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Graphic titled five illustration careers you can pursue with a bachelor's degree

5 illustration careers you can pursue with a bachelor’s degree

Are you looking to become an illustrator but aren’t sure what career paths are available to you? According to Zippia, 70% of illustrators and graphic designers in the workforce currently hold a Bachelor’s degree. As the digital age of the twenty-first century continues to grow, so does the demand for qualified illustrators. In this blog, we will share five illustration careers you can pursue with your BFA from RMCAD.

Children’s Book Illustration

A popular career path to pursue after earning your illustration degree is becoming a children’s book illustrator, where you work with an author to bring a story to life through illustrations. When entering this field, it’s important to consider if you would like to work with an agent or represent yourself. The latter can come with added administrative responsibilities such as contracting, negotiating, and personally connecting with authors.

“I usually work on about eight children’s books a year,” explains RMCAD alum Luke Flowers. “Some days I think, ‘I got to draw monsters all day,’ I’m pretty lucky.” Flowers has illustrated more than 75 children’sbooks. Most notably, the New York Times Best-seller “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”

Concept Art for Games + Animation

If you enjoy bringing ideas to life, a career as a concept artist might be a rewarding path to follow after graduating with your BFA in Illustration. Concept artists work to sketch, illustrate, and draw conceptual pieces that guide the look and feel of the final product. From game studios to film productions, you will work with a variety of creatives to hone in on early to mid stages of creative development.

Comic Books + Graphic Novel Illustration

Illustrating comics and graphic novels can be an exciting career for those with an interest in the visually-heavy medium. The unique art style that both jobs boast is hard to come by outside of the profession. Comic book illustrators will typically sketch out each issue, which is then passed along to the inker and colorist. 

Many faculty members at RMCAD are working artists in a wide range of creative industries. Adjunct Professor Michael Wiggam works annually with Marvel Comics to illustrate for Marvel Pride, an LGBTQ+ comic book issue. “Comics are something that have always been a touchstone of my life,” explains Wiggam.

Product Illustration

Primarily working in the Adobe Suite with software such as Illustrator and Photoshop, product designers are the artists behind what we see around us each day. From soda cans to a box of colored pencils, each product needs a design that a product illustrator can create. Oftentimes, product illustrators convey complex ideas about a product in simplified ways.

Freelance Commissions

Out of the many illustration careers to choose from, many artists enjoy being their own boss. Whether you start an online business or create a booth at your local art fair, the sky’s the limit with opportunities. Many artists have their own aspirations and goals which they follow working on their own schedule.

Is an Illustration Career Right for You?

If any of these career paths are aligned with your interests, then a degree in illustration might be the right choice for you. It’s evident that the job of an illustrator allows for a flexible career path across a variety of industries. From children’s book illustration to freelance design, illustration opportunities are not slowing down any time soon, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To learn more about an illustration degree from RMCAD, request info today.


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