Opportunities & Careers

Our alumni go on to careers as successful freelance illustrators and owners of their own creative small businesses. During your four years here, you'll prepare for life after PNCA with many opportunities to network in Portland's rich design community and take on professional projects to build your portfolio.

Featured Alumni

Mia Nolting ‘08

Mia Nolting is an artist and art director whose projects include movie posters, book covers for publishers like for Harper Collins and Penguin, editorial illustrations for the Village Voice, Wall Street Journal Magazine. Other clients have included Nike and Dr. Bronners. Nolting maintains a daily drawing practice that she publishes on social media. She runs Volumes Volumes, a publishing project for poetry, artworks, lists, translations, and essays with Vanessa Kauffman.

B.T. Livermore ‘10

B.T. Livermore has done sign painting, illustration, hand lettering, and screen and letterpress printing for clients including Tanner Goods, Simple, and Pendleton Woolen Mills. BT was a founding member and operating manager of Magnetic North, a shared workspace for artists and makers, in SE Portland and is currently manager of Phoenix Fabrication Studios in Butte, Montana. Follow Livermore on Instagram.

Aidan Koch ‘09 Illustration

Aidan Koch is an artist who has shown at Signal, Hester, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, has published eight books of her ethereal narrative comics, most recently the 2016 After Nothing Comes, and has had work published in the Paris Review, which also profiled her In the Studio. In addition, Koch produces editioned works, charms and jewelry, and has an active tattoo practice. Read this interview with Koch in Bomb Magazine.

Molly Mendoza ‘14

Award-winning illustrator, Molly Mendoza was recently profiled in Communication Art. Mendoza works with clients including Adobe, Nautilus, The New York Times, The Scientist, The Portland Mercury, Portland Monthly, Hazlitt, and John Hopkins Health Review. She’s done work for the Open Minded Campaign, Manifest:Justice - Task Force, and Bitch Media. In 2015, Mendoza received the RockStar Games Award at the Society of Illustrators Student Competition. Follow Mendoza on Instagram and Twitter.

Samantha Mash ‘13

Samantha Mash's interests include ecology, conservation, and social equality, all of which are reflected in her works. Her clients have included Bear Deluxe Magazine, BOOM! Studios, DC Comics, Outside Magazine, Planned Parenthood, New Republic Magazine, Slack. She has twice been featured in Juxtapoz and has recently been included in exhibitions at Spoke Art in New York and San Francisco.

Finn Lee ‘10

Finn Lee is a queer feminist first generation Korean American illustrator who did illustrations for the costumes for Lady Gaga’s 2017 Grammy Awards tribute to David Bowie. Lee does work for clients including: Samsung, G-Star RAW, NY Times, and Planned Parenthood. Follow Lee on Instagram.


  • Art Director
  • Architectural Illustrator
  • Character Artist
  • Logo Designer
  • Product Illustrator
  • Graphic Novelist
  • Digital Illustrator
  • Textile Designer
  • Set Designer
  • Signage Developer
  • Storyboard Sketch Artist


Society of Illustrators Student Exhibition

Year after year, PNCA illustration students are among the finalists in this competition of entries submitted by illustration professors nationwide. A jury of professional peers, including illustrators and art directors, selects 25 students for scholarships and included in an exhibition. The Society’s juried exhibitions and publications have a reputation for presenting the most cutting-edge artwork in today’s print and digital media.

3X3 Magazine Annual

Students including Subin Yang have been selected for the student category of this international juried illustration competition held each year by 3x3 Magazine.

Argyle Winery Scholarship

Undergraduate students are invited to enter this juried competition to design wine labels for Argyle Winery. Winners are awarded a $5000 scholarship.

End of Year Portfolio Review

Each spring, members of the professional design community in Portland are invited to PNCA to review senior’s portfolios. Graduating students have received commissions from Portland's weekly newspapers and monthly city magazine immediately on graduating.


Jump-start your creative practice with an internship experience at some of the world's best companies

Art Director

Creative Director

Animation Artist

Editorial Illustrator

Fashion Illustrator

Advertising Illustrator

User Interface Illustrator

Graphic Designer

Science Illustrator

Storyboard Artist

Textile Designer

Political Illustrator

Visit BridgeLab Career Services

Stop by our BridgeLab Career Services to learn more about internships when you take a tour of campus.