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The following is a general syllabus for both Fall and Spring semesters. A more detailed version for each semester  will also be handed out the first day of class each semester.

Course Title: Soph Illustration Concepts

Instructor: Les Kanturek, my e-mail address is kanturel@newschool.edu
You should have the address of another student in class. When e-mailing me please include “concepts” and your name in the subject line.

Course Description:

This class meets once a week for 15 weeks. The goal of this course is to help students connect the world of concepts and ideas to image making. This begins with the evolution of developing a personal style while tailoring work to specific assignments. All projects emphasize the process of illustration/design from concept to completion. There are a multitude of solutions to any given assignment/problem so exploration and experimentation with different materials and styles is encouraged. Course work reflects the range of job possibilities illustrators/designers receive. Emphasis will be on meeting deadlines/ professional standards, evoking appropriate mood and realizing a concept that solves the problems presented.

Class time will be comprised of:

During the course we will also be exploring some of the following Trigger Mechanisms or concepts (among others) in depth. Point of View, Analogies, Visual Paradoxes/surrealism, Myth, symbols and parody. These concepts and other ways of thinking that will lead to more creative, visual problem solving.


Your participation at crits and in class  is expected (It’s part of your grade). It is unfair to the whole class for a student to expect comments about his/her work while remaining silent about your classmate’s work. At times you will be asked to write (either in response to a show or trip and or your opinions concerning a crit). . Each student will develop their verbal skills by explaining and discussing their choice of ideas and solutions. This is an extremely important part of being an illustrator/artist.  Class participation is defined as follows:

Readings and Resources:

Xeroxes will be given out in each class. There is no required text to buy for this course.

Materials and Supplies:

You are required to bring a sketchbook to each class to use for in class assignments and to take notes. Most in class drawing will utilize supplies I’m sure you already have. I assume you have access to a camera. Being able to shoot your own reference/research is important. During the semester we will be going on a trip and I will ask you to bring a camera.

Course Outline-class by class breakdown will be handed out as a xerox in class.

Home Work

There are approximately 4 assignments given as homework that are critiqued in class, various class projects and 1 final/individual project of your choosing. Assignments will be handed out on a separate Xerox at each class. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to contact another student,  and get the assignment. Professional presentation & look counts!
You have two weeks after an assignment is due to make it up.
I will talk about your assignment if it’s up on the wall at a crit. If you did it …put it up.


I expect you to hand in at least 5 sketches on separate sheets of paper (not in your sketchbook), numbered, labeled and with explanations.

Evaluations and Grading (What your grade is based on):

Class elements-percentage of your grade

Undergraduate Grade Descriptions

Grades may be checked online

A Work of exceptional quality, which often goes beyond the stated goals of the course.
A- Work of very high quality
B+ Work of high quality that indicates substantially higher than average abilities.
B Very good work that satisfies the goals of the course.
B- Good work
C+ Above average work
C Average work that indicates an understanding of the course material; passable.
Satisfactory completion of a course is considered to be a grade C or higher.

C- Passing work but below Good Academic Standing.
D Below average work that indicates a student does not fully understand the assignments. Probation level though passing for credit.

Learning Outcomes:

There are three main objectives of this course:

1. To increase and expand your creativity in visual thinking.

2. Discuss the field of illustration.

Demonstrate an understand and knowledge of the 4 step process in creating an illustration:

  1. Research /gathering information, experimentation
  2. Sketch stage /proposal and presentation
  3. Further, more refined research and information gathering
  4. Presentation of the finished piece

3. Increase your verbal skills and your ability to critically discuss and analyze art.

School, Department and Class Policies:

Attendance and Lateness:

Students are expected to attend classes regularly and promptly.  Faculty members are expected to fail any student who is absent for a significant portion of class time.  A significant portion of class time is defined as three absences for classes that meet once per week. The Illustration Department has a very clear policy regarding late arrivals to class and absences. Three absences can result in the automatic failure of this class.  Two late arrivals to class will count as an absence.


If for some reason I have not arrived by the time class is scheduled to start, you must wait a minimum of 30 minutes for my arrival. If I am absent from class I’ll have the office post a sign on the door.


Plagiarism: when students claim work of another as their own. Plagiarism is one of the most serious infractions possible within the academic community, and its commission can result in failing this course and/or expulsion from Parsons.

This Class in a Nutshell

Guest Speakers

Amy Hausmann-Asst. Director of MTA Arts in Transit
Gareth Hinds-Graphic Novelist/Illustrator/Game designer
Gretchen Van Lente-Creative Director Drama of Works
Ben Marra- Illustrator/Designer/Mammal Magazine
Tom Forget Illustrator/Designer/Mammal Magazine
Jim Cooke-Illustrator/Designer/Mammal Magazine
Matt Dorfman -Illustrator/Designer/Mammal Magazine
Dan Meth- Animator/ Illustrator/Mammal Magazine

Teen Liu- Paper engineer

Devin Clark-Illustrator/Designer/Mammal Magazine
Alexander Isley-Creative Director / Alexander Isley Inc.
Mirko Ilic- Illustrator /Designer/Author, Mirko Ilic Corp.
Peter de Seve –illustrator/Animation
Paul O. Zelinsky- Illustrator, Caldecott Medal winner
Mel Odem- Illustrator, Creator of “Gene”
Keven Kobasic-Comic book artist
Leigh Wells- Designer/illustrator
James Yang-Illustrator
Steve Brodner-Illustrator, visual journalist
Jane Sanders-Illustrator
Frances Jetter—Illustrator
Josh Gosfield—Illustrator, photographer, art director
Ruth Marten—Illustrator
David Klein-Illustrator
Deborah Ross -wildlife illustrator
Michicko Sterenberger— Illustrator
Jose Ortega-Illustrator
Rosanne Percivalle—Illustrator
Charlene Potts—Illustrator
P.J. Loughran—Illustrator
John Howard-Illustrator
Tom Bloom—Illustrator
Matt Faulkner-Children’s book Illustrator
R. Gregory Christie-Children’s book Illustrator
Manny Vega- Mosaic Artist


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