Yes, Indiana has a lot to offer aspiring artists of all kinds. For starters, Indiana is home to 109 Title IV degree-granting colleges and universities, and most are very affordable. Some of the state’s best schools include the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University-West Lafayette, Indiana University-Bloomington, and Ball State University. Next, many of these schools offer a variety of innovative programs for aspiring animators. For example, Indiana University offers a BA in New Media, Art, & Technology with a Creative Digital Development Concentration (video, animation, and/or mobile application development), and Ball State University offers a BFA with an Emphasis in Animation and an MFA in Animation.
In addition to offering affordable schools, Indiana offers an even more affordable place to live. According to a recent CNBC study, Indiana is the nation’s sixth least expensive place to live. Indiana also offers access to major art museums and venues such as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Richmond Art Museum, Indiana University Art Museum, The Creative Arts and Event Center, The Palladium, and the Center for Visual & performing Arts.
Indiana is also home to FILM Indiana—the state’s support office for film and new media industries. FILM Indiana’s goal is to attract and keep production studios working in the state. And it does! When it comes to employment opportunities, Indiana-based animators can find opportunities at local production studios, at a variety of creative agencies and PR firms, and at a number of software publishers, design studios, and more.
Indiana Animation Schools
Of the state’s 109 Title IV schools, around a dozen or so offer top-tier programs for aspiring animators. Scroll through the list below to find out which schools have the best offerings and where to find them.
Indiana University Bloomington - Degrees Offered: BA, BFA Graphic Design, MFA Graphic Design
Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne - Degrees Offered: BFA Visual Communication and Design with a Concentration in Graphic Design
University of Saint Francis - Degrees Offered: BA Communication Arts and Graphic Design
Indiana University Northwest - Degrees Offered: BA, BS Computer-Based Graphic Arts
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) – Degrees Offered: BFA Visual Communication, BS Computer Graphics Technology, MFA Visual Communication Design
University of Indianapolis - Degrees Offered: BFA Visual Communication Design/Graphic Design
Indiana University Kokomo - Degrees Offered: BA, BS New Media Communication with a Concentration in Graphic Design
Ball State University - Degrees Offered: BFA Art with anEmphasis in Visual Communication
Indiana University Southeast - Degrees Offered: BA, BFA Fine Arts with a Concentration in Graphic Design, BS Computer Graphics Technology
University of Notre Dame - Degrees Offered: BA, BFA Graphic Design, MFA Graphic Design
St. Mary of the Woods
Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods-College - Degrees Offered: BA Graphic Design
Indiana State University - Degrees Offered: BS Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design, BFA Fine Arts with a Concentration in Graphic Design, MA Art (Studio) with a Concentration in Graphic Design, MFA Fine Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design
Purdue University - Degrees Offered: BA Visual Communications Design, BS Computer Graphics Technology, Computer Science with a Computer Graphics and Visualization Track, MS Computer Graphics Technology
More Animation related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Indiana Animators
Indiana is home to 31,180 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media occupations. Around 110 are salaried animators and multimedia artists. They average $45,970 per year, up slightly from $44,770 in 2013 when the state was home to 170 salaried professionals in this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that overall employment growth for animators and multimedia artists will average six percent for the 2012-2022 decade. This means that the industry will see 4,300 new jobs in the coming years.
Many animators and multimedia artists are self-employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the “Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers” group has the second highest concentration of employment in this occupation. Further, at an average annual salary of $75,150, this group is the fourth highest paying “industry” for animators and multimedia artists.
Besides this, it is important to note that individual salaries will vary by education, experience, industry, location and more. For example, the states with the highest employment levels for animators and multimedia artists are California, New York, Washington, Texas, and Georgia. The highest paying states for animators and multimedia artists are:
- California ($82,170)
- Washington ($75,740)
- Massachusetts ($73,470)
- New York ($70,660)
- Idaho ($69,450)
In Indiana and across the U.S., the industries with the highest levels of employment are:
- Motion Picture and Video industries
- Computer Systems Design and Related Services
- Software Publishers,
- Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
- Other Information Services
The top paying industries for animators and multimedia artists are:
- Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers ($81,760)
- Other Information Services ($80,310)
- Software Publishers ($76,090)
- Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers ($75,150)
- Motion Picture and Video Industries ($73,950)
As mentioned, Indiana is home to a variety of companies that hire animators. Just a few options include:
- Bloom Design Studios, Carmel
- Cosmic Soup Digital, Fort Wayne
- Creative Street Media Group, Indianapolis
- Digital Graphics Solutions, Valparaiso
- Fat Atom, Carmel
- FME Studios, Indianapolis
- Innovative, Indianapolis
- Perennial Pictures Film Corporation, Indianapolis
- Real Images Visual Effects (VFX) and Animation, Indianapolis
- Tethys Interactive, Fishers
- The 543 Group, Fishers
- Young & Laramore, Indianapolis
Although these and other companies that hire animators are located in a number of cities across the state, a larger number of opportunities can be found in Indiana’s largest city—Indianapolis. In fact, according to The Business Journal, Indianapolis is “getting some Silicon Valley cred.” This is promising news for animators that would like to enter the technology field. Other major cities worth looking into include Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend.
Awesome Animation Fact: In the Disney Film Beauty and the Beast (1991), you may have noticed a little piece of hair that constantly fell in Belle's face. The animators added this character detail to show that she wasn't perfect. –E! Loves