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Continuing Education

Continuing Education . Pre-College . Classes . Illustration 


Illustrators can wear many hats but the common thread that links us is our desire to tell a story.


Whether the project is a children’s book illustration, storyboards for film or television, editorial illustration or character development for animation, illustrators create the visual narrative. As an applied art, illustrators create work to satisfy a client’s need and apply the artwork to a specific purpose. Classroom assignments will mimic real-life job situations and cover a variety of topics. You will explore the full creative process, from brainstorming and concept art to a finished piece ready for display.

Additionally, you will discover dynamic composition, storyboarding, fundamental rendering techniques, and basic pre-press print production. During the first week, you will sample many different avenues of illustration and develop core skills and design principles that will be applied to finished artwork during the second week. Presentations and critiques throughout will help you present ideas and gain the experience necessary to sell the concept.

This course is designed to help you find your creative voice, execute advanced-level artwork, and discover the diverse field of illustration.


The first week of this course will focus on building the skills needed as an illustrator. Students will work on observational drawings and learn how to utilize thumbnail sketches and carefully chose composition and design. The elements of art and design will be explored further through the creation of brand identity. During the second week, students will focus on illustrating narrative and feeling, learning how to tell a story in a single image.

Projects and topics that will be explored include composition and value, aesthetic and comprehensive design, brand identity, visual communication of an idea or story, character development, poster and book-jacket design, and story-boarding.


Nancy Lick is an adjunct professor in the Illustration Dept. at CIA. She has worked as an illustrator in the areas of educational publishing, greeting card design, and editorial markets, and serves as a board member of the Northern Ohio Illustrators Society. Her illustration clients have included American Greetings, Harcourt Brace, and Publications International. She earned a BFA from Kent State University and an MA from Ursuline College.

Suzanne McGinness completed her BFA in Illustration at the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2007. She received a master of arts in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University, England in 2009. Suzanne is the author and illustrator of the children’s book My Bear Griz, a White Raven Winner of 2012. Suzanne currently works as a children’s book illustrator and as an adjunct faculty member for the Illustration Department at CIA. To view Suzanne's work visit

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

Recently, he finished work on the popular animated shows: Hanazki, Barbie: Spy Squad, Max Steel, Slugterra, Monster High, Veggie Tales, Doc McStuffins, as well as Happos, a series for Turner Broadcasting's Boomerang Channel. He recently finished up work on the upcoming feature animation release from Bron Animation, Henchmen. To view Lincoln's work visit his website.