Remember when you were a kid and you picked up one children’s book after another, marveling at the beauty of the images, the colors, the detail, and what you would now call the vividness of the characters at whose faces you were staring? The author created those characters, but it was the illustrator that let you see them, and in doing so, helped bring them to life.
In addition to being a major that will help prepare you for a career as a professional illustrator—whether you’re working for designers on web sites or trying to become the next Dr. Seuss—Illustration will also teach you about the aesthetics, philosophy, and business of the art world. Your classes will take into consideration formal artistic concerns faced by illustrators, as well as the ethics and law behind the profession you’re preparing to enter. So, pull out your pencils and sketch pads and prepare to enter an exciting and interesting world.
If you want to major in Illustration, in most cases you will need to have a portfolio of work in order to be admitted to a program. When reviewing portfolios, most schools look for strong observational drawing skills, so draw from life as often as you can. Use all resources available at your school. Check out local museums, community colleges, and universities for pre-college programs or seminars. Sometimes museums also offer volunteer opportunities for students.