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Become A Motion Graphics Artist

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Working As A Motion Graphics Artist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $74,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Motion Graphics Artist Do

Multimedia artists and animators create two- and three-dimensional models, animation, and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

Duties

Multimedia artists and animators typically do the following:

  • Use computer programs and illustrations to create graphics and animation
  • Work with a team of animators and artists to create a movie, game, or visual effect
  • Research upcoming projects to help create realistic designs or animations
  • Develop storyboards that map out key scenes in animations
  • Edit animations and effects on the basis of feedback from directors, other animators, game designers, or clients
  • Meet with clients, other animators, games designers, directors, and other staff (which may include actors) to review deadlines and development time lines

Multimedia artists and animators often work in a specific medium. Some focus on creating animated movies or video games. Others create visual effects for movies and television shows. Creating computer-generated images (known as CGI) may include taking images of an actor’s movements and then animating them into three-dimensional characters. Other animators design scenery or backgrounds for locations.

Artists and animators can further specialize within these fields. Within animated movies and video games, artists often specialize in characters or in scenery and background design. Video game artists may focus on level design: creating the look, feel, and layout for the levels of a video game.

Animators work in teams to develop a movie, a visual effect, or an electronic game. Each animator works on a portion of the project, and then the pieces are put together to create one cohesive animation.

Some multimedia artists and animators create their work primarily by using computer software or by writing their own computer code. Many animation companies have their own computer animation software that artists must learn to use. Video game designers also work in a wide variety of platforms, including mobile gaming and online social networks.

Other artists and animators prefer to work by drawing and painting by hand and then translating the resulting images into computer programs. Some multimedia artists use storyboards or “animatics,” which look like a comic strip, to help visualize the final product during the design process.

Many multimedia artists and animators put their creative work on the Internet. If the images become popular, these artists can gain more recognition, which can lead to future employment or freelance work.

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How To Become A Motion Graphics Artist

Most multimedia artists and animators need a bachelor’s degree in computer graphics, art, or a related field to develop both an impressive portfolio of work and the strong technical skills that many employers prefer.

Education

Employers typically require a bachelor’s degree, and they look for workers who have a good portfolio of work and strong technical skills. Multimedia artists and animators typically have a bachelor’s degree in fine art, computer graphics, animation, or a related field. Programs in computer graphics often include courses in computer science in addition to art courses.

Bachelor’s degree programs in art include courses in painting, drawing, and sculpture. Degrees in animation often require classes in drawing, animation, and film. Many schools have specialized degrees in topics such as interactive media or game design.

Training

Some animation studios have their own software and computer applications that they use to create films, and they often provide on-the-job training so that workers can use the specific software and computer applications.

Important Qualities

Artistic talent. Animators and artists should have artistic ability and a good understanding of color, texture, and light. However, they may be able to compensate for artistic shortcomings with better technical skills.

Communication skills. Multimedia artists and animators need to work as part of a complex team and respond well to criticism and feedback.

Computer skills. Many multimedia artists and animators use computer programs or write programming code to do most of their work.

Creativity. Artists and animators must be able to think creatively to develop original ideas and make them come to life.

Time-management skills. The hours required by most studio and game design companies can be long, particularly when there are tight deadlines. Artists and animators need to be able to manage their time effectively when a deadline approaches.

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Motion Graphics Artist Career Paths

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Do you work as a Motion Graphics Artist?

Average Yearly Salary
$74,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$35,000
Min 10%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$157,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
SiriusXM
Highest Paying City
Kansas City, MO
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Motion Graphics Artist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Motion Graphics Artist in the United States is $74,583 per year or $36 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $35,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $157,000.

