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Illustration Program — Course 1

Process: Skill & Craft

A 10-week masterclass that establishes fundamental skills for advanced illustration and visual storytelling.

All the tools you need to accelerate your skills as an illustrator, painter, and visual artist.

Course Details

Your career as a successful illustrator begins here. Don’t just learn how the pros work, work with the pros. The ‘Process: Skills and Craft’ course—your first in the Illustration Program—is a hands on dive into picture-making and drawing.

Alongside an assigned mentor, you’ll explore the complexities of working with different media, applying color, drawing with shape, and controlling light. You’ll be joined by guest speakers with decades of combined experience drawing for the biggest names in the industry.

Class Time

Saturdays, 10am – 1pm PT

Length

10 weeks (23 Live Classes)

Delivery

Live & Online

Medium

Digital or traditional

Enrollment Now Open

Only 3 Seats Left

Mentor

Katherine Lam

Skill Level

Beginner / Intermediate

Feedback

Live & On-Demand

Homeroom Class

3 Hours on Saturdays

Price

$799 $1199

Semester Dates

Jan 20 –  March 23, 2024

Key Takeaways From The 10 Week Course

  • Making a picture with an art director

  • Enhance ideation skills

  • Basic ideation skills

  • Effective lighting for creating photo reference

  • How to develop three-value thumbnails

  • The importance of shape and value control

  • How to develop a final drawing and value study

  • Simple color

Homeroom:
Saturday Zoom Meeting (3 hours)
Topics: Student introductions, class goals, followed by discussion of image-making, composition, and assignments. Students receive first homework project: The Flat Assignment.

Study Hall: 
Wednesday Zoom Meeting (1-2 hours)
Topics: Study Hall is an optional weekly resource. Group critique, assistance on homework and general support by VAP mentors from each program.

Discord:
Post progress, ask questions, connect and network with fellow classmates, while gaining insights from VAP mentors throughout the week.

Homeroom:
Saturday Zoom Meeting (3 hours)
Topics: Drawing from memory, life, and photography. Review and individual critiques of flat assignment progress.

Study Hall: 
Wednesday Zoom Meeting (1-2 hours)
Topics: Study Hall is an optional weekly resource. Group critique, assistance on homework and general support by VAP mentors from each program.

Discord:
Post progress, ask questions, connect and network with fellow classmates, while gaining insights from VAP mentors throughout the week.

Guest Speakers:
Saturday & Sunday Zoom Meeting 
Students meet both Saturday and Sunday for two separate Guest Artist events. Guest artists will present work, share process, and technique via demonstration and on occasion will provide group critiques to select students.

Study Hall: 
Wednesday Zoom Meeting (1-2 hours)
Topics: Study Hall is an optional weekly resource. Group critique, assistance on homework and general support by VAP mentors from each program.

Discord:
Post progress, ask questions, connect and network with fellow classmates, while gaining insights from VAP mentors throughout the week.

Homeroom:
Saturday Zoom Meeting (3 hours)
Topics: Understanding silhouette, value control with thumbnails.
Assignment #2: Criterion Collection Film Poster

Study Hall: 
Wednesday Zoom Meeting (1-2 hours)
Topics: Study Hall is an optional weekly resource. Group critique, assistance on homework and general support by VAP mentors from each program.

Discord:
Post progress, ask questions, connect and network with fellow classmates, while gaining insights from VAP mentors throughout the week.

Homeroom:
Saturday Zoom Meeting (3 hours)
Topics: Understanding composition and controlling shape

Study Hall: 
Wednesday Zoom Meeting (1-2 hours)
Topics: Study Hall is an optional weekly resource. Group critique, assistance on homework and general support by VAP mentors from each program.

Discord:
Post progress, ask questions, connect and network with fellow classmates, while gaining insights from VAP mentors throughout the week.

Guest Speakers:
Saturday & Sunday Zoom Meeting 
Students meet both Saturday and Sunday for two separate Guest Artist events. Guest artists will present work, share process, and technique via demonstration and on occasion will provide group critiques to select students.

Study Hall: 
Wednesday Zoom Meeting (1-2 hours)
Topics: Study Hall is an optional weekly resource. Group critique, assistance on homework and general support by VAP mentors from each program.

Discord:
Post progress, ask questions, connect and network with fellow classmates, while gaining insights from VAP mentors throughout the week.

Homeroom:
Saturday Zoom Meeting (3 hours)
Topics: Creating photography reference with great lighting, posing, and costuming.
Assignment #3: Celebrity/Historical Figure Portrait

Study Hall: 
Wednesday Zoom Meeting (1-2 hours)
Topics: Study Hall is an optional weekly resource. Group critique, assistance on homework and general support by VAP mentors from each program.

Discord:
Post progress, ask questions, connect and network with fellow classmates, while gaining insights from VAP mentors throughout the week.

Guest Speakers:
Saturday & Sunday Zoom Meeting 
Students meet both Saturday and Sunday for two separate Guest Artist events. Guest artists will present work, share process, and technique via demonstration and on occasion will provide group critiques to select students.

