The endless possibilities visual arts offers

ARTISTIC FLAIR: A degree in visual arts helps students refine their creative skills and apply them in a variety of fields

Developments in cloud computing give visual artists the opportunity to work remotely.

If you are creative and imaginative, a degree in visual arts could be just what you are looking for to express yourself. In fact, visual arts graduates are high in demand across industries due to their skills and versatility. The word visual artist is a broad term that refers to individuals working as animators, digital compositors, game developers, fine art or multimedia artists and graphic designers, among others.

Many visual artists work independently or choose to work for an organisation. These professionals can focus on the following specialisations to enhance their career in the field of visual arts:

Animator and 3D designer: Technology is moving at a fast pace, and is creating avenues for animators and 3D designers in fields such as advertising, healthcare and virtual reality. While an animator creates multiple images that give an illusion of movement, 3D designers use specialised software to add movement to characters and objects. Developments in cloud computing are also making tasks easier and more accessible, and are enabling freelance artists to work remotely.

Digital compositors: Digital compositors are responsible for constructing the final image by combining layers of previously-created computer-generated imagery from various sources. They also ensure that the visual design of the project is respected and continuity is maintained. Although it is primarily a 2D role within the 3D world of computer-generated imagery (CGI) and visual effects, compositors need a thorough understanding of the computer-generated animation process combined with relevant artistic skills.

Game development: Digital game development is fast becoming a bright career option. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) believes that the Indian gaming industry will grow by 87% by 2020. This presents huge business and career opportunities. Additionally, with the increasing popularity of smartphones in the Indian market, the gaming industry is set for a steady rise as the youth are now looking at video games as not just a form of recreation but also as a way to test their skills and talent.

Skills to succeed

With the industry expected to grow immensely in the coming years, the number of jobs that one will be able to do will only increase. Also, the growth of digital media will only widen the opportunities. As this is an extremely creative career, one must keep in mind that success in the visual arts field will depend a lot on one’s skills, aptitude to network and ability to market his or her work.

In addition to understanding basic art principles, individual disciplines need their own set of skills. For example, multimedia artists, graphic designers and animators must be skilful in the use of design software. Key merits for art directors include excellent communication skills and the talent to work collaboratively with other professionals. Business, marketing and interpersonal skills are assets for professionals who are ambitious and are willing to walk an extra mile and be successful
in this highly competitive field of visual arts.

These skills can be picked up by doing the Bachelor of Visual Arts programme. The course includes creative and technical education as well as practical implementation with focus on a specific discipline like animation. Individual programmes may culminate in professional assortment that provides proof of a student’s marketable skills. Students can hone the skills they have acquired by taking up apprenticeships, internships and mentoring opportunities. During their time of study, students should take every opportunity to network and find ways to present their work in the public domain.

Salaries of visual artists vary widely. However, this is a creative career that pays rich dividends as one progresses over the years gaining experience in one’s chosen specialisation.

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