Since most traditional animation techniques have gone the way of the phonograph, record player and eight-track tape deck, talented artists worldwide are scrambling for paid positions as professional animation designers. The state of Arizona overflows with opportunities for artists pursuing careers in this field.
Arizona Schools and Training Programs for Animation
Throughout the state of Arizona, quite a few Universities, colleges and training programs offer the skills and degrees animators need to secure professional employment. Aspiring Arizona animators typically major in communications design. Popular local schools of animation include Fortis Institute in Phoenix, Collins College in Tempe and College America in Phoenix and Flagstaff. Some Arizona artists enroll at nationwide accredited online schools like the Academy of Art University, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes and others.
Some animation schools offer a choice between campus-based and online studies, or a convenient combination of both. For example, University of Phoenix has campuses in Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Nogales and Yuma. The Art Institute has campuses in Phoenix and Tucson.
Working as an Animator in Arizona
Many dozen Arizona-based businesses hire professional animation specialists. Most animated films are cartoons and video games created for entertainment purposes. However, animation technology is also employed in clinical imaging, engineering, mobile phone apps and educational media, as well as frequent splicing into live action films.
Some artists living in Arizona work for local animation studios like All-4-Anime in Phoenix, Factory-50-Multimedia in Tempe, Miller Design in Tucson and Artimation of Arizona in Scottsdale. Some animators are employed by information technology companies specializing in computer graphics. Among the most successful of these are ACS and Quadras Corporation in Phoenix, as well as Sunquest Information Systems in Tucson and Med-Com-USA in Scottsdale. Other Arizona businesses that hire professional animators include educational institutions, medical facilities, news syndicates, web designers, business consultants, software developers and more.
A professional animator in Arizona employed full time in an American business earns, on average, about $56,700 per year. The mean hourly wage is around $27.25. However, this data (supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) only applies to the roughly 200 Arizona-based animators employed full time at U.S. companies. It does not include data on the incomes of part time animators and freelance professionals.
Skills of a Professional Animator
Despite the replacement of traditional animation methods with modern-day digital art, animators are still and always masters of drawing technique. In addition to illustration and computer graphics, most animators are also familiar with web design, interactive media, character development, photography and even computer programming, as well as lighting techniques, camera angles, color selection and special effects. Professional animators are experts at creating characters with characteristics to which we can all relate.