Top Schools for Illustration Course/Major in Ontario

Description of Illustration 

Nowadays, images are a big part of our society. People often use images as a language to communicate with others. An illustration is like an art that supports or visual explanation of a text, concept or process. We often see illustration in books, posters, animations, films, magazines and flyers...etc. 

If you are someone who has a passion for illustrating, here are some schools in Ontario that have strong skills in illustration program that you might be interested in. Each school has different requirements for their illustration program. Hence, these are some work that you need to prepare before applying. In fact, an illustrator is one of the art field jobs that earn the most.

Relatable Jobs that you can work as an illustrator 

  • Digital studios
  • Publishing companies
  • Freelance illustration
  • Fine art practice
  • Community organizations
  • Advertising and graphic design firms

Sheridan College

Illustration Program Description at Sheridan College

Sheridan College has multiple campuses all over Ontario: Oakville, Mississauga and Brampton. Illustration degree courses take place at the Trafalgar Road Campus in Oakville, Ontario. In this four year program, students will learn how to draw from traditional mediums to digital technologies. Developing illustrations that inform, entertain and persuade. Hence your work could adapt to exciting developments in visual communication.

From Tina

by Tina Zhao

Preparing Portfolio for Illustration at Sheridan College

Note: There are two categories for the submission which are both online application: portfolio and drawing test. In total, you will have to hang in 25 original works. (50 CAD fee will be applied for the submission)

Portfolio of Original Work

  • 20 images of your works 

-Do not include anime drawings, cartoons, fantasy or video game character designs-. 

-As for 3D work, multiple photographs of the work are accepted and counted as one piece

-Include at least a sketchbook work, evidence of visual curiosity, research and reference. (Multiple sketchbooks are counted as one submission)

Drawing Test

  • One figure standing
  • One figure seated, holding an object. (e.g. book, phone, drinking glass...)
  • Drawing of a room with an interesting atmosphere or mood, with some furniture
  • Drawing of a window, and the view.
  • 3 objects that are meaningful to you 

For the admission requirements of Illustration in Sheridan College please visit:

Benefits at Sheridan College

  • 14-week work placement between the third and fourth years
  • Working experience out of the countries (e.g. United State, Europe)
  • unlimited access to Canada’s biggest urban playground, cultural capital and business centre.
  • Collaborating with a diverse range of students and professors
  • Great undergraduate teaching
  • Small class sizes also offer you more face time with your professors

Love Fun Art’s Student’s experience

I had a great experience at Love Fun Art! During grade 12, while I was preparing my portfolio, I did not know what to do, and how to start? Even though I have a strong skill in the art, but preparing a portfolio was another challenge. After researching online I found Love Fun Art, that offered “portfolio preparation class”. The instructors gave me many pieces of advice because they had strong knowledge of the requirements for each school. I would even travel far to attend that class, even during winter. Also, I drew many scenes of room, kitchen and classroom…etc. Places that I will be everyday life but never realize the number of details in it. This helped me to practice in scene drawing skill. It brought more details and improved the atmosphere and mood in my work. However, this helped me a lot in my art practice. At the end I made it into Sheridan College, I can’t be more thankful!

Reviews of Sheridan College

Fantastic professors and the facilities are great! My favourite was the private group study rooms that you can reserve. I will always value the education I gained at Sheridan.____Heather Piggott

Great school. If you end up at the Mississauga campus you will note the quality of in-school technologies are immaculate, teachers are great and the school's curriculum is fantastic. I went to Sheridan, honed my craft and am now a local business owner using the skills I learned every day.____Fraser MacKenzie

Great collage. Looks great and very beautiful in summer. Also, they have special rooms for students to sleep in. They have a library, computer lab, basketball court (indoor), gym (indoor), etc.____Amuleek Reehal

Seneca College (Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology)

Illustration program description at Seneca College

Seneca is a college that is located in the city of Toronto. Illustration is a two years program that will help students to have knowledge of visual art skills, For instance, drawing, painting, digital media, sculpture and printmaking. After graduation, you will have the skill of an entrepreneurial artist with a website, marketing. accounting and revenue-generating.

by Elena R

Preparing Portfolio for Illustration at Seneca College

Note: Submit your portfolio online. Everything must be original.

