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How to Become an Illustrator in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee is Wisconsin's largest city, home to a steady economy of almost seventy-thousand corporations and private businesses. Companies throughout Milwaukee continually employ talented local visual artists as graphic designers, especially in the field of commercial illustration.
Milwaukee Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
Milwaukee, Wisconsin maintains several colleges and many independent fine art schools that offer private instruction, classes and degree courses in illustration art. Coveted Milwaukee colleges of graphic design include University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Mount Mary College, Wisconsin Lutheran College of Art and Milwaukee School of Engineering.
On the other hand, more and more visual artists residing in Milwaukee prefer the convenience of online colleges. Successful accredited online schools of commercial graphics include The Art Institutes, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute, DeVry, National University, ITT Tech and University of Phoenix. Internet schools often provide local facilities to supplement their online services. The Art Institute, University of Phoenix and DeVry all have campuses in Milwaukee. ITT Tech has a campus in Greenfield, not far from Milwaukee.
Working as an Illustrator in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee illustrators regularly work with local graphic design firms like Webco Technology Group, Pink-Elephant-Graphic-Design, Eagle Graphics, Net Solutions Group and Halo-Design-&-Copy, for example. Other Milwaukee artists create cool body art for local tattoo distributors like Airbrush Tattoos, Absolute Tattooing, Skin Deep Tattoo or Royal Grooms.
Some local illustrators design technical artwork for major Milwaukee engineering firms such as Barrientos Design, Kukoda Engineering, Premier Engineering, Zoe Engineering and Engineering Arbiters, among others. Realist illustrators might create anatomical images for Milwaukee-based medical illustration companies like Artemis-Medical, Patrick-Turner-Mixed-Medical or Ellen-Anderson-Illustrations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional illustrators who are employed full time in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin report an average annual income of about $44,950, with a reported mean hourly wage of around $21.60. Milwaukee corporations currently support roughly fifty full time illustrators. These figures, however, do not reflect the employment statistics of local freelancers.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
Illustrators are visual artists who create highly recognizable hand-drawn images, often with astounding accuracy and intricate detail. Professional illustration artists design characters, calendars, corporate logos, brochures, periodical images, product packaging and more. Illustrators are also experienced writers with solid web design skills, not to mention complete proficiency with mainstream digital illustration software packages. Popular varieties include Quark Xpress, Macromedia Freehand, Flash, Celedy Draw and Arts-Letters.