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Arts and Design Schools

According to the website for one school for the arts, "The revolution in electronic communications, multimedia and entertainment has created a growing need for highly skilled artists and designers." Graphic designers today not only work in print advertising and publications, but may also be involved in website design and development. Illustrators do not draw artwork only for books anymore: With computer technology, they can use their talents as interactive gaming illustrators.

Career specializations for artists and designers

Today's artists have a wide variety of career and employment options. They may work from home as freelancers or independent contractors or be employed on staff by large enterprises. But wherever they work, they typically must be able to play well with others and meet deadlines. Clients, art directors, publishers -- anyone you work for up and down the food chain -- has a vision of what the final product you work on should look like. You have to be wise enough to know when and how to accept their direction even if at times it conflicts with your own creative vision. Some of the most important skills you need as a commercial artist are not just creativity and talent -- they are the ability to adapt, change gears and have work completed on time.

Talented artists and designers who have these qualities often find careers in the following areas of specialization, which may overlap, making it possible to cross over from one area to another with some additional training:

Graphic and interactive design. Graphic artists, or communications designers as they are sometimes called, work in print or digital media to visually communicate ideas. They may design materials that include advertising and marketing brochures, logos, packaging, corporate reports and webpages. Combining art with the use of software, they lay out text and choose fonts, select and edit images to illustrate text, create images from data to convey statistical information in a visual format and incorporate design and decorative elements to give the work a finished and eye-catching appearance. Some of the sub-specialties that graphic designers might choose include these occupations:

  • Typography designer
  • Visual interface designer
  • Advertising designer
  • Logo/corporate identity designer
  • Web designer

Illustration. Some illustrators work in pen and ink and make drawings that are scanned to produce electronic images, but more and more illustrators are using computer technology to create digital images directly. They primarily make illustrations for books and other publications, advertising and animation. Various types of specialties that illustrators can choose from include the following:

  • Children's book illustrator
  • Medical, science, technical or nature illustrator
  • Book jacket illustrator
  • Police sketch artist and courtroom illustrator
  • Interactive gaming illustrator

Digital and multimedia arts. If being a part of the entertainment industry appeals to you, digital arts could be your field. Digital artists and illustrators work with 3D design, computer-generated images (CGI), graphic illustration and animation. Your skills could land you a job creating visual effects for movies, TV and video games. Computer animators must be team players who each contribute his or her part toward creating the final product. Occupations for digital artists include these:

  • Game designer
  • Concept artist
  • Animator
  • Storyboard illustrator
  • Production illustrator

Certifications and degrees for artists and designers

Talent and creativity do not guarantee an artist a paycheck. While some artists and designers can find work in their chosen field straight out of high school, few do. Many earn a bachelor's or even a master's degree in fine arts before looking for a job. The objective of any art training, however, should be the compilation of your portfolio -- or in the case of animation, a "reel" -- which showcases your creativity for prospective employers or clients. Earning a certificate from a vocational school may be one way to start the creation of your body of work, which is as important as a resume is to other occupations. Technical schools for arts and design offer certificates and include some of these courses in the following career tracks:

  • Graphic design -- basics of illustration and typography, color theory and Photoshop
  • Web design -- Web development, Internet systems architecture, JavaScript, graphic design for the Web
  • Illustration -- 2D design, drawing, various art surveys, portfolio development
  • Digital media -- digital media production, new media animation, video animation
  • Multimedia arts -- intro to motion, html and css essentials, Photoshop, video production, editing, After Effects
  • Game design and animation -- 3D graphics programming, game theory, design principles, character animation
  • Fine arts -- color theory, life drawing, painting, studio

Some vocational school programs allow you to add concentrations in other art specializations through an advanced certificate program.

Salary and job growth projections for arts and design careers

Employment growth for graphic designers, multimedia artists and fine artists such as illustrators is expected to be slower than average than for that of other occupations as projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) for 2012-2022. Average wages for graphic designers nationwide was $49,610 as of May 2013, with the top-paying jobs in metropolitan areas like San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Multimedia artists averaged $72,400 with the highest-paying jobs concentrated in Los Angeles and San Francisco. California, New York and Florida employ the most fine artists, which includes illustrators, and their average salary was $50,900 nationwide; however, those illustrators employed in the video and motion picture industries averaged $68,630.

If you have a passion for art and your heart is set on a career in design, pursuing a certificate or degree from a technical or vocational school could be the first step.

