The city of Richmond, Virginia supports well over 200,000 people and about 60,000 thriving commercial businesses, as well as numerous locally employed professional artists. Richmond has much to offer in terms of opportunities for local artists, particularly in the field of video animation.
Richmond Schools and Training Programs for Animation
Richmond, Virginia colleges and Universities offer various training programs and professional degrees in animated film art. Aspiring animators in Richmond regularly enroll at local design colleges like J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College or Virginia Commonwealth University.
Recently, many Richmond artists have been earning degrees via virtual training programs. Among the most prolific accredited online art schools are the Academy of Art University, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute, DeVry, Strayer University, ITT Tech and University of Phoenix. Many online design colleges also feature campuses and local resource facilities. University of Phoenix and ITT Tech have campuses in Richmond.
Working as an Animator in Richmond, Virginia
Rows of Richmond commercial companies recruit professional animation designers. These include software firms, web consultants, real estate agents, educational media providers, online news syndicates and TV stations, among many others. Some Richmond artists work for Virginia-based animation studios like MT Creative in Arlington, CCL Productions in Stephens City, Aloe Design Studios in Leesburg or the Virginia Animation Society in Lynchburg. Other local animators merge with Richmond motion picture studios. Successful Richmond film makers include Belle Choses Productions, Bootstraps Productions, Create Studios, McArthur Communications and Profane Productions. Some local animators are employed by animation-oriented IT corporations. Well-reviewed Richmond info tech firms include Brass Tacks Creative, CoLab Multimedia, Core Consulting, Koves Technologies and Kurb Media.
According to reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full time professional animators employed in Richmond, Virginia earn about $58,000 per year on average, with a mean hourly wage of around $29.00. The median annual income for all occupations in the entire state of Virginia is just over $61,000.
Skills of a Professional Animator
Most professional animation artists started off with illustrative talent, exceptional communication skills and a superb gift for storytelling. To these talents they added intense technical training in drawing, color theory, page layout, photography, lighting, prototyping and set design. Equally important is a firm grasp of professional animation software applications. Today's animators also need full proficiency with computer operating systems and fluency in HTML or other programming languages. In terms of personality, potential employers of professional animators prefer self-motivated individuals with project management potential.