The city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a resident population of only about 60,000, is home to about 20,000 commercial businesses and colonies of local artists pursuing animation careers. Current advances in digital graphics technology have strengthened the local economic demand for animation professionals.
Santa Fe Schools and Training Programs for Animation
Several Santa Fe, New Mexico colleges, Universities and art schools offer training and degrees in animation. Aspiring animators attending local art colleges typically major in photography or digital visual arts, though they also study computer science, mass media communications and many other relevant topics. Popular Santa Fe colleges featuring animation design programs include College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Community College and the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture.
Some Santa Fe animators opt for virtual education at any among many accredited online art schools. Widely known cyber animation schools include Stratford Career Institute, Post University, Full Sail University, University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes and ITT Tech. Some online animation schools also feature supplemental local resource centers. University of Phoenix has a campus in Santa Fe.
Working as an Animator in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico companies that hire animation artists include engineering firms, consultants, film labs, TV stations, art schools, software developers, advertisers and medical schools, among others. Some Santa Fe animators work for local animation studios like Ikaria Animation or Flamdoodle. Others scout local movie producers who do their own animation. Successful Santa Fe film makers include Cheeky Monkey Studios, Eclectic Connection, Mario Ruiz Video Productions, Mother Earth Productions and One Spirit Films. Also worth mentioning is the Taos County Film Commission in Taos. Some local animators are employed by graphics IT corporations. Suggested Santa Fe info tech firms include Ad-Studio, Desert Elements Design, Kinga-Dow Productions, Mesa Photo Arts and Symphonic Soul Web Design.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides no current information regarding the salaries of animation designers living in New Mexico who are employed full time by U.S. businesses. In any case, artists employed in Santa Fe earn higher incomes, on average, than artists comparably employed in other parts of New Mexico.
Skills of a Professional Animator
Interpersonal qualifications required of professional animators include superb storytelling ability, excellent communication skills and a wonderful sense of humor, not to mention supreme organizational habits and tank loads of self-motivation. Technical skills required for professional animation include advanced drawing skills and full proficiency with animation design software, as well as photography, lighting, prototyping, set design, web page construction, HTML and interactive media design, among other things. Project management potential is, of course, preferred.