Illustration and Visual Storytelling

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This professional degree program provides the foundational knowledge and skills required for entry into career fields or graduate programs related to the production of visual narrative art. All art majors take a series of introductory art courses in a wide range of media, as well as art history courses and upper level courses in their emphasis area. Additionally, students pursuing a studio art emphasis take a series of professional practices courses that introduce them to the business aspects of being working artists and developing creative careers.

Additional information

  • About Emphasis
  • Career Options

The Department of Art is located in Pittsburg State University’s Porter Hall, a three-story building originally built in 1927 as the university’s library. This complex of spacious studios, galleries, and classrooms affords students an environment for significant artistic learning opportunities for the study of ceramics, printmaking, jewelry design, weaving, sculpture, drawing, painting, photography, art history, and art education. Porter Hall also contains two gallery spaces on the main floor, the Harry Krug and University Galleries, which feature rotating exhibits of work by national and international professional artists. The Second Floor Gallery features community-based art projects. Artists whose work is exhibited in the gallery spaces travel to campus to give lectures or workshops and interact with our students to provide them with deeper insight and understanding of the art world.

Courses offered in the Illustration & Visual Storytelling program include: 

  • Drawing with Ink
  • Traditional Watercolor
  • iPad for the Artist
  • Comics: Theory and Practice
  • Editorial Illustration
  • Concept Design
  • Hand-Lettering for Illustration and Comics
  • Portrait Painting
  • Life Sculpture
  • Toy Design
  • Automotive: Art & Design
  • Printmaking, Papermaking, Bookarts & the Letterpress

Increased emphasis on a college degree for entry into the job market, the question of career opportunities becomes important. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is the initial professional degree in commercial art or design. Its primary emphasis is on the development of skills, concepts, and sensitivities essential to the professional artist or designer. In many of the roles as creator, scholar, or teacher, the artist or designer must function as a practitioner who exhibits both technical competence and a broad knowledge of art and art history, aesthetic sensitivity, and an insight into the role of art and design in the life of humankind. Museum, gallery, and public relations careers provide additional opportunities of students who complete a major in art. The Department of Art offers a broad academic program that prepares students for many different careers in applied art.

Art teaching also remains an important career choice for many art students. The department continues to successfully place graduates in elementary and secondary schools.

Potential careers in Illustration & Visual Storytelling: 

  • Cartoonist/Comic Book Artist
  • Editorial Illustrator
  • Storyboard Artist
  • Character Designer
  • Visual Development Artist
  • Surface Design Illustrator
  • Book Illustrator
  • Sketch Artist
  • Tattoo Artist
  • Theatrical Designer
  • Toy Designer
  • Video Game Designer
  • Animator
  • Typographer
  • Advertising

About Art Department

Through the Department of Art at Pittsburg State University, students gain a strong foundation in creative critical thinking and artmaking. 

Our program of study leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. The BFA degree prepares students for a multitude of professional careers in studio, applied arts, and art education, and is also considered fundamental preparation for graduate degrees in the studio arts and art history.

Under the BFA program students choose one of four emphasis areas:

  • 2D Studio Art
  • 3D Studio Art
  • Illustration and Visual Storytelling
  • Art Education
Students pursuing each of the three studio art emphases take several capstone courses that introduce them to the business aspects of being working artists and developing creative careers. Those pursuing the art education emphasis receive a comprehensive art education curriculum.

Our curriculum, no matter the emphasis, is divided into three main tiers: foundations, media and technique, and application.

The student-to-faculty ratio in the Department of Art is 15 to 1.

The art program is structured for hands-on application. Conceptualize, design, and paint murals for downtown Pittsburg. 

Students are placed in internships aiding in the operations of museums, galleries, and studio spaces.

Excellent studio facilities and an experienced faculty are hallmarks of the program.

Major opportunities for personal artistic and professional development from faculty who are working artists and/or research scholars in their respective disciplines are afforded to all students.

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