First you have to decide what area of graphic design you are interested in pursuing; and there are many. Once you have an idea of your area of expertise, you can start looking for a school or college in your geographic area that provides the necessary courses.
Animators tell a story by creating sequences of motion-based art. Some animators are graphic artists who draw “cells,” which are individual pictures strung together to create the illusion of motion. The majority are computer or “technical” animators, whose jobs require less graphic design expertise but more familiarity with animation programs such as Macromedia’s Director and other, less commercial ones.
Producing animated sequences is like producing any complicated art-and-technology product, so many people who leave the profession go on to software development and design. Some continue on to work on mainstream movies, cartoons, commercials, illustration, or other areas that emphasizes their strongest animation skill.
Graphic Artists/Designers produce art and wording layouts for reproduction in print and electronic media such as magazines, newspapers, books and web sites and for corporate identity programs, exhibitions and advertising.
Some of the personal requirements necessary to be a good graphic designer are creativity, imagination, sense of color and form. You need to be able to communicate well and participate as a team player. Being able to work “under the gun” in pressure situations is a must.
As a graphic designer, you may be called upon to prepare detailed design layouts using techniques such as photography, illustration and computer generated models. You may have to design and set up exhibitions for advertising or educational purposes. Another area of graphic design is stage production design where your responsibilities may include developing and supervising.
Illustrators conceptualize, design and create illustrations to characterize a message or information through images. As an illustrator you prepare sketches or use other forms of art medium to create these illustrations. You may be required to render the illustrations using traditional pen and paper, multimedia software, imaging software and/or layout and design software.
Part of your job may include bidding on projects by estimating the cost of materials and time required to complete a project. You may be asked to meet with the client to determine the clients’ objectives and then create a plan to implement the project.
Illustrators often specialize in a particular field such as advertising, editorials, humor, illustrations for children, medical, scientific or technical illustrations.
Graphic Arts Technicians produce and assemble artwork, photographs, lettering and drawings in advertising, printing firms, publishing companies and sign manufacturers. Their job may be as an animation painter, copy stylist, paste-up artist, sign painter, stencil maker or lettering artist.
Although creativity is a must for a graphic art technician, they also need to be trained in the use of small graphic arts tools and delicate materials to do their job well. Physical dexterity is a must.
Computer Animators manipulate still images to create the illusion of movement. As a computer animator, you use the latest computer technology to do your job. You may be asked to develop and present ideas, images or objects with moving images that would be difficult to convey otherwise.
Some of the skills needed to be a computer animator include an understanding of photography, lighting and movement. You need to be able to look at objects in three dimensions and have the ability to make an inanimate object look real. Above average drawing skills and the ability to use a computer are also necessary skills.