Cultivate Your Creativity

JPCatholic’s Illustration program forms artists to create imagery that brings powerful ideas and narratives to life for a variety of professional pursuits. Using both traditional and digital media techniques, students will learn to develop and refine methods of conceptualization and image-making while acquiring an effective use of visual language. JPCatholic uniquely combines this hands-on education with a rigorous Humanities core curriculum. The Humanities Core in literature, art, and music enables students to bring depth into their visual creations through engagement with the greatest creative artists throughout history.

Talented Illustrators have many expansive opportunities today beyond the traditional work needed in the editorial and publishing world. Illustrators are key in the worlds of apparel design, advertising, marketing, industrial and product design, gaming, and more. JPCatholic’s program will enable you to become a skillful illustrator capable of dynamically adapting to the opportunities presented in the marketplace.

Illustration Curriculum




General Education


Impact culture for Christ and grow in faith and understanding through a rich sequence of Scripture based Theology courses and Philosophy courses.


Prepare yourself for the industry with foundational skills in marketing, management, and entrepreneurial thinking.


Study the human condition by actively engaging in an exploration of art, literature, culture, politics, economics, and more.


Hands-on, Well Rounded Curriculum

Our well rounded curriculum gives you a unique perspective to tackling the challenge of creating meaningful art, while building up your experience in the design process and your portfolio. Students start creating projects and growing as artists their freshman year, giving them ample opportunities to practice their craft.


Industry Standard Equipment

Students have access to a number of Wacom Intuos Pro tablets in addition to the Illustration Studio, a designated classroom designed for drawing and fine art classes. Equipped with drawing horses (benches), a model platform, storage space, and a display wall, this compact studio provides a focused environment for art students to hone their skills. Adobe Creative Cloud products are available on iMac workstations in the media lab.


Our Authentically Catholic Community

Our campus is a place where students can grow both professionally and spiritually. We’re a unique community of artists and innovators, centered around our faith in Jesus Christ and the beauty of the Catholic faith. Immerse yourself in an abundance of opportunities for spiritual growth, including Daily Mass, Confession, Adoration, Rosary, Retreats, and Service Projects.


Our Small Campus Environment

With a total student body under 300, JPCatholic offers a warm, tight-knit campus community. Foster lifelong friendships, form creative partnerships, and surround yourself with a supportive environment that encourages your growth in both virtue and artistic excellence.


Graduate in 3 Years

Our unique academic model prepares students for the real-world pace of professional life in the industry, with a focus on hands-on projects, internships, and portfolio preparation. The program is structured on a year-round quarter system, and you graduate with your Bachelors Degree in just 12 quarters. Each quarter is 10 weeks long, with about 3 weeks of break between each quarter.


Alumni Success

JPCatholic alumni have found success in a variety of paths, ranging from Hollywood to independent media organizations, and from large corporations to nonprofits to their own entrepreneurial start-ups. View our placement rate and alumni jobs by clicking below.


Located in San Diego County

John Paul the Great Catholic University is centered in north county San Diego, just a 35-minute drive from downtown in America's Finest City. Southern California is famous for its fantastic weather, beautiful beaches and mountains, and bustling metropolitan areas. Our campus is just 15 miles from the beach, a short trip by car or train. And with Los Angeles and Hollywood within striking distance, students have even more opportunities for internships and networking.


Quarter in L.A.

As upperclassmen, media students have the opportunity to live in Burbank for a quarter, located right up the street from the Warner Bros. studio lot. These 8 weeks open up a host of new opportunities for internships, networking, and experiencing life in the entertainment capital of the world.


Study Abroad

JPCatholic offers a unique model of study abroad with a variety of destinations. Each trip is an interactive academic experience that starts with ten weeks of classroom instruction on-campus here in Escondido and culminates in a week or two of travel led by the professor. Destinations may be international or domestic, and each course is specially designed to provide a unique cultural and educational experience to the student.


Student Showcase

Meet the Faculty

With small class sizes and mentorship, professors are able to provide individualized training. They bring decades of experience and unique perspectives from varied backgrounds in Illustration and Animation.

Jacqueline Nicolini

Jacqueline Nicolini

Adjunct Professor of Art

Max Hulburt

Max Hulburt

Professor of Animation & Design

Eric Van Hamersveld

Eric Van Hamersveld

Adjunct Professor of 2D Animation

Steven Kramp

Steven Kramp

Professor of Creative Writing & Chair of Humanities & Theology

Ricky Ho

Ricky Ho

Adjunct Professor of Illustration

Hear from Students & Professors

Humanities Program Overview

Illustrator Spotlight: Developing an Eye for Perspective | Evie Watkins

Sam Wurth: The Vital Power of Creativity | Why We Create

Adriana DeCarlo: Loving Your Art Where It's At | Why We Create

Professor Eric Van Hamersveld: Charting Your Career in Animation | Faculty Spotlight

Portraying Anxiety Through Animation | Senior Project Spotlight

Catalina Rojas: Capturing Light and Shadow | Illustration Spotlight

How I Started My Career in Motion Graphic Design | Alumni Spotlight with Ben West

Marie-Thérèse Hallagan: Creating in Community | Why We Create