Multimedia Artists

Multimedia artists create animation, special effects and other types of visual images using film, video, computers and other types of electronic tools and media. Their creations are used in movies, computer games, commercials and music videos. Some of the common job titles are illustrator, animator, artist, digital artist, 3D animator and graphic artist.

A multimedia artist utilizes computers to create a series of pictures that make animated images and special effects for various types of media. Multimedia artists often utilize computers to create three dimensional models and work with programmers to make the images move. Some multimedia artists create story boards for movies, animated features and television commercials.

Some of the speciality areas for electronic games are, character artist and animator: Creates characters and makes them move. Background artist or modeler: Develops the backgrounds or environments for games. Texture artist: Develops the surface detail of objects that are shown on the screen.


  • Script, plan and develop animated narrative sequences
  • Make characters or objects appear lifelike
  • Design graphics and animation by using computer equipment
  • Develop two dimensional and three dimensional images depicting moving objects
  • Create story boards that display the flow of animation and map out vital scenes and characters
  • Illustrate a process utilizing computer animation or modeling programs
  • Create drawings, designs and illustrations for direct mail, product labels, television and cartons
  • Create multimedia presentations, brochures, promotional products, web pages, computer artwork and technical illustrations for use in products, slide shows, technical manuals and other subjects

Job Characteristics

Multimedia artists typically work 40 hours a week, however during busy periods they often work overtime to meet deadlines. Multimedia artists and animators need good aptitude with geometry and need to be knowledgeable with animation and modeling software. A multimedia artist needs to be creative and detail oriented. Good visualization abilities is important for the occupation.

Employment Multimedia Artists

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment growth for multimedia artists to be 26% from 2006 to 2016. In 2006, there were 87,000 jobs. In 2008 the median annual earnings was $56,330.

Some of the top paying industries for multimedia artists and animators are information services, motion picture and video, specialized design services and aerospace product and parts manufacturing. Numerous multimedia artists are self-employed.

The demand for multimedia artists and animators will increase due to consumers demand for realistic video games, 3D animated movies and movie and television special effects. Additional demand for multimedia artists occurs from web site development and for the computer graphics adaptation for mobile technologies.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Many multimedia artists have earned a bachelor's degree in art or design. A college degree is not required, however the training provided in college programs is very beneficial. Many colleges and universities provide bachelor's and master's degrees in fine arts.

Art and design schools also provide a certificate in the specialty of multimedia arts and also associate and bachelor's degrees in fine arts. Programs offered at art and design schools usually emphasize studio work more than programs provided by universities. A large number of educational programs in art also include training in computer techniques.

A multimedia artist's portfolio is a major factor for employers such as art directors. Employers look for an indication of talent and skill in a candidate's portfolio. Creating a quality portfolio typically requires the skills developed via post secondary training in art or visual communications. Internships also provide artists an opportunity to develop and improve their portfolio.


Major Employers

The top job providing industries are motion picture and video, advertising and related services, computer systems design and related services, software publishers and specialized design services.

Schools for Multimedia Artists are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Multimedia Artists

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Multimedia Artists jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 6,290 $80,590
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 2,500 $89,540
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 1,620 $76,970
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 1,260 $54,650
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara 1,020 $83,980
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 760 $70,470
San Diego-Carlsbad 550 $77,400
Austin-Round Rock 500 $70,370
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford 380 $56,180
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 350 $58,490

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Multimedia Artists

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to multimedia artists

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Multimedia Artists

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 10,610 34% $54,330
Movie And Music 9,060 29% $65,550
Traditional Publishing 3,760 12% $55,940
Media And Broadcasting 1,590 5% $44,430
Performing Arts And Sports 1,130 3% $49,850
Education 1,050 3% $47,810
Other Information Services 1,030 3% $74,690
Office Services And Staffing 470 1% $55,920
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Multimedia Artists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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