Career Paths

Careers in Digital Art

The field of digital arts has rapidly become one of the most popular and exciting professional choices for people seeking artistic careers, as technology has fueled boundless opportunities for creative innovation.
Using a computer and modern software programs, the digital artist may work on a wide array of projects such as video animation, developing a website user interface, creating artwork for the visual elements of a video game, illustrating a medical manual, creating two-dimensional images for fashion design, and more. Depending on the project, a digital artist may create a variety of digital assets, such as 3D characters and environments, storyboards, textures in artwork design, animations, and 3D effects. Digital artists also work with editors to produce visual effects for film and television.

Career Profiles

Digital Art Careers List

Digital Arts are defined as any art made on or using computers or other electronic devices. This includes animation, 3D modeling and rendering, graphic design for print or web-based media, video editing, and more. The field of digital arts can be described as multidisciplinary because it contains artists who use multiple technologies to create their art. This art is seen in movies, videos, games, websites, and magazines.

3D Modeler

A 3D modeler is a person who creates digital models of objects using 3D modeling software. 3D modeling is a creative field that allows you to gain skills in art, engineering, industrial design, architecture, animation, and otherfields - just about any field where you would need to communicate information visually.

Book Illustrator

Book Illustrator

A book illustrator is a professional artist who creates illustrations specifically for books. Book illustration is a creative profession—readers can expect the illustrator to bring their own ideas, personality, and creativity to every project that they work on to make sure every illustration fit within the original text of the book.

Comic Book Artist

Comic Book Artist

Comic book artists are the people who illustrate and design comic books. This includes drawing the comic book's panels and the story, colorizing the artwork, and creating logos. A comic book artist works with the artist and editor of a comic book to create the artistic work for the comic book that will be published.

Game Level Designer

A game-level designer is a person that designs levels for games. They typically work with software, creating level design documents and drawing out 3D models of the game world to help convey large-scale ideas for the team. They may also create level goals, obstacle paths, or anything else thatis needed for a project.

Layout Artist

A layout artist is someone who defines the way that content is displayed on apage. A layout artist may be responsible for the arrangement of such things as text, images, and columns. When used in an advertising or marketing context, a layout artist might consider how colors or typefaces will affect the reader's experience.

Medical Illustrator

A medical illustrator is an artist who specializes in drawing anatomical structures, and visualizing medical problems, diseases, and injuries. Medical illustrators create illustrations of the human body to show physicians and other healthcare providers surgical procedures and/or treatments for patients with a particular condition.

Multimedia Designer

A multimedia designer is an artist who uses a variety of different mediums tocreate images and artwork. Multimedia designers are specifically responsiblefor combining all of these mediums and using them to create a comprehensive digital project in formats such as Web, graphic design, animation, video production, and more.

Storyboard Artist

A storyboard artist is a professional who draws storyboards for films, television, or commercials. Storyboards are a sequence of images featuring the actions that will occur in a film. The artist drafts most of the movie’s shots so filmmakers know how to direct actors, set camera angles, and arrange lighting.

Video Game Designer

A video game designer is responsible for conceptualizing the game idea and designing the game environment and characters. Game designers come from a wide variety of backgrounds such as computer science, software engineering, mathematics, and other disciplines that can inform their understanding of different parts of games.

Visual Effects Artist

A visual effects artist is responsible for the creation of computer-animated and digital effects. They may develop a storyboard, then supervise production, as well as create the final shot using specialized software and hardware. Visual effects artists are also known as CGI artists or digital artists in the wider industry.

Web Developer

The role of a web developer in the industry is to design and code websites. This might involve coming up with a design strategy, working on the back-end as well as the front-end of a website, and troubleshooting site functionality. Web developers need to be technically sound in HTML 5, CSS 3,and JavaScript.

3D Animator

3D Animator

A 3D animator uses computer software to create the characters and scenes in animated movies. They also design and produce the drawings needed to animate a film. 3D animators work with 3D modeling, 3D animation software,projection, texture mapping, and many other aspects of the digital arts.

Book Cover Artist

Book Cover Artist

A book cover artist is an illustrator who specializes in creating artwork for book covers. This person might also work with game and film covers, but a book cover artist typically works in the publishing industry. The main objective of a book cover artist is to come up with artwork that will appeal to readers - and sell books.

