|Texas A&M University||Commerce|
|University of North Texas||Denton|
|Sam Houston State University||Huntsville|
|Stephen F. Austin State University||Nacogdoches|
Forbes says Houston is America’s Coolest City. Austin is at the top of the list of cities with the best street art and Dallas is home to amazing architecture and some of the nation’s most visited art venues. Texas’s second largest city, San Antonio has an emerging contemporary art scene that attracts spectators from around the world. Yes, Texas has one of the best art and culture scenes in the country, and fine artists such as illustrators have taken notice. Thanks to all that Texas has to offer artists, the state is now home to 110,390 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (ADESM) occupations.
In addition to a large population of artists, Texas is home to a wide variety of schools that offer art and design programs of all kinds. The University of Texas at Dallas is an excellent example. This coveted cutting-edge college offers everything from a Bachelor of Arts in Design to a Ph.D. in Arts and Technology. Other top art and design schools include Stephen F. Austin State University, which offers Fine Arts, Cinematography, and Drawing programs, and Southern Methodist University, which offers everything from Studio Art to Digital Gaming degrees.
While many schools in Texas offer art and design programs, two in particular offer the best programs for illustrators. Several others offer top-rated programs for drawing majors. It is important to note that both programs offer many of the same courses, but they are not identical in the eyes of many employers. For example, some game studios may prefer candidates with a degree in illustration, while a children’s book publisher may be open to both drawing and illustration majors.
Continue reading to find out which Texas schools offer the best programs for aspiring illustrators and where to find them.
Texas Illustration Schools
Texas is home to 252 Title IV degree-granting colleges and universities. A Title IV school is eligible for federal financial aid programs, so they are well within the reach of students with financial need. This is good news for aspiring illustrators that may choose a private school over a state school. Scroll through the list below to review Texas’s illustration schools and what they have to offer.
Texas A&M University Commerce - Degrees Offered: BFA Visual Communication Arts with an Emphasis in Illustration/Copywriting
Angelo State University - Degrees Offered: BA Art with an Emphasis in Graphic Illustration or Painting + Drawing; BA Studio Art with a Painting + Drawing Emphasis
Other Options - Texas Drawing Schools
University of North Texas - Degrees Offered: BFA Studio Art with a Concentration in Drawing
Sam Houston State University - Degrees Offered: BFA Art with an Emphasis in Drawing
Texas Tech University - Degrees Offered: BFA Studio Art with an Emphasis in Painting + Drawing
Stephen F. Austin State University - Degrees Offered: BA, BFA Fine Art, Art Studio with a Concentration in Drawing
More Texas Illustration related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Texas Illustrators
In 2012, Texas was home to 106,350 professionals working in ADESM occupations. Today, the state is home to 110,390. Nearly 600 are fine artists including painters, sculptors and illustrators up from 460 in 2009. The average salary for the group is $54,120 per year, up from $45,480 in 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports an 11 percent increase in employment for ADESM occupations as a whole for the 2012-2022 decade. Fine artists can expect a four percent increase for the same decade.
The top paying industries for fine artists are:
- Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers – average $119,870 annually
- Software Publishers – average $94,680 annually
- Scientific Research and Development Services – average $76,580 annually
- Employment Services - average $72,120 annually
- Motion Picture and Video Industries – average $66,210 annually
The industries with the highest levels of employment 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 many Texas cities and towns, some of the best opportunities can be found in major cities such as Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano and Laredo. Off-the-beaten path places such as Brazosport, Marfa, and Odessa may offer unique opportunities for illustrators as well.
Awesome Animation Fact: Walt Disney Animation Studio’s Chicken Little is filled with fun facts. Here are just a few: The film is very loosely based on the fable "The Sky is Falling." The film opened in 84 theaters in a new Disney Digital 3-D process. It was the first fully computer generated feature film produced in-house by Disney. There are a whopping 250,000 feathers on Chicken Little. -Walt Disney World, Magical Kingdoms