Animation Artist: what they do, how to become one, and where to study
An animation artist, sometimes referred to as an animator, is a creative professional who brings stories and concepts to life using both traditional and digital media. Animation artists design and create animation for a variety of media including films, video games, television shows, and digital platforms. This profession is at the intersection of art, storytelling, and technology, demanding both creativity and technical skills. By the way, recently the ProfGuide career guidance center has developed a precise career orientation test, which will tell you which professions are suitable for you, provide a conclusion about your personality type and intelligence.
- Tasks and Responsibilities
- Pros and Cons
- Salary Ranges
- Where do Animation Artists Work?
- Important Qualities of a Successful Animation Artist
- Step-by-Step Career Path
- How to Become an Animation Artist
- Where to Become an Animation Artist
- Can You Enter the Profession with a Different Degree?
Animation is a broad field that offers several areas of specialization:
- Character Animation: Animators in this niche focus on creating and animating characters, emphasizing emotion, personality, and movement.
- 3D Animation: This specialization involves creating three-dimensional moving images in a digital environment.
- 2D Animation: Also known as traditional animation, 2D animators create sequences of images that give the illusion of movement when shown in succession.
- Stop-Motion Animation: This style of animation involves manipulating physical objects and photographing them one frame at a time.
- Motion Graphics: Motion graphics artists create digital footage and animation technology to create illusions of motion or rotation.
Tasks and Responsibilities
Here are some typical tasks and responsibilities of animation artists:
- Designing and creating animated sequences
- Developing storyboards based on scripts or original ideas
- Collaborating with directors and other artists to understand project needs
- Using computer software to animate characters and scenes
- Refining animations based on feedback and reviews
Pros and Cons
Like any profession, being an animation artist comes with its share of pros and cons.
- Creativity: The job offers an outlet for creative expression.
- Variety: Animators work on a wide range of projects, which keeps the work interesting.
- Technological advancements: Animators work with cutting-edge technology.
- Global opportunities: Animation is a global industry, offering opportunities to work internationally.
- Time-intensive: Animation work can be time-consuming and often requires long hours.
- Competitive: The field is highly competitive, with many artists vying for the same opportunities.
- Rapid technology changes: Animators must continually update their skills to keep up with changing technology.
- High pressure: Deadlines can be tight, and the work can be stressful.
Demand for animation artists is growing in many parts of the world. In the USA and Canada, the animation industry is expanding due to the rise of digital media and the growth of animation in entertainment and advertising. In the United Kingdom and Australia, there's a growing need for skilled animators in the film and video game industries.
As of 2023, the estimated salary ranges for animation artists in different countries are:
- USA: $50,000 - $75,000
- Canada: CAD 45,000 - CAD 70,000
- UK: £25,000 - £40,000
- Australia: AUD 50,000 - AUD 80,000
Where do Animation Artists Work?
Animation artists work in a variety of settings, including film and television production companies, video game companies, advertising agencies, and digital design firms. They're also found in education, healthcare, and other sectors where animation is used for training or communication purposes. The profession is needed to create engaging visual content that tells stories, conveys messages, and entertains audiences.
Important Qualities of a Successful Animation Artist
- Creativity: Animation artists must be able to think outside the box and create original designs and animations.
- Artistic Ability: Drawing and design skills are essential in this profession.
- Technical Skills: Animators need to master various animation software and technology.
- Attention to Detail: Every frame counts in animation, and artists must be meticulous in their work.
- Teamwork: Animation is often a collaborative process, requiring good communication and teamwork skills.
- Time Management: Animators often work under tight deadlines and must manage their time effectively.
Step-by-Step Career Path
- Earn a Bachelor's Degree: Most animators have a degree in animation, computer graphics, fine arts, or a related field.
- Develop a Portfolio: Showcasing your skills and creativity through a portfolio is critical in this field.
- Gain Experience: Start by working as an intern or junior animator to gain practical experience.
- Specialize: Decide your area of specialization and master the related skills.
- Advance Your Career: As you gain experience, you can take on more complex projects or move into supervisory roles.
How to Become an Animation Artist
In the USA, becoming an animation artist usually requires at least a bachelor's degree in animation, computer graphics, or a related field. However, some animators start their careers with degrees in fine arts or design. Higher education is not always necessary but can provide valuable training and help you build a strong portfolio.
Where to Become an Animation Artist
- California Institute of the Arts
- Savannah College of Art and Design
- Ringling College of Art and Design
- University of Southern California
- Rhode Island School of Design
- University for the Creative Arts
- Bournemouth University
- University of Hertfordshire
- Kingston University
- Teesside University
- University of Technology Sydney
- RMIT University
- Griffith University
- QUT (Queensland University of Technology)
- Swinburne University of Technology
Can You Enter the Profession with a Different Degree?
Yes, it's possible to enter the profession with a different degree. Many animators have backgrounds in fine arts, graphic design, or even computer science. The key is to develop strong animation skills and create a compelling portfolio that showcases these abilities. Continuing education classes, online courses, and self-study can all help you transition into this field from a different degree.