The state of Florida is is an ideal home location for talented visual artists pursuing careers in illustration design. Flowering fields of Florida firms hire illustrators for an infinite variety of visual tasks. Local illustration professionals draw cartoon characters, backgrounds, realistic nature studies, high tech diagrams and visual reference charts, among numerous other commercially-driven artistic creations.
Florida Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
Florida is filled with accredited fine arts colleges and independent art schools that teach the technical skills needed for professional work in illustration design. Acclaimed Florida colleges of art and design include Hillsdale Fine Arts Academy in Tampa, Digital Media Arts College in Boca Raton, Kanye School of Fine Arts in Orlando, Conservatory of Fine Arts in Miami, Stillpoint Studio of Fine Art in Jacksonville and Center for Fine Arts Education in Tallahassee.
Alternatively, many modern Florida illustrators acquire technical skills and degrees via virtual art colleges. Successful accredited online art and design colleges include Full Sail University, National University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, DeVry, The Art Institutes and ITT Tech. Some online schools also provide supplemental neighborhood locations. University of Phoenix has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa, Clearwater, Temple Terrace, Maitland, Miramar, Palm Beach Gardens, Plantation and Daytona Beach. ITT Tech is located in in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa, Lake Mary, Bradenton, Deerfield Beach and West Palm Beach. The Art Institutes has training centers in Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. DeVry is located in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando and Tampa.
Working as an Illustrator in Florida
Florida companies that hire local illustrators include animation studios, marketing firms, news syndicates, app developers and website designers. Many local illustrators work at leading Florida graphic design firms such as Gale Force Web Pros in Jacksonville, Flat World Communication in Miami, Amazon Design Graphics in Orlando, Graphic Edge in Tallahassee and Graphics & Design in Tampa, for example. Some Florida artists illustrate technical diagrams for top local engineering companies like Thomas-Architectural-Illustrator in Orlando, Architectural Illustrations in Lady Lake, Martinez Biomedical Engineering in Pensacola, Ginsburg Engineering in Boca Raton and Cyrix Engineering in Sarasota, among others.
Full time professional illustration artists holding positions at Florida business corporations claim an average annual salary of about $32,060, with a reported mean hourly rate of around $15.40. The state of Florida employs roughly 810 full time professional illustrators. These figures do not reflect the employment stats of local freelance professionals.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
There's a difference between illustration and graphic design. Illustrators create original, innovative, highly detailed, fully recognizable images of people, places and things. Graphic designers demonstrate skills like page layout, story boarding, lighting and photography. However, most illustrators also possess solid graphic design skills, as employers tend to hire applicants who can multitask. Illustrators are also fully proficient with digital illustration design software packages like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe InDesign, Inkscape and Microsoft Expression Design.