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BFA Illustration cultivates expert individual voices that are sustained by a high degree of craft, with a curriculum designed to spark the imagination as well as teach the art of interpretation: the ability to carefully read and cross-reference texts, research visual styles and conceptualize and produce significant bodies of work. As the program progresses, assignments become increasingly professional in nature and reflect the diversity of the illustration marketplace, which comprises media, entertainment, publishing, fashion, toy design and other fields. Students develop sophisticated, multifaceted portfolios and participate in industry-sponsored competitions, which provide valuable exposure and networking opportunities.

2016 – 2017 student population

525 matriculated students

Department chair

Thomas Woodruff (painter and illustrator)

Some notable faculty members

Terry Allen, Steve Brodner, Chris Buzelli, Marcos Chin, Josh Cochran, Vincent Di Nguyen, Bil Donovan, Teresa Fasolino, Aya Kakeda, Peter Kuper, Travis Louie, Marvin Mattelson, Peter McCarty, Edel Rodriguez, Julia Rothman-Longacre, Stephen Savage, Yuko Shimizu, David Soman, Ricardo Vecchio, Sam Weber, Autumn Whitehurst

Some notable alumni

Esao Andrews, Paul Davis, Daniel Dos Santos, Mickey Duzyj, Becca Genne-Bacon, Yumi Heo, James Jean, Alexander Juhasz, Graig Kreindler, Bill Lee, Peter McCarty, Patrick McDonnell, Nick Meglin, Michael Paraskevas, Joe Quesada, Dash Shaw, David Soman, Raina D. Telgemeier, George C. Woodbridge, Jason Bard Yarmosky

Student exhibitions

Third-year BFA Illustration students have the opportunity to show their art in an exhibition of thesis works at the SVA Chelsea Gallery. Graduating students have their work showcased in the department's award-winning annual publications, and they also attend the annual BFA Illustration/BFA Cartooning Industry Portfolio Review, where students have the opportunity to network with industry leaders for insight and/or jobs. Additional outlets for aspiring illustrators at SVA include the student club Cartoon Allies and its annual convention, Fresh Meat; the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art's MoCCA Arts Fest; New York Comic Con; and the Society of Illustrators and American Illustration competitions. 

More information

SVA Admissions: 212.592.2100 | [email protected]

Media requests

SVA Communication: 212.592.2010 | [email protected] 



209 East 23 Street, New York, NY 10010-3994 | Tel 212.592.2000 | sva.edu

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587