Profiles of Art, Digital Art, Electronic Art, Entertainment Art, and Studio Art Programs & Schools

Best 100 Animation Studios thumbnail

I’ve been writing about the animation industry for nearly a decade and last year I assembled the rankings for our 2014 Top 100 Most Influential Video Game Studios and 2014 Top 100 Most Influential Animation Studios. This year, I want to create a comprehensive list of the one hundred best studios to work at across all animation industries.

To help research the constantly evolving landscape of the job market, we sent surveys to hundreds of schools asking which studios actively recruited their students as well as which studios most often employed graduates. When choosing which of the hundreds of companies to include, I also considered what projects studios were working on, and even the quality of life at those studios regardless of salary. Studios are listed in alphabetical order:

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Studio Art Schools in Texas September 26, 2015


From drawing and painting to sculpting and glass blowing, studio artists do it all! According to admissions materials from a variety of colleges, studio art is basically, “any type of visual art made in a studio.” In addition to painting and glass blowing, studio artist create sculptures, photography, large-scale installations, experimental art, ceramics, and more. A typical studio art program may feature the study of drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, fiber, glass, printmaking, and photography. However, many of today’s programs offer a focus in digital art, graphic design, digital media and more.

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Digital Art Schools in California

With close to 300,000 salaried professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (ADESM) occupations, California has the highest population of artists in the U.S. and the number is growing. Just a few years ago, the state was home to just over 280,000 ADESM workers. While the population may have changed over the past few years, the top industries for these professionals have remained the same. The motion picture and video industries, radio and television broadcasting, publishing, and advertising are just a few. Fortunately, the State of California houses thousands of employers in these fields. Just a few DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Animation,  Walt Disney Feature Animation, Saatchi & Saatchi, J. Walter Thompson, Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB), SAGE Publications, Alfred Publishing, WB Studio and CBS Studio Center.

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Studio Art Schools in Virginia September 24, 2015

Virginia Studio Art

A typical studio art program combines disciplines such as ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, painting, photography, printmaking and more. After becoming familiar with these areas, students may narrow their focus by specializing in one area. In addition to the traditional focus areas listed above, newer concentrations include digital art, design/video & digital imaging, visual communication design, digital media, new media, and designed objects, to name a few. Although studio art programs are similar to other art programs, studio art students spend more time in the studio creating art. The goal of a studio art program is to allow students to learn by doing or through “immersion.”

A good studio art program can prepare students for more than 100 different careers in the art and design industry. It can also prepare students to work in a few other industries that might surprise you. Just a few are aerospace, architecture, automotive, law, medicine, and science. Some common career options include cartoonist, ceramic artist, art director, printing designer, animator, airbrush artist, glass blower, mural artists, textile designer, art critic, display artist, art buyer, and graphic arts technician.

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While the art and culture scene is a major attraction in hip cities like as Seattle, Washington’s smaller towns and villages also have a lot to offer locals and visitors alike. Travel to Bellingham—the last major city before the Washington coastline meets the Canadian border, and you will find a variety of art venues and organizations such as The Arts Commission, The Downtown Art Walk, and the Whatcom Museum. Head to Redmond where the Redmond Arts Commission provides theatrical productions in the park, concerts at City Hall, and more than 100 public art displays by local and regional artists.

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Art Schools in Wisconsin September 19, 2015

Wisconsin Art

Wisconsin is home to more than 5.7 million residents. Nearly 1.2 million residents live in the states five largest cities—Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Racine. Besides the largest populations, these cities have a lot to offer in the areas of art and culture, education, and employment. First, Milwaukee is home to top art museums such as Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM), Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Charles Allis Art Museum, and Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University.

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Digital Art Schools in New York September 14, 2015

Digital Art Schools in New York

New York is home to the nation’s second largest population of professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports and Media (ADESM) occupations as categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. California is home to the largest group. While many New York artists still work with paint, plaster, and fibers, many artists today rely heavily on computers and software to create art. Digital artists belong to this group and their technical skills and creativity are in high demand at ad agencies, media firms, animation studios, game design firms, web design companies, and more.

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 Wisconsin Photography

Photographers use digital cameras, computers, mobile communications, and other equipment to capture images. Some specialize in photographing people, while others may specialize in photographing landscapes, merchandise, animals, events, or other subjects. Talented photographers are in demand in many fields. The industries with the highest concentration of employment in this occupation include professional, technical and scientific services; radio and television broadcasting; independent artists, writers, and performers; newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers, and scenic and sightseeing transportation, water. Colleges, universities, and professional schools also employ hundreds of skilled photographers to help develop the next wave of photojournalists, aerial photographers, fashion photographers, and more. 

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Krita logo

Do you remember a decade ago, when there was a painting software monopoly? When there were only one or two really good programs to choose from and no competition at all? It sure is nice being a digital artist today, with tons of new software options flooding the market. With so many to choose from now, which are the best of the newcomers though? There’s plenty names to debate, but Krita’s incredible power and impressive speed is quickly making it my favorite new 2D art software. The fact that it’s free and open source only make it even more exciting!

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As the entertainment industries bring in billions of dollars each year, the list of software that artists have to learn keeps growing longer. Needing the newest versions for each program every year can often prove to be quite costly. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a major 3D animation toolkit that was completely open source and free to use even for commercial projects? As many of you already know, that’s exactly what Blender has been doing for years, and each year it further closes the gap between itself and the most expensive software that money can buy.

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