What Can I Do With A Major In Computer Art?

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1 What Can I Do With A Major In Computer Art? Compiled by the staff at the SUNY Oneonta Career Development Center Introduction The Computer Art courses cover a wide range of the digital realm, and they continually evolve to incorporate the latest technological innovations as they pertain to Art. The classes offered provide a thorough understanding of how the computer can be used as an art tool, and they cover such topics as Raster and Vector Imaging, 3D Modeling & Animation, Digital Photography, Digital Video, Web and Graphic Design. The career field for computer art is very broad so there are many different areas computer art majors are free to research. Artists that adapt to the rapid changes that occur every day in Computer Art will succeed above the others and develop a successful career. Although there are many careers that involve computers as a means to create a final project, this compilation focuses on the artistic spectrum of computers. Functional Skill Set for Computer Art Majors Proficiency for accuracy and detail Ability to concentrate intensely for long periods Ability to communicate ideas and emotions creatively Ability to re-create verbal or written ideas graphically Ability to recognize difference in shapes, shading and color Familiarity with computer-aided design (CAD) techniques Aptitude for spatial relationships Ability to meet deadlines Good finger/ eye and manual/visual dexterity Ability to make keen observations and appropriate decisions Comfort with working individually Must be able to develop ideas effectively through using computer as a art tool

2 Related Career Titles for Computer Art Majors Advertising Animator Antique Dealer Archivist Art Appraiser Art Director Art Historian Art Teacher Architect Animator Advertising Cartoonist Cinematographer Commercial Artist Computer Animator Computer Art Teacher/ Professor Computer Programmer Digital Photographer Freelance Designer/ Artist Graphic Designer Multimedia Developer Programmer Web Designer Video Game Artist Video Game Designer Some Organizations that Typically Employ Computer Art Majors: Advertising Agencies Architectural Firms Art Museums Copyright and Art Law Design Studios Magazines Newspapers Photography Studios Print Shops Schools Universities Video Game Studios Website Design Studios

3 Start a Strategic Plan There are many ways to start gaining experience in the artistic field. While in school, research the type of clubs and organizations that pertain to your interests. For instance, if you enjoy photography, see about joining a photography club or yearbook club. If you enjoy layout design, see about joining the newspaper club. Do not forget to make a portfolio of the work that you do or of a specific medium that you enjoy. Outside of the classroom there may be the possibility of part-time employment that will also give you more experience in the art field. There are jobs available from working at a print shop to making flower arrangements at the local florists. The possibilities are endless. Developing your computer art outside of the classroom is a must for aspiring artists. Creating web pages for other artists, such as musicians, is a large market and will add to your resume and portfolio. Revised 12/1/10

4 AREAS ART What can I do with this major? EMPLOYERS STRATEGIES ART MUSEUMS/GALLERIES Education Administration Curatorial Conservation Registrar Collections Management Sales Publications Development Public Relations Exhibit Design/Preparation Archivist Tour Guides/Docent FINE ARTS COMMERCIAL ART Graphic Art Computer Graphics Illustration Advertising Government or private museums Local historical societies Galleries Self-employed Shared studios Historic sites School/Community programs Newspapers Publishing houses Advertising agencies Design firms Large companies - product design divisions Department stores Television and motion picture industry Non-technical and technical books, magazines, and trade publications Internet media companies Self-employed (freelance) Intern or volunteer in an art museum. Develop strength in art history areas. Enhance computer skills. Earn a business minor. Acquire strong skills in research, fund-raising, speaking, and writing. Earn an advanced degree in an academic discipline or museum studies for greater career opportunities. Each specialty has varying qualifications and required training. Develop good interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well on teams. Prepare a strong portfolio. Participate in juried shows. Secure guild membership. Consider developing a source of supplemental income. Learn to network and make contacts. Develop strong skills in area of interest. Obtain experience through apprenticeships, internships, or volunteering. Prepare a strong portfolio. Gain computer and technical skills. Find an internship in a design firm. Work on campus publications in design or layout. Obtain summer or part-time experience with book, magazine, or newspaper publishers. Develop attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines. Supplement curriculum with course work in advertising or business.

