Colorado is one of the most scenic states in the U.S. The state is so scenic that it earned the nickname “Colorful Colorado.” And colorful it is! Colorado is home to a plethora of plush parks, towering sand dunes (the tallest in America), and more mountain peaks than any other place in America. The state is home to an array of colorful characters as well, that indulge in everything from creating unusual art and crafts to ice climbing.
While Colorado’s major attraction is adrenaline rushing winter sports, the state attracts art lovers and artists from around the world—especially filmmakers. Colorado has so many film festivals each year that it’s tough to keep count, but just a few include the Telluride Film Festival, the Aspen Film Festival, and the Indie Spirit Film Festival. The Colorado Film Office offers incentives for productions of all kinds (including animation) and the state also has a sizable video game industry and advertising/graphic design industry. This means, animators may find work fairly easy in film, gaming, and graphic design as well as technology and education.
Colorado Animation Schools
Colorado is home to dozens of colleges, technical schools, community colleges, art schools, and extension centers that offer everything from enrichment courses to certificates to art degrees. Scroll through the list below to review Colorado’s best options for aspiring animators and other digital artists, and what they have to offer.
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs - Degrees Offered: B. I. (Bachelor of Innovation™) Game Design and Development; Masters of Engineering with Focus in Media Convergence, Games and Media Integration
Metropolitan State College of Denver - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Studio Art with Concentration in Digital Art or Communication Design
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Animation, Game Art, Illustration, 3D Animation (online only)
University of Colorado at Denver – Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Fine Arts with Emphasis in 3D Graphics and Animation or Digital Design
More Animation related programs to consider:
- San Francisco & Online
- Winter Park, FL & Online
- Denver, CO
Employment and Salary Trends for Colorado Animators
As of 2009, 260 animators, nearly 4,000 graphic designers, and hundreds of video game artists lived and worked in Colorado. While the number of animators has decreased since 2002 (from 380), salaries have increased. In 2002, animators earned $49,310. Today they average $53,870-$54,270. It is important to keep in mind that many animators are self-employed and the Bureau does not include salary and employment figures for this large community of artists. In addition, average salaries overall vary greatly by industry, location, type of company, experience & education, and many other factors.
The mean annual wage for animators and multi-media artists nationwide was $62,810 in 2009. The lowest paid animators earned $32,360 per year and the highest paid animators earned $99,130 per year.