The city of Columbia, South Carolina has a thriving commercial economy that supports more than 35,000 local companies and a great many visual artists. More and more artists in Columbia these days are pursuing careers in animation, which is the fastest growing profession in the visual arts arena.
Columbia Schools and Training Programs for Animation
Quite a few Universities, colleges and art schools in Columbia, South Carolina offer classes and degree programs in animation art. Accredited Columbia design colleges include South University, ECPI University, Strayer University, Benedict College and University of South Carolina.
Many professional artists today are acquiring technical skills and earning professional degrees online. Popular accredited online art schools with animation degree programs include University of Phoenix, ITT Tech, The Art Institutes, DeVry and Stratford Career Institute, to name a few. Virtual visual arts colleges often also maintain physical locations. ITT Tech and University of Phoenix both have campuses in Columbia.
Working as an Animator in Columbia, South Carolina
Hundreds of businesses in Columbia, South Carolina hire professional animators. These include software developers, game designers, website consultants, educational media manufacturers, engineering firms, medical facilities and many others. Some Columbia artists are recruited by local animation studios. Others team up with local film producers who hire freelance animators. Leading Columbia motion picture companies include Communications Group, Constant-Now, Life-In-Motion, Virtual-Video-Media and Zero-Gravity-Project. Some Columbia animators are employed by animation-oriented info tech corporations such as Alpha Integrated Systems, Bluestar Communications, Companion Data Services, Digital Media, and Twenty Creek, among others.
On average, professional animators employed full time in Columbia, South Carolina earn about $47,000 per year, with a mean hourly wage of around $23.50. The median annual income for all occupations in Columbia is roughly $45,000. These figures do not represent the incomes of part time animators, freelance professionals or Columbia artists employed by International businesses.
Skills of a Professional Animator
Success in the field of professional animation requires a special gift for storytelling combined with exceptional illustrative talent and advanced digital design skills. Also important are photography, lighting, layout, prototyping, set design and film editing techniques. Serious aspiring animators also study computer science, programming languages and interactive media design. As far as personality is concerned, employers appreciate proactive self-starters with excellent communication ability and highly-developed interpersonal skills, since most professional animators work as part of a team. Control freaks and primadonnas need not apply.