5 (Art, Page 2) AREAS EMPLOYERS STRATEGIES EDUCATION Studio Art Fine Arts Art History Art schools Public and private schools (K-12) Colleges and universities Adult and community programs Libraries Museums Alternative schools Group homes Obtain certification for public school teaching. Graduate degree usually required for postsecondary teaching. Develop a specialty area. Work or volunteer as a tutor, camp counselor, Big Brother/Sister, or after-school program counselor. Become a member of art clubs. Obtain substitute teaching experience. Develop strength in art history areas. ART THERAPY MEDIA Sales Programming Design Video Production Editing Art Journalism Illustration Art Criticism Animation/Cartoons PHOTOGRAPHY Hospitals, nursing homes Mental health facilities Rehabilitation centers Nonprofit organizations Corporate media departments Federal, state, and local government Nonprofit agencies Public relations and advertising firms Independent production companies Art-related publications Publishing houses Newspapers and magazines Museums and historical societies Media organizations Photo agencies, studios, and auction houses Libraries Self-employment Large corporations Hospitals Requires specialized training and certification, usually a master's degree in art therapy. Supplement curriculum with psychology, social work, or counseling courses. Gain experience working with diverse populations. Compile an up-to-date portfolio. Gain knowledge of a variety of technical equipment. Develop strong computer skills. Participate in student theatrical productions. Serve as audio-visual aide for campus films and lectures. Act as photographer for campus events. Work on student publications. Gain experience through internships in media or related areas. Supplement curriculum with courses in business, journalism, or broadcasting/electronic media. Apprentice with a free-lance photographer. Prepare a black and white and a color portfolio. Obtain a staff photographer position with the yearbook, campus newspaper, or magazine. Act as an audio-visual assistant or projectionist.

6 (Art, Page 3) AREAS EMPLOYERS STRATEGIES FASHION, TEXTILE, INTERIOR DESIGN ART SALES Pattern companies Apparel manufacturers/textile mills Interior design departments Commercial/residential design firms Self-employment Galleries/Museums Auction houses Specialty stores Prepare a strong portfolio. Complete an internship in a production firm. Create and fit costumes for stage productions. Enter design ideas in magazine contests. Become a student member of professional organization(s). Reseach requirements for entering these fields. Some may require specialized training or additional degrees. Gain sales experience. Obtain a business minor. Develop computer skills. Establish contacts by attending shows. Volunteer in museums, membership drives, and community outreach programs. Serve as a student assistant in a university gallery. Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills. RETAIL Buying Store Management Display Design Fashion Coordination Custom Framing Retail stores, including department, grocery, drug, specialty, and variety chains Gain sales experience. Enhance curriculum with business courses. Obtain summer, part-time, or internship positions in retail. Secure leadership in campus organizations. Serve as treasurer or financial officer of an organization. Obtain a sales position with the yearbook or campus newspaper.

7 (Art, Page 4) GENERAL INFORMATION A bachelor s degree is valuable for entry-level positions, but an advanced degree is usually necessary to attain competitive, upper-level positions. An art degree can and should be tailored to areas of specialization. Save artwork for a strong portfolio - too much is better than too little. Be prepared to relocate to the larger markets of metropolitan areas where more opportunities exist. Join art related professional and student organizations. Volunteer with fundraising efforts for the arts. Gain valuable experience through volunteering, internships, part-time and summer jobs, and apprenticeships. Conduct informational interviews with professionals in areas of interest to learn more about opportunities and strategies for these areas. Learn to network. Be prepared to begin career in entry-level positions. Pair an art degree with other career interests to increase opportunities and provide supplemental income. Develop skills in business management, computers, marketing, and other related areas to increase marketability. A career in the arts takes dedication, patience, flexibility, talent, and some luck The University of Tennessee Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (1992, Revised 1999, Revised 2004) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer

8 AREAS GRAPHIC DESIGN What can I do with this major? EMPLOYERS STRATEGIES PRINT DESIGN Type Design Magazine Design Newspaper Design Book Publishing Publication Design Brochure/Newsletter Design Cover Design: Book CD Video Label Design Publicity Pieces Advertising Layout Photo Editing/Photoshop Art Illustration Identity Design Logo Design Branding THREE DIMENSIONAL DESIGN Signage Signage Systems Packaging Exhibition Design Environmental Design Promotional Display Design Publishers including: Magazine Periodical Book Directory Newspaper Design firms Advertising agencies Publishing houses Business form companies Publicity firms In-house creative departments Large retail stores Nonprofit organizations Government agencies Universities Self-employed (freelance) Design firms Product design divisions of large corporations In-house creative departments Advertising agencies Museums and attractions Government agencies Self-employed (freelance) Graphic designers have a hand in creating countless items, large and small, from posters to identity systems and much more. Research all the niche areas and then gain the tools and technological skills to succeed in that area. Assemble an impressive portfolio of work samples. Complete a related internship to gain relevant experience and to contribute to your portfolio. Work on campus publications in design or layout or find a part-time position with a local publication. Develop excellent communication skills and learn to work well on a team of professionals. Volunteer to create brochures, newsletters or other publications for campus organizations. Develop problem-solving skills, attention to detail and the ability to meet deadlines. Join professional associations as a student member. Become knowledgeable in production and printing processes. Develop broad software application skills in MAC and PC based programs but not at the cost of developing a solid background in design. Participate in local or campus design contests. Find an internship in a design studio that specializes in 3D design especially for signage, exhibition, promotional display and environmental design which are very specialized. Gain skills in model building and three-dimensional design. Develop a willingness to experiment. Join a related professional association such as the Package Designers Council. Develop excellent computer skills and strong written and oral communication skills. Participate in design contests.

