New Opportunities for Digital Artists
Posted on 2019 May,29  | By Peter Bailey

The field of digital arts is always expanding, and today that tends to mean there are a lot of new opportunities for those creating the actual art. That doesn't necessarily mean it's easy for artists to find commercial work, but for those looking, the following areas have started to present some interesting possibilities.

1.) Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience in which real-world environments are enhanced by computer-generated elements, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities (including visual, auditory, haptic, and more). But mostly, it's associated with the visuals - the virtual elements imprinted on a user's field of vision.

Current investment in AR largely hinges on the promise of enriching our experiences with the physical world. “AR creates the opportunity for shared experiences that bring together the best of the physical and virtual worlds,” says Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer at Envisioners.

Modern examples of AR products include Ikea Place, Pokémon Go, Snap Lens Studio, and several other apps. They run on Apple's ARKit and Google's ARCore, and what that means for our purposes is that two of the biggest companies in the world are interested in AR product development - which includes a great deal of digital design. There are virtually innumerable opportunities to come in this category, from more games, to educational experiences, to practical uses. And all of them are going to need digital artists to help render convincing graphical elements.

2.) Casino Games

These days, casino games are almost always themed, with entertaining characters and graphics used to attract new players and inspire ongoing engagement. Particularly with younger generations less interested in the same old slot machines (with cherries and gold bars and the like), there's an awful lot of incentive for digital casino game providers to find ways to provide greater appeal within the same gaming format. They're doing so largely through improving graphics, and occasionally even a degree of plot. New Zealand's expansive selection of free pokies - one of the larger such collections on the internet - illustrates this development beautifully, showcasing a variety of slots with all sorts of fun characters and visuals. From Age Of The Gods' use of classic mythological deities to the gorgeous settings and creatures of the game 4 Seasons, there's a lot to love about the look of these modern slots.

Clearly this represents another opportunity for modern digital artists, even though it's one that flies under the radar. All told there are several hundred if not thousands of modern casino games incorporating graphics more like those of traditional casino games. Every company involved needs someone working on the art!

3.) Film/Character Animation

Film and character animation is what digital artists practice at studios like Pixar, Disney, and Nickelodeon. This type of animation brings settings and characters to life on screen in two- or three-dimensional form, and as many well know, it has helped produce some of the greatest magic ever witnessed in film or on television. And despite the fact that modern special effects are allowing us to do more and more with live-action cinema, animated features aren't slowing down any time soon. Just look at the coming summer, during which we'll see a remake of The Lion King and the release of Toy Story 4!

Naturally this is a highly competitive area. Only the most skilled and experienced artists break through and get to work on projects like these for major studios. It's still a very active business, however, and this means as competitive as it is, there remains a great deal of opportunity involved.

4.) Medical Animation

Medical animators are digital artists that create imagery to advance medical science knowledge and increase health literacy. When new discoveries and treatments are introduced into the medical field, it is the job of the medical animator to visually communicate that new information to everyone. This may sound like a sort of niche opportunity, but as stated in another piece on job opportunities for digital artists, such professionals actually play a huge role in the medical industry.

Granted, this may not sound like the sexiest option - particularly when it's held up against opportunities like designing art for video games or augmented reality. However, it's an area that only figures to grow in size. As the world of medicine as a whole continues to progress rapidly, and more and more of it happens in technological arenas, there should only be greater need for medical animators, which means regular work for some talented digital artists.