Indiana might not be the first place you think of when it comes to shooting films, but The Indiana Film Commission has worked hard to change this perception. The office makes it easy for Hollywood and other movie meccas to take a break from the frenzy and film in a laid-back environment filled with idyllic landscapes and an eager talent pool. The Commission, better known as “Film Indiana,” has helped attract major productions such as The Judge (2014),Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), Public Enemies (2009), and Pearl Harbor (2001), to name a few.
With all of the activity in the world of film here, it’s not surprising that the state’s animation, advertising, public relations, and other creative firms are busy providing support services within the industry, which means plenty opportunities for visual communications artists. Besides the film industry, Indiana has a vibrant arts and culture scene that has seen impressive growth over the years. This means opportunities for visual communications artists who are interested in museum exhibition design and commercial art.
The state is home to a wide variety of major art museums, independent art galleries, and performance venues. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Brown County Art Gallery, and the Grunwald Gallery of Art (of Indiana University Bloomington) are just a few. There are plenty of bustling cities in Indiana as well, each with their own art scene and fair share of creative and interactive agencies. This means big opportunities for visual communications artists interested in web design, graphic design, art direction, and even game design. Check out Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, South Bend or Bloomington.
To keep up with the demand for talented visual communications artists, a number of schools in the state offer visual communications programs at all degree levels. A few popular options include Ball State University and Purdue University.
Indiana Visual Communications Schools
Indiana is home to 109 Title IV Degree-Granting institutions. These schools are eligible for federal financial aid programs, so even the most expensive schools are accessible to aspiring visual communications artists who may need assistance with meeting tuition costs. Even better is the schools on our list are public, so they typically cost less than private schools if you are a state resident.
Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne - Degrees Offered: BFA Visual Communication and Design with a Concentration in Computer Art/Design or Graphic Design
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) – Degrees Offered: BFA Visual Communications
Ivy Tech Community College – Degrees Offered: AAS Visual Communications, Visual Communications – Photography; AS Visual Communications; Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) Visual Communications; Technical Certificate Visual Communications. Programs are also offered at Ivy Tech Columbus, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Kokomo, Sellersburg, South Bend, and Terre Haute.
Ball State University - Degrees Offered: BFA Art with an Emphasis Visual Communications; MFA Visual Communications Design; MS Media Arts and Science
Purdue University - Degrees Offered: BA Visual Communications
More Visual Communications related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Indiana Visual Communications Artists
Indiana is home to 31,180 professionals working in Art, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (ADESM) occupations. Visual communications artists are members of this group. The population of ADESM professionals has increased since 2002, when the figure stood at 25,300. Salaries have increased as well. The average salary for ADESM professionals in Indiana was $32,310 in 2002. Today, the average salary is $42,320.
It is important to note that salaries vary by industry, education, company, experience, location, and more. For example, Indiana-based visual communication artists who become art directors can expect to earn around $68,150 per year, while commercial artists may average $36,710 per year. Those working in graphic design may average $41,010 per year, and those working at museums may average $37,770 per year. Those working in multimedia art and animation may earn $45,970 per year, and those working in film may earn $40,000 or more per year.
The industries with the highest levels of employment for ADESM professionals are:
- Motion Picture and Video
- Radio and Television Broadcasting
- Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers
- Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
- Elementary and Secondary Schools
The states with the highest employment levels for ADESM professionals are California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois, while the top paying states are:
- District of Columbia ($85,950)
- New York ($74,100)
- California ($70,440)
- Massachusetts ($58,200)
- Maryland ($57,330)
The industries with the highest concentration of employment for ADESM professionals are:
- Independent Artists and Writers ($70,620)
- Radio and Television Broadcasting ($52,480)
- Specialized Design Services ($59,050)
- Performing Arts Companies ($61,460)
- Florists ($26,190)
Regardless of the industry, visual communications artists in Indiana still do pretty well overall. According to PayScale, they average $34,403 - $69,496 per year, with a median of $47,584 per year. To increase your chances of earning more and finding better opportunities, consider starting your job search in any of the cities mentioned earlier—Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, South Bend, or Bloomington. Also worth exploring are Carmel, Fishers, Hammond, and Gary.
Awesome Animation Fact: In 2007, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane told Access Hollywood that the character Glenn Quagmire was imagined as an “anachronistic ’50s guy,” so it’s not surprising that the creepy bachelor’s voice is based on radio announcers of the 1940s and ’50s. -BuzzFeed