The state of Ohio features several densely populated metro areas and many thousand flourishing commercial enterprises. Ohio's thriving economy supports a continuous supply of employment opportunities for talented local visual artists in the field of commercial graphics. Within this highly specialized field of visual design, artists with superb illustration technique have the best chance of financial success.
Ohio Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
Ohio is overflowing with accredited colleges and private art schools featuring a full range of classes and professional programs in commercial illustration. Aspiring illustration artists attending local colleges usually major in visual arts or communications design, but also study computer science. Accredited Ohio colleges with fine arts divisions include Ashland University of Communication Arts in Ashland, Davis College in Toledo, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton and Cleveland State University.
At the same rate, other Ohio artists acquire commercial illustration skills online. Successful accredited online colleges of graphic arts include the Academy of Art University, Post University, Full Sail University, National University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes, DeVry and ITT Tech. Quite a few accredited internet colleges also maintain neighborhood facilities. University of Phoenix has locations in Beachwood, Independence and Westlake (all near Cleveland), West Chester (near Cincinnati) and Columbus. ITT Tech has campuses in Akron, Columbus, Dayton, Maumee, Norwood, Warrensville Heights, Strongsville, Hilliard and Youngstown. DeVry is located in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Seven Hills. The Art Institute maintains a convenient Cincinnati facility.
Working as an Illustrator in Ohio
Highly conceptual Ohio illustrators often work for local graphic design firms like TGR Graphic Design in Medina, Toni's Graphic Design in Dayton, Y-Design Graphics in Parma, Hansen Creative Services in Groveport and Byron Graphic Design in Orrville, to name a few. Local illustrators with an edgy aesthetic might work for Ohio tattoo outfitters like Tattoo-Tech in Dayton, Tattoo Guru in Elyria, Nightbreed in Chillicothe or Tracy's Tattoos in Portsmouth.
Precision illustrators are frequently employed by local engineering firms such as CH2M-Hill in Dayton, Bauer-Davidson-Merchant in Powell, Campbell-&-Associates in Cuyahoga Falls, Civil-Design-Associates in New Philadelphia and Bayer-Becker Engineers in Fairfield, among others. Ohio artists with a penchant for realism might contract with local medical illustration companies like Wayne-Heim-Medical-Illustration in Chesterland, Spiritual-Illustrations in Chillicothe or Urwin-Medical-Illustrations in Dublin.
Professional illustrators employed full time in the state of Ohio report an average annual salary of about $49,380, with a reported mean hourly rate of roughly $23.75. Ohio businesses currently employ approximately 190 full time professional illustrators. None of these figures apply to the employment stats of part time illustrators or local freelancers.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
Professional illustrators are versatile visual artists who create innovative detailed drawings across a broad spectrum of styles, genres, subject matter and media. Today's illustrators are experienced in traditional drawing and coloring methods, as well as with related digital illustration software programs like Simply-3D, Macromedia-Freehand, ACD-Canvas, Auto-CAD and Vector-Eye.