Why Otis College’s Los Angeles Location Is Ideal for Studying Art and Design

News, Community | February 23, 2024 | BY Anna Raya

The city abounds with opportunities to learn, explore, and find inspiration.

Los angeles downtown

As a global creative capital and a major economic center for California and the United States, Los Angeles is an ideal place to carve out an art and design practice. Yes, there’s something to the weather and the 285 sunny days every year. But there’s also a long tradition of creative and entrepreneurial barrier-breaking in the City of Angels that has enabled entertainment, fashion, food, fine arts, aerospace, healthcare, and many other industries to thrive. That spirit inspires, as does the beauty—natural and created—that surrounds you. Here are five reasons why Los Angeles is the perfect place to be an artist and designer. 

1. World Class Museums and Galleries

There aren’t many cities where you can see works like Vincent Van Gogh’s Irises, Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa (the most famous of his Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji prints), Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Your body is a battleground), and Cast No. 11 of Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker (Le Penseur) all in one afternoon. Work by classical and contemporary artists can be found across the city, in nearly every neighborhood, owing to a robust network of museums, galleries, colleges, and art spaces, as well as vibrant street art and incredible murals around every corner.

Art gallery

Alongside L.A. 's top-notch museums is its gallery scene—from established to burgeoning, international to local—and such events as Frieze L.A. and the L.A. Art Show. 


  • Armory Center for the Arts
  • The Broad
  • California African American Museum
  • Craft Contemporary
  • The Getty Center and The Getty Villa
  • Hammer Museum
  • The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Museum of Latin American Art
  • Norton Simon Museum
  • Vincent Price Art Museum


  • Blum
  • Commonwealth and Council
  • David Kordansky Gallery
  • Hauser & Wirth 
  • L.A. Louver
  • La Luz de Jesus Gallery
  • Night Gallery
  • Regen Projects
  • Roberts Projects
  • UTA Artist Space
  • Various Small Fires
  • Vielmetter

With most museum and gallery locations just a short drive or Metro ride from Otis’s West L.A. campus, there’s no limit to the opportunities Otis students have to experience art—on a gallery wall or as it’s being created.

2. Hub of the Gaming Universe

Gamer playing video games

In 2022, the gaming industry generated more money than the film and music industries combined, to the tune of $184.4 billion. Los Angeles is home to many of the biggest gaming companies, including Activision, Riot Games, and Electronic Arts (EA). The city was also home to one of the largest gaming conventions in the world, E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)—rumored to be returning in 2025—which spawned others in the region, such as BlizzCon in Anaheim and TwitchCon in San Diego. 

Gamers and budding developers and designers will feel right at home in Los Angeles, with plentiful opportunities to connect socially and professionally. Home to over 100 game studios, it’s one of the best places to live and work in the gaming industry.

3. Influential Fashion Industry

Los Angeles is where such designers as Rick Owens, Rodarte founders Kate and Laura Mulleavey, Jeremy Scott, Mike Amiri, Fear of God founder Jerry Lorenzo, and Rachel Zoe got their start. Tom Ford and other industry movers and shakers have also taken up roots here. Even design houses from outside L.A.—Versace, Chanel, Balenciaga, and Loewe, to name a few—have descended on the city to throw outsized fashion shows where Hollywood royalty mingle with influencers in the front row. 
Rolls of yarn stacked

L.A. also is the denim capital of the world—not only as a manufacturing innovator but also because iconic brands like Guess, 7 for All Mankind, and True Religion, among many others, are based here. The thriving fabric district that existed long before Project Runway made the Mood store on Pico Boulevard famous ensures that any fabric or notion for your creative project is readily available. 

Graduates from both our Fashion Design BFA and Extension certificate programs find employment at the numerous fashion brands based here, working as assistant designers, fashion illustrators, patternmakers, and production assistants, among other exciting roles. 

4. Award-Winning VFX and Animation Studios

From its foundation as the global center of film and T.V. production, Los Angeles has since expanded its reach into visual effects, motion capture, animation, and other forms of visual storytelling. Award-winning firms like Elastic TV, Framestore, and Imaginary Forces have a huge presence in L.A. and are pushing the envelope of what can be done with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) seem poised to expand the capacity for human artists, designers, and engineers to make the unbelievable believable in movies, T.V. shows, advertisements, and immersive experiences.

Disney Concert Hall
Between the “big six” studios in L.A. (Warner Bros. Fox, Disney, Sony, Paramount, and Universal); the growing production footprint of streamers like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and YouTube; and the scores of smaller studios and firms, there’s no shortage of places to thrive as an animator, motion graphics artist, VFX specialist, 2D/3D artist, storyboard artist, CG modeler, and many other roles across the industry. 

5. Cutting-Edge Architecture and Interior Design 

Los Angeles is home to a vast and eclectic array of commercial and residential interior design and architecture. Famed architects Irving Gill, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard J. Neutra, and R.M. Schindler did some of their best work while they lived and worked here, and today renowned firms Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA), Michael Maltzan Architecture, Morphosis Architects, Gehry Partners, and WHY Architects are based here.

From the skyscrapers downtown to the Case Study Houses of Craig Ellwood and Charles and Ray Eames and even Otis College’s own Ahmanson Hall—a historic landmark originally designed by Eliot Noyes in 1964 as IBM’s Aerospace Headquarters—there’s something to inspire designers around every corner. There also are numerous furniture and design showrooms along Robertson Boulevard and in the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, and design and shopping destinations like the Helm’s Bakery District in Culver City and The Row DTLA downtown. 

This also means there’s no shortage of professional opportunities to pursue, and explains why some of today’s most exciting designers and architects live and work here—the talent pool runs deep (and so do the tony clients and projects). 

For more information about Otis College’s BFA, MFA, and Extension programs, please visit otis.edu/programs.

Related News