Sources:

Careers in the Arts, Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Career Development, http://www.mica.edu/Documents/Career%20Services/Careers%20for%20Visual%20Artists11.pdf

Craft and Fine Artists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/craft-and-fine-artists.htm

Digital Media Production Certificate Program, Emerson College, http://www.emerson.edu/academics/professional-studies/certificate-programs/digital-media-production

Fine Artists, including Illustrators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271013.htm

Graphic Designers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271024.htm

Graphic Designers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm

Graphic Design Certificate Programs, Sessions College for Professional Design, http://www.sessions.edu/certificate-programs/graphic-design-certificate?utm_expid=10211580-17.1UF9IpjwRSKVHI5jZzybvw.1&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sessions.edu%2Fcertificate-programs%2Ffine-arts

Illustration Certificate, Prince George's Community College, https://www.pgcc.edu/Programs_and_Courses/Program_Detail.aspx?programID=6442462312

Multimedia Artists and Animators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271014.htm

Multimedia Artists and Animators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm

Multimedia Arts Professional Certificate, Sessions College for Professional Design, http://www.sessions.edu/certificate-programs/multimedia-arts

Online Game Design and Animation Certificate, Post University, http://www.post.edu/online/degrees/game-design-certificate/

Parsons Certificate Programs, Fine Arts and Foundation, http://www.newschool.edu/parsons/fine-arts-foundation-certificate-programs/

Temple University, About Tyler School of Art, http://tyler.temple.edu/careers-visual-arts

Web Design and Development Certificate Courses, UC Irvine Extension, http://unex.uci.edu/areas/it/web/courses.aspx

Arts and Design Schools
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With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

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Sunnyvale: 1120 Kifer Road Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Portland: 1122 N.W. Davis Street Portland, OR 97209

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Decatur: One West Court Square Suite 110 Decatur, GA 30030

Overland Park: 8208 Melrose Drive Overland Park, KS 66214

York: Formerly Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts 1409 Williams Road York, PA 17402

San Diego: 7650 Mission Valley Rd San Diego, CA 92108

Santa Monica: 2900 31st Street Santa Monica, CA 90405

Seattle: 2323 Elliott Avenue Seattle, WA 98121

Troy: 1414 East Maple Road, Suite 150 Troy, MI 48083

Austin: 101 W. Louis Henna Blvd. Suite 100 Austin, TX 78728

Charleston: 24 North Market Street Charleston, SC 29401

Durham: 410 Blackwell St. Suite 200 Durham, NC 27701

Tucson: 5099 E. Grant Rd. Suite 100 Tucson, AZ 85712

Saint Charles: 1520 South Fifth Street Suite 107 St. Charles Saint Charles, MO 63303

Brookline: 10 Brookline Place West Brookline, MA 02445

Nashville: 100 Centerview Dr. Suite 250 Nashville, TN 37214

Denver: 1200 Lincoln Street Denver, CO 80203

San Francisco: 1170 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102

Tinley Park: 18670 Graphic Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

Fort Worth: 7000 Calmont Avenue Suite 150 Fort Worth, TX 76116

San Antonio: 1000 IH - 10 West Suite 106 San Antonio, TX 78230

Chicago: 350 N. Orleans Street Chicago, IL 60654

Miami: 1501 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 100 Miami, FL 33132

Jacksonville: 8775 Baypine Road Jacksonville, FL 32256

Pittsburgh: 420 Boulevard of the Allies Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Draper: 121 West Election Road Suite 100 Draper, UT 84020

Tampa: Parkside at Tampa Bay Park 4401 North Himes Avenue, Suite 150 Tampa, FL 33614

Cincinnati: 8845 Governors Hill Drive Suite 100 Cincinnati, OH 45249

New York: 218-232 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018

Dallas: Two North Park East Dallas, TX 75231

Minneapolis: 15 South 9th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402

Santa Ana: 3601 West Sunflower Avenue Santa Ana, CA 92704

Schaumburg: 1000 N. Plaza Drive, Suite 100 Schaumburg, IL 60173

Sterling: 21000 Atlantic Blvd. Suite 100 Sterling, VA 20166

Atlanta: 6600 Peach Tree Dunwoody Road, NE 100 Embassy Row Atlanta, GA 30328

Indianapolis: 3500 Depauw Blvd., Suite 1010 Indianapolis, IN 46268

Further your education and strengthen your skill set at Rasmussen College

Programs : Graphic Design Associates - Web and Interactive Design Specialization, Graphic Design Bachelors - Animation and Motion Graphics Specialization, Graphic Design Bachelors - Web and Interactive Design Specialization, and more..

