What Our Graduates Say





“I knew the Academy was for me the second I walked in the door.  The warmth and intensity of the instructors made me want to go there.”

Samantha DeCarlo, Freelance Fine Artist & Illustrator, Art Instructor at UnWined Painting









“I think it was valuable just coming into a space where we’re all artists, and also being in a place where I could really relate with other people.”

“I think coming to the Academy helped me with everything because I ended up meeting a lot of great people and finding myself in the process.”

Azia Fain Sanders, 3D Artist, Parsons











“I’ve definitely appreciated everything I’ve learned here.  I feel like I’ve just learned so much and met a lot of really amazing people, including teachers and students.  I think this school was a really wonderful choice.”

Ariana Koultourides, Freelance Illustrator








“The quality of one-on-one time I’ve had with my instructors has been incredible.  The great thing about the Academy and it being such a small school is that you can form personal relationships with the instructors.  My teachers know my work very well and help me in specific and personal ways.  That’s really been a significant part of my education at the Academy.”

Dan Herbst, Illustrator/Designer, The Bradford Group









“After attending the Academy, I was truly ready to become an artist.  The Academy’s emphasis on cross-disciplinary instruction, small class size, professionalism and adherence to deadlines helped me establish the skills I needed to work well collaboratively or independently.” 

Loren Long, Children's Book Illustrator









“When I arrived at the Academy, it was finally clear that I had found my purpose and my people. It was like high school but for creative nerds. My dream job is grooming the next generation of talent. I couldn’t have done it without the American Academy of Art.” 

Dawn Yamazi, Director of Talent Development and Outreach for Walt Disney Animation Studios







“Perspective, life drawing, light source, reference, color theory, design and structure are all things I learned from the Academy and apply to my work everyday. My education definitely puts me a step ahead of a lot of tattoo artists.” 

Mike Figueroa, Tattoo Artist & Illustrator FiGsigARTS







“I learned how to be an artist technically, creatively and professionally, which wouldn’t have been possible without the staff and faculty at the Academy”.

Richard Lavin, 3D Artist, Parsons


Photograph by Adam Biba (adambiba.com

"My Professional Career began at the American Academy of Art. Thanks to my professors and the staff,  I had opportunities to work on murals and public Art Projects throughout Chicago. I never would have had these opportunities and met the people I had met if it weren’t for their dedication. I found one-on-one time was a daily ritual at the Academy, with professors as well as students and even Alumni. I felt that I was challenged on a daily basis, but also treated as an equal and an adult. Years after the Academy I had the opportunity to keep in touch with many of the staff members and even have a studio in the same building as a few of them. One’s opportunities are endless with talent, genuine hard work and just the right amount of passion."  

Tracee Badway, Multimedia Fine Artist



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