New Illustration Emphasis Within the Studio Art Major

The BW Art Department is developing a new Illustration emphasis within the Studio Art Major. The department is initiating this by having an Introduction to Illustration course being available to students in the spring semester 2021.

Darlene Michitsch, head of the art department, said, “The studio art major initially has students take broad foundation classes so they have experience in many media and many techniques, and usually beginning in their junior year that is when they will determine an emphasis.”

This introductory course will show the processes involved in the creation of illustrations. Students will explore a range of mediums and topics including character development, caricature, photorealism, and working with clients toward a variety of visual outcomes. In order for students to be eligible to sign up for this new class they must take Drawing I (ART110) as a prerequisite.

Steven Ziebarth, art professor, will be teaching the Intro course in the Spring semester, and it is worth a total of two credit hours. Ziebarth had said that many students already within the art department have shown interest in the illustration field. Many would be sketching cartoons in their free time and brought up the possibility of adding courses like this into the program at Baldwin Wallace.

In order to get this new emphasis fully developed, the student interest in the Intro to Illustration course will be gauged. The way the department plans on doing this is mostly by word of mouth and potentially having a survey at the end of the course. From there, they plan on adding more advanced courses to the list if they receive good feedback from the students in the course.

Ziebarth said, “It is one of the most popular majors at the Cleveland Institute of Art and Columbus College of Art and Design. For many young people there is a strong linkage between animation, video game development, and illustration.” The Intro class offered in the spring has already filled up, with many students showing interest and multiple people are on the waiting list as well.

There are many directions that students could go in after graduating with an emphasis in Illustration. Some of these paths that Ziebarth mentioned include animated movies and editorials. He said that the more that students are able to work in multiple different ways within the industry the more work will become available for them.

The plan is to start with more of a traditional way of teaching Illustration, and as the classes progress into more advanced, possibly expanding to digital media as well. Michitsch said, “In art schools regionally and nationally it is a very popular pursuit, illustration, and it has the capacity to interact with other disciplines, other departments, other schools. Certainly, with creative writing and sciences, medical illustration is a very very strong field.” He continued, “I have every confidence that this will do nothing but expand our already really strong studio art department”