What's the Job Description of a Visual Artist?

Would you like to creatively bring stories and characters to life by using computer graphics software? If you work as a visual artist, you'll have the opportunity to work in many areas, including entertainment and sales. Continue reading to learn more about visual artist job duties and the education needed to follow this career path. Schools offering Acting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

If you enter the world of visual arts, one career option is to work as a multimedia artist or animator. In this field, you might work on movies, television shows, video games and advertising campaigns. Using computer software programs and storyboards, you'll create special visual images, effects, and even animations. To pursue a career in visual arts, you'll need good communication skills, detailed computer knowledge, and an interest in the fine arts.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Median Pay (2014) $63,630 (for multimedia artists and animators)
TrainingOn-the-job training, typically for specific software and computer systems
Work EnvironmentMajority employed by motion picture and video industries; may work up to 50 hours per week; may work longer hours as they approach deadlines
Similar OccupationsCraft and fine artists; graphic designers; art directors; web developers; computer and software programmers

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

A Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Arts program in visual arts can provide you with the necessary tools and knowledge to get your foot in the door as a multimedia artist or animator. During a fine arts bachelor's degree program, you'll take an array of courses in computer graphics, video, animation, design, painting, and sculpting. In some programs, you may also have to take seminars and research courses that lead to the completion of a portfolio.

A Master of Fine Arts program in visual arts or video arts allows you to narrow your field of study. Most master's degree programs require the bulk of your studying to focus on a thesis, which usually has to be approved by a graduate thesis committee and can be featured in an exhibition at the end of your program. You can expect to take similar courses to those found in a bachelor's degree program, in addition to advanced art history, graphics, and drawing classes. You'll also attend graduate seminars that focus on media theory and performance.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the employment of multimedia artists and animators could grow six percent from 2012-2022. The BLS also reported that you can expect the job market to be competitive; individuals with either a wide range of skills or who specialize in a very specific type of work will have a distinct advantage in the job market.

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