Illustration reflects the changing art and design landscape. Students will focus on illustrative approaches to communicating ideas and explore pictorial strategies that span across the territories, histories and disciplines of commercial illustration where drawing, painting and design have always been interconnected.

These courses will empower interested students with a range of technical skills, the savvy to navigate contemporary art exhibition venues and a career in print media with the dexterity to engage mass audiences and art collectors alike. This curriculum will strive to craft a discourse and practice that places the current relationship in an historical context.

Concepts and processes will be explored through projects concerning editorial and book illustration, technical illustration of a scientific or instructional nature, and commercial genres involving product, display and packaging. Some advanced courses may concentrate solely on one creative genre, such as the graphic novel, zine, character design, fashion or children's book illustration. While the ability to work with clients and the generation of portfolios for commercial practices will be priorities, the students' communication strategies will always be filtered through practices of drawing, painting and design.

Degree requirements for Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration:


Judy Davis, Assistant Dean, Visual Arts

Nick Conbere

Justin Novak

Durwin Talon

Daphne Plessner

See full list of Illustration faculty


Digital Resource Requirement | Policy

1. This requirement applies to students entering Illustration at both the 2nd and 3rd year levels for the 2015-16 Academic Year.

2. The University recommends the purchase of the latest available MacBook Pro. A PC equivalent is acceptable. Also, it is not mandatory for students to purchase a new laptop if they already have one; however, all laptops need to meet the following specifications in order to operate the most current version of the Adobe Creative Cloud and to keep up with expectations of the curriculum.

Ram: 4GB or better
Hard drive: 500GB or better
Intel i5 or i7 processor or better
Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11g, 802.11N, or better
Graphics Memory: 500MB or better

System Requirements for the Adobe Creative Cloud can be found here:

3. All students subject to the digital resource requirement pay a mandatory yearly subscription fee each September for the Adobe Creative Cloud, at a significant discount. Please note: it is not possible to “opt out” of the subscription, so to avoid paying twice, do not purchase this software elsewhere!  If you already have a subscription, you can delay the start of your Emily Carr provided one for up to 10 months until your current subscription lapses. Students wishing to use Adobe software prior to the start of the semester are encouraged to download a free 30-day trial at the Adobe site.

4. IT Services will provide limited technical support for student laptops. This support is limited to helping with access to University wireless network and curriculum printing resources. The University does not generally help students with hardware, operating system, application software, and virus issues.


What are the financial costs for students?
The costs attached to the digital resource requirement include hardware and software costs, as follows:

*Emily Carr has joined forces with Apple to create the Apple on Campus program. With Apple on Campus, the goal is to provide students, and parents of students at our institution with a full range of Mac hardware, software and peripherals at the best prices.

If you choose to purchase an Apple product for school, we recommend that you shop on our school’s online store to ensure that you get the exclusive pricing available to us. The online store is a fully secure site, and it’s accessible via the Emily Carr intranet site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. What’s more, is once you buy - you’ll get free delivery* right to your doorstep.

After clicking the link you will need to authenticate using your Emily Carr e-mail username and password.

* Students will enter into a yearly software subscription to license the Adobe Creative Cloud. The yearly subscription fee, payable along with tuition each September you are enrolled, gives students access to the latest version of the Creative Cloud.

The yearly subscription fee is set in the Summer when the University renews licensing contracts with Adobe.

Are laptops covered by Student Loans?
The purchase of capital equipment for a student’s program (such as computers, cameras, etc) is not supported in the funding framework of the Canada Student Loans program.  The only expenditure allowable is for books and supplies to a maximum of $1,500 per 4 month semester which can include up to $300 in computer-related supplies such as ink, toner, internet connections.*  All Emily Carr students applying for student loans have this maximum allowance considered in their overall need assessment. While some aspects of student loan eligibility calculation are appealable due to extenuating circumstances, the purchase of a laptop (whether the school makes it mandatory or not) is not an appealable issue.

*It is important to note that the book and supply expenditures for student loans is not policed.  Students are not required to provide receipts demonstrating how they spend their book/supply allowance.