Animation Careers in Arkansas Overview
The Arkansas Film Commission has been attracting productions of all kinds from big budget classic films such as Gone with the Wind (1969) and The Firm (1993) to indies such as Three for the Road (1987). The Commission attracts productions by offering a variety of film incentives, as well as access to one of a kind backdrops such swamplands, pine forests, Mount Magazine State Park, and Mammoth Spring State Park. Because Arkansas attracts a number of productions each year, studios are always looking for talented artists—this includes animators. Animators may find work as part of the production team, in promotions, and in other areas.
Other areas open to Arkansas-based animators include software publishing, advertising and public relations, information services, specialized design services, and even education. Animators interested in teaching may find jobs in the film, fine art, multimedia, graphic design, or computer science departments of top universities such as the University of Arkansas and Southern Arkansas University Tech or community colleges such as Northwest Arkansas Community College. Arkansas is home to 51 Title IV degree-granting colleges and universities and more than 20 community colleges. Opportunities to teach while working in the industry may also be available at more than 1,100 elementary and secondary schools.
Employment and Salary Trends for Arkansas Animators
Arkansas is home to 30 salaried multimedia artists and animators. They average $36,390 per year, down from $43,890 in 2008 when the state was home to 40 multimedia artists and animators. Nationwide, the mean annual wage for animators and multimedia artists is $69,410 and overall employment for this group is expected to increase by six percent for the 2012-2022 decade.
The top five highest paying states for animators are:
- California ($82,170)
- Washington ($75,740)
- Massachusetts ($73,470)
- New York ($70,660)
- Idaho ($69,450)
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)
The states with the highest employment levels for animators and multimedia artists are California, New York, Washington, Texas and Georgia.
Animation Career Opportunities in Arkansas
In Arkansas and across the U.S., the industries with the highest levels of employment are the Motion Picture and Video industries, Computer Systems Design and Related Services, Software Publishers, Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services, and Other Information Services. The group ‘Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers’ has the second highest concentration of employment for animators and multimedia artists, along with an impressive average salary of $75,150 per year.
Job opportunities for aspiring animators in Arkansas can be found at agencies and studios such as:
- 360 Filmworks, Little Rock
- Agency501, Little Rock
- CJRW, Little Rock, Springdale
- Communications Group, Little Rock
- Eric Rob & Isaac, Little Rock
- Point Happy Interactive, Little Rock
- Rockfish, Rogers
- Sells Agency, Little Rock
- Stone Ward, Little Rock
- Thoma Thoma, Little Rock
Animators with a computer science background may find opportunities at one of more the than 600 computer technology firms in Arkansas. Consider searching for opportunities in Little Rock—the state’s largest city and capital, as well as smaller cities such as Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, and Rogers.
Arkansas Animation Training Programs
Students interested in training for a career in animation in the State of Arkansas may find animation courses, certificate programs, or degree programs at the following schools:
- Henderson State University, Arkadelphia
- John Brown University, Siloam Springs
- Southern Arkansas University Tech, Camden
- University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
- Northwest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville
More Animation related programs to consider:
- Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, France, and Online via SCAD eLearning
Awesome Animation Fact: For the stop motion masterpiece The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), composer and lyricist Danny Elfman didn’t have a script to write the songs from. He asked Tim Burton to describe a scene and then Elfman would compose the song. -BuzzFeed