Today’s illustrators have a variety of career fields to choose from. They can work for an animation or film studio, an ad agency, graphic design firm, publisher, or even in criminal justice, medicine, or science. Just a few job titles include advertising illustrator, editorial illustrator, courtroom illustrator, medical or technical illustrator, fine artist, storyboard artist, and graphic designer. Fortunately, the State of Georgia is home to a variety of creative agencies, publishers and more, so graduates of the state’s finest art programs will have of plenty of opportunities to choose from.
Besides employment opportunities, aspiring illustrators in The Peach State will find that it is a pleasant place to live, with a thriving arts and culture scene and more. First, Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River and it is famous for being the nation’s number one producer of the three Ps—peaches, pecans, and peanuts. The state is also home to one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the U.S.—the Atlanta Metro Area. This area is home to famous art museums such as High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA), as well as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, and the Atlanta Ballet.
Besides the Atlanta Metro Area, Georgia is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful college campuses in the country. The state is home to 132 Title IV degree-granting colleges and universities and many of these schools offer art and design programs. Just a few of the best include Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), which has campuses in Atlanta, Savannah, Lacoste France, and Hong Kong, Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens, and the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Continue reading to find out which Georgia schools offer the best programs for aspiring illustrators and where to find them.
Georgia Illustration Schools
Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia – Degrees Offered: BFA Scientific Illustration, BFA Drawing & Painting, MFA Drawing & Painting
Art Institute of Atlanta - Degrees Offered: BFA Illustration
Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University – Degrees Offered: BFA Studio: Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking, MFA Studio: Drawing, Painting
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) – Degrees Offered: BA, BFA Illustration, BA, BFA, MFA Sequential Art, MA, MFA Illustration, MA Illustration Design
Georgia Regents University – Degrees Offered: BFA Art with a Track in Drawing/Painting, BA Art with a Track in Pre-Medical Illustration, MS Medical Illustration
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) – Degrees Offered: BA, BFA Illustration, BA Sequential Art, MA, MFA Illustration, MA Illustration Design
More Georgia Schools with Illustration related programs:
- Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, France, and Online via SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Georgia Illustrators
Georgia is home to 44,480 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (ADESM) occupations. Around 300 are salaried fine artists, which includes painters, sculptors, and illustrators. They average $40,360 per year down slightly from $40,450 in 2013, when the state was home to 240 fine artists. Nationwide, fine artists average $51,120 (mean) per year, down from $54,000 in 2013. The top paying industries for fine artists are:
- Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers (average $119,870 per year)
- Software Publishers ($94,680)
- Scientific Research and Development Services ($76,580)
- Employment Services ($72,120)
- Motion Picture and Video Industries ($66,210)
Although the average salary for fine artists decreased between 2013 and today, employment is expected to increase by four percent for the 2012-2022 decade. Also, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “demand for illustrators who work on a computer will increase, as media companies use more detailed images and backgrounds in their designs.” In addition, “new opportunities are expected to arise, as the number of electronic magazines, Internet-based publications, and video games grows.” The industries with the highest employment levels for fine artists are:
- Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers
- Motion Picture and Video Industries
- Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers
- Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers
- Software Publishers
While illustrators may find employment opportunities in a number of Georgia cities and towns, the state’s larger cities may offer a greater number of options. Atlanta, Columbus, Augusta, Macon, Savannah, Athens, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Johns Creek, and Albany are the state’s largest cities.
Awesome Animation Fact: Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993) required 13 animators and over 100 specially trained camera operators, puppet makers, set builders, and prop makers. There were a total of eight camera crews and 19 sound stages with 230 sets total. -Buzzfeed