Kansas is home to many thousand commercial businesses including several major corporations. Companies throughout the state of Kansas continually seek out local graphic artists, particularly in the field of illustration. Illustration artists design text-based images, characterizations, brand identity packages, websites and other forms of commercial visual art.
Kansas Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
Kansas is known to have quite a few colleges and numerous private art academies that offer classes and degree programs in commercial illustration. Aspiring illustrators often study digital arts, photography and communications in addition to visual arts. Kansas colleges with graphic arts divisions include Wichita State University in Wichita, Brown-Mackie in Salina, National American University in Overland Park, Kansas State University in Manhattan and Kansas University School of Fine Arts in Lawrence, among others.
Artists seeking less formal training might try any of a number of local non-degree options like Arts Partners in Wichita, Ault's Academy of Art in Topeka, Fine Arts Institute in Shawnee Mission, Janesko Fine Art in Kansas City, Donna's Paint & Pallet in Quinter or Allen County Community College in Iola.
Additionally, modern-day art students residing in Kansas often acquire technical skills and professional degrees via the internet. Successful accredited online art schools include Academy of Arts University, Post University, DeVry, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes and ITT Tech. Some online schools also provide local campuses and testing facilities. University of Phoenix has campuses in Wichita, Topeka and Lenexa. ITT Tech is located in Wichita and Overland Park. The Art Institutes maintains a branch in Lenexa.
Working as an Illustrator in Kansas
Kansas corporations that employ professional illustrators include programming companies, fashion houses, legal service corporations, architects and animation studios. Some Kansas illustration artists work for commercial graphic design firms like Image-Resources-Group in Wichita, I-Design in Topeka, Lohr-Fine-Arte in Olathe, Realty-Phix in Leawood or KCA-Internet in Overland Park, for example.
Other local artists design complex technical illustrations for leading Kansas engineering firms like Baughman in Wichita, Architectural-Fine-Arts in Shawnee Mission, Cook-Flatt-&-Strobel in Topeka, Ponzer-Youngquist in Olathe and Schwab-Eaton in Manhattan, among others. Exceptionally meticulous illustrators sometimes land jobs with local medical illustration companies such as Advanced-Medical-Staffing in Wichita, Felton-Medical in Shawnee Mission or Mills-Medical-Staffing in Kansas City.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, illustration artists who work full time for companies based in the state of Kansas report an average annual salary of about $36,520, with a reported mean hourly wage of around $17.55. Kansas corporations employ roughly fifty full time professional illustrators. These figures do not apply to local freelance professionals.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
Professional illustrators are versatile experts of detailed design, often employed as cartoonists and graphic artists for print and electronic media. Aside from possessing phenomenal drawing skills, illustrators are typically knowledgeable with fabrics, textiles, color processing and software. Currently popular illustration software packages include Adobe Illustrator, Quark Xpress, Photo-to-Cartoon, ACD Canvas and Intaglio.