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Art Director - Career Profile
What does a Art Director do? Where does a Art Director work? ACR takes a look:
About Art Directors
Art directors control the overall visual direction of a project in a wide variety of fields such as advertising, web design, graphic design, animation, publishing, and more. Other names for art director include creative director, design director, creative project manager, and production lead.
Art Director Jobs
Art directors develop designs, review artist materials, select photographs, and manage layout and production of material to be produced. They direct visual artists such as animators, illustrators, and graphic designers and they are responsible for directing copywriters and content writers. Some art directors help make budgeting decisions and they might hire and train creative staff.
Art directors work in animation production studios and for advertising firms, game design companies, graphic design firms, web design firms, TV and film production studios, museums, and colleges.
Art Director Salaries
Art directors are among the highest paid artists in the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual wages for art directors in 2008 were $76,980. The middle 50 percent earned between $54,490 and $108,090. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $40,730, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $154,840. Becoming an Art Director
Art directors typically work their way up from entry-level artists or designers in film production, design (web, graphic, etc.), publishing, or advertising. A promotion to art director usually comes after the artist has shown that he or she has superior leadership and artistic abilities. If your ultimate goal is to become an art director, consider pursuing a degree in art administration or art management. In addition to art and design skills, these programs help students develop business skills such as financial management.
A degree in art administration or management is not a requirement to become an art director—this is only a suggestion. Many art directors hold degrees in other areas such as animation, graphic design, photography, advertising, illustration, computer graphics, commercial and advertising art, film, or fine arts.
Job Trends for Art Directors
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, art directors will see an increase in jobs in advertising due to demand for the overall vision they bring to a project. There are more than 84,000 art directors working in the U.S. today. These professionals hold more positions in the field than other type of artist. At 79,000, multimedia artists and animators are a close second, and fine artists are a distant third at 23,600 workers.
The job outlook for art directors is about as fast as average for all occupations. Employment for art directors is expected to grow 12 percent through 2018. This is just slightly lower than multimedia artists and animators, which is 14 percent. Between now and 2018, employment for art directors will increase from 84,200 to 94,000, and multimedia artists and animators will increase