What Jobs are Available with a Degree in Visual Arts?

Some still maintain, even in our entertainment-soaked culture, that an education and career in the arts, or more specifically the visual arts, isn’t viable. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opportunities available to a talented and well-educated specialist in any visual medium from film to video or print to digital media and animation are too numerous to count and only getting more lucrative and powerful.

Related Resource: Top 10 Christian College Visual Arts Programs 2018

The only hazard facing someone looking to build a career in the visual arts is concentrating too heavily on evolving technology. Using a particular toolset or technique is often a good idea at various times during a career, but putting all your training in one skill can be reckless, especially if it leads to a disruption later in your job search. That said, many opportunities remain.

Digital Animator

Animation is magic. One need only look to the revenues of the best examples of digital animation in film and on television to see how the public values talented animators. While the technology behind some of the spectacles that are possible today will often change, the principles of good animation do not. Understanding the stylistic differences and tonal changes between genres, for example, is something not so easily taught, but worth its output in gold at the professional level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, animators should experience job growth greater than that of other art and design workers.

Modeler

The relationship between modeling and animation is analogous to the relationship between metallurgy and engineering. The modeler is the person who makes animation possible. It is closer to illustration and visualization than animation per se, but it does have the same freedom to experiment and find voice and design as animation itself does. Modeling and three dimensional design have a considerable mathematical component, which also lends the field to a relationship with programming and development, as well. Modeling becomes art when it is rendered and becomes a digital illustration or visualization.

Storyboard Artist

Because so many people have been trained to think in terms of film, television and comics by our entertainment culture, the field of storyboarding has found its way into all manner of industry from programming to game development and even to jobs like construction and civil engineering.

Storyboarding is the visualization of art over time. It is particularly useful for film directors and animators because it allows them to test the visual components of their storytelling before making changes to a script or going into production. Skilled storyboarders can find enormous opportunities even if they don’t choose to work in the most common fields.

Strangely enough, visual arts professionals often find their job searches require almost as much creativity as the work itself. This is understandable and can be a source of significant opportunity, as the process of finding new jobs often brings with it the potential for higher salaries, better contacts and more interesting work. The idea that visual artists will have a difficult time finding employment is an antiquated notion that can be disproven with one scroll-through of what is available to watch on anyone’s favorite streaming service.