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There are problems to be solved. And futures to be formed.

The creative life isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for those who believe in themselves enough to trust their instincts, leave their comfort zones, and push their talents to the limit. If you’re up for it, keep going.

Academics   Our Chicago Campus

We offer guidance and support for transfer students.

We’ll help you navigate the steps of transferring to our creative, hands-on community. You may be eligible to transfer your credits to The Art Institutes—and we offer important grants and scholarship opportunities for which you may qualify. If you’re ready to immerse yourself in our rigorous classrooms and studios, we’re ready to support you every step of the way. Read on for all of the details.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago’s culinary director, Chef Elizabeth Sweeney, will be sharing some simple yet delicious holiday recipes and tips at the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade. Join us on the parade route or you can watch live on WGNTV, 8AM – 11AM on Thanksgiving Day, November 24th.

Download Holiday Recipe Book

Upcoming Events

Orientation

December 10, 2016

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Open House

December 10, 2016
9:30 AM

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College Bound

December 17, 2016

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Latest Happenings

Top 5 Tips for Transfer Students
Top 5 Tips for Transfer Students

Transferring to a new school is an exciting time, but it can also be an overwhelming process. If you’re an Art Institutes transfer student, you have enough on your plate without having to stress over every last detail of the transfer process. That’s why we put together these Top 5 Tips for Transfer Students. Armed with the right information, all you have to do is get excited for the next phase of your student journey!

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Chicago’s Bianca Zidik, NYFW Alum, Sells Entire Fashion Collection

Bianca Zidik, who recently participated in New York Fashion Week, recently sold out her entire fashion line. Bianca created looks straight from Carnaby Street in London circa 1960. She is a 2016 graduate of The Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago, having earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design.

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Fashion Design Student Wins “Driehaus Award for Fashion Excellence”

Alante Baugh, who is working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design at The Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago, was named the winner of the “Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence.” In addition to winning a $7,500 cash award, Alante earned the Neiman Marcus Distinguished Designer Award and will showcase his collection at the store’s Michigan Avenue location in Chicago. Alante is pictured standing with Richard Driehaus.

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Meet Our Alumni

  • Alison Leake

    Graphic & Web Design , 2008

    "[My education taught me to] approach a project in a logical, thoughtful way. It was a great simulation of how to tackle design challenges in the real world."

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    Alison Leake

    Allison Leake is working as the senior graphic designer for the Chicago Architecture Foundation. She’s responsible for the design of company materials and art direction. Allison says that each day includes communicating about design strategy with marketing co-workers and other departments. She also manages workflow in the design department and art directs design projects done by other designers, communicates with print vendors, and processes invoices. She enjoys solving design challenges and communicating with non-designers about how design can serve content and audience. “I am starting to enjoy logo design more after much practice. I have always loved layout projects like brochures and magazines because it requires an understanding of how people read through large amounts of copy.”

    Recently, Allison re-branded “Open House Chicago,” a free annual architecture festival showcasing more than 150 architectural gems throughout Chicago. She applied the brand to a variety of collateral pieces including posters, flyers, print/digital/out-of-home advertising, onsite signage, and t-shirts. She looks to packaging design blogs for creative inspiration. “I think the best typography and illustration, as well as the thoughtful use of both in creating impactful POP display, pushes me to stretch my creativity and problem-solving within my own job.”

    Allison, who in 2008 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications from The Illinois Institute of Art — Chicago, says that her education taught her the importance of being process-oriented. “Approaching a project in a logical, thoughtful way was a great simulation of how to tackle design challenges in the real world. Without it, I would be lost. Also, relying on my professors as mentors helped me to value the utilization of anyone around me as a resource to develop my own skills and career.” She tells current students that finding a niche in the industry may take time. “You will not necessarily know exactly what to do the first day or week or year out there. Your job is to take direction well, learn as much as possible and use whatever skills you gain over time to excel in what you do, in every way.”

    See aiprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • Christine LaSorda

    Culinary Arts , 2012

    "This industry is tough and they prepare you for that, but they always encourage you as well."

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    Christine LaSorda

    Christine LaSorda is the owner of A Baker’s Tale in Chicago, Illinois. She oversees daily operations, cost control, and marketing. Christine adds that every day is different—but all start quite early—at 4 am. “I am proud that at the age of 28, I was able to open the bakery of my dreams. I have an incredible staff and it’s everything I envisioned and more. It’s so fulfilling to do something you’re put all of yourself into and love so much.”

    Christine finds inspiration in family and friends, and in the life wisdom that these people have passed on to her. She abides by her father’s philosophy that “you can be successful while still being a good person.” Christine adds that her profession allows her to express herself and try new, creative ideas. “[My staff builds] on each other and it’s just so much fun.”

    Christine earned an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management from The Illinois Institute of Art — Chicago in 2012. She also earned an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from the same school in 2011. She says that her instructors brought real-world experience into the classroom. “This industry is tough and they prepare you for that, but they always encourage you as well.” She suggests that current culinary students make sure that they’re dedicated to the industry. “Sleep now while you can. Make sure you love it and make sure you are willing to work for it.”

