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Graduate Programs

Illustration Practice (M.F.A.)

The M.F.A. in Illustration Practice has at its core a philosophy of necessary reexamination and reinvention, both in your work and thinking and in the paradigm of what it means to be an illustrator.

Our intent is to provide an environment for you to delve into your relationship to your work, to intelligently break existing perceptions and rules, and, taking advantage of technologies, and considering social needs and artistic perspectives, to be a pioneer in the future of illustration. This intense program of study helps students revisit their creative process and use of materials while awakening their abilities to chart their own course as entrepreneurs.

Program Overview

Illustration Practice is a field unbound by specific media yet rooted in storytelling and ideas that intellectually and emotionally engage the public. In this program, students are challenged to find new directions for the practice, making visual and intellectual connections that examine cultural meaning. The goal of the program is to create a laboratory that resists the pressure to follow trends.

In this two-year, 60-credit, full-time program you will:

  •  Investigate new materials and manufacturing models during the first year, 9-credit studio course, where students engage in workshops designed to spur creative and analytical thinking; Study a curriculum that includes two critical seminars, one humanities elective and two studio electives;
  • Conduct research and writing that address concerns on the historical, social, and cultural contexts of illustration practice;
  • Develop an independent, second-year thesis project using a medium appropriate to your personal direction and emerging illustration markets, including an exhibition and accompanying case study book;
  • Produce work at a professional level with real-world applications to your career goals;
  • Collaborate with fellow students, and professionals, and research centers including Dolphin Press & Print at MICA, the Center for Design Thinking at MICA, the Modern Graphics History Library at Washington University, and the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies;
  • Engage with full- and part-time faculty and visiting critics and artists-in-residence.

Who Should Apply

Admission to the program is highly competitive, and successful applicants will include experienced illustrators, advanced students from related disciplines, including writing, design, animation, film, digital media,etc., and students with a  cultuvated passion for illustration in all it's forms. The program seeks students who value illustration in historical and contemporary terms, who strive to contribute new ideas and directions to the practice, who wish to expand or reinvent their work and wish to augment the research and writing available on illustration.

A black box and garlands of paper flowers hang from the gallery ceiling. The black box is painted with orange faces and is built so that viewers can stand with their heads inside the box.
Yellow news stand surrounded by milk crates. The sign for the news stand reads "Lucky 24 Hour." Illustrated pigeons are perched on top of the stand.
Cardboard structure painted like a shed. The shed is filled with items from skateboarding subculture, all also made of painted cardboard.
Illustrated map with the title "The City of San Angelo, TX According to Emily Joynton." The map includes illustrated landmarks on a bright orange background.
A black box and garlands of paper flowers hang from the gallery ceiling. The black box is painted with orange faces and is built so that viewers can stand with their heads inside the box.

Unlabeled

Illustration Practice M.F.A.

Artist
Olivia Fu
Date
2018
Credit

Dan Meyers

Yellow news stand surrounded by milk crates. The sign for the news stand reads "Lucky 24 Hour." Illustrated pigeons are perched on top of the stand.

Lucky News and Grocery

Illustration Practice M.F.A.

Artist
Hayley Powers Thornton-Kennedy
Date
2018
Credit

Dan Meyers

Cardboard structure painted like a shed. The shed is filled with items from skateboarding subculture, all also made of painted cardboard.

Roll Thru

Illustration Practice M.F.A.

Artist
Ryan Sung Hoon Cho
Date
2018
Medium
Cardboard and paint
Credit

Dan Meyers

Illustrated map with the title "The City of San Angelo, TX According to Emily Joynton." The map includes illustrated landmarks on a bright orange background.

Build Up to Break Down

Illustration Practice M.F.A.

Artist
Emily Joynton
Date
2017
Credit

Joseph Hyde

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