The enchanted state of New Mexico features a resident population of well over two million people and a prosperous local fine arts culture. New Mexico is also home to as many as 175,000 for-profit corporations and private commercial enterprises issuing a persistent demand for gifted graphic artists, especially illustrators.
New Mexico Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
New Mexico's rusty red landscape is dotted with colleges, Universities and private fine arts studios offering workshops and degrees in commercial illustration. Aspiring illustrators attending art schools in New Mexico typically study visual arts, computer science, communication design and other related topics. New Mexico colleges with graphic arts programs include University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Saint John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, San Juan College in Farmington, Eastern New Mexico University in Portales and New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
Nevertheless, hundreds of New Mexico artists each year acquire skills and degrees by enrolling in virtual educational programs. Successful accredited online schools of fine arts include Stratford Career Institute, Post University, Full Sail University, University of Phoenix, DeVry, The Art Institutes, National University and ITT Tech. Some online colleges additionally provide physical campus locations. University of Phoenix has campuses in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Santa Teresa. ITT Tech has a convenient Albuquerque location.
Working as an Illustrator in New Mexico
Many New Mexico illustrators are employed by local graphic design firms such as Lucky Graphic Design in Albuquerque, Gregor Graphic Design in Santa Fe, Sunset Graphic Design in Rio Rancho, Enchanted Graphics in Las Cruces and Zia Graphics in Los Lunas, to name a few. Other local artists illustrate intricate structural designs for New Mexico engineering firms like Burton Engineers in Albuquerque, PSB Engineering in Santa Fe, Rivera Engineering in Rio Rancho, Gwynne Engineering in Las Cruces and Architecture Illustrated in Corrales, for instance. Some illustrators draw anatomical designs for local medical illustration companies like Information Illustrated in Albuquerque, Lee Macleod Illustrations in Santa Fe or Wintermute Illustrations in Alameda. Other New Mexico corporations in need of professional illustrators include video game designers, software developers, photo labs, sign makers and greeting card manufacturers.
Full time professional illustrators in the state of New Mexico report an average annual salary of about $52,840, with a reported mean hourly wage of roughly $25.40. These figures do not reflect the unreported incomes of part time illustrators or local freelance professionals.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
Professional illustrators are experts in the translation of written or verbalized ideas into detailed visual designs. Applicable skills include photography, lighting, print media, packaging design, photo editing, web design and animation. Illustrators are often experienced in all forms of traditional visual media as well as with several related digital software applications. Popular illustration software packages include iDraw, Serif Draw, Sketsa SVG, Diagram Designer and Simply-3D.