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Academics . Drawing . Overview


The drawing impulse is almost as old as mankind, and for good reasons. Drawing is an unparalleled tool for understanding and interpreting the world around us, and it contains timeless possibilities for expression, communication and experimentation. The practice of drawing can be both a foundational skill and a chosen specialty for visual artists.

Drawing can function as a process, a plan, and the final product.

In the Drawing major at CIA, students use traditional and nontraditional materials as well as unconventional tools to master a visual vocabulary that includes scale, proportion, perspective, composition, line, mass, and modeling.

Our students learn to research concepts and source materials as a basis for developing their work. Drawing majors experience drawing from observation, from imagination, and through experimental processes.

As they develop their own body of work, they begin to understand drawing as it appears in pop, common, and high culture. All of this comes together senior year in a thesis project that incorporates research, ideation, experimentation, evaluation, reflection, refinement, and production.

As part of the Visual Arts Environment, you will share in an integrated curriculum studying other disciplines within the environment including Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture + Expanded Media.

Some of our Drawing majors go on to successful, entrepreneurial careers as studio artists, or as museum curators or gallerists. Others join entertainment industries such as animation, film, illustration, publishing, and design.

Real-world experience for real-world careers
What may best set CIA apart from other colleges of art and design is our commitment to preparing students for a career path through real-world experiences. You'll learn by working on real-world projects with external partners or clients, or in the public sphere—all before graduation.

These opportunities allow you to put your classroom and studio knowledge to work in a professional setting while still being guided by faculty. You’ll learn what it takes to meet clients’ expectations, and you will emerge with confidence that will serve you as you launch your career.

What can I do with a degree in Drawing?

  • Studio Artist
  • Creative Director
  • Museum Professional
  • Nonprofit Professional
  • Senior Concept Artist
  • Art Conservator

Featured Alumni Profile

Wesley Burt - Senior Concept Artist

Meet Your Professors view all

Sarah Kabot sarahkabotart01.jpgsarahkabotart02.jpg

Sarah Kabot

Professor | Chair

Kabot’s work has been shown nationally and abroad at institutions including The Suburban (IL), SPACES Ga...more

Cores + Connections

Our connections are your connections.

While at CIA, you'll learn from the masters through our rigorous, world-class curriculum and connect with working professionals to begin your career.