Visual communications artists use everything from drawing to graphic design to convey defined ideas and messages. They may also use illustration, photography, multimedia, painting, and other art forms to create materials for a variety of industries to deliver specific messages to the public on behalf of clients. Just a few include common clients include advertising agencies, industrial design firms, interior designers, book and magazine publishers, museums, art galleries, graphic design companies, and film studios.
Although visual communications skills may be utilized in many different fields, aspiring visual communications artists are still attracted to specific industries such as film and video, advertising and public relations, and broadcasting. However, because companies rely on visual communications more than ever before, visual communications artists are in demand in just about every industry. Ones to watch include the medical field, law, retail, education, and research.
The demand for visual communications artists is high overall, but companies still have high expectations, so they only recruit the most talented (and experienced) artists they can attract. To begin building an irresistible resume, consider enrolling in a top training program at an accredited college. Fortunately, the U.S. is home to hundreds of top-rated training programs for students interested in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A), Master of Arts (M.A.), and even a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.). Some programs are offered at art and design schools, while others are offered at traditional colleges. In the state of Tennessee, several colleges (both art and design and traditional) offer top-tier programs for aspiring visual communications artists. They can be found in major cites such as Memphis, Franklin, ND Clarksville.
Tennessee Visual Communications Schools
According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Tennessee is home to 109 Title IV colleges and universities. This includes the top schools for visual communications artist. Title IV status means the state’s 109 recognized institutions are eligible for federal financial aid programs, making them more accessible to aspiring artists with financial need.
To earn Title IV status, the school must meet five requirements established by the U.S. Department of Education. They must have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, be in business for at least 2 years, sign a participation agreement with the Department, grant an associate's degree or higher, and offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length. Continue reading to find out which schools are tops for aspiring visual communications artists.
Austin Peay State University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Concentration in Visual Communications, Studio Arts with Concentration in Digital Media, Illustration
O’More College of Design - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Visual Communications
Tennessee Visual Communications Schools – Other Options
Another school worth looking into is Memphis College of Art (MCA). Founded in 1936, MCA offers “interdisciplinary programs and cutting-edge exhibitions to the public and those pursuing BFA, MFA, MAT and MAArtEd degrees.” The offerings listed below may be of interest to many aspiring visual communications artists.
Memphis College of Art (MCA) – Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Animation, Digital Cinema, Digital Media, Photography; B. F. A. in Fine Arts with concentrations in Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture; B. F. A. in Design Arts with concentrations in Digital Media, Graphic Design, Illustration, Sequential Narrative
More Tennessee Visual Communications Art related programs to consider:
- Winter Park, FL & Online
- San Francisco & Online
Employment and Salary Trends for Tennessee Visual Communications Artists
According to the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 27, 2012), the state of Tennessee is home to 25,390 artists and designers. This includes visual communications artists, multimedia artists, graphic designers, art directors, and more. The population of the “artists and designers” group as a whole has increased since 2002, when the state was home to 24,780 artists and designers. Salaries are on the way up as well. The average salary for Tennessee artists and designers is $45,380, up from $ 36,200 in 2002.
The State of Tennessee is home to 230 salaried “media and communication artists,” down from 790 in 2008. They average $35,220 per year, down from $41,520 in 2008. While the figures may sound dismal, it is important to note that many artists in this field work independently, and more companies than ever before seek out independent contractors rather than hire full-time salaried employees. In addition, the U.S. is home to 23,610 salaried media and communications workers overall, up from 22,970 in 2006. They average $43,580 per year, up from $42,570 in 2006. It is important to note that salaries and employment growth vary based everything from industry and company size to geographic location and job title.
Visual communications/media and communication artists are attracted to industries such as film and video; advertising, public relations and related services; colleges, universities, and professional schools; radio and television broadcasting, and local government. As stated, many visual communications artists work independently. Independent artists average around $82,870 per year, while salaried visual communication artists in the film and video industry average $67,200. With 6,060 salaried visual communications artists, the film and video industry has the highest level of employment in this field. Next is advertising and public relations (2,130), followed by colleges and universities (2,010). The average salary for advertising visual communications artists is $48,570. Educators in this field average $50,500.
With a little research and planning, aspiring visual communications artists can find work in just about any Tennessee city. However, some of the best opportunities are in principal cities such as Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Jackson, Johnson City, Franklin, and Bartlett. Other places worth looking into are Brentwood, Collierville, Cleveland, Germantown, Smyrna, and Spring Hill.