The state of Colorado is filled with resident visual artists exploring careers in the field of illustration design. Colorado companies hire illustration experts to create text and cover art, promotional materials, video game elements and web graphics, among other things. Colorado is ideal for gifted artists seeking employment in this highly specialized occupation.
Colorado Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
Clusters of colleges throughout Colorado, not to mention innumerable independent art schools, offer a wide range of classes and workshops for aspiring illustrators. Popular accredited Colorado colleges of art and design include Denver School of the Arts in Denver, Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs and Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Also recommended is Colorado Technical University, which has campuses in Denver, Pueblo and Colorado Springs. Popular non-degree Colorado art academies include Bemis School of Art in Colorado Springs and Leroy Johns Legacy in Fort Collins.
Nevertheless, many aspiring Colorado illustrators earn their degrees online. Prolific internet art schools offering degree programs include Full Sail University, National University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, DeVry and many others. Some online art colleges also maintain local facilities. University of Phoenix is located in Lone Tree, Fort Collins, Centennial, Aurora, Westminster, Pueblo and Colorado Springs. The Art Institute has a campus in Denver. ITT Tech maintains training centers in Westminster and Aurora. DeVry is accessible in Westminster, Greenwood Village and Colorado Springs.
Working as an Illustrator in Colorado
Creative Colorado corporations that recruit local illustrators include newspapers, book publishers, authors, medical graphics companies and mobile app designers. Some local illustrators hook up with leading Colorado engineering firms like Alphatronics-Engineering in Colorado Springs, Brandon-Engineering in Denver or CBG-Engineering Fort Collins, for example. Other Colorado illustrators create commercial art for top local graphic design companies such as Blueline-Graphics in Colorado Springs, Don-Dennis-Design in Denver and Voice-Graphics in Fort Collins, among others.
Full time professional illustrators employed in the state of Colorado earn, on average, about $50,530 per year, with a reported average hourly rate of around $24.30. Colorado companies employ about 130 full time illustrators. These stats are based on data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and do not reflect the unreported incomes of part time illustrators, freelance professionals or Colorado artists employed by foreign companies.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
Traditional technical illustration skills include natural creative talent and trained versatility of style, method and medium. Professional illustrators can consistently create compelling innovative artwork in a variety of styles, using almost any visual design implement. Modern-day illustrators are also fully familiar and entirely proficient with all relevant digital illustration design software programs. Among the current favorites are Adobe PhotoShop, Intaglio, Creature House, Celedy Draw and Quark Xpress, to name just a few. Most illustrators are handy photographers. Many also possess advanced computer skills such as web page design, programming and online marketing.