This paper aims to describe the processes of teaching illustration and animation together in the context of a master's degree program. Until very recently, illustration and animation in higher education courses were very scarce in Portugal and were only provided by a few private universities, which offered separated programs - either in illustration or animation.
The MA in Illustration and Animation (MIA) at the Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e Ave in Portugal dared to unite these two creative areas into a combined learning model and is already starting its third edition with encouraging results, supported by the first international conference on illustration and animation (CONFIA). This master's program integrates several approaches and techniques (in illustration and animation) and encourages creative and critical writing. This paper describes the iterative process of the construction and implementation of the program as well as the pedagogic and learning conclusions that can be made based on the program's initial years.
In summary, we aim to compare pedagogic models of teaching either animation or illustration in a higher education setting to a more contemporary and multidisciplinary approach that initially integrates the two before allowing them to be developed separately in the second part of the program. This approach is based on the differences between and unique characteristics of animation (from classic techniques to 3D) and illustration (from drawing to contemporary illustration) and on the intersection of these two subjects within the program structure, which is focused on aiding students in learning and acquiring the skills they will need for professional and authorship projects.