Our Academy


Mission Statement

The Baltimore Academy of Illustration offers students of all economic levels the opportunity to receive high-quality, college-level instruction in illustration.

BAI welcomes adult continuing education students, high school students who want to sample college-level illustration courses, and traditional college-age students.

BAI instructors are working illustrators and experienced educators with a variety of complementary experiences and teaching philosophies.

A main tenet of BAI instruction is preparation for professional illustration work—challenging assignments and critiques along with practical knowledge to forge a career in illustration.


The Baltimore Academy of Illustration is an unaccredited, private institution with one goal in mind: to teach artists who want to be illustrators how to become illustrators. Our hands-on approach and small classes allow us to tailor our courses to meet each student’s needs. Unlike traditional art schools, the Baltimore Academy of Illustration focuses specifically on illustration—learning the art while also understanding the needs and requirements of the profession.

Our teachers are working illustrators who have also taught illustration at the college level.  We offer our classes at a fraction of the cost of a 3-credit art college course and while we don’t hand out diplomas at the Baltimore Academy of Illustration, we believe we have something much more important to give our students: knowledge and experience. Art directors don’t ask to see diplomas. They ask to see portfolios.

We believe that an immersive, well-rounded education in a quality art college is the best route for becoming a professional artist. But we also recognize that many talented artists just cannot afford to invest in a four-year program. We offer the same quality instruction. Our students won’t get the degree but they will get the knowledge they need to compete in the marketplace. We believe that our approach represents a new paradigm in teaching illustration.

Who is a BAI student?

By offering a menu of high-level, challenging, entertaining, information-packed classes at affordable prices, BAI hopes to attract the following:

The high school senior who is curious about a college-level illustration course and would like to experience one. The high school graduate who has an interest in becoming an illustrator but can’t afford the high tuition expenses of a four year college. The current college student who can’t find the classes or professors that he or she is interested in taking.  The professional who wants to expand his or her skill set. The artist interested in continuing his or her education.  The retiree who has a love of illustration and wants to expand his or her art knowledge.

Code of Conduct

The Baltimore Academy of Illustration’s values are based on respect and inclusion for all of our students. BAI does not discriminate based on race, religion, sex, gender identity, or sexual preference. We believe in an open and tolerant environment. We also believe in a free exchange of ideas as part of the learning experience. Students who are easily offended by language, nudity, provocative imagery, violence, or ideas that are counter to their own should avoid our classes. This serves as a warning– refunds will not be given if someone is offended by something they see or hear in class. As a condition of taking classes at the Academy, each student agrees to the following:

  • Arriving to class on time. It may not seem important but late arrivals can disrupt a critique, which would be unfair to the rest of the class.
  • No texting or making calls in the classroom. For the sake of classroom decorum, we ask that any calls or texts be made/received outside of the classroom.
  • We ask that students respect each other, the instructors, and the space. Disruptive students will be dismissed from the program and their fees will not be returned.
  • We ask that the space be kept tidy and that any food/garbage be put into trashcans.
  • Class computers will not be used for personal correspondence or to view pornography. Class computers will be used for the purpose of research for illustration assignments.

*Please note: violation of the code of conduct may result in expulsion from the Academy with no refund.

Refund Policy

We recognize that a consumer should have the right to change his or her mind about a purchase and, to that end, we will be happy to offer a full refund to anyone who wants to drop out of a course after the first week of the semester. We will offer a partial refund (50%) after the second week of the semester and no refunds after the start of the third week of classes. Refunds will be paid made via PayPal.

Please note: due to the shortened nature of minimester and summer session there will be no add/drop period for those classes during which refunds will be given.