Real Motion Graphics Artist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Motion Graphic Artist Spinifex Group, Inc. Torrance, CA Jan 02, 2012 $140,000
Senior Motion Graphic Artist Firstborn Multimedia Corporation New York, NY Sep 03, 2015 $105,000
Motion Graphics Artist Deluxe Media Creative Services Chicago, IL Jul 01, 2014 $80,000
Motion Graphics Artist Duarte Design, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 15, 2013 $75,013
Motion GFX Artist PTT, LLC New York, NY Apr 07, 2014 $75,000 -
$95,000
Motion Graphics Artist Deluxe Media Creative Services Chicago, IL Jul 01, 2014 $75,000 -
$85,000
Motion Graphics Artist Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. Irvine, CA Feb 15, 2016 $74,923
Motion Graphics Artist Social Control, LLC. Los Angeles, CA Sep 01, 2014 $68,516
Motion Graphics Artist Duarte Design, Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 15, 2010 $68,000
Senior Motion Graphics/VFX Artist KAPU HONU LLC Urban Honolulu, HI Jan 08, 2016 $65,741
Senior Motion Graphics/VFX Artist KAPU HONU LLC Urban Honolulu, HI Aug 15, 2016 $65,741
Motion Graphics Artist Social Control, LLC Westlake Village, CA Mar 13, 2015 $52,062
Animation and Motion Graphic Artist Real Media LLC Overland Park, KS Sep 04, 2015 $50,000
Motion Graphic Design Artist Laundry Design LLC Los Angeles, CA Sep 14, 2016 $50,000
Motion Graphic Desinger CMYK+White, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2014 $50,000
Motion Graphic Artist Cutters, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Aug 26, 2015 $49,858 -
$79,858
Senior Motion Graphics Artist Savannah College of Art and Design, Inc. Savannah, GA Jul 28, 2015 $47,133 -
$50,000
Video Artist & Motion Effects/Graphics Animator 3D-Eyetronics, Inc. CA Oct 01, 2011 $43,618
Video Artist & Motion Effects/Graphics Animator 3D-Eyetronics, Inc. CA Mar 01, 2012 $43,618

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Top Skills for A Motion Graphics Artist

  1. Video Production
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Final Cut Pro
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Network render farm management for animation and video production services.
  • Designed, doctored, edited, and fashioned new textures, fonts, and images in Adobe Photoshop.
  • Created a complex composite animation using multiple layers of video using Cinema4D and Final Cut pro in tandem.
  • Specialize in motion graphics and video editing for television commercials and corporate videos.
  • Confronted prior Kenneth Cole advertising by introducing new storyboard with concept of geometric images to represent the brand's modern vibes.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Motion Graphics Artists

  1. Connecticut
  2. Washington
  3. District of Columbia
  4. California
  5. Delaware
  6. New York
  7. North Carolina
  8. New Jersey
  9. West Virginia
  10. Texas
  • (23 jobs)
  • (55 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (278 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (33 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (78 jobs)

Motion Graphics Artist Demographics

Gender

Male

72.3%

Unknown

14.6%

Female

13.1%
Ethnicity

White

56.2%

Hispanic or Latino

20.3%

Black or African American

9.9%

Asian

9.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.1%

French

9.5%

Mandarin

9.5%

Italian

9.5%

Portuguese

4.8%

Chinese

4.8%

Japanese

4.8%
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Motion Graphics Artist Education

Schools

Savannah College of Art and Design

15.5%

Full Sail University

11.4%

School of Visual Arts

9.0%

Academy of Art University

8.3%

Art Institute of California - Inland

6.2%

Columbia College Chicago

5.9%

Art Institute of Philadelphia

5.2%

Miami International University of Art and Design

4.8%

New York University

4.1%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

3.4%

Art Institute of Phoenix

3.1%

Art Institute of Colorado

3.1%

Utah Valley University

2.8%

Maryland Institute College of Art

2.8%

Ringling College of Art and Design

2.4%

Otis College of Art and Design

2.4%

Art Institute of Atlanta

2.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

2.4%

Art Center College of Design

2.4%

University of Texas at Austin

2.4%
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Majors

Animation

22.6%

Photography

19.7%

Graphic Design

13.5%

Fine Arts

8.3%

Computer Science

6.1%

Digital Media

5.3%

Design And Visual Communication

4.5%

Communication

4.4%

Visual And Performing Arts

3.1%

Entertainment Business

2.5%

Computer Applications

2.2%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

1.7%

Business

1.4%

Electrical Engineering

0.9%

Drafting And Design

0.7%

Marketing

0.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.7%

Public Relations

0.6%

Computer Networking

0.6%

Writing

0.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

64.6%

Masters

11.8%

Other

11.7%

Associate

7.8%

Certificate

3.0%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

0.1%
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