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Working As A Senior 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

  • $110,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Average Length of Employment
Senior Artist 4.0 years
Multimedia Artist 3.4 years
Lead Artist 2.9 years
Technical Artist 2.9 years
Animation Artist 2.7 years
Artist 2.6 years
Game Artist 2.0 years
3D Artist 2.0 years
Concept Artist 1.9 years
Texture Artist 1.5 years
Top Careers Before Senior Artist
Artist 27.4%
Lead Artist 10.9%
3D Artist 9.9%
Internship 3.0%
Animator 3.0%
Designer 2.2%
Generalist 1.9%
Instructor 1.4%
Supervisor 1.3%
Top Careers After Senior Artist
Artist 19.5%
Lead Artist 12.6%
Art Director 11.8%
3D Artist 9.0%
Animator 3.2%
Owner 2.2%
Supervisor 2.0%
Instructor 1.9%
Principal 1.7%

Do you work as a Senior Artist?

Average Yearly Salary
$110,000
Show Salaries
$81,000
Min 10%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Median 50%
$148,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Stamford, CT
Highest Paying State
Rhode Island
Avg Experience Level
4.2 years
How much does a Senior Artist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Artist in the United States is $110,562 per year or $53 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $81,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $149,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Senior Artist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Environment Artist Microsoft Corporation Aug 08, 2016 $151,830
Senior Nuke Artist Framestore Inc. Jul 17, 2014 $150,000
Senior Flame Artist Deluxe Media Creative Services, Inc. Jan 10, 2016 $145,000 -
$195,000
Senior Character Artist Microsoft Corporation Nov 30, 2014 $132,551
Senior Environment Artist Microsoft Corporation Aug 08, 2013 $130,000
Senior Artist Riot Games Inc. Dec 17, 2014 $130,000
Senior Flame Artist Deluxe Media Creative Services Inc. Feb 26, 2016 $130,000 -
$190,000
Senior Artist Microsoft Corporation Oct 01, 2013 $127,172
Senior CG Artist Framestore Inc. Aug 12, 2013 $125,000
Senior Artist's Agent Supervision Ny LLC Feb 01, 2014 $125,000
Senior Environment Artist Insomniac Games, Inc. Oct 01, 2014 $124,717
Senior Environment Artist-Studios or Other Microsoft Corporation Dec 23, 2015 $124,700 -
$144,700
Senior Environment Artist Microsoft Corporation Apr 22, 2015 $124,700
Senior Artist Riot Games, Inc. Sep 09, 2014 $111,030 -
$140,000
Senior Environment Artist Electronic Arts, Inc. Mar 03, 2015 $111,030
Senior Character Artist Riot Games, Inc. Jun 26, 2014 $111,030 -
$150,000
Senior Environmental Artist Microsoft Corporation Jun 07, 2013 $110,488
Senior User Interface Artist Insomniac Games, Inc. Sep 02, 2013 $110,000
Senior Staff Artist SONY Computer Entertainment America LLC Sep 05, 2013 $110,000
Senior Environment Artist Outpost Games, Inc. Sep 16, 2015 $110,000 -
$130,000
Senior Artist Electronic Arts, Inc. Aug 19, 2016 $106,964
Senior Artist Activision Publishing, Inc. Nov 14, 2013 $97,900
Senior Artist Zenimax Media Inc. Jan 27, 2014 $95,000
Senior Character Artist SONY Computer Entertainment America LLC Nov 30, 2015 $95,000
Senior Character Artist Sony Interactive Entertainment America LLC Dec 21, 2016 $95,000
Senior Lighting Artist Rockstar San Diego, Inc. Jun 22, 2014 $95,000
Senior Environment Artist Bungie, Inc. Oct 01, 2014 $95,000 -
$120,000
Senior Artist Electronic Arts, Inc. May 27, 2014 $94,240
Senior Audio Artist Electronic Arts-Tiburon, A Florida Corporation Jan 09, 2016 $94,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Artist

  1. Concept Art
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Environment Art
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Create concept arts to establish graphic style of the game.
  • Scanned pictures and retouched when necessary using Adobe PhotoShop.
  • Help define visual quality and art style of in-game environment art during pre-production.
  • Designed a user interface for Sony PSP Museum Interactive software Designed user interface for a proposal to Sony entertainment.
  • Established guidelines and reference documents for creating art assets using the company's proprietary software.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Artists

  1. Nevada
  2. Washington
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Montana
  5. Connecticut
  6. Idaho
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Rhode Island
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Alaska
  • (14 jobs)
  • (68 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)

Senior Artist Demographics

Gender

Male

67.4%

Female

27.4%

Unknown

5.2%
Ethnicity

White

58.8%

Hispanic or Latino

17.4%

Asian

9.9%

Black or African American

9.4%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.1%

French

11.1%

Irish

5.6%

Japanese

5.6%

Bengali

5.6%

Cantonese

5.6%

Russian

5.6%
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Senior Artist Education

Schools

Academy of Art University

18.1%

Savannah College of Art and Design

10.1%

Art Center College of Design

8.0%

Art Institute of California - Inland

6.5%

Art Institute of Seattle

5.8%

Rhode Island School of Design

5.1%

Art Institute of Philadelphia

4.3%

School of Visual Arts

4.3%

Gnomon School of Visual Effects

3.6%

Full Sail University

3.6%

San Jose State University

3.6%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

3.6%

University of Florida

2.9%

Ringling College of Art and Design

2.9%

American Academy of Art

2.9%

University of California - San Diego

2.9%

South University-The Art Institute of Dallas

2.9%

California Institute of the Arts

2.9%

Rochester Institute of Technology

2.9%

Fashion Institute of Technology

2.9%
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Majors

Graphic Design

33.4%

Fine Arts

17.0%

Animation

13.1%

Computer Science

6.1%

Computer Applications

5.0%

Photography

4.7%

Design And Visual Communication

3.9%

Visual And Performing Arts

2.5%

Marketing

1.7%

Architecture

1.7%

Digital Media

1.4%

Advertising

1.4%

Graphic Communications

1.1%

Cosmetology

1.1%

Journalism

1.1%

Curriculum And Instruction

1.1%

Business

1.1%

Theatre

0.8%

Elementary Education

0.8%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

58.0%

Associate

14.2%

Masters

12.6%

Certificate

6.4%

High School Diploma

4.9%

Diploma

2.1%

License

1.5%

Doctorate

0.3%
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