The contemporary illustration practice is dynamic and constantly crossing the borders of several other disciplines.

At the WdKA Illustration department, you will be trained as a visual specialist who is able to interact - through their work - with different audiences.

The contemporary illustration practice is dynamic and constantly moving beyond the limits of several other disciplines. This is precisely why illustration offers an excellent opportunity for critically questioning and discussing art, design, politics and the illustrator’s position in relation to these fields.

Nowadays, an illustrator is not so much someone who needs to possess specific technical-craft skills; much more, it is a concept developer and critical visual storyteller who explores possible artistic solutions coming from a strong conceptual grounding.

At the WdKA Illustration department, you will be trained as a “visual specialist” who is able to interact - through their work - with different audiences. You will learn to work in flexible partnerships which experts, amateurs and audiences all participating in the same creative process.

All this results in illustrative works that can be found in a wide variety of forms, styles, and in many different contexts. Examples include publications, animations and games, but also product designs, exhibitions and events.

In our projects, we highlight different aspects of the contemporary illustration practice: telling and sharing stories, the balance between self initiated and commissioned illustration activities, the historical and contemporary impact of illustration on people and society and future challenges and opportunities in the field of illustration.

WdKA Illustration alumni often work as freelancers, but also within collectives and/or for commercial or institutional employers such as Volkskrant, Funk-e, Wobby Club, Studio MAKY en Kunsthal Rotterdam. Our network of external partners includes Amnesty International, Metropolis Festival Rotterdam, Villa Zebra, TENT Rotterdam and the Dutch Organization for Designers BNO.

Opportunities for exchange with partner institutes in for example Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Cover project: Alter Ego Project (photo by Ines Peeters Navarro)



Open Days & Recruitment activities

Want to know more about life at the Willem de Kooning Academy?

Check out our extended programme, full of (online) activities and interaction with student ambassadors and tutors via this link.


Knowledge & skills

  • Narrative, informative and authorial illustration
  • Relevant research
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Ability to work independently and in collaboration
  • Software
  • ...and more

Career opportunities

  • Illustrator
  • Interdisciplinary image maker
  • Comic artist
  • Image maker for game industry
  • ...and more

Next to 13 majors and three Practices WdKA offers its students high-tech meeting interdisciplinary spaces - Stations. Stations are the place for creating prototypes, experimenting, remixing and improving your ideas. All of the Willem de Kooning Academy’s students and staff members are welcome to work in our Stations, regardless of their major specialisation, minor, elective module or study year. The Stations are where you can explore the viability of your ideas and find out how to turn them into fully-functioning creations.

Dual Degree programme

Do you have an artistic or a musical talent, as well as a hunger for academic knowledge? You can now mix arts and academia in metropolitan Rotterdam. Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA) and Codarts offer you the possibility to combine theory and practice in a five-year Dual Degree programme.

Want to study at Willem de Kooning Academy?

Apply now

Experience 4 years at WdKA


Graduation series: Zena-Rae Borst

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Meet the tutor

Meet the Tutor: Anne Weijers

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Born @ WdKA

The Orientourist

Meet the alumni