So last Tuesday the great Murray Tinkelman visited my college for Career Day. He spent the morning giving a history of Illustration and the afternoon discussing his own personal career. I wrote down almost every artist he mentioned and my professor let me know that the college library has books on every one of them. Starting next month I'll start spending more time there. Murray explained how his work was influenced by other artists and his style would change each time he discovered a new one. He also said how you have to find work with art you haven't done on commission, such as sending art out to magazines and publishers.
He teaches at the College of Hartford and every single one of his students are some of the best in the country. Instead of studying in Conneticut, students travel to different places to study for a week or two each season. I believe this would be best since to get in you need a couple years in the field, so I can have a job and then travel around expanding my experiences and reference photo files and horizons.