Illustration Major (BA)

Illustration majors study at George Fox, a top Christian college.

Illustration majors at George Fox cultivate a distinct personal approach to constructing illustrations while developing versatile image-making skills to support the wide-ranging communication needs of clients.

Entrepreneurial Artists

Contemporary illustrators are sometimes known as artistic entrepreneurs, since their practices range from editorial work, self-directed projects and exhibition to merchandise design and much more. Our faculty of working professionals guide students through curriculum in traditional media, digital tools and portfolio building that prepares them to pursue work and contracts as practicing freelance professionals.

Whether sitting at an easel or working with a Wacom tablet, our students develop creative problem-solving abilities and authorial voices, and learn to translate ideas into visual forms.

Professional Preparation

In order to be professionally prepared, an emphasis is placed on the kinds of visual innovations, storytelling and technical precision that are required for creating images suitable for reproduction and distribution. Students break outside the boundaries of a piece of paper as they complement their traditional art core with explorations in digital and time-based media.

Traditional and Digital Tools

Traditional media, digital tools and concept development are incorporated throughout the curriculum and lead students to success. With an ability to paint, draw and craft digital images, students graduate ready to illustrate books, create surface designs for products, deliver imagery suitable for web or game development, produce character and concept art, and much more.


Request more information about the illustration major at George Fox University or schedule a visit to begin your education at Oregon's Christian university, ranked as one of the top Christian colleges in the nation by Forbes.


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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

An introduction to materials, techniques, and theory related to two-dimensional design. Additional course fee is required.
This course focuses on three-dimensional design. Hands-on projects are the primary learning mode. Additional course fee is required.
Art majors given preference. This course is a study of materials, methods, and techniques used for drawing with pencil, ink, charcoal, and other drawing media. Additional course fee is required.
Art and its relationship to a non-Western culture, e.g., African, Asian, Latin American. Specific topic will be dependent on the instructor's area of specialization. Additional course fee is required.
A study of the relationship between art and Christianity in the contemporary world. Designed primarily for studio art majors. Prerequisite: either ARTS 382 Twentieth Century Art or ARTS 384 Contemporary Art Forms. Additional course fee required.

Choose one of the following:

A survey of the elements and concepts of art theory and practice as reflected in culturally and historically significant painting, sculpture, architecture, and other art forms, from 1450 to the present. Additional course fee is required.
Art and its relationship to Western culture of the 20th century. Additional course fee is required.

Complete the following:

This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.
This seminar course will meet weekly to focus on theory, concepts and methodology of art historical study and their application by engaging students in discourse surrounding lectures of visiting professional artists. Investigations of film and writing will be a secondary approach to this course. Must be taken minimum 5 out of 8 semesters in students’ program. Satisfies: core major requirement. Additional course fee required.

Complete the following:

This course is an introduction to industry-standard graphic design applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Additional course fee required.
Building on skills developed in Creative Suite, this project-based course focuses on the creation and technical execution of vector-based design and illustration. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
Building on skills developed in Creative Suite, this project-based course focuses on intermediate to advanced techniques employed in the creation of raster-based images for use in illustration and design projects. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
This course is a study of personal styles and professional illustration skills in a graphic design and commercial context. Students will learn the technical processes of research and image creation as they apply to story telling in commercial applications. Prerequisites: ARTS 111 Drawing I, ARTD 110 Creative Suite. Additional course fee is required.
This course surveys graphic communication through history, and the impact of technology on the visual qualities of graphic design, advertising, fashion, media, architecture and industrial design. Beginning with prehistoric petroglyphs and concluding with the World Wide Web, this course will examine how culture shapes the practice of graphic design as well as how design shapes its corresponding culture. Additional course fee required.
Applied illustration projects that allow for exploration of approaches to design across a variety of self-selected media. Students in this course are encouraged to develop a personal approach to illustration through a process of research, making, evaluating, presenting, and reflecting on their work. Creative strategy, content, technique, media, and subject matter will vary based on the semester and the students. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 360: Illustration I.
This course explores the creation of new media imagery in multi-dimensional digital space including 3D and 4D approaches to illustration. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite and ARTD 360 Illustration I.
This course focuses on the organization and preparation of a portfolio showcasing a student's creative work in preparation for employment in the field of design. Students will explore visual composition and organization, document assembly methods and various reproduction image management techniques. Computer photo editing and printing are used to a paper and digital portfolio. The implications of a professional portfolio to gain employment is emphasized. This course is the equivalent to INTD 492. Additional course fee required. Prerequisites: Art major with senior status, or by instructor permission.
Art majors given preference. This course is a study of materials, methods, and techniques used for drawing with pencil, ink, charcoal, and other drawing media. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTS 111 Drawing I.
Practice and Theory pertaining to drawing the human figure from live models. Translating the 3 dimensional figure to 2 dimensions will be the first priority, along with exploration and study in historical and contemporary figural interpretations. Both traditional and non-traditional mediums will be explored with the intent of gaining competence and confidence in the use of figural subject content in a variety of mediums. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTS 111 Drawing I, or instructor’s permission.

