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Academics . Illustration . Faculty

Illustration Faculty

Jeff Harter seagullssurfingjeffharter.jpgcatonunicycle.jpg

Jeff Harter

Title Associate Professor | Chair of Illustration
Department Illustration
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Character Design + Development | Community Projects (EP) | Illustration: Advanced Illustration Studio Projects | Illustration: Final Project: Illustration Portfolio

Degree MA, Syracuse University
California Institute of Art, Character Animation (2 years)
BFA, University at Buffalo

Jeff Harter pursued his BFA in Illustration at the University at Buffalo, where he studied under distinguished visiting artist and professor Alan E. Cober. After initially working as a freelance conceptual and editorial Illustrator for national clients, Jeff attended California Institute of the Arts program in character animation. He joined the Walt Disney Animation Studio in Burbank, California as an assistant animator to contribute to the feature films Hercules, Mulan and Tarzan. He later became a supervising character artist for the Winnie the Pooh characters at Disney Consumer Products while earning his M.A. in illustration at Syracuse University.

Jeff was a senior illustrator for American Greetings' alternative humor department, where he was the 2012 Chairman's Award Grand Winner in the category of Creativity and Innovation. He is the creator of the animated comedy “Packages from Planet X," which aired on Disney XD. He also created the comedy "Boy, Girl, Dog, Cat, Mouse, Cheese," another animated TV show concept that was in development with Cartoon Network and Disney XD and is currently in production with the CBBC. He currently teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Art as an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Illustration Department, as well as contributes illustrations to clients on a national level for a variety of markets including Advertising, editorial, entertainment, games, greeting cards, licensing, publishing and toys. Jeff is managed by Dannie Festa, producer of the Dreamworks feature animated film "Trolls."

Client List:

  • AG Alternative Humor
  • AG Interactive
  • AG New Product Concepts
  • Ask Magazine
  • Cartoon Network
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Citibank
  • Cricket Magazine
  • Disney XD
  • Disney Store Design & Development
  • Disney Publishing
  • Hasbro
  • Havas Interactive
  • Jacqui Lawson
  • Jimmy Fallon
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Mercury Filmworks (animation)
  • Nelvana
  • Syracuse University Magazine
  • Scholastic Publishing
  • Tetris
  • Top Cow/Image Comics
  • Vivendi/Universal
  • Wolf Manfield Bolling Advertising
Suzanne McGinness 171acf199cd879ca074cd08ff6fd57bc603ec0~mv2d48003600s42.jpg4.cover.resized.jpg

Suzanne McGinness

Title Assistant Professor
Department Illustration
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  BFA Thesis + Exhibition | Illustration for Publication | Illustration II | Illustration: BFA Preparation | Layout Rendering Techniques | Picture Book Illustration

Degree MA, Cambridge School of Art
BFA, Cleveland Institute of Art, BFA

Suzanne McGinness completed her BFA in Illustration at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She received a Master of Arts in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art through Anglia Ruskin University, England in 2009.

Suzanne is the author and illustrator of the picture book My Bear Griz, a White Raven Winner of 2012. She currently works as a children’s book illustrator and as faculty member for the Illustration Department, Pre-College Program, and adult Continuing Education programs at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She is passionate about the growing field of Picture Book illustration and the multi-dispiliary approach of creating sequential art.

Robert Roth

Department Illustration

Courses  BFA Thesis + Exhibition | Illustration II | Illustration: Advanced Illustration Studio Projects | Illustration: Final Project: Illustration Portfolio | Layout Rendering Techniques | Visual Concepts in Illustration

Degree BFA, Rhode Island School of Design

Robert Roth is a native of Cold Spring Harbor, NY. Rob has been in the creative field for 33 years, illustrating over 12 picture books for children. As a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, he started his career as an illustrator in NYC, he has also had the opportunity to work within the creative studios of Hallmark Cards in Kansas City & Cleveland’s own, American Greetings. Rob has garnered numerous honors for his work, including Awards from The Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Print Magazine, & The New York Times Best illustrated Children’s Book of the Year for his book, "Busing Brewster”. He has exhibited his paintings in NYC, Houston, Santa Fe, Charlotte and Martha's Vineyard. Rob currently splits his time between his gallery work, illustration and teaching. He resides in an 1850’s farm house and barn studio in the historic town of Hudson, Ohio. His clients have included, Apple, IBM, The Grammy Awards, American Express, The Ritz Carlton, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Marvel Comics, United Airlines, RCA Records, and Travel & Leisure.

Bill Appledorn

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Illustration
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Concept Development I | Principles of Illustration

Degree BFA, Cleveland Institute of Art

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Kelsey Cretcher

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Illustration
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Illustration for Publication | Principles of Illustration | Professional Standards in Illustration

Degree BFA Illustration

Kelsey Cretcher is a 2012 Illustration graduate from the Cleveland Institute of Art. She currently works as a freelance illustrator and sells original illustrations and merchandise, allowing her to focus on her own unique illustrations and growing following while also freelancing and bringing clients ideas to life

Her specialty is in vector illustration and design. Her game illustrations are featured on and

Jamey Christoph

Department Illustration

Courses  Professional Standards in Illustration | Visual Concepts in Illustration

Degree BFA, Ringling College of Art and Design


James Groman

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Illustration
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Character Design + Development | Community Projects (EP) | Graphic Novels + Sequential Art | Illustration: BFA Preparation

Degree BFA, Cleveland Institute of Art

After graduating with a BFA degree from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1986, James Groman was hired by American Greetings Entertainment and Toy Concept Division: ‘Those Characters from Cleveland,’ where he worked on the development of brands like Care Bears, Popples, Madballs, Blurp Balls, My Pet Monster, and Ring Raiders. He also conceived and designed the toy line: Barnyard Commandoes for Playmates Toys.

After TCFC, James established his own freelance studio providing design, sculpting and prototyping on products based on Star Wars, Harry Potter, Stretch Armstrong, Godzilla, Universal Monsters, G.I. Joe, Jonny Quest, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Star Wars, and various Marvel and DC comics characters for companies like Kenner/Hasbro, Cap Toys, Galoob, Ertl Collectables, Playing Mantis, and Polar Lights to name just a few.

James worked for four years at Hasbro Toys Playskool group on their GoBots/Transformers, Major Powers and Cool Crew brands. While being design lead on the Star Wars Jedi Force toys James had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco and work with the folks at Lucasfilm on the development and design of the line.

Back at American Greetings Properties, James worked on brands like Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and Madballs as well as new ventures like Sushi Pack and Tinpo for CBS, Twisted Whiskers, Maryoku Yummy for The Hub Network, Packages from Planet X for Disney XD. He is the Art Director for the Care Bears Hub animated series, as well as the new, Netflix series: Care Bears; Meet the Cousins. He also created the villains for the series, Beastly and the Beasties.

James had the honor of traveling to New Zealand to work with Richard Taylor and the team at Weta Workshop for a week on the film: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

When not teaching at CIA, James operates his own entertainment and toy design studio creating products for companies all over the planet. His partnership with the Japanese company Instinctoys on the King Korpse Vinyl Figure led to a Designer Toy Award for Toy of the Year in 2017.

James has most recently collaborated with DC Comics Collectables on a series of Batman figures and MGA Entertainment on Crate Creatures and Kingdom Builders toy lines.

Matthew Horak

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Illustration

Courses  Graphic Novels + Sequential Art

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