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Tips on Becoming an Illustrator in Georgia
The state of Georgia features a heavily tourism-based economy and an estimated resident population of nearly ten million people. Among Georgia's many thousand thriving commercial businesses are the headquarters of fifteen Fortune 500 companies. Georgia is also known for its sizable pool of talented local artists pursuing visual arts careers, particularly in the field of illustration.
Georgia Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
Georgia has quite a few good colleges and Universities, as well as many excellent independent art instructors, offering classes and certificates in illustration design. Colleges in Georgia with visual arts degree programs include the Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts and Technology in Statesboro, Westwood College in Atlanta, Thomas University in Thomasville, University of Georgia in Athens and Lane School of Art in Decatur. Aspiring commercial illustration artists attending Georgia colleges typically major in fine arts or graphic design.
By the same token (and for a lot less money), many Georgia illustrators acquire technical skills online. Successful accredited online schools of visual design include Full Sail University, National University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, DeVry, The Art Institutes and ITT Tech. Internet colleges promote their convenience and flexibility, often providing physical locations to supplement their online offerings. University of Phoenix has campuses in Atlanta, Macon, Marietta, Augusta, Columbus and Savannah. ITT Tech maintains locations in Kennesaw, Duluth and Atlanta. The Art Institutes has training centers in Decatur and Atlanta. DeVry has campuses in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Decatur, Duluth and Stockbridge.
Working as an Illustrator in Georgia
Businesses in Georgia that hire professional illustrators include art schools, book publishers, software developers, landscape designers and medical arts companies. Some Georgia illustrators work at leading local graphic design firms like Spin Creative in Atlanta, Lace Graphics & Design in Augusta, iCandy Graphics in Hiram, King Graphic Design in Marietta and Southern Graphic Designs in Macon, for instance. Other local illustrators contract with cutting-edge engineering firms like Nicolae Trifu Illustrations in Atlanta, Horizon Engineering in Marietta, Muntner Design & Illustration in Loganville, Sowega Engineering in Dawson and Schnabel Engineering in Alpharetta, among others.
Full time professional illustration artists employed with Georgia businesses claim an average annual salary of about $40,590, with a reported mean hourly rate of around $19.50. The state of Georgia supports approximately 240 full time professional illustrators. However, these figures do not reflect the unreported incomes of local freelance professionals.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
Professional illustration artists are exceptionally talented at drawing and/or coloring doodles, sketches, outlines, conceptual abstracts and complex technical designs. Their work is marked by intricate detail and easy recognition of whatever the image represents. Illustrators are versatile artists, competent in various mechanical media and able to adopt an assortment of styles. Illustrators are also fully familiar with popular digital illustration design software programs like Adobe Illustrator, Zoner Draw, Macromedia-Freehand, Serif Draw, Draw It and a long list of others.