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  • Independent Illustration

    Independent Illustration

Program Code:ILU
Duration:4 Semesters (2 Years)
Credential Awarded:Ontario College Diploma

Program Description

This four-semester program is best suited for you if you have a strong interest in visual arts, visual storytelling and a desire to work in the freelance illustration field.

As a student in the program, you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in your area of interest while showcasing your own unique style. You’ll develop skills in the traditional artistic realm of wet and dry media (drawing, painting and sculpture), as well as in digital media, for the creation and final output of illustration. You will create illustrations for a range of applications, including children’s books, comics, graphic novels, magazines and online publications. You will also learn the process of visual development for film, television and game art. During the course of this program, you’ll build a strong portfolio of illustration work for a wide range of practical applications.

Before graduating, you will create your own small business, have a working website and have the accounting, marketing and revenue creation skills integral to launching a freelance career in illustration.

The growth areas of illustration are in the following industries:

  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Film/Animation
  • Interactive/Multimedia/Educational
  • Pre–visualization and Concept Development
  • Publishing: Children’s books/Publications

Upon graduation, you’ll be well prepared to succeed in this industry.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s), or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading).

Additional Requirements

  • Drawing test
    • Portfolio drawings/paintings must be 8 1/2 x 11 photocopies, including:
      • An applicant profile that creatively answers 3 questions
      • A résumé focusing on any professional or volunteer positions that demonstrate your creative or artistic talents.
      • 3 life drawings: must show entire body including head, hands and feet of subject in various poses (one contour drawing, one gesture, one volume study).
      • 2 expressive drawings of your own hand (think happiness, anger, sadness, love etc.).
      • 2 object drawings: everyday items from around your house such as a kitchen appliance, coffee maker, can opener, TV remote, stapler, etc. that show the inner construction of the drawing.
      • 2 environment drawings: draw a detailed two-point perspective view of a room in your house each from opposite corners, the horizon line should be at approximately five (5) feet.
      • 2 drawings or paintings of your choice (preferably illustrative in nature).

Applicant Selection

  • Applicants will be invited to attend an orientation where they will complete the drawing test and submit a portfolio.
  • Applicants are ranked based on the strength of their portfolio, drawing test and grade 12 English mark.
  • Admission to this program is competitive. Only the top ranked applicants will be offered a seat in the program.


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Your Career

The four-semester Independent Illustration diploma program prepares you for success as an Illustrator and entrepreneur. Most illustrators run their own businesses and work as “freelancers” for a wide range of clients across many sectors. As a graduate of this program, you will have the business skills necessary to run a successful illustration business.

Having studied both traditional and digital media in the program, you’ll be equipped to produce work for a range of audiences, including children, web and game users, viewers of journalism and advertising, as well as comics and graphic novel readers. Whether you’re working on a stretched canvas or a wireless tablet, you’ll have the necessary skill sets to compete in this field.

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant term.


Please select the curriculum from the Academic Year in which you started (or will be starting) your studies. An Academic Year begins in September and ends in August of the following year.

2014/2015 Academic Year
Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
EAC150 College English 3
ILU100 Traditional Illustrative Media I 3
ILU101 Digital Tools 3
ILU102 Applied Illustration History 3
ILU106 Life Drawing I 3
ILU107 Business I 3
ILU113 Structural Drawing I 3
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
ILU200 Traditional Media II 3
ILU201 Digital Paint 3
ILU202 Creativity and Concept Development I 3
ILU205 Advertising/Packaging Illustration 3
ILU207 Business II 2
ILU213 Structural Drawing II 3
ILU216 Life Drawing - Anatomy I 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 3 Course Name Hrs/Wk
ILU204 Sequential Narration and Comic Illustration 3
ILU300 Traditional Illustrative Media III 3
ILU302 Creativity and Concept Development II 3
ILU304 Children's Illustration 3
ILU307 Small Business Tools:Web Design & Digital Portfolio 3
ILU308 Visual Development I 3
ILU316 Life Drawing Anatomy II 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 4 Course Name Hrs/Wk
ILU400 Traditional Illustrative Media IV 3
ILU401 Interacitve Illustration 3
ILU404 Specialization Studio 4
ILU407 Small Business 2
ILU408 Visual Development II 3
ILU416 Life Drawing - Applied 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3

2015/2016 Academic Year
Semester 1
College English
Traditional Illustrative Media I
Digital Tools
Applied History of Illustration
Life Drawing I
Business I
Structural Drawing I
Semester 2
Traditional Illustrative Media II
Digital Paint
Creativity and Concept Development I
Advertising/Packaging Illustration
Business II
Structural Drawing II
Life Drawing - Anatomy I
General Education Option
Semester 3
Sequential Narration and Comic Illustration
Traditional Illustrative Media III
Creativity and Concept Development II
Children’s Illustration
Small Business Tools: Web Design & Digital Portfolio
Visual Development I
Life Drawing - Anatomy II
General Education Option
Semester 4
Traditional Illustrative Media IV
Interactive Illustration
Specialization Studio
Small Business II
Visual Development II
Life Drawing - Applied
General Education Option

General Education:

One of the general education courses must be a literature course (from any category) for which College English is a prerequisite.

Contact Us

For more information, please visit:
Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor: Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22840
International Admissions Advisor: Thomas Hein
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22380
Registration & Records Advisor:
  Sharina Khan
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33008
Program Contacts:
Program Coordinator: JoAnn Purcell
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33376
Program Chair: Mark Jones
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33488
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