Art and Tech

Examples of student projects from Seneca College Visual Effects program

Have you ever thought up weird creatures to star in a 3D animated movie but know you won’t land a Hollywood deal on your own? Do you like creating art but have no idea how to turn your doodles into a well-paid career?

If you think “art” and “well-paid career” don’t belong in the same sentence, just add tech to the mix and pick from a staggering array of career choices. Art and tech mash up to produce so many eye-popping creations today, we forget there are real people behind the scenes, constantly working on new ways to catch our attention with snazzy graphic web designs or immerse us in imaginary 3D worlds.

Today, multi-talented art and tech professionals deliver 3D animated movies, video games, multimedia websites, mobile app interfaces and yes – even advertisements. What would the NFL’s Super Bowl be without the special effects in those famous ads that millions watch after the game on YouTube?  

Cool Art and Tech

Digital tech turns the computer into a blank canvas with a mouse as paint brush using software as the palette. Tablets like the iPad can provide a personal touch for more individualized works using a stylus or even your finger to draw!

If you play video games for hours, how cool would it be to have a career where you spend hours creating games and getting paid for it! In the computer and video gaming industry alone, Canada ranks third in the world with 16,500 people employed at 329 companies. Average salary is $72,500, according to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada. Major global gaming companies have branches in Canada like Electronic Arts (EA) (Battlefield 3, SimCity) and Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed). Get hired for jobs such as technical art director, where you use your leadership and project management skills to help design artists and audio sound specialists get the game done right. Become a 3D programmer or video game designer and let the games begin!

If movies and animation is your thing, this is another area where the artistic talent of Canadians has a great reputation. For example, graduates of Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Animation degree have gone on to work for major studios like Pixar (Toy Story, Finding Nemo) and Dreamworks (Shrek, Monsters vs. Aliens). And, all of the films nominated for an Academy Award for Achievement in Visual Effects in 2012 featured the artistry of a graduate or professor of Seneca’s Visual Effects for Film and Television program. The program focuses on software tools that create fabulous visual effects for both film and TV.

Creative marketing benefits from the mash up of art and tech too, reaching out to consumers in more interactive ways on tablets and smartphones while also incorporating social media like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter as well as games.

So, find your inner Picasso and mash your creativity with tech!

Education, Skills and Careers

Strong art skills are required for the many varied art and tech career mashups. These careers also may require training in the latest software used in specialty areas like 3D animation, gaming, special effects and graphic design for mobile apps or websites. A wide range of degree and certificate programs are available for whichever art and design direction fits your passion and talent.

For example, Sheridan College’s Visual Arts and Design includes bachelor degrees in animation, game design and illustration. Seneca College’s Visual Effects for TV and Film is an eight-month certificate program that prepares you to use software tools to create visual effects and combine them with film footage. You will also finish a project that becomes your professional portfolio to impress potential employers.

Art and tech jobs are not only for people who understand information and communications technologies (ICT), digital tech and art, but also have a range of other critical skills such as:

  • Innovative thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Communications and writing
  • Marketing
  • Team work

So, mash up these skills with art and tech to launch an in-demand career! Below are a few examples of related CareerMash profiles. Each career profile includes suggestions for skills you might need and possible education programs to help you get started.

  • 2D and 3D animator - More and more projects in TV, film and gaming are going 3D. Jump on board this exciting and fast-growing area!
  • Game designer - New and exciting video games are always in demand. Use your art and computer skills to enter the exciting and lucrative world of video game design.
  • Game developer - All the neat things a player takes for granted in a video game like gravity-free flying through space, flashing a light around a cave or simply clicking to compete with a friend online, are built into games by developers, piece by piece.
  • Mobile Apps Developer - Mobile apps developers account for all the graphics, sound effects and technical details to make playing games just as exciting on smartphones and tablets.
  • Game technical director - The technical director of a video game is responsible for establishing a link between the artistic vision of the game and its technical implementation. Technical directors are also responsible for developing new techniques to overcome obstacles during the production of the game.
  • Graphic designer - Graphic designers create powerful visual images for such marketing initiatives as company websites, product brochures, apps or advertising.

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