of course, much more than any online resource. For me it worked - I was willing to pay for the value of having a structured course of study and a very strong accountability element.
    If you are able to attend in person, there are more well-renowned schools you can choose from (I know mostly the European ones, so I am not a good source for you). All have considerable expenses, so you have to be ready for that commitment. The time commitment too is enormous - I worked on assignments at least 20-30 hours a week (and I was on a half-speed track). So, no sleeping for a couple of years 😉

  • @smceccarelli Great information you are really dedicated,glad all your hard work paid off.

  • Hey @smceccarelli
    You have done an elaborate study of illustration by now. I have gone through your work and they are outstanding. Keep up the good work.
    Pls let me know about the colleges in Europe, as I want Know the best schools for illustration in the world.

  • Pro SVS OG

    @pn The best schools I know of are in France: Gobelin School of the Image in Paris and the European School of Visual Arts in Angouleme. There may be other good ones, those are the ones which have a Europe-wide reputation - especially for narrative illustration (which invariably crosses into animation, so they are very famous for their animation curriculums). It is fabled that Illumination McGuff hired a big percent of the graduates from Gobelin to work on Despicable Me and their later films.
    Both have very stiff admission exams. A good friend of mine with a fabulous portfolio was rejected by Gobelin, went to a year of "preparatory school" and was finally admitted to Angouleme this past May. He told me about the admission exam at Gobelin, which is basically two days of "drawing tests", including live drawing and drawing from imagination, followed by a vocational interview.

  • I think it all comes from you. You can take classes in person here and there, and learn online. there are many places, in addition to here that teach classes online. and schoolism has in person classes around the world as well. I learned art in a traditional sense, and more specifically fine art printmaking, and am now shifting to illustration myself after 10 years. The thing that will make you stand out from the crowd is practice, practice, practice. it is up to you, if you have the self discipline to do it on your own, or if you need to be in a class setting to do it. Most of us are not able to take off and go back to school, so the best thing is to learn from several others and then incorporate all that knowledge into who you are and into your style. and you don't know what your style is until you start drawing for yourself. 🙂

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