Illustrators come in all shapes and sizes. They work for ad agencies, publishing houses, newspapers, animation studios, and gaming companies, and they even work for technology firms, the courts, law enforcement agencies, and medical labs. Because illustration is in high demand in many industries, schools all over the U.S. have taken notice. This means, illustration programs aren’t just for art and design schools, and quality offerings are not limited to places like California and New York. Connecticut is a good example of just how much an off-the-beaten path location has to offer.
More than 140 newspapers are produced in Connecticut, including the oldest in America—the Hartford Courant. The state is responsible for the first hamburger, the Polaroid camera, the helicopter, and the first color television. What this means is, Connecticut isn’t afraid to be innovative and it is living proof that the old can live in harmony with the new. The state’s schools are also good examples of this notion. Many of the state’s 45+ accredited colleges and universities offer quality illustration programs that teach students the techniques of yesterday as a foundation for the techniques used today. The average Connecticut illustration program includes the history of illustration, drawing, painting, design studies, and computer art.
Connecticut Illustration Schools
Connecticut is home to several art schools and traditional colleges that offer a degree in illustration or a concentration in illustration. These schools offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B. F. A.), Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.), or both. Scroll through the list below to take a look at Connecticut’s illustration schools and what they have to offer.
Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts – Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Illustration
University of Connecticut - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Concentration in Illustration or Communication Design
Hartford Art School – B. F. A. Illustration, Media Arts, Visual Communication; M. F. A. Illustration
More Illustration related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Connecticut Illustrators
Connecticut is home to around 100 salaried illustrators/fine artists and possibly hundreds of freelancers. This number has increased since 2006, when the state was home to just 70 illustrators. While the population of salaried illustrators increased, salaries decreased slightly. In 2006, Connecticut illustrators earned $67,950. In 2010, they earned $62,120.
Across the nation, there are more than 23,000 salaried fine artists/illustrators and thousands of independent artists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 9 percent increase in the population of illustrators between 2008 and 2018, when the talent pool is expected to reach 25,700. In 2010, the median annual wages of illustrators nationwide were $42,650. The lowest paid illustrators earned less than $20,780, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $83,410. The middle 50 percent earned between $29,230 and $60,650.
The Bureau reports an average salary of $51,340 for independent artists. However, the Bureau also states that, “earnings for self-employed artists vary widely.” Newcomers to the field can expect to earn as much as the lowest paid (salaried) illustrators. Experienced freelance artists may earn more than the highest paid (salaried) illustrators. Keep in mind that freelance artists are responsible for their own benefits, so this may affect salaries some.