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Moorhead: 1250 29th Avenue South Moorhead, MN 56560

Romeoville: 1400 W. Normantown Road Romeoville, IL 60446

Ocala: 2100 SW 22nd Place Ocala, FL 34471

Lake Elmo: 8565 Eagle Point Circle Lake Elmo, MN 55042

Fargo: 4012 19th Avenue SW Fargo, ND 58103

Appleton: 3500 E. Destination Drive Suite 100 Appleton, WI 54915

Green Bay: 904 South Taylor St. Suite 100 Green Bay, WI 54303

Minneapolis: 8301 93rd Avenue North Minneapolis, MN 55445

Circle Pines: 3629 95th Avenue Northeast Circle Pines, MN 55014

Mankato: 501 Holly Lane Mankato, MN 56001

Mokena: 8650 West Spring Lake Road Mokena, IL 60448

Wausau: 1101 Westwood Drive Wausau, WI 54401

Aurora: 2363 Sequoia Dr. Aurora, IL 60506

Topeka: 620 SW Governor View Topeka, KS 66606

: 3500 Federal Drive , MN 55122

Rockford: 6000 E State St 4th Floor Rockford, IL 61108

Bismarck: 1701 E. Century Ave. Bismarck, ND 58503

New Port Richey: 8661 Citizens Drive New Port Richey, FL 34654

Tampa: 4042 Park Oaks Blvd Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33610

Fort Myers: 9160 Forum Corporate Parkway Suite 100 Fort Myers, FL 33905

Saint Cloud: 226 Park Avenue South Saint Cloud, MN 56301

Lutz: 18600 Fernview Street Lutz, FL 33558

Westwood College is dedicated to preparing students with the knowledge, skills and training needed for meaningful employment. Through education, we create opportunities, change lives and impact futures.

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Helping creative minds bring their ideas to life.

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Get hands-on training with Remington College.

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Southfield: 26999 Central Park Blvd. Suite 125 Southfield, MI 48076

New York: 180 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10016

Nashville: 3343 Perimeter Hill Drive Suite 200 Nashville, TN 37211

Dayton: 3610 Pentagon Blvd. Ste. 100 Dayton, OH 45431

Arlington: 2405 Crystal City Dr. Arlington, VA 22202

Orlando: 4000 Millenia Blvd. Orlando, FL 32839

Tinley Park: 18624 West Creek Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

Morrisville: 1600 Perimeter Park Drive Suite 100 Morrisville, NC 27560

Elk Grove: 2216 Kausen Dr. Ste. 1 Elk Grove, CA 95758

Memphis: 6401 Poplar Ave Suite 600 Memphis, TN 38119

Atlanta: 100 Galleria Parkway SE Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30339

Long Beach: 3880 Kilroy Airport Way Long Beach, CA 90806

Auburn: 3600 S 344th Way 0 Auburn, WA 98001

Chesapeake: 1317 Executive Blvd. Suite 100 Chesapeake, VA 23320

Elgin: Randall Point 2250 Point Blvd. Suite 250 Elgin, IL 60123

Lynnwood: Redstone Corporate Center, 19020 33rd Ave W, Ste Lynnwood, WA 98036

Merrillville: 1000 East 80th Place Ste. 222 Mall Merrillville, IN 46410

San Jose: 2160 Lundy Ave. Suite 250 San Jose, CA 95131

San Diego: 2655 Camino Del Rio North Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92108

Rego Park: 99-21 Queens Blvd. Rego Park, NY 11374

Kansas City: 11224 Holmes Rd. Kansas City, MO 64131

Cherry Hill: 921 Haddonfield Road Ste. D Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

San Antonio: 1919 NW Loop 410 Suite 150 San Antonio, TX 78213

Pomona: 901 Corporate Center Dr. Pomona, CA 91768

Glendale: 6751 N. Sunset Blvd. Ste. 104 Glendale, AZ 85305

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Gurnee: 1075 Tri-State Pkwy. Ste. 800 Gurnee, IL 60031

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Orange: 3745 W. Chapman Avenue Orange, CA 92868

Sanford-Brown can help prepare you for a rewarding career in health and dental care, business, paralegal, criminal justice, Design & Media Arts or information technology.

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Port Saint Lucie: 10330 South U.S. 1 Port Saint Lucie, FL 34952

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