Cartoon Artist

Cartoon Artist

A cartoon artist is a person who designs and draws cartoons. Cartoon artists may work independently or collaboratively as part of a team, but most are employed by businesses or organizations such as comic strip syndicates, animation studios, publishing houses, or news agencies.

Computer Animator

A computer animator creates animation with computer software. They are commonly employed by video game companies and work on animated films. They have a broad range of responsibilities from conceptualizing to scriptwriting, and collaboration with artistic, production and post-production teams.

Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers use graphics, illustrations, and typography to communicate ideas or other information. This includes creating layouts and designs that communicate ideas effectively to their audience. Graphic designers use many different techniques to achieve this including typography, color theory, and more.

Logo Designer

Logo designers are visual communicators who create a brand's visual identity, or the materials used to communicate that brand. An effective logo is the foundation of a strong and coherent visual identity system. Logo designers need to be skilled in logo design principles, typography, color theory, and image editing.

Motion Graphics Artist

A motion graphics artist creates moving graphics and animation sequences for videos, films, and other digital media. The work can involve design, animation, video editing, computer-generated imagery (CGI), and more. Some designers may also specialize in interactive design, stop motion film making, and interface design.

Print Designer

A print designer is a professional who specializes in designing and producing print media. They are responsible for strategy, art direction, rebranding, and production of print publications. In addition to their concepts, they also may be tasked with creating preliminary design drafts or assisting with layout designs.

UI UX Designer

User Interaction Designers, or UI Designers, are typically responsible for the design and structure of the user interface in digital products. A UX designer'sfocus is more on how users feel when they use a product, taking into consideration many design principles. UI designers focus more on the structure of the interface.

Video Game Director

A video game director oversees the development of a video game from its inception to completion. They are responsible for both creative and financial aspects of production. Unlike a producer, who works in a more traditional management role, directors are responsible for managing both people and processes.

Web Designer

Web designers are responsible for the aesthetic and interactive design of websites. Their work might include web interface design, interface construction, website layout, animation styles, and effects. Web designers may also create a variety of content for digital marketing purposes as well associal media campaigns.

Degrees & Majors

Best Degrees for Digital Art Careers

A digital arts degree is a type of art degree (typically from an art school) that prepares students for careers in the computer animation, film, gaming, and graphic design industries. Expectations can vary from program to program; however, all programs take a strong technical approach with many courses focusing on programming fundamentals and/or software applications. All programs provide students with a theoretical background in graphics and animation production methods.

Salary & Job Outlook

Digital Artist Salary

The average digital artist working in an entry-level position in the United States is estimated to earn a salary of $57,758. Individuals in the 75th percentile earned $67,109 and workers in the 90th percentile earned over $75,623 per year. The earnings potential for a digital artist increases significantly with experience and is highly correlated to the level of skill in this position. An individual’s area of specialization, such as 3D modeling and animation, is also a good predictor of annual earnings. Below is a salary and jobs overview of professions that employ the highest concentration of digital artists. 

Art Directors$114,490$55.0411%
Graphic Designers$58,370$28.063%
Multimedia Artists and Animators$78,230$37.616%
Special Effects Artists and Animators$88,080$42.3516%
Web Developers and Digital Designers$85,490$41.1013%
* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Art and Design Occupations, May 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Digital Art Careers FAQ

A career as a digital artist can be a rewarding and lucrative opportunity for those who are looking to follow their passion and enjoy the creative process. To be successful as a digital artist, you will need a versatile skill set that includes the ability to think strategically about projects, along with the ability to work with a variety of different tools and software programs.

If you have a passion for art, you may want to start a career in digital art. Digital arts and design encompass the growing field of interactive media and include everything from 3D modelers and animators to data engineers and game designers. As with any career, there are many factors you need to consider before getting started. The first step is to gain an understanding of what skills you should possess and which ones will help you succeed so you can start making advances towards your goal.

A digital arts degree can take you anywhere, from an entry-level position to high-paying careers in creative industries. What sets apart the degree from other kinds of degrees is that it is specifically designed for the digital age. This means, for example, that students are encouraged to know how to program in frameworks like Ruby on Rails or Javascript. It also means that the digital arts degree is intended to help students develop their skills so they can work with various types of media, including photography, design, and video production.