Illustration + Design
The Illustration + Design program (I+D) encompasses a diverse faculty with expertise in graphic design, illustration, letterpress, book arts, visual narratives, animation, motion graphics, information design, and interdisciplinary collaborations with the environmental sciences. These specializations are reflected in a broad array of curricular offerings including: field trips, team projects with community clients, internships, and study abroad programs. Through an exploration of the relationship between authorship, personal expression, visual problem solving, and communication, students develop a body of self-authored work consistent with the breadth of the expanding profession. With a high quality portfolio and web presence, students are prepared to go directly into the field and/or apply to graduate programs.
Student animation work can be found here: https://vimeo.com/user27476192
Miles Fujimoto, Animation
The School of Art houses excellent facilities including studio spaces, computer labs with Wacom Cintiq Touch screens and animation stations, a digital imaging lab with large format printing, mounting and other services, letterpress equipment, photopolymer platemaking equipment, metal and wood type collections, binding equipment, darkrooms, wood and metal shops, sculpture foundry, ceramics labs, and external resources such as: the Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona Museum of Art and the Poetry Center as well as an excellent library that houses an extensive book art collection. The campus also houses the Learning Games Initiative Research Archive and the extensive Children’s Literature Collection.
Visit our Resources & Facilities page to learn more about the excellent facilities available for instruction in Illustration + Design.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Illustration + Design Emphasis
- Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Illustration + Design Emphasis
Contact an academic advisor or set up an advising appointment to learn more about School of Art programs and admissions
Spring 2021 Undergraduate Illustration + Design Portfolio Review
Accepting applications from Friday, March 12 at 9:00 a.m. until Monday, March 15 at 9:00 a.m.
This annual Spring Portfolio Review accepts 18-22 students in the Illustration track and 18-22 students in the Design track. We also work with students interested in both illustration and design on an individual basis upon acceptance to one of the tracks.
- I have taken the majority of my First Year Experience (FYE) classes.
- I have taken or am currently enrolled in Art 265/Art 266. It is best to take at least one of these classes in the Fall before the review. But there is no penalty for going through the review multiple times so you should apply even if both required classes are being taken during the review semester. (Transfer students should make sure they have had the equivalent of Art 265/266. Check with the Division chair to confirm).
- A completed Visual Assignment (see below).
- Submit 10–12 art works in your portfolio. The Visual Assignment counts as one of these pieces.
Portfolio Review Procedures
- This Online Review will go live at 9:00 a.m. Friday, March 12 and be open until 9:00 a.m. Monday, March 15.
- Follow this application link starting 9:00 a.m. Friday, March 12.
- I+D Faculty will review and rank the applications. This procedure may take a few days.
- You will be notified via email of your acceptance and the required classes for your track. Please note that if you do not register for the required classes in the Fall, you will forfeit your place in the I+D program.
- You will also be notified via email of you are not accepted to the program. You will be able to sign up for advising appointments to discuss your next steps and get feedback on your portfolio.
Portfolio Review Guidelines
- 10–12 pieces of work including the Portfolio Review Visual Assignment (see below). The answer to the assignment will be the first piece in your portfolio. Other pieces should include projects from Art 265 and Art 266, but may be supplemented with work from other studio areas including self-initiated work. Transfer students should include work from transferred courses.
- Motion and Web design pieces can also be uploaded as well. It is best to upload a still and a hyperlink to online viewing such as YouTube or Vimeo.
Evaluation, Acceptance, and Advising
- The work submitted should: Show an eye for composition and application of formal principles (scale, balance, weight, texture, direction, etc.); Communicate an understanding of form and sensitivity to materials; Show a clear understanding of color relationships; Demonstrate excellent skills and attention to detail; Show a facility with software. Ideas embodied in the work should be innovative and strong. Digital uploads should be clear and readable.
- If you have been accepted into I+D, your name will be placed on a list allowing you to register for the required Design or Illustration courses* online. Register on time to get a seat in fall classes. You will only be guaranteed courses in the sequence indicated on the I+D grid (included with acceptance). If you do not register for the required classes in the fall semester, you forfeit your place in the program. If there are extenuating circumstances, contact I+D Program Chair Kelly Leslie (email@example.com) to discuss.
*You must maintain a 3.0 GPA in I+D classes in order to be guaranteed admission into these classes.
The Visual Assignment
The below poem is a prompt for your Visual assignment. Choose any stanza of the poem or the poem as a whole for inspiration. You may choose to include text but it is not required. Some approaches to consider:
- Book/Book Cover
- Typographic Composition
- Sequential Narrative/Comic
A Map to the Next World
By Joy Harjo
In the last days of the fourth world I wished to make a map for
those who would climb through the hole in the sky.
My only tools were the desires of humans as they emerged
from the killing fields, from the bedrooms and the kitchens.
For the soul is a wanderer with many hands and feet.
The map must be of sand and can’t be read by ordinary light. It
must carry fire to the next tribal town, for renewal of spirit.
In the legend are instructions on the language of the land, how it
was we forgot to acknowledge the gift, as if we were not in it or of it.
Take note of the proliferation of supermarkets and malls, the
altars of money. They best describe the detour from grace.
Keep track of the errors of our forgetfulness; the fog steals our
children while we sleep.
Flowers of rage spring up in the depression. Monsters are born
there of nuclear anger.
Trees of ashes wave good-bye to good-bye and the map appears to
We no longer know the names of the birds here, how to speak to
them by their personal names.
Once we knew everything in this lush promise.
What I am telling you is real and is printed in a warning on the
map. Our forgetfulness stalks us, walks the earth behind us,
leaving a trail of paper diapers, needles, and wasted blood.
An imperfect map will have to do, little one.
The place of entry is the sea of your mother’s blood, your father’s
small death as he longs to know himself in another.
There is no exit.
The map can be interpreted through the wall of the intestine—a
spiral on the road of knowledge.
You will travel through the membrane of death, smell cooking
from the encampment where our relatives make a feast of fresh
deer meat and corn soup, in the Milky Way.
They have never left us; we abandoned them for science.
And when you take your next breath as we enter the fifth world
there will be no X, no guidebook with words you can carry.
You will have to navigate by your mother’s voice, renew the song
she is singing.
Fresh courage glimmers from planets.
And lights the map printed with the blood of history, a map you
will have to know by your intention, by the language of suns.
When you emerge note the tracks of the monster slayers where they
entered the cities of artificial light and killed what was killing us.
You will see red cliffs. They are the heart, contain the ladder.
A white deer will greet you when the last human climbs from the
Remember the hole of shame marking the act of abandoning our
We were never perfect.
Yet, the journey we make together is perfect on this earth who was
once a star and made the same mistakes as humans.
We might make them again, she said.
Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.
You must make your own map.