Department of Art & Art History

Digital Media

Be sure to follow our student work on Instagram at the handle @chicostatedigitalmedia

Digital studio editing

The Digital Media area offers students a wide variety of art-making experiences in a contemporary digital studiowhich includes cutting-edge software, Cintiq monitors, fine art printers, 3D printers, vinyl cutters, and more! If you’re interested in digital art, illustration, 2D and stop-motion animation, or an interdisciplinary approach to art, consider Digital Media!

Within Digital Media there are three areas of focus that help you to establish a professional art practice, expand your skill sets, and create a cohesive portfolio while investigating technical, conceptual, and aesthetic questions.

Digital Illustration
Learn how to make imagery for character design, concept art, editorials, and more with the intent to convey specific messages and meaning. Using digital software and tools, you will learn the art of conceptual problem solving, visual communication, and effective visual storytelling, and discover how illustration shapes contemporary culture. Grow into your career as a book illustrator, graphic novelist, and editorial or freelance illustrator, and learn professional practices needed to market yourself so that you can thrive in the professional world.

Time-Based Media
Explore the art of the moving image using a wide range of techniques, with an emphasis on experimental digital filmmaking, hand-drawn, and computer-assisted 2D and stop-motion animation. You'll examine contemporary and historical works and create time-based art that challenges conventional thinking, inspires action, and elicits emotion. Learn how to turn your vision into a story that can be produced and distributed to film festivals, online, or installed as an exhibition.

Fine Arts
Through self-examination, discussion, presentation, and critique learn how to develop your own visual language, and explore personal yet universal ideas that contribute to social dialogue. the BFA with an emphasis in Digital Media is for the fine art student who chooses to integrate digital media with any combination of traditional media, and/or new media. It is an interdisciplinary degree for thinkers and makers exploring new technologies or hybrid forms. The emphasis allows students to customize their course choices to best meet their creative needs.


Students and Alumni at Work
Digital Media is for students who want to create their own path. Our alumni have made their mark working as creative professionals and entrepreneurs in a wide variety of ways including publishing successful independent comic books, working as creative directors, directing and animating films and commercials, creating licensed apparel for major film, television, videogame, and media companies, and more.

David McMillian, 2020 BA | Owner & Creative Director  
After working as an apparel designer for Fifth Sun and Design By Humans, and a graphic designer at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., David McMillian founded Ensou, a San Jose, California branding and design agency dedicated to creating aesthetic solutions.

Val Moreno, BFA Student | Graphic Designer for E-Commerce
After completing a summer internship in 2019 with Fifth Sun, Val Moreno was hired as a Graphic Designer for the E-Commerce Department where she works with digital illustrations and designs for a variety of properties including Universal Monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster), The Boys, and Animal Crossing New Horizon. This job opportunity came through our ongoing internship with Fifth Sun.

Val Thomas, 2019 BA | Art Moderator
Val Thomas works for the print on demand apparel company Design By Humans as an Art Moderator where she ensures submitted artwork by thousands of artists from around the world meet copyright, content, and quality standards.

Mai Thao, 2018 BA | Graphic Designer
Mai Thao has been working for Fifth Sun Clothing Company since March of 2019 where she edits digital designs for licensed apparel properties such as Star Wars, DC Comics, Nintendo, Marvel, and more. Fifth Sun is a leading supplier of graphic knit apparel for the retail clothing industry and provides licensed apparel for key retailers such as Hot Topic, Urban Outfitters, Kohls, and Target.

Melissa Pagluica, 2007 BFA | Comic Creator
Melissa graduated with a BFA in Intermedia Studio (now called Digital Media) and has steadily worked as a freelance digital illustrator in San Francisco for the past 14 years. She created the successful independent comic Above the Clouds and has illustrated variant covers for other comics including Adventure Time for Boom! Studios. Her work has been featured in ART DOLL Quarterly, Ladies of Steampunk Magazine, and the documentary She Makes Comics.

Weston Thomson, 2003 BFA | Creative Director
Since graduating with his BFA in Electronic Multimedia Art (now called Digital Media), Weston worked as a community outreach manager and director for the Joselyn Art Museum's Kent Bellows Mentoring Program in Omaha, Nebraska. He then worked as the Director of Community Learning at Do Space, a non-profit community center for technology. Weston currently works as a freelance illustrator and Creative Director at Chromatic Black Studio.