The MFA 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, taking advantage of technologies, considering social needs and artistic perspectives, to be a pioneer in the future of illustration.

 
WSherman©2012_IllustrationEvolution_PILLOW.jpg

The goal of the program is to create a laboratory that resists the pressure to follow trends. If you care more about what others think than following your intuition, this is not the program for you. We want our students to gain the courage and recklessness needed to follow ideals that are true to their native creativity, yet take advantage of more than that. We also expect our students to act respectfully with their peers and the practices of others.

Faculty lead by example. They are devoted to their work as educators and practitioners, and persist in finding new areas in which to practice. Students are expected to follow assigned project challenges, but also work independently and be self-directed. Studios are open twenty-four hours a day. Students are expected to be there often.

We look for a balanced, hardworking group of students equally committed in the studio and in critique. This leads to a higher level of work by everyone. We expect a solid understanding of contemporary illustration practice, a foundation in illustration history, and seek open-minded thinkers who are not locked into predictable ideas. The challenge is to be aware of culture while not being overly influenced by it. In other words, we want original minds at work in the studio. We expect a high level of competence in your current work, and the mastery and maturity that will allow you to work outside your comfort zone.