9 (Graphic Design, Page 2) AREAS EMPLOYERS STRATEGIES ELECTRONIC MEDIA DESIGN / 4 D DESIGN Digital Multimedia Film Title Television Graphics Video Games Computer Graphics Motion Graphics Animation Website Design Interactive Media Film studios Motion picture production firms Television stations Computer systems design firms Video game designers Software firms Video production houses Internet media companies Online publishers Online retailers This is a highly specialized area of design that is not widely taught in all design programs. Research programs carefully to find ones that emphasize this area. Consider attending specialized programs in order to learn about television and motion graphics, animation and video game design. Develop excellent computer skills in a variety of platforms and design software. Gain relevant experience through part-time jobs and internships. Volunteer to design the website for a student or local community organization. Work for the campus television station. To work in television and film, consider relocating to areas of the country where the entertainment industry is more prevalent. Stay current with media and cultural trends. Participate in design contests. ADVERTISING Creative Services Art Direction Production Copywriting Corporate Identity Design Branding Logo Design Advertising agencies In-house creative departments Television Radio Newspapers Magazines Supplement curriculum with course work in advertising or business. Complete an internship in an advertising agency. Work on the campus newspaper in the advertising division. Learn to work well in team environments and to communicate your ideas effectively. Develop the ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure. Be prepared to move to larger cities for the most job opportunities. Learn to work with a variety of media. Create a strong portfolio of a work samples.

10 (Graphic Design, Page 3) GENERAL INFORMATION Carefully research design programs to find one that fits your career goals. Programs vary in terms of the areas taught so not all programs will prepare students for all areas of design. Approximately 3 in 10 graphic designers are self-employed. Freelance designers must develop strong abilities in networking, sales and persuasion. Graphic designers work in countless industries on a wide array of projects. Research the field thoroughly to learn about career options and the experiences and skills necessary to work in those areas. Some graphic designers choose to specialize their work while others complete a variety of projects. Be prepared to start entry-level and work you way up the career ladder. Take a first job based on the industry and type of design you desire to work with because work from your first job will comprise your professional portfolio. Some graphic design areas cross in multiple media such as educational design, identity design, information design and systems design. Graphic designers must be able to tolerate criticism and direction in their work, since much of their work involves creating a product for a customer. Graphic designers are typically artistically skilled, imaginative, and effective problem-solvers. Develop a solid background in communications theory. Learn to listen effectively to client needs and communicate ideas effectively. Subscribe to and read graphic design materials such as Print, Eye, Communication Arts, Step into Graphics, Griphis, Computer Graphics and Applications, and others relevant to your interests. Student design magazines such as, CMYK and Creative Convocation, solicit student work and have regular competitions. Try to get your work published. Join major design organizations and societies, e.g. The American Institute of Graphic Arts, The Society of Publication Designers, University and College Design Association, New York Directors Club, Society of Illustrators, or the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation. Become familiar with as many computer graphics and design software packages such as Quark, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Plan to stay up-to-date on new developments in the industry. Successful graphic designers are well-read and in-touch with changing consumer preferences and can react to new trends. Learn about your product and who will use it. A liberal arts education helps designers learn a little about a lot of things. Additionally, graphic designers should develop good research skills, work well on a team, and learn a foreign language if working in international design. Graphic design is moving towards a more user/viewer way of thinking that allows the user/viewer to contribute to the design. Many design schools are shifting towards a more activist attitude teaching ethical behavior, green-uses of design, and using the power of design to rally people behind causes that affect us all The University of Tennessee Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2007) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer

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