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Multimedia Artist And Animator Career

Career Description

Multimedia artists and animators create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, computers, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials.

Common Work Tasks

  • Draw by hand and use computers to create a series of pictures
  • Draw storyboards for television commercials,  movies, and animated features
  • Model objects in three dimensions by computer
  • Work with computer programmers to convert pictures into animated images
  • Assemble, typeset, scan and produce digital camera-ready art or film negatives and printer’s proofs
  • Develop briefings, brochures, multimedia presentations, web pages, promotional products, technical illustrations, and computer artwork for use in products, technical manuals, literature,  newsletters and slide shows
  • Attend training sessions and corporate planning meetings to obtain new ideas for product launches
  • Collaborate with writers who create ideas,  stories, or captions that are combined with artists’ work
  • Create basic designs, drawings, and illustrations for product labels, cartons, direct mail, or television

Other Job Titles

Multimedia Artists and Animators are also known by other titles, including:

  • Art Director
  • Illustrator
  • Cartoonist
  • Sketch Artist
  • Sculptor
  • Graphic Artist

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
  Multimedia artists and animators usually develop their skills through a bachelor’s degree program or other postsecondary training in art or design. Although formal schooling is not strictly required, it is very difficult to become skilled enough to make a living without some training.

  Evidence of appropriate talent and skill, displayed in a multimedia artist and animator’s portfolio, is an important factor used by art directors, clients, and others in deciding whether to hire an individual or contract for their work. Assembling a successful portfolio requires skills usually developed through postsecondary training in art or visual communications. Internships also provide excellent opportunities for artists to develop and enhance their portfolios.


The median annual salary for a multimedia artist and animator is $54,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $98,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $30,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of multimedia artists and animators are:

  • Motion Picture and Video Industries - $69,960
  • Advertising and Related Services - $56,750
  • Computer Systems Design and Related Services - $59,970
  • Software Publishers - $61,680
  • Specialized Design Services - $80,520

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  26%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 23,000
  • Employment 2006 : 87,000
  • Employment 2016:  110,000
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