Study Hall: 
Wednesday Zoom Meeting (1-2 hours)
Topics: Study Hall is an optional weekly resource. Group critique, assistance on homework and general support by VAP mentors from each program.

Discord:
Post progress, ask questions, connect and network with fellow classmates, while gaining insights from VAP mentors throughout the week.

Homeroom:
Saturday Zoom Meeting (3 hours)
Topics: The power of great reference and using reference in your work.

Study Hall: 
Wednesday Zoom Meeting (1-2 hours)
Topics: Study Hall is an optional weekly resource. Group critique, assistance on homework and general support by VAP mentors from each program.

Discord:
Post progress, ask questions, connect and network with fellow classmates, while gaining insights from VAP mentors throughout the week.

Homeroom:
Saturday Zoom Meeting (3 hours)
Topics: Final reviews of work, critique, and demonstration

Study Hall: 
Wednesday Zoom Meeting (1-2 hours)
Topics: Study Hall is an optional weekly resource. Group critique, assistance on homework and general support by VAP mentors from each program.

Discord:
Post progress, ask questions, connect and network with fellow classmates, while gaining insights from VAP mentors throughout the week.

Meet the Class Mentor Katherine Lam

Katherine Lam is an illustrator. She grew up in Maryland, went to school in Florida, and now lives in NYC. She likes drawing houses.

Her work has been in 3×3, Society of Illustrators, AI-AP, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, and Creative Quarterly. She has been featured in Photoshop Creative 166.

Clients include: The New York Times, New Yorker, NBCUniversal, Criterion Collection, Laundry TV, The Telegraph, Hollywood Reporter, Smithsonian Magazine, The Intercept, TED, Propublica, Amazon, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, The New Republic, California Sunday, Pop-Up Magazine, Spectrum Magazine, Believer, Times Higher Education, Outside, Outline, New Jersey Monthly, Sierra, Little White Lies, Editions Gallmeister, Milwaukee Magazine, Charlotte Magazine, Narratively, BUST, Telemedicine, Doctorish, Il Corriere dela Sera, and Dinardo Design

Award-winning Guest Speakers

Every semester, Visual Arts Passage invites 7 guest speakers to connect and share wisdom with all students. These industry leaders answer student questions, complete in-depth demonstrations, review work, and more.

UPCOMING GUEST SPEAKERS

Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress
Art Director, Time Magazine

What makes this Mentorship unique?

As a mentorship student, you will gain access to a vast wealth of resources to better your understanding and improve your skills. You will be paired with a high-caliber professional, who will be with you every step of the way.

Live Classes

Every class is delivered live and is fully interactive with lectures, demos, critiques, and guest speakers. Consider this your front row seat.

Connect on Discord

laptop image of zoom art class for illustrators and concept artists

Study Hall

guest speaker events with comic book artist, Afua Richardsons

Guest Speakers

Learn-by-doing Assignments

Polish your skills and create portfolio-worthy art

Students are tasked on a weekly basis with a variety of skill-building exercises, real-world assignments, and projects to help refine and improve. Assignments include creating publishing art based on existing narratives, celebrity portraits, and poster art for a mock client such as The Criterion Collection.

  • Reese Bice

    Celebrity Portrait

  • Jess Lemon

    Flat Assignment

  • Elijah Boor

    Thumbnails

  • Veronica Martinez

    Flat Assignment

  • Student work

    Movie Poster

NOW OPEN

Biggest Cyber Sale of 2023

$1199

Student Testimonials

Process: Skill & Craft was an excellent class that definitely helped get my brain thinking about drawing and illustration in different ways. I was pushed to try new techniques and materials as well as consider different approaches to ideation and illustration development that have proved useful in all my work going forward. I really enjoyed the projects and the opportunity to let loose in regards to my own process and style.
Ren LindroosProcess: Skill & Craft Student

Payment Installments Available

Even though our courses are the best value, with the high caliber instruction and personalized mentoring, there are finance options available to make the mentorship program financially possible for as many artists as possible. Select Shop Pay or Affirm at checkout to view options.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Students only commit to one mentorship course per semester. Once you complete a course, you can register for the next course, to continue your progress in the mentorship program.

The Mentorship Program can be complete within a 12 month period. It is not unusual for students to repeat the final course in the program, Career Development, if they choose to have continued coaching from Visual Arts Passage mentors.

The Mentorship program is a "get out of it, what you put in" experience. That being said, our courses are structured to accommodate individuals with a busy schedule. We recommend setting aside a minimum of 3 hours for your live course and 2 hours to complete assignments and course work. We highly encourage students to commit more time if their schedule allows.

Mentorship courses enroll 4 times per year, during the winter, spring, summer, and fall semester. You can view the program calendar here.

We recommend that most students start with the first course in the Illustration Program, Process: Skill & Craft. Highly experienced students may qualify to attend the second course in the program, Ideation & Visual Storytelling. If you are not sure, feel free to send your work to hello@visualartspassage.com and a team member will get back to you with a recommendation shortly.

Each course in the Illustration Mentorship Program is $1199.

Need Some Guidance?

We can help you with any questions related to enrollment, portfolio development, and the student experience.