  • Attend an admission session and complete a drawing and writing assignment 

(details of admission session will be sent after the portfolio submission)

  • A resume of experiences in the art field
  • A written profile
  • 3 life drawings
  • 2 drawings of your own hand
  • 2 object drawings
  • 2 environment drawings
  • 2 drawings of your choice

For the admission requirements of Illustration in Seneca College please visit:

Benefits at Seneca College

  • Large campus, with much working space
  • Many hands-on courses
  • Choose between part-time/full-time students
  • Online courses
  • Co-op / field replacement
  • Affiliations/Associations with: ACM SIGGRAPH / Future. Innovation. Technology. Creativity. (FITC) / Interactive Ontario / Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI)

Reviews of Seneca College

Amazing school, professors who are in the field currently and can give helpful teachings and amazing programs/school/opportunities for art students as I currently am an art student of Seneca! I took their Art Fundamentals and going to be taking their Illustration program in the fall! Definitely, recommend this school for art students! I'd like to say it is on par with Sheridan now.____br•_•klyn

They provide me with decent services when it comes to my education. I learn a lot from their accounting classes and I’m still here trying to obtain more. Teachers are great and their wifi is amazing. Good selection of food and they have a wide variety of computers to choose from and study locations to just chill and have a good time. I would recommend this place to anyone and keep up the great work!____Steve Nunez

Seneca College is one of the best community colleges in Canada. It has 7 campuses. Newham campus is the main campus of Seneca College. Also, it is one of the largest college campuses in Canada. The college campus is modern and highly technologically developed. Students from all over the world come here to get a better education. Especially students from South Asian countries, such as India, China, Bangladesh, come here a lot. This college offers large computer rooms, libraries with a numerous number of books, student lounges, cafeterias, playground and so on for students. This college is not far from downtown Toronto. Transportation is available all the time. So, anyone can reach here anytime.____Beautiful Universe

OCAD U (Ontario College of Art and Design University)

Illustration Program Description at OCAD U

OCAD is a university that is located in Toronto. In the fourth year of the illustration program, you will not just learn the basic skills in art, with different mediums. But also having a strong concept and personality in your work and text, so it could sand out. OCAD focuses more on the individual artistic voice. 

by TingTing Ding

Preparing Portfolio for Illustration at OCAD U

Note: There are two ways to submit your portfolio. If you live in the area that OCAD U provided, an interview is required (25 CAD will be changed). If you are not living in the area, then you may apply through SlideRoom (12 USD will be changed).

  • A statement of indent: Explain your interest in the course that you applied in OCAD U (maximum 300 words)
  • 8 to 10 samples of your original works. It could be in any medium. Submitting works that are related to the major that you applied is recommended.
  • Short art statement for each work of how the process/method/concept (50 words)
  • Some samples of your sketches

For the admission requirements of Illustration in OCAD U please visit:

Love Fun Art’s Student's experience

I realized that I was into illustration half of a year before the portfolio submission deadline. Since I had no experience in art, I was extremely nervous that I won’t have enough time to learn and making my portfolio. Luckily, I found Love Fun Art and decided to give a shot. I was learning and preparing my portfolio at the same time. I took four beginner classes before preparing my portfolio, which was Logical Sketch, Creative Watercolor, Sketch Lab and Freestyle painting.

During the preparation of my portfolio, the teacher would instruct while helping me with the work based on my portfolio program. Each class were detailed, and the teachers were incredibly helpful. After a year I couldn’t believe what I was capable of. The most exciting part was I got an offer from OCAD U illustration program! I’m currently at my second-year illustration program, and I am grateful that I learned so much at Love Fun Art because I was less stressful in school. 

Benefits at OCAD U

  • Located in downtown
  • Creative in-class projects with real-world industry partners
  • Gallery exhibitions of your work
  • Internship / field replacement
  • Short experiential learning placements from among hundreds of organizations
  • Freelance creative opportunities

Reviews of OCAD U

OCAD takes creativity seriously, always has, always will –  and as an alumna, it trained me well for all things in life. It was rigorous training, don't expect to be flaky in any way, you would be called out for it.

In this day and age, everything has a DIY, and usually, it's free to Do-it-Yourself. Everything except creative talent. Yes, you can be born with a natural inclination to be creative,  yet it has to be nurtured to excel in all ways. The flow, the energy, the discovery of re-imagining in this right side of the brain process contributes to growth in all ways, whether it's business graphics and design or EQ and spiritual or mental personal evolution. Thanks, OCAD for being a pillar in the Canadian quest for creative excellence.____Karen Hogg

I loved studying here. It is hard, really hard, tho x). You won't sleep and you will barely have any free time, but it is worth it. There are amazing professionals teaching here and they will help you build up your future as an artist. But to get the best out of your time here, you have to be involved, talk to your instructors about your interests, and be eager to learn.____Nikole McGregor

OCAD is a great place to study in. Many of my closest friends and colleagues are fellow alumni. Every university has growing pains and some issues with their facilities. Nonetheless, it is still the best art and design school in the country and we should all be proud of our alma mater and the unparalleled quality of its instructors. The future looks promising for a completely new campus to accommodate our growing student body. I'm looking forward to all of the exciting possibilities.____Art Works