What are the most selective art shools in the U.S. and UK that offer a BA, MA, or MFA in Illustration?
February 9, 2012 3:29 PM   Subscribe

What are the most selective art shools in the U.S. and UK that offer a BA, MA, or MFA in Illustration?

I'm curious to know what the "top" art schools are. The ones that are prestigious, and difficult to get into.

I'm already aware of CalArts and RISD.

(Curious to know of SCAD has the same reputation.)

You could include regular colleges and universities that have a strong art department with an Illustration program.

For the sake of discussion my goal is to do concept art for film and video games as well as work on graphic novels and perhaps general book and magazine assignments.

Also, any comments on experience with particular schools would be welcome.

I understand that the *top* schools are not necessarily the *best* schools for any particular focus, but that's sort of where I'd like to start.
posted by eeby to Education (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
my alma mater, art center. i knew a lot of illustration grads who went on to concepting in film, games, and graphic novels, etc. we do have a strong film tie. and my illustration major friends from there all do well in editorial.
posted by violetk at 3:33 PM on February 9, 2012

SVA is pretty good at carrer work and portfolio development, better than most art schools I've seen anyway.
posted by The Whelk at 3:44 PM on February 9, 2012

I went to MCAD. I got a degree in comics and currently work in comics. Their program is currently producing some really amazing work.

I had a great time and I learned a lot. It wasn't THAT hard to get in, but it was hard to stay-it was very rigorious.

CalArts has a great reputation, is pretty hard core for admissions. If you want to work in movies than you might as well just head to california straight away.

You don't need to go to the "right" art school (or any) to get an art job- you need to be in the right location, have the right portfolio and learn how to network like a champ.

I'm going to really caution you about art school in general. Almost every one of my friends from school are drowning in debt. It may be more valuable to get an apprenticeship with a creator, and learn the basics there. I know tons of kids who do the scanning at studios in NYC with big artists in exchange for a shitty paycheck and some real good learning.
posted by Blisterlips at 3:50 PM on February 9, 2012

The Royal College of Art is probably the most prestigious postgraduate art school in the UK.

General highly regarded art schools with illustration courses include: Central St Martins and the other parts of the University of the Arts in London, Glasgow School of Art, Edinburgh School of Art. There are probably others that don't pop into my head right now.
posted by Magnakai at 4:20 PM on February 9, 2012

Ringling, CalArts, Art Center College of Design. Concept art for film and video is also done by those with degrees in Computer Animation, and Ringling's dept is very, very good. And a degree from these places means you have a strong network right from the minute you graduate.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:39 PM on February 9, 2012

I attended RISD and Parsons, but not for Illustration - but the departments at both were very well regarded. Its been quite a few years, but I imagine both schools are still very solid. Most of the people I know who've attended SVA haven't felt it was a great experience - and that's for many departments. I can't speak first hand on that though.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:56 PM on February 9, 2012

In certain circles, The Lyme Academy is considered very prestigious.. but very few people outside the art world/southern Connecticut have heard of it; it's a super, SUPER small college and it's very focused on the classical arts. It certainly doesn't have the name recognition that RISD has.
posted by oxfordcomma at 8:47 PM on February 9, 2012

No, SCAD does not have the same reputation. I was accepted (in 2006) without a portfolio. (and didn't end up attending, but still.)

I know some people who speak highly of LCAD
posted by itesser at 9:02 PM on February 9, 2012

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