A closer look at the illustration major

Chapman has 54 undergraduate majors, 54 undergraduate minors and no combination quite right for senior Julia Lambright.

With a deep adoration of Chapman’s campus and culture, Julia, senior illustration major, found herself stuck. There wasn’t a right major to fit her interests and she didn’t want to transfer universities. Her solution? Create her own major.

Soon into her freshman year, Lambright felt her graphic design major wasn’t fulfilling her academic hopes.

“I began to feel too pigeonholed in my studies,” Lambright said. “I didn’t want to only work on computers. I appreciate and value developing a computer skillset, but I wanted experience with multiple mediums. Creating my own major was the best way to accomplish that.”

Luckily, Lambright was aware of the opportunity to design a major from early on because her orientation leaders discussed the process before classes even began. During her spring semester freshman year, she began the steps to design an illustration major.

“Cactus Study,” oil paint on canvas.
Photo courtesy of Julia Lambright

“It’s a long process. But with the help of faculty advisers, it wasn’t too strenuous. Basically, I had to outline the objective for my major and justify it,” Lambright said. “You have to explain what you ultimately wanted to take away from it, and outline which classes you’ll be taking for the next few years to fulfill those goals.”

Julia’s hard work paid off. Making the transition from graphic design to the newly designed illustration major proved to be a perfect fit for her.

“Illustration spans across many mediums. I work from digital platforms to more traditional fine art practices, which is more encompassing of all my interests. I like how well multifaceted illustration can be,”  Lambright said.

Upon graduating in May, Lambright hopes to launch a professional freelance career in the illustration industry. Building a reputation and portfolio during her time at Chapman will bring her one step closer.

“Growth,” graphite and collage. “Rain,” glass and dye on canvas.
Photo courtesy Julia Lambright

Students interested in designing their own major must do so prior to earning 75 credits. Proposed majors must not resemble or revise any current majors offered at Chapman. Students interested in designing their own major can reference the self-designed major form for more information.

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