The stunningly picturesque state of Kentucky is filled with talented visual artists seeking employment in the field of graphic arts. Local companies are especially interested in artists with advanced illustration technique. Commercial illustrators in Kentucky draw everything from greeting cards to video game elements to text-based images to company logos to technical diagrams and more.
Kentucky Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
Kentucky features quite a few colleges, Universities and private art instruction studios offering classes and degree programs in illustration design. Aspiring Kentucky illustrators attending local colleges study visual arts and communications design among other relevant topics. Kentucky colleges with fine arts departments include Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Transylvania University in Lexington, Bellamarine University in Louisville, Kentucky State University in Frankfort and Brescia University in Owensboro, to mention only a few. Also accessible are Brown-Mackie College and Daymar College, each maintaining several statewide campuses. Local artists seeking private instruction or more casual study options can contact the Swan Fine Art Studio in Louisville or Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia.
Meanwhile, other Kentucky artists acquire professional graphic arts skills via accredited virtual design programs. Successful online colleges of art and design include National University, Post University, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, DeVry, The Art Institutes and ITT Tech, among others. Many online schools also feature campuses, testing centers and other local resource facilities. University of Phoenix has training centers in Louisville and Florence. ITT Tech is located in Lexington and Louisville. DeVry provides a Louisville facility.
Working as an Illustrator in Kentucky
Corporations and private businesses in Kentucky that recruit illustration artists include website developers, greeting card manufacturers, local authors, event coordinators and video game designers. Some Kentucky illustrators create commercial art for leading local graphic design firms such as Fusioncorp-Design-Creative-Solutions in Lexington, Baach-Creative-Services in Louisville, True-Contact-Designs in Hopkinsville, Spaulding-&-Wallace in Ashland and Fine-and-Graphic-Art in Elizabethtown, for example.
Other local illustrators draw high tech designs for top Kentucky engineering firms like Associated Engineers in Madisonville, Balke Engineers in Lexington, Black & Veatch in Louisville, CDS Associates in Florence and Monarch Engineering in Lawrenceburg, among others. Precision illustrators sometimes draw anatomical charts for medical illustration companies like Kentucky-Medical-Transcribers in Winchester, Cornerstone-Medical-Service in Florence or Medical-Solutions in Richmond.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional illustrators employed full time in the state of Kentucky report an average annual salary of about $39,000, with a mean hourly rate of about $19.40.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
Professional illustrators are highly adept at creating detailed, innovative, hand-rendered images in a variety of styles and media. The best illustrators are passionate self-starters who demonstrate superb communication skills and consistently honor deadlines. Most illustrators are fully proficient with digital illustration software packages like Compact Draw, Freehand, Xara, Inkscape and Freeverse-Lineform, to name a few.