Choose three of the following:

9 hours required
An introduction to typography including type history, typefaces, type selection, layout, the use of type in effective designs, and creative approaches to using type. Additional course fee required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
A focused study of design for printed 2D and 3D objects. Topics include project ideation, paper qualities, technical execution, working with print templates, document preparation, and the creation of production-ready work. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 220 Tyopgraphy
The course is focused on kinetic typography, video compositing and visual effects. It includes the primary tools, concepts, workflows and practices of digital and time-based media. Additional course fee required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite
This course couples a 1 or 2-hour student internship or professional experience with a 1-hour seminar that explores workplace communication and problem solving. Additionally, students will gain exposure to common business practices such as the development of contracts, estimates, invoices, accounting, promotion, and project management. Prerequisite: Junior status or instructor approval.
Introduces students to materials, methods, and techniques used in painting with acrylics or oils. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTS 111 Drawing I, or instructor's permission.
An introduction to screen printmaking, and relief printmaking (woodcut, linocut, collagraph) techniques and methods. Additional course fee is required.
A studio course involving theory and practice combined with creative and technical exploration in watercolor. This course explores creative and technical aspects of drawing and painting in watercolor. The course goal is to paint multiple short and long-term watercolors to create a diverse and broad portfolio in a short time, resulting in a high quality outcome. Students will also explore significant historical watercolor artists and experiment with some of their styles to gain insight and technical knowledge. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTS 111 Drawing I, or instructor’s permission.
This is the study of pre-production and previsualization techniques used in animation. Topics include developing story, storyboarding, concept design, and editing animatics. Additional course fee required. Prerequisites: ARTD 110 Creative Suite and ARTS 111 Drawing I or instructor's permission.
This is an introduction to the fundamentals of animation production, from traditional hand drawn techniques to stop motion animation. In this hands-on workshop, students will produce short animation projects. Additional course fee required.
This is an introduction to 2D computer animation using industry standard software and techniques. Students will create character animations and short animation projects. Additional course fee required. Prerequisite: ARTD 110 Creative Suite and CINE 212 Introduction to Animation or instructor’s permission.

Jobs and Internships

Illustration majors at George Fox study at one of the West Coast's top Christian colleges

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment as a craft or fine artist is expected to grow 6 percent between 2016 and 2026, and roles for multimedia artists are growing at 8 percent. The Portland metro region is well-known for its thriving arts community, bringing in millions of dollars annually and supporting a significant population of artists.

  • Freelance illustrator
  • Children’s book designer
  • Lettering artist
  • Comic book or graphic novel illustrator
  • Concept artist
  • Editorial illustrator
  • Technical illustrator
  • Medical illustrator
  • Storyboard artist
  • Cartoonist
  • Color specialist
  • Production artist
  • Brand illustrator
  • Livengood & Nowack
  • The Pivot Group
  • Bank of America
  • Nike
  • Norm Thompson Outfitters
  • Lawrence Galleries
  • Code Monkeys, Web & Game Design
  • Hillsboro Hops
  • Hannah Anderson
  • Asterix Creative
  • Nordstrom
  • Anthropologie
  • Contemporary Craft Museum
  • Chehalem Cultural Center
  • Iridio, Photographic Services
  • Climax Industries
  • Mural Project: A community mural project that included community engagement, city council presentation and production
  • Glass Project: A public works project producing glass installation for new buildings on campus
  • Tiny Home Village: Working in coordination with North Valley Friends Church to create plans and a vision for a tiny home village that offers low-income housing
  • Community Art & Design Workshop: Teaching high school students art and design
  • George App: Conceive, develop and present an app to serve students at George Fox by replacing clunky existing web systems on campus.

Student Experiences

Caitlyn Connor (’19)

“The art department is a close-knit community that has really made me feel ‘known.’ The faculty really do want the student to succeed and care if we learn skills that will help us in our professional careers. I have learned how to translate words into visual stories and have realized how valuable it is to be able to take a concept and make it come alive with art.”

- Caitlyn Connor (’19)

Anthony Kuenzi ('20)

“The art and design department is special. The professors are more than teachers. They’re mentors, friends and collaborators. The community is tight, and we often participate in or put on events together. I’ve made connections here that will extend well into my professional career.”

- Anthony Kuenzi ('20)

Points of Distinction

  • Illustration students learn a wide range of tools and techniques, including traditional drawing and animation. Their broad training prepares them to enter the marketplace and to quickly adapt to new technologies and challenges, making them ideal employees and multi-faceted illustrators capable of producing professionally publishable work.
  • Learn from accomplished faculty, all of whom continue to work professionally in the field and bring together more than 300 years of combined professional experience
  • Connections to regional businesses and institutions allow our students to work in placed internships and work with clients/commissions while still in school.

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier national university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.