Creative Futures is the ultimate resource for students considering a career in animation, creative advertising, graphic design, interactive design, illustration, or photography. Relevant advice, industry insights, talks from agency insiders and all the information you need to select an art and design college or university that will match your talent to your dreams.

Schools & Programs

Choosing the right school for your creative career is an important and exciting decision. We're here to help you make it with our round-up of some of the best school's across the country.

Featured Schools


It's a fast-changing universe and staying on top of what's going on in the creative industries has never been so important. Our take on what you need to know right now.

"I can’t begin to express how much your awards program has done for my career as a design professional. It’s opened so many doors being a past winner."

- Vicky Li
Senior Designer, Hero Digital, San Francisco, CA
Alumni of OCAD University

"Applied Arts was such an important part of my design career, from being a student to a professional."


- Kristina Valiunas
Senior Brand Designer, Amazon, Seattle, WA
Alumni of George Brown College

"After getting my work published in the Student Awards issue of Applied Arts, I was extremely fortunate to have been contacted by two agencies ... and was hired!"

 -  Marvin Veloso
Art Director, Student RGD
Alumni of Seneca College

"What I love most about being an illustrator is being able to bring my most wild imaginings into my work on a daily basis. How many jobs make that possible?"

- Jessica Fortner

"This industry is more than just a job. A healthy creative industry facilitates people to keeping doing what they’re passionate about and also creates a community that leads, inspires and also support others."

-Jinah Lee
Art Director

"The more I learned about advertising—its culture, people, and influence—the more I knew it was for me."

-Brian Howlett
Creative Director

"I’m never bored. On the surface, that sounds like a weird thing to love about your job, but it’s important. When you’re bored, you feel discouraged, depressed and uninspired. That’s why it’s great to wake up every morning and go to a job that’s always challenging you with fresh projects — it keeps you on your toes."

- Jordan Finlayson

"The Applied Arts Student Awards annual is distributed to a very large number of art directors and art buyers – and it showcases student work along with their contact details, making it a vital promotional vehicle and an excellent way to gain exposure." 
Mohamed Danawi, Professor, Illustration, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA 

- Mohamed Danawi
Professor, Illustration, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA 

"Seeing my work in print made me feel like I was accomplishing something! It gave me confidence … that confidence helped me make those all-too important cold calls to CDs knowing I could say I had already won an award, before graduation." 

- Nicole Ellerton
Group Creative Director, Leo Burnett, Toronto, ON
Alumni of Academy of Design & Western University

"I won an Applied Arts Award as a student at AU Arts, and it was a very exciting boost in my early career."

- Morgan Curley
Partner & Designer, Bamff Studio
Alumni of Alberta University of the Arts

"What I love most about my job is that I get to help entrepreneurs, small businesses, and innovative companies figure out how to build awareness and grow their sales. We feel like we have a real impact on these businesses every day—and that's really satisfying."

-Erin Bury
Managing Director

"Working for television and movies, you're able to showcase your work to a large family audience. It is always rewarding to hear from a parent how much your work has positively influenced their children."

-Katherine Lim
Storyboard Artist

"There's no other industry that better pairs problem-solving with adding beauty into the world. I get to answer the question "how do we make this tell a story AND look good while doing it?" and there's nothing better, to me, than that."

-Andrew Kolb

Student Winners Gallery

Visual inspiration courtesy of Applied Arts Student Award winners.