Girls in Science & Technology: Multimedia Artist and Animator

At a glance
Multimedia artists and animators create programs and applications for the Internet and for CD-ROM, like Websites and games. They also create programs for information kiosks, such as those in shopping malls, and they design video games. Multimedia products combine graphics, sound, text, animation, still images and digital video into one package. A multimedia artist and animator usually specializes in one or two of the areas listed above.

Work
The duties of a multimedia artist and animator can vary widely. The artist may do everything from brainstorming ideas for a product to developing graphics to doing computer programming. Even if you specialize in one area -- graphics, for example -- be prepared to learn about other areas, like computer programming or audio. A good multimedia artist and animator knows something about all of the aspects of a multimedia application.

"When I hire someone, I look for a broad, well-rounded educational background, because you never know what area you're going to be dealing in," says David Schulman, a multimedia designer. A multimedia project can involve a lot of people. As a multimedia artist and animator, you'll almost always be working as part of a team, so you'd better like working with other people. "At its best, multimedia draws on a lot of different areas, so teamwork is important," says Schulman. "Your interpersonal skills have to be good."

While some multimedia specialists work for major companies on a permanent basis, most work on contract. They take on contracts, or projects, just like film directors take on movies. Many designers have their own companies and work with a team of other multimedia artists and animators.

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