share this

COVID Planning
Stay up to date on our plans
Share This Search

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 | Fundamentals of Illustration | Illustration: BFA Preparation | Intro to Animation | Layout Rendering Techniques

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  Concept Development I | Fundamentals of Illustration | Illustration: Advanced Illustration Studio Projects | Illustration: BFA Preparation | Illustration: Final Project: Illustration Portfolio | Principles of 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.

Lincoln Adams

Title Assistant Professor
Department Illustration
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Acting + Directing | Concept Development I | Drawing for Animation | Narrative Production III | Storyboarding + Sequential Art

Degree BFA, Cleveland Institute of Art, 1998

Lincoln Adams has worked for 20 years as an illustrator, storyboard artist and designer. His projects have included magazines, television shows, character design, book covers, and greeting cards and was selected to the 47th Annual Society of Illustrators West Show in Los Angeles.

He as worked on popular animated shows such as Hasbro's Hanazki, Barbie: Spy Squad and Reboot the Guardian Code ( currently on Netflix), Disney XD's Max Steel, Slugterra, Monster High (Netflix), Veggie Tales, Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins, Nickelodeon's Shimmer and Shine as well as Happos a BAFTA Award-nominated series for Turner Broadcasting's Boomerang Channel.

Additionally, Lincoln has worked on three animated features. Henchmen for Bron Animation, 100% Wolf for Flying Bark Animation and the highly anticipated Ron's Gone Wrong for Locksmith Animation.

Lincoln moves fluidly back and forth between traditional, tactile mediums and digital mediums to execute ideas— often times incorporating both within a piece. A firm believer that the traditional informs the digital, he continues training and experimenting in both. Lincoln's primary tactile mediums include oils, wax crayon and colored pencil, and monoprints. His digital expertise includes the use of the Cintiq via Photoshop and InDesign, and Storyboard Pro.

However, even with all of the various approaches to technique and execution, one thing stands out as the most vital component in Lincoln's work— Story. And it is what is what he espouses in all of the courses he teaches as the chief ingredient toward success in the entertainment art world.

Client List:

Nickelodeon Animation
Locksmith Animation
Flying Bark Animation
Dreamworks Television Animation
Bron Animation
Walt Disney Television Animation
Titmouse Studios
Turner Broadcasting
Acclaim Entertainment
Big Idea Entertainment
Nerdcorps Entertainment
Rainmaker Entertainment
Arnold Worldwide
Brown Bag Films
Spider Eye Animation
Zack Petroc Studios
American Greetings
General Motors

To learn more about Lincoln read his interview at Animation Insider!

Bill Appledorn

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Illustration
Phone 216.421.7000

Kelsey Cretcher 2778410orig.jpgbgsforweb-02orig.jpg

Kelsey Cretcher

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Illustration
Phone 216.421.7000

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


James Groman

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Illustration
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Character Design + Development | Illustration: BFA Preparation | Layout Rendering Techniques

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.

Nancy Lick sc001e3ce5.jpgcatfamily.jpg

Nancy Lick

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Illustration
Phone 216.421.7000

Degree BFA Kent State University; MA, Ursuline College

Nancy Lick earned her BFA from Kent State University and her Master of Arts from Ursuline College. She works as a freelance illustrator in the areas of educational publishing, greeting card design, and editorial markets. As a long-standing board member of the Northern Ohio Illustrators Society, she contributes to the organization’s mission to promote excellence and professionalism in the field of illustration.

Nancy has extensive teaching experience in the areas of Drawing, Illustration, and Design. She has taught at Baldwin Wallace University, Cuyahoga Community College, Ursuline College, and Notre Dame College.

She enjoys working in different styles and media and believes that illustration is a visual means of storytelling. Her love of detail gives her work a narrative quality that is appreciated by many.


American Greetings

Harcourt Brace

Publications International

The Cleveland Sight Center

Orff Echo Magazine

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Diebold ATM Services

Northern Ohio Live Magazine

Hospice of the Western Reserve

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

David Schwartz

David Schwartz

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Illustration
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  BFA Research + Preparation | Concept Development I | Drawing for Animation | Narrative Production I | Storyboarding + Sequential Art

David Schwartz is a professional storyteller, having mastered the craft since he could speak a word or hold a pencil. Once he figured out what to do with words and pencils AND get paid, his destiny was set.

Though having established careers in comic books and magazine illustration, and as a radio/TV broadcaster, Dave moved to LA in 1987 and began his career in animation. He started out as a storyboard artist at Disney, Warner Brothers and Klasky-Csupo working on such projects as the Disney Afternoon shows, Tiny Toons, Taz-mania, Pinky and the Brain, The Simpsons and Rugrats. At Disney, Dave moved into writing and directing episodes for Bonkers and The Little Mermaid and became Art Director for Disney TV Development, designing characters for the series, Gargoyles, and creating the animated series, The Mighty Ducks. Dave went on to directing shows at Sony, D.I.C., Film Roman and Dreamworks and storyboarding/writing episodes for Johnny Bravo at Cartoon Network.

As a freelancer, Dave has storyboarded on The X-men, Batman: Brave and the Bold, Robot Chicken and Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, among hundreds of others.

As an educator, Dave has taught in the animation departments of Santa Monica College, Woodbury University and CSUN- Northridge, all in Los Angeles, California. He currently teaches Storyboards for Animation and Illustration, Concept Design and figure drawing courses at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

He continues to do concept design and storyboards for film and TV projects, post editorial cartoons on the internet and is a member of the Northern Ohio Illustrators Society and the National Cartoonists Society.

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.