Animation is the fastest-growing occupation among visual artists in America. The city of Cleveland, Ohio, with as many as a hundred thousand commercial businesses, maintains a healthy economic demand for professional animators.
Cleveland Schools and Training Programs for Animation
Colleges, Universities and other Cleveland educational facilities feature numerous animation-related programs. Aspiring Cleveland animators attending local visual arts colleges major in communications design, fine arts, photography and, in some cases, computer science or architecture. Cleveland design colleges with courses in animation design include Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland State University, South University and Notre Dame College.
Some Cleveland animators acquire professional skills and advanced degrees by enrolling at virtual art schools. Popular online colleges with animation programs include the Academy of Art University, Post University, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes and ITT Tech. Many cyber colleges also maintain supplemental physical locations. University of Phoenix has locations in Beachwood, Independence and Westlake, which are all near Cleveland.
Working as an Animator in Cleveland, Ohio
Businesses all throughout Cleveland, Ohio recruit local animation artists. Cleveland-based associations in need of professional animators include game designers, advertisers, software developers, medical schools, legal service providers and many others. Countless Cleveland animators have copped cool jobs at local animation companies like Digital Squirrel Studio. Additionally, some Cleveland motion picture companies produce their own animation. Among the largest Cleveland movie producers are EDR-Media, Fathom Interactive, PKB-Creative, Presentation-Services and Trans-Media-Productions. Some local animators work for animation-oriented IT corporations. Current Cleveland info tech firms include Acxiom Corporation, Bridgeline Software, cleveland.com, Cox Communications and Lazorpoint.
According to reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full time Cleveland animators earn about $60,000 per year on average, with a mean hourly rate of roughly $30.00. These figures, however, do not reflect the incomes of part timers, freelance professionals or Cleveland animators employed by offshore companies.
Skills of a Professional Animator
Professional animators are expert illustrators as well as innovative digital artists. They are particularly adept at creating compelling scenery and expressive, recognizable characterizations. Animators also demonstrate exceptional color sense and great stylistic versatility. Aside from drawing skills and familiarity with animation software, professionals are also expected to be fully proficient photographers, layout artists, model makers and set designers. Also important are web page design, interactive media skills and fluency in at least one programming language. Personal characteristics of animation professionals include storytelling expertise, superb communication skills and project management potential.