I've worked as a Graphic Design Production Artist since 1997 and was laid off in 2010 due to lack of print work in the agency. Freelance work is available, but not as fun as it used to be. I feel like there's niche work for someone who knows the computer really well and knows how to draw the old-fashioned way. After four classes I've already found a new freedom in drawing on the computer. I'm looking forward to planning and perfecting it. The assignments we are given in our courses are probably my favourite part of the Commercial Illustration Certificate Program. My favourite was in Stylistic Movements in Illustration when we worked as a small group to come up with a new interpretation on an old classic, The Birth of Venus, by Sandro Botticelli.
I really like the fact that all courses are all in the evenings and on weekends because I'm starting a consulting business during the day and wouldn’t otherwise have had the time. My goal is to start a graphic design consulting business over the next year. Once I get that going, I plan to start taking one course per semester, depending on my income, for the first year. I'll reevaluate after that year.
It would be great if I could work on real projects that require the illustration skills we're learning, with real teams of people while in the program to keep me going inspirationally and financially.
I did it! I applied for 20 jobs! This was a prerequisite for my application into a government-sponsored self-employment program to make the Communication Design Mentor a successful business.
My favourite part of the program is the challenge of the assignments and sharing in the successes and failures with my classmates.
I also like the evening/weekend schedule which is awesome. I couldn't do this otherwise. Illustration class is often the best part of my week. I work as a web designer/art director and already have a foundation in drawing. After my first year of design school, my drawing mostly got left behind as I focused on other skillsets (this happens far too often). I've been looking for a part-time illustration program for a few years and it was a relief when I finally stumbled across Langara's program. It feels great to get back to drawing and dedicating time each week to being creative without a computer.
My teachers force me out of my comfort zone and I take valuable additions to my 'toolkit' from every one. Everyone seems to have a great sense of humor, and both the instructors and my fellow students make it fun.
I think the best part of the program is being able to learn from and ask questions of instructors who have been working in the industry for a long time. They show me the step-by-step process of how they actually go about in creating an illustration. I emulate their particular processes almost entirely and they work.
I very much enjoy the straightforward curriculum system and the fact that it focused on commercial illustration rather than children's storybook illustration or graphic design. I was already familiar with Langara's Continuing Studies as one of my family members is faculty, and because I had taken other Continuing Studies courses.
Some instructors have been able to show me what the "trends" were today in illustration which was interesting to know, and gave me some idea as to what things are like outside of course material. Each instructor had a style which influenced me.
Having already a basic knowledge of drawing, the illustration courses I took were exactly what I needed to point me in the right direction and to apply them to what I already know and to improve my drawing skills. What's even better is that with the weekend and evening class schedules, I didn't have to worry about missing any time off work. How often can you find illustration courses like that?
As a whole I think the best part of the classes were the instructors and the students. The instructors were professional and well-trained in the business - you can tell by how they teach. The classes also connected me with students who are sincerely dedicated with learning and I think the passion they have for their work is also what drives me to do better.
Langara’s illustration program has already helped me enormously. My skills have improved immensely, and I'm better able to critique my own work. Most importantly however, spending time under working professionals and with classmates has given me the confidence to present my work to potential clients and garner paid work.