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What You Need to Know to Be an Illustrator in Montana
The state of Montana is sprawling with talented visual artists pursuing careers in illustration. Montana corporations hire local illustrators for all kinds of commercial arts projects including icons, logo design, banner ads, fictional characters and more.
Montana Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
Montana features a mountain of colleges, Universities and private instruction programs that offer training in commercial illustration. Aspiring illustration professionals attending Montana colleges typically study communication design and fine arts. Montana colleges with fine arts divisions include University of Montana in Missoula, Carroll College in Helena, College-of-Arts-and-Architecture in Bozeman and Lesley-College-Graduate-School in Great Falls, among others.
Meanwhile, many Montana artists acquire skills and degrees at accredited online schools. Successful internet-based art colleges include the Academy of Art University, Post University, Full Sail University, National University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes and ITT Tech. Some online art schools also provide physical campuses and local resource facilities.
Working as an Illustrator in Montana
Montana corporations that hire illustrators include greeting card companies, promotional advertisers, architectural firms, online news syndicates and landscape designers. Some local illustrators do creative commercial artwork for major Montana graphic design firms like Fleming-Graphics in Great Falls, Silver-Oak-Graphic-Design in Bozeman, 406-Graphics in Kalispell, Parriera-Graphic-Design in Helena and Galbavy-Graphics in Missoula, for instance.
Some Montana-based visual artists illustrate technical diagrams for leading local engineering companies like HKM-Engineering in Billings, Entranco in Helena, DJ&A in Missoula, Gaston-Engineering in Bozeman and Jackola-Engineering-and-Architecture in Kalispell, among others. Precision illustrators sometimes work for Montana medical illustration firms like Jenne-Illustration in Missoula, Nancy-Halter-Illustration in Billings or Spectrum-Medical in Butte.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional illustration artists employed full time at companies in the state of Montana claim an average annual earning of about $37,080, with a mean hourly income of around $17.85. Companies in Montana employ around forty full time professional illustrators. These stats do not reflect the incomes of local freelance professionals.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
Aside from the uncanny ability to draw and color original, detailed images, illustrators often also possess solid graphic design skills like composition and layout as well as photography and typesetting. Most modern-day professional illustrators use a basic technique that involves combining hand drawn sketches with appropriate software to produce ultra-high quality images. However, many illustrated works are one-hundred percent digitally created. Popular digital illustration software packages include Adobe Illustrator, eDraw Max, Compact Draw, Visio and Photo-to-Cartoon.