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Illustration BFA

As students grow in their capacity to draw from observation—a key tenet of the program—they learn to render images in a range of media and to develop a variety of visual concepts. Students also use electronic media to explore compositional elements of time and movement and learn how to integrate them into visual storytelling.

The illustration faculty are all active freelance illustrators or owners of their own illustration firms—and as such, offer significant insight into the demands of the professional landscape for illustration.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and use of a range of drawing/ painting materials & methods
  • Expertise in using tools to advance craft
  • Understand use of image-making technology
  • Understand observational drawing/ painting
  • Understand relationship between word and image
  • Understand implied & sequential narrative
  • Understand linear & atmospheric perspective
  • Understand conceptual thinking in the making process
  • Value and use experimentation, investigation, & risk taking
  • Embrace innovation in long term explorations
  • Develop strong personal voice
  • Understand importance of active studio practice
  • Understand and appreciate richness of cross-cultural influences
  • Understand and value practice of effective creative collaboration
  • Understand and value self-evaluation and critique
  • Understand and value strong visual, written & verbal presentation skills (portfolio, artist statements
  • Understand and value professional ethics and practices
  • Understand the role of artist/ illustrators (historic & contemporary)

Unique to MassArt

The program’s coursework culminates in a thesis project, consisting of a body of images that will reveal the student’s emerging style and personal point of view. Students exhibit this work and present their portfolio to invited professionals from publishing, editorial, advertising, institutional, and corporate markets.

Courses  Requirements