To create works of animation is to attribute the visual illusion of motion to immobile objects. It is also a lucrative career choice in today's high tech work force. The state of Arkansas affords many local opportunities for illustrators seeking work as professional animators.
Arkansas Schools and Training Programs for Animation
Universities, colleges and training programs all over Arkansas offer instruction in the technical skills needed for professional animation. Popular local animation design schools include University of Phoenix, with campuses in Rogers and Little Rock, as well as ITT Tech in Little Rock and John Brown University in Siloam Springs.
Many Arkansas artists opt for nationwide accredited online schools like the Academy of Art University, Full Sail University and Stratford Career Institute, to name a few. Some schools with animation programs, such as University of Phoenix and ITT Tech, offer a convenient choice between campus-based and online training programs, or a combination of both.
Working as an Animator in Arkansas
Many businesses throughout the state of Arkansas hire professional animators. Animation is most often created for entertainment purposes, but is also used for instructional videos, clinical diagnoses, legal investigations, engineering studies and educational media, among other things.
Some Arkansas artists team up with local animation studios like Realms in Fayetteville, for instance. Animators are also employed by info tech firms specializing in computer graphics. High-revenue-producing examples include Fidelity Information Service in Little Rock and Computer Information Systems in Pine Bluff. Other commercial enterprises in Arkansas that hire animators include colleges, hospitals, engineering companies, software developers, website designers, advertising agencies and many more.
A professional animator in the state of Arkansas who works full time for a U.S. company earns, on average, about $60,800 annually. The mean hourly wage for an Arkansas-based professional animator is around $29.25. However, this data only applies to the meager handful of Arkansas animators who are employed full time at U.S. companies. It does not factor in the incomes of part time animators, freelance professionals and local residents employed by foreign companies.
Skills of a Professional Animator
Animators are illustrators of characters, machinery, weather conditions and anything else that moves. Nowadays, most animation is created using sophisticated software programs that save millions of dollars and truckloads of time, as compared to traditional animation techniques. Paid employment in the field of visual animation requires a number of skills. Illustration and familiarity with related graphic software are a must. Also essential are photography, web design, story development and proficiency with interactive media. A sense of humor also helps.