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Illustration Certificate

The Illustration Certificate is a cumulative experience of six required illustrations courses. Each course represents a unique approach to the illustration discipline, including the business of illustration and professional practices for the industry. The combination of courses is intended to give students the knowledge and skill set to augment their major and/or consider a career as a freelance illustrator.

What can I do with this certificate?

Years ago, when the industry experienced a digital revolution, the illustration industry declined. Nearly all the illustration majors in the country dropped their curriculum and a vast majority of the illustrators were left to retool. Since then, there has been a resurgence of illustration technique and skill needs in industry. This Illustration Certificate is the only one of its kind in the Northwest.

Students may utilize the skillset to augment their existing design or art portfolios to work in the industry or may elect to secure a job that requires an illustrative skill set. Others may elect to opt for self-employment – securing freelance clients in the advertising, marketing or publishing industries.

Who's behind this operation?

Illustration courses are taught by a highly curated group of nationally recognized illustrators, including and coordinated by Keith Negley. Keith's work has appeared on everything from book covers to clothing, album covers to skateboard decks. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and New Yorker in addition to many other national publications such as TIME, Newsweek and Oprah Magazine. He received his BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2000, and his MFA from The School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2013. He’s won 5 medals from the Society of Illustrators, a medal from the Society of Illustrators West, and 2 medals from the 3x3 International Illustration annual. In addition to his editorial work, Keith has written and illustrated four picture books. His latest, The Boy and the Wild Blue Girl, will be out in April of 2020 with Balzer + Bray an imprint of Harper Collins.

Keith Negley in his studio

"The illustration courses I took offered a wonderful opportunity to learn about the industry from an actual professional while creating work relevant to my personal style and career goals."

— Miranda Ward, Studio Art, Class of 2019

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s certificate courses, and supporting courses for certificates. For Design majors, the Illustration Certificate may substitute the minor requirement. Please contact Keith Negley, Illustration Certificate Coordinator, for declaration requirements: negleyk@wwu.edu.

Required Courses (18 credits):
DSGN347 Illustration Methods
DSGN348 Visual Concepts in Illustration
DSGN357 Narrative Illustration
DSGN358 Digital Methods for Illustrators
DSGN367 Commercial Illustration Concepts
DSGN368 Professional Practices for Illustrators
Op Ed illustration
black and white illustration of women