The art of illustration is a very broad term that refers to creating any kind of image. The purpose of this image is to tell a story, invoke feelings in viewers, and express opinions or ideas. You can use a wide range of art skills and techniques to create this illustration. It can be abstract or realistic, traditional or modern, unanimated or animated, etc.

An illustration degree is a good one to have because it’s so versatile. The skills you learn are easily transferable to all sorts of industries—architecture, film and television, advertising, medicine, business… you name it! Wherever life may take you, you can rest assured knowing there are people and industries out there who value creativity and the work illustrators provide.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in this field, take a look at some of these best illustration schools from all over the world.

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Top Illustration Schools in the World

1. New3dge

Among the best illustration schools in the world, New3dge (short for New 3D General Education) is an on-site and online digital arts school based in Paris, France. They rank among the top schools worldwide in various digital arts fields like game design, illustration, concept art, creative arts, and plenty more. Many of their educators are top industry professionals who have worked for global companies like Disney, Marvel Studios, EA Games, and more.

Their program on Concept Art is the best in the world. It lasts for two years and equips you with all you need to be a great illustrator. The first year will have you learning the basics: you’ll learn how to use the most common tools for illustrations, design characters, build worlds and environments, add symbolic meanings to art, and develop your art skills. In the second year, you’ll be building your portfolio, learning the business aspects of illustration, and other specialized forms of art.

2. The One Academy of Communication Design

The One Academy of Communication Design is a private art school based in Selangor, Malaysia. Established in 1991, it is one of the top art schools in the world. The school ranks highly in creative media and entertainment, 3D motion graphics, concept art and illustration, game design and development, 2D animation, architectural visualization, and plenty more. They are also known for having a stronghold in the industry—95% of their graduates have achieved global success in the film and game industries.

One Academy offers a diploma in Illustration. Here, students of this top illustration institution are trained to create illustrations for business (e.g., commercials, publications) and entertainment (e.g., films, video games). The school also offers other bachelor’s degrees, courses, certificates, and diplomas relating to illustration. They cover a wide range from fashion design and pattern making, communication design, and fine arts.

3. Syn Studio

Syn Studio is a leading school for illustration, being a private art school in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 2007, it is the #1 school in North America for concept art and illustration and #1 worldwide in 2020. According to their website, they believe that “great artists are not born, they are made.” Thus, they cater to both beginner and advanced artists wanting to develop their skills in illustration.

You can start with the fundamentals and traditional drawing courses online that even complete beginners can attend. Once you’ve mastered your preferred art techniques, you can move on to concept art and illustration courses (also online), applying your skills to the digital world with programs like Photoshop. If, after that, you are still looking for something more intensive, you can attend their 18-month diploma program in Montreal where you can develop your skills even further in an industry setting and under the supervision of an industry expert.

4. 3dSense Media School

3dSense Media School is among the best illustration schools in the world. It is an art school based in Singapore City, Singapore. It was established in 2003 and has since become one of Asia’s top schools in digital arts. They offer both on-site and online courses on concept design and illustration, visual effects and animation, toy design and production, and more.

Their 12-month diploma program on concept design and illustration was designed by Imaginary Friends Studios, known for their work with Marvel, Star Wars, and other notable franchises. It is a student-centric course that focuses on digital arts and illustration—students can develop their crafts while using the art styles and techniques they prefer.

5. Universal Arts School

Another top illustration school is the Universal Arts School is located in Valencia, Spain. It has been a leading art school in both Spain and Europe since its foundation in 1994. They offer a significant amount of general and specialized courses in animation, video games, cinema and visual effects, or 2D and 3D art. They are also unique in that you can enroll in two specializations at once!

They offer bachelor’s degrees (four years for regular and five years for dual specialized) and master’s degrees (two years for both) online and on-campus. Their programs are highly-specialized and are all related to illustration in some way. Universal Arts School is perfect for those who already know what their strengths are and what they hope to accomplish in the industry.

6. ECV Creative Schools and Community

ECV (Ecole de Communication Visuelle) is an organization of digital arts schools located in Paris, Bordeaux, Nantes, Aix-en-Provence and Lille in France. They are centered around six core values: academic excellence and standards, professionalism and partnerships, bold and creative students, networking and recognition, internationalization, and close student-teacher relationships.

ECV offers three kinds of programs: foundational courses, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees. As the name suggests, foundational courses are for students with no background in the arts—here, they can develop basic skills like drawing and coloring. After they’ve mastered that, they can jump directly to a bachelor’s degree—for the next two years, they can hone their skills further or acquire new skills like motion design and typography. Lastly, the master’s degree completes the whole process—students learn how to manage a project from humble beginnings to a finished project.

7. Flinders University

Flinders University is a public research university in Adelaide, Australia. It is one of the top universities in the country and ranks among the top 300 worldwide. The school offers more than 160 undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields like business, education, and social sciences.

Flinders University partnered with CDW Studios to create the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Effects and Entertainment Design). CDW is an organization also based in Australia that has worked with the likes of Warner Brothers, Disney, and Lego, to name a few. You get the best of both worlds with this degree, learning from the best digital arts professionals in the country under an intensive and structured curriculum Flinders University provides.


I hope that you found this article on the best illustration schools in the world informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!