Make Your Illustration Career A Reality

About the Program

Becoming a professional artist starts with a killer portfolio. Visual Arts Passage courses take your skills to the next level through intensive mentorships, live lectures, and one-on-one training. Whether you’re looking for an illustration career, or you want to pursue gallery and fine arts work, we’re ready to make your goals our priority. Now is the perfect time to make a plan and begin the hard work. With Visual Arts Passage, you are never alone in your education journey! You will be surrounded by like-minded artists in small classes with an attentive mentor leading you through assignments designed to create the perfect illustration portfolio.


While it is easy to set your illustration career goals, following through with them is the hard part! Begin with a personal one-on-one chat with one of our mentors. This online chat is a great way to introduce yourself to our program, and we can work with you to select the perfect illustration course. We can discuss the differences between working towards an illustration career that involves working digitally and traditionally, and pursuing the skills to strengthen your fine art and gallery work.

Our illustration program consists of four online illustration courses, providing ambitious art students with a step-by-step guide to develop their creative skills and learn from industry professionals.

This program offers learn-by-doing classes in a mentorship-style environment that is delivered live and is fully interactive. You will learn the ins-and-outs of building the perfect illustration portfolio and how to refine your abilities as a drawer and illustrator through outside the classroom activities such as weekly figure drawing, on-demand class content, guest speakers, and more.


At the end of the day, one of the most important assets to a concept artist is their portfolio and practical understanding of the industry. With this in mind, each course in the concept art program is designed to prepare your portfolio to grab the attention of decision-makers at major studios. Whether you are just getting started or have some serious talent right out the gate, these classes will equip you with all the necessary tools. Each course is delivered over ten weeks.


For beginners, Process: Skill and Craft, taught by Audrey Benjaminsen or Jon Foster, is the perfect introduction to illustration techniques, image-making foundations, and visual arts basics. This is the ideal course for anyone looking to boost the impact of their portfolio. Process: Skill and Craft prepares you for the second course in our illustration program: Ideation and Visual Storytelling.
Learn More >>


Ideation and Visual Storytelling is a fast-paced course for students who have completed Process: Skill and Craft or have an advanced skill level and experience with drawing, illustration techniques, and visual storytelling. As a student in Ideation and Visual Storytelling, you will study under Edward Kinsella, a recipient of six medals from The Society of Illustrators. His clients include The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The Criterion Collection, Scholastic, and many more. This class builds off the foundation of the previous course and prepares students to merge illustration techniques with storytelling and visual communication. In addition, students will broaden comprehension and application as they work towards developing and refining a portfolio by continuing into the third course in our illustration program: Portfolio Development. Learn more 


Portfolio Development is the third online course in this program taught by Dale Stephanos. Dale is a veteran professional artist who has built an award-winning career illustrating and drawing for clients like The New York Times, U.S. Postal Service, and Newsweek while running a successful gallery. The lectures, demonstrations, and assignments in Portfolio Development challenge students to apply their personal goals as artists to real-world assignments meant to highlight your artistic voice within your portfolio. During this course, students learn how to use previously known illustration techniques and knowledge. This course is proceeded by the final course in our illustration program: Career Development. Learn More


Career Development is designed as a repeatable course and can be taken multiple times by the same student. As a highly specialized course, students benefit from fully personalized coaching on the work, portfolio, networking, and entrepreneurship. Once your portfolio is complete, the career development course acts as a professional compass for the illustration and fine-arts world. Join Sterling Hundley as your mentor for this intensive illustration course. Sterling is a painter, draftsman, illustrator, and educator based in Richmond, Virginia. From murals, exhibitions, installations, book covers to magazines, Hundley’s diverse and distinct creative voice has garnered international acclaim. Learn More

Learn from mentors who are at the top of their game

Mentorship is an invaluable part of online learning in the concept art program. While most online concept art schools offer pre-recorded and recycled information, at Visual Arts Passage, every class is delivered entirely live and online by art mentors. Not only do you gain access to some of the most valuable wisdom, tools, and resources available, but our courses offer students the chance to build real relationships with artists in the field. Networking is an important step toward career development. As a student, you will be connecting with dozens of classmates, all while learning the ins-and-outs of the concept art industry from your mentor.

The online classes are kept to an average 10 to 1 student to mentor ratio, which means instructors provide everyone with fully personalized feedback and critiques relevant to each student’s career interests, style, and goals. Art education shouldn’t be taught with a one-size-fits-all approach, and the mentorship programs at Visual Arts Passage are custom-tailored to every student.

Photo portrait of artist and illustrator Audrey Benjaminsen


Process: Skill & Craft


Process: Skill & Craft


Ideation & Visual Storytelling

Portrait of illustrator and painter, Dale Stephanos


Portfolio Development

Illustrator and painter John English


Co-founder & Portfolio Development

Portrait of illustrator and fine artist, Sterling Hundley


Career Development