Due to recent digital developments, creating animated movies is more cost-effective than ever before. This has lead to an accelerated economic demand for local animators. Artists all over the state of Mississippi are landing lucrative jobs in this creative, high tech field.
Mississippi Schools and Training Programs for Animation
Quite a few Mississippi colleges, Universities and private training facilities offer animation-related certificates and degree programs. Main areas of focus for aspiring animators attending Mississippi schools are fine arts, computer graphics, photography and visual communications. Mentionable Mississippi colleges with animation departments include University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Meridian Community College in Meridian and Delta State University in Cleveland, among others.
Some Mississippi art students acquire professional animation skills through any of numerous accredited online art schools. Popular online colleges with programs in animation design include the Academy of Art University, Post University, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes and ITT Tech, to name a few. Several online art colleges are also known to maintain physical locations near you. University of Phoenix has a campus in Flowood. ITT Tech has a campus in Madison.
Working as an Animator in Mississippi
Mississippi is home to more than a quarter million commercial businesses. Many of these recruit the professional services of local animation artists. Animated designs are produced for entertainment (cartoons and video games, for instance), as well as architectural planning, advertising, web pages and full-length feature films, among many assorted other purposes. Mississippi companies that hire animation specialists include colleges, hospitals, online news syndicates, photo finishing labs, software developers, web designers and more.
Some local artists make money at Mississippi motion picture companies with animation departments. Examples include Across-America Productions and Simmons Creative in Jackson, as well as CCI-Video-Productions in Luka. Other local animators work for Mississippi-based info tech firms focusing on digital graphics. High-revenue IT corporations in Mississippi include Gatekeeper and Road-Runner-High-Speed-Online in Jackson, as well as ACS in Ridgeland and Happy-Catfish-Web-Studio in Ellisville.
The average annual income for Mississippi animators who work 40-hours a week for American companies is about $45,200, with a mean hourly rate of roughly $21.75. However, this data is based on the incomes of a mere 40 Mississippi-based animators employed full time by U.S. companies. Unreported remain the mysterious incomes of part time artists, freelance professionals and local animators who work for offshore companies.
Skills of a Professional Animator
Advanced drawing skills barely scratch the surface of what it takes to become a professional animator. Also essential are photography, lighting, web design and (especially!) familiarity with professional animation software. Programs used by professional animators are too costly for most of us, but Toon Boom Studio is an affordable, toned down alternative. Also available are free, open source animation programs like Pencil for 2D animation and Blender for 3D designs. Beginners are especially encouraged to try these free downloads.