The field of game art design is growing consistently in the US. International students are likely to find this field appealing because of increasing demand for video game designers and developers. Game art provides students with an exciting opportunity to work in a fun and creative field.
What is Game Art?
If you love art and video games, you'll likely love designing game art, also. The massive landscapes and intricate detail required to produce the compelling, immersive environments popular in modern video games are just a few of the aspects of game art inspiring students to join this rapidly growing field. Game art in the US is a booming industry. International students who are artistically gifted and adept with computers should consider attending a school at which they can study game art. Three-dimensional art is a fundamental component of game design, and creating it is a major motivating factor for students who would like to be part of the video game development process. Game design combines artistic and technical skills to create electronic and digital entertainment. Game artists are responsible for using computer animation tools to create all visual aspects of a game, including the artwork, environments, characters, and other aesthetic attributes. Collectively, these products of their work culminate in rich, virtual worlds, which ultimately compel video game enthusiasts around the world to spend billions annually. International students will find that game art provides numerous career opportunities in game design in the US.
Studying Game Art
Career opportunities for those who study game art in the US are most often available to those who focus on game art as a component of a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design, because game art is a specific subject of focus within the game design degree. So, international students who are interested in entry- and intermediate-level careers in the game design industry should consider a degree in game art in the US. Game Design programs require that students develop skills in game design theory, technology and programming, general art and storytelling. International students studying game art will find themselves studying art, animation, technology, artificial intelligence, visual design, and mathematics, heavily. The choice to study game art is one that will open doors to an innovative and rewarding field; however, it requires high levels of skill in every aspect of the field, including: mathematics, computer programming, art, and organization.
What Does it Take to Be a Game Artist?
Game art requires the use of a great deal of higher mathematics and specialized computer software. Because game development requires many people and resources, and there are many deadlines, schools teaching game art and design also focus on management skills. It is essential to these companies that game artists have experience, which can be gained by studying game art at a formal institution. International students who want to study game art in the US should research programs that provide a focused Game Art or Game Design degree. Most game artists have a bachelor's degree in game art, computer science, or game design. Master's degrees in game art are also available, but what is most essential is the student's experience and facility with computer art design. Career options will be more focused on experience than graduate degrees.
Game Art as a Career
There are numerous, though specifically oriented, career offerings for game artists. Careers in game art often are opportunities for artists to create new games, design characters and test the game. As a result, career options for international students include: level designers, design directors, quality assurance testers, 3-D modelers, and creative directors. Employers are very concerned with design and artistic experience, so salaries vary based on experience. International students should be careful to take into account all of the financial implications and potential rewards of studying game art. The International Game Developer's Association reports that gaming visual artists with one to two years of experience earn an average salary of $58,500 USD. While this may be appealing to many students, it is important to consider that studying game art in the US may be expensive, and finding work in the field requires that the student achieve a high level of skill.
Where to Study Game Art in the US
The US has some of the top schools for earning a degree in game art. The Princeton Review's 2020 list of Top Game Design Schools features Full Sail University, University of Southern California, University of Central Florida, New York University and University of Utah. Find the right school for you with our USA School Search tool!
For these reasons, international students who wish to study game art in the US should research both university programs and career opportunities. A degree in game art, obtained by a talented and hardworking designer, will help open doors to a rewarding career in the field. It is important to note, however, that a game art degree is a very specialized degree and thus does not provide the variety of job offerings a more generalized art degree might. For this reason, international students should consider a game art degree to be similar to any other specific and technical degree—one which prepares the student to work immediately in the field and has specific practical applications. The benefit of this specificity is the high likelihood that a game artist who has mastered the field, obtained the degree, and works hard will find good work. The potential drawback is that the degree does not open up many, if any, opportunities outside of game art.