Illustration Certificate

Learn how to capture ideas, communicate concepts and illuminate the written word in this unique program. Students will learn introductory illustration, composition, and creative techniques for a variety of illustrative forms, such as commercial, picture book or graphic novel. Develop a wide professional skill set and personal creative style that can be applied to many practices and projects.


Program Goal

The Illustration Certificate provides students with a foundation in illustration techniques, processes and concepts that can be applied to their professional illustration practice and further education.

Students will develop their illustrative style by exploring a range of traditional and digital mediums and tools, such as inks, watercolour, graphite and Adobe Creative Cloud. Various applications of illustrative skills and methods, including text-based or commercial illustration, and contemporary and historical contexts will be introduced. Through studio- and lecture-based courses, students will explore fine art critical theory and art history as well as ways to build a dynamic professional illustration practice. Through completion of structured and independent projects as well as in-class critique, students produce a diverse portfolio of illustrations.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Illustration Certificate Program should have the skills and knowledge required to:

  • Demonstrate illustrative technical and conceptual skills for a variety of projects or practices, such as commercial, editorial or picture books
  • Use a range of tools, materials, and equipment for the production of illustrations
  • Develop, plan, and express concepts through illustrative composition
  • Evaluate illustrations in terms of conceptual, compositional, and technical strength
  • Communicate ideas and opinions about illustration(s)
  • Produce a comprehensive and curated portfolio of their illustrations
  • Develop a business/professional practice plan that is aligned with goals

Program Duration

Students complete the Illustration Certificate at their own pace, registering in their required courses according to their own schedule and availability. Courses are offered over evenings and weekends allowing for part-time study. Students must complete 360 hours of class-time. Courses range in length from 12 to 36 hours.

Assignments + Assessment

An assessment of the learning outcomes for each student is prepared by the instructor.

Student must achieve a Pass (P) grade in every required and elective course to be eligible for an Illustration Certificate.

To receive a passing grade in each of their courses, students must: complete assignments, exercises, and activities to the instructor’s stated requirements; satisfy course learning outcomes. Students can expect to spend a maximum of one hour completing homework for every hour spent in class. All assignments must be completed to the evaluative standard set by the instructor to satisfy the learning outcomes of the course and program.

Career + Education

Illustration Certificate recipients can apply their education to a variety of careers and enterprises. Depending on the level of work they achieve and previous education and experience, they can pursue a range of opportunities, including:

  • Graphic Novel Illustrator
  • Concept Artist
  • Project Coordinator
  • Mural Artist
  • Commercial Illustrator

Students can use artwork from their certificate program in an admissions portfolio to apply for a Degree in Fine Arts here at ECU.