Media art covers a wide range of visual artwork that can be done in many mediums, such as TV, computer and movies. It combines the elements of audio, video, animation, still images and text to be delivered in an interactive format. Like web design or multimedia industries, media art focuses on digital forms of images and audio, web site design and visual design. In media arts programs, you’ll learn how to use the technology that enhances the commercial arts without veering away from your creativity. Your original ideas are brought about through technical developments that will make your work stand out from the others. This form of art can be for commercial use by businesses, advertising agencies, educational institutions and government agencies.
The career opportunities in media arts vary depending on the work you would like to do. Multimedia artists practice media art in their everyday work, as they work primarily in motion picture and video industries, advertising and computer systems design services. They often draw images by hand and use computers to create pictures that form animated images or special effects seen in movies, television programs and computer games. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaried multimedia artists made about $51,350 in annual median earnings in 2006. Graduates could also work in advertising, newspapers, periodicals, software publishing and book publishing as graphic artists who work on layouts, designs and illustrations. Others may prefer working on computer systems design or motion picture and video industries. The career avenues and opportunities are endless for media arts professionals. Here are some entry-level jobs for media arts majors: Computer generated lighting, compositing and rendering, storyboard artists, texture artists, computer modelers, computer generated special effects artists, broadcast graphics artists, background painters, forensic artists, video post-production artists and more.
Because media art is a culmination of different art forms, many of the courses overlap for other programs such as web design, animation or visual communication. For an online media arts program, you can expect to take classes like media arts and animation, which begins with a foundation in drawing, color, character design and computer applications. Students will study advanced 2-D and 3-D animation principles as well as story development, background design, layout and special effects while under the guidance of an industry-experienced instructor. Throughout your program, you will learn and frequently use specific software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects and Discreet’s 3D Studio Max. Knowledge of software, computers and technology is necessary in this field because the majority of your work will be done in many different formats. Students may also learn about multimedia authoring and web design tools and issues.