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.
The state’s nearly 200,000 members of the ADESM group can be found in many cities across the state, but the largest population resides in the nation’s entertainment center—New York City. While NYC is bursting at the seams with talented artists, museums, theaters, design studios, galleries, and more, other cities such as Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse also have their fair share.
In addition to an amazing art scene and numerous avenues for artistic expression, New York is home to a variety of top-tier schools that offer competitive programs for aspiring digital artists. Continue reading to learn more about New York’s best programs for digital artists and where to find them.
New York Digital Art Schools
New York is home to the second largest number of art schools in the U.S. New York’s 300+ accredited colleges offer one of the widest varieties of art degree programs in the U.S. Scroll through the list below to review New York’s best options for aspiring digital artists and what they have to offer.
Alfred University/New York State College of Ceramics - Degrees Offered: BFA Digital Interactive Arts, MFA Electronic Integrated Arts
Brooklyn College, The City University of New York - Degrees Offered: BFA Art with a Concentration in Digital Art, MFA Art with a Concentration in Digital Art
Pratt Institute - Degrees Offered: BFA Digital Arts, MFA Digital Arts, MS Communications Design with an optional Emphasis in Digital Design
School of Visual Arts (SVA) - Degrees Offered: BFA Computer Art, MFA Computer Art
More Digital Art related programs to consider:
- Winter Park, FL & Online
- Computer Animation - Bachelor's - Online & Campus
- Game Programs - Bachelor's & Master's - Online & Campus
- Graphic Design & Digital Arts - Bachelor's - Online & Campus
- Film & Digital Cinematography - Bachelor's & Master's - Online & Campus
- Mobile Development - Bachelor's - Online & Campus
- Simulation & Visualization - Bachelor's - Campus
Employment and Salary Trends for New York Digital Artists
New York was home to more than 155,000 artists in 2002. By 2010, the population had increased to more than 180,000. The average salary for New York artists overall is $68,370 annually, up from $50,280 in 2002. That said, salaries for digital artists are literally “all over the place.” Some digital artists earn between $52,000-$60,000 a year, while others may earn $89,000 all the way up to $129,000+ per year.
In addition, salaries for digital artists vary greatly by field. For example, New York animators average more than $66,000 annually, while graphic designers average $57,510. Illustrators average more than $55,000 and art directors average $128,000+. Nationwide, mean annual wages of artists were $41,660 in 2002. The lowest paid artists earned less than $16,000, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $73,000. By 2010, the mean annual wage for artists was $52,290. The lowest paid artists earned $19,480 and the highest paid artists averaged an impressive $91,770.
New York was home to more than 155,000 ADESM professionals in 2002. By 2010, the population had increased to more than 180,000. Today, the state is home to 198,880 individual’s working in ADESM occupations. They average $74,100 per year up from $68,370 in 2012, and up from $50,280 in 2002. That said, salaries for digital artists are literally “all over the place.” Some digital artists earn between $52,000-$60,000 a year, while others may earn $89,000 to $129,000 or more per year.
Salaries vary greatly based on factors such as company, experience, industry, job title, and even geography. For example, job sites such as Indeed report that Manhattan-based digital artists average $75,000 per year, while Buffalo and Rochester-based digital artists average $47,000 and $40,000 per year, respectively. Further, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, independent artists (some 30,000+) average around $70,620 per year.
Awesome Animation Fact: The Little Mermaid was the last Disney animated film to use the time-consuming process of hand-painted cels and analog camera and film work. 1,100 backgrounds featured 1,000 different colors and over one million drawings were done in all. -Smatteris