    See aiprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • Heather Ditson

    Fashion Design , 2009

    "There are so many things to enjoy [about my career]. But most of all is the reward of seeing [my] designs in stores - or even better, on people."

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    Heather Ditson

    Heather Ditson is working as a head designer for Calvin Klein @ G-III Apparel in New York City. Heather is responsible for designing and developing seasonal print/color directions for swimwear as well as developing new silhouettes, trims, prints, and embellishments. She also manages the design team and oversees and manages fittings. Heather works with overseas vendors and her in-house team. “In the early stages of design, I am working with a graphic artist to get the prints and color story perfect. Next, I focus on silhouettes and new body development,” she says. Many weeks of fittings and approvals follow before the design moves forward. “[We have] internal meetings to make sure we are all still confident about our selections.”

    Heather’s swimwear design career began with the Anne Cole brand. “I was involved in the early stages of his now-renowned, successful label.” Heather adds that business growth at Calvin Klein has increased since she’s come on board. “Being a large part of these labels’ success makes me feel extremely proud in every way.” To gain inspiration, Heather visits large and small beach towns and stays tuned-in to trends, fashion shows, and magazines.

    Heather, who in 2009 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from The Illinois Institute of Art — Chicago, says that her education provided a well-rounded overview of the fashion industry. “The technical courses offered in Adobe Suite, Web PDM, and U4ia were essential to my success.” Heather recommends that current students take on a variety of internships to learn the industry. “This will help you to determine your long term career goals.” She adds that knowing one part of the industry doesn’t automatically mean you can move into another area. “If you [have] five years a swimsuit designer it doesn’t mean you are qualified to move right into an evening wear design position. Changing fields is like starting over in your career. Make sure you are happy doing what you’re doing.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/231 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • Raven Norman

    Fashion Design , 2012

    "The career services department aided me in sourcing new opportunities that allowed me to build my résumé."

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    Raven Norman

    Raven Norman is working as an assistant designer at Randa Accessories in Rosemont, Illinois. She’s responsible for leather goods design. Raven works on brands including True Religion, Columbia, Levi's, and Dockers. A typical workday includes following up with factories in Asia to ensure that sample development continues to stay on track. “I also do trend research on menswear and general accessories. However the majority of my workday is developing new designs and problem solving.”

    Raven is proud of her experience working with Polo Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein in New York City. “I am also very proud of my recent success in Asia. I was graced with the opportunity to work with our factories in China and Hong Kong. The business knowledge and cultural exposure I obtained during this trip was very beneficial. I count that trip as both a personal and professional accomplishment.” Raven enjoys using her fashion as a way to express herself through colors, silhouettes, and textures. She adds that she’s inspired by street fashion and the personal style that it embodies. “I am also inspired by Ralph Lauren. Ralph Lauren is exceptionally distinctive and classic, I admire how the brand has carved a sector in the market that no other brand has been able to trek upon.”

    Raven, who in 2012 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from The Illinois Institute of Art — Chicago, says that her education provided a solid foundation for her career. “The career services department aided me in sourcing new opportunities that allowed me to build my résumé.” She recommends that current students pursue internships. “I also encourage [students] to gain knowledge of business development and merchandising.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/231 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • Salisia Webber

    Fashion Design , 2002

    "My education prepared me for my career because it taught me the importance of meeting deadlines."

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    Salisia Webber

    Salisia is an account manager and merchandiser for 4Seasons Global, a full service design, sourcing, manufacturing, and import company in Chicago, Illinois. She manages retail accounts and works with overseas suppliers—a typical day could start at 4 am with a Skype call to a partner in a foreign country. “What I enjoy most about my career is being able to learn about different industries while traveling and meeting new people. I’ve been able to travel to Spain, China, and large cities in the United States. And I get to work with everyone from engineers to extremely creative designers.”

    Salisia finds creative inspiration in the world around her and counts her heroes as people who have a personal style and “make any piece they’re wearing their own.” She’s proud to have changed career paths within fashion, moving from design to fashion buying and merchandising. Salisia recommends that current students learn the industry’s trending technology. “There are so many great apps, fun blogs, and websites that are accessible to everyone. It’s like fashion on the go.”

    Salisia, who in 2002 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from The Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago, says that her education taught the importance of meeting deadlines and never taking no for an answer. “I [learned] to push myself beyond limits. Having gained these skills as a student [helped me] to survive many obstacles in my career—and still come out on the winning side.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/231 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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Pre-College Sessions for High School Students

Pre-College CTA
A hands-on head start.

High school juniors and seniors who have completed and submitted an application to an Art Institutes school can begin building a foundation of success before first term begins—at no charge—in our innovative College Bound program.* To find out more, visit AiCollegeBound.com.

* Students who successfully complete a course will receive a certificate of completion. The College Bound courses are non-credit bearing and do not transfer into our academic program offerings or the offerings of any other institution. However as part of the course you will have the opportunity to develop a portfolio that you are able to request proficiency credit. Proficiency credit is awarded based on the proficiency credit policy defined in an institution’s academic catalog. The cost of the College Bound courses varies between $325 and $350. This cost is waived for any student that has an application and completed essay on file with the school. Check with the school you are interested in attending for exceptions and details, as not all programs are offered at all locations. Individual location participation is subject to change.

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