The city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania produces a preponderance of resident visual artists seeking careers in the field of commercial graphic design. Corporations and private businesses in Pittsburgh represent an ongoing economic demand for talented graphic arts professionals, especially those with a knack for illustration.
Pittsburgh Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
Pittsburgh features a full supply of colleges and independent fine art instructors offering workshops and degree-level courses in illustrative art. Popular Pittsburgh colleges of visual arts include Chatham University, Carnegie-Mellon, Point Park University, Duquesne University and University of Pittsburgh. Aspiring illustrators attending local colleges typically study computer science in addition to visual arts.
On the other hand, a diverse subset of Pittsburgh visual artists are acquiring graphic design skills via virtual schools of design. Successful accredited online graphic arts colleges include University of Phoenix, ITT Tech, The Art Institutes, DeVry, National University, Full Sail University, Strayer University and Stratford Career Institute, to name only a few. Many online schools also provide convenient local area facilities. University of Phoenix, ITT Tech, The Art Institute and DeVry all maintain campuses in Pittsburgh.
Working as an Illustrator in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Numerous Pittsburgh illustrators are employed by local graphic design firms like Artwear Graphics, Graphic Memories, Greg Matecko Graphic Designs, Cliff Brethauer and LC Graphics, to name a few. Illustrators possessing a more free-wheeling aesthetic might work for Pittsburgh tattoo companies like Pinnacle Tattoo, Tattoo Noir, Monster Tattoo or Kyklops.
Some Pittsburgh artists create technical illustrations for local engineering firms such as Michael Baker, Mackin Engineering, Resource International, SAI Consulting and Pittsburgh Engineering Consultants, among others. Realists illustrators are sometimes hired by Pittsburgh-based medical illustration companies like Mellett Illustration, Progressive Illustration or Shirts Illustrated.
Professional illustrators employed full time in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania report an average annual salary of about $43,020, with a reported mean hourly rate of roughly $20.70. Pittsburgh corporations support approximately forty full time illustrators, not counting local freelancers.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
Illustrators are highly specialized detail artists, able to quickly and consistently produce innovative, hand-rendered images in a flexible array of styles and mechanical media. Professional illustrators demonstrate exceptional craftsmanship and extraordinary attention to detail. Illustrators are involved in the development of animated cartoons, web videos, printed media and interactive game design, among many other visual creations. Most illustrators are fully familiar with related digital design software packages like Auto-CAD, Dreamweaver, Adobe Premier, Mayura Draw and Harvard Draw.