Category Archives: Journalism

How to Become an Art Director

Modern day advertising has become more complex and smarter. Today’s ads require both writers and artists to handle the responsibilities of a project. Art directors are those professionals who coordinate all these efforts, oversee the entire advertising project and ensure that the entire work is completed as per the provided guidelines and budget. These professionals are well versed with both managerial tasks and the artistic aspect the ad being created. Art directors are responsible for creating ads that do not only catch the consumer’s attention but also bring considerable profit. Below, we discuss about the job duties, educational qualification and training and the career prospects of this profession.

Job Responsibilities
The profession of an art director happens to be one of the most profitable careers in the field of graphic arts and design. However, the career also entails challenges. The key challenge is to complete the ad project keeping in the mind budget and other specific requirements of clients while at the same time making the ad as attention-grabbing as possible.

Art directors work with a wide variety of clients who belong to multiple industries and businesses. When they start work on a new project, they sit with the client to understand their business goals. After comprehending the specific requirements of clients, they come up with innovative ideas to make the advertising projects successful and generate profits for business owners. To create the ad and complete the project efficiently, they work closely with copywriters, illustrators and graphic designers. They coordinate and supervise the entire project to create ads and print materials with a unique concept. They are responsible for creating ads that fulfill the business goals of clients and generate profits.

These professional create attractive and eye catching ads both for print and online media. They make extensive use of computer to complete their projects. At first, they create a layout for the ad project. Once the client approves the design and look of the ad, the work begins. The art director then uses all the resources in the department to complete the advertising project within the given deadline.

Educational Qualification & Training
To become an art director, candidates need to possess an associate or a bachelor’s degree in graphics design or other relevant field of creative arts. At the initial stage of their career, most of the art directors start working as a graphics designer. Advertising agencies offer multiple entry level job positions in this field. With growing experience and creative arts skill set, candidates will be promoted to the upper level job position of art director.

Job Skills
To remain competitive in the field of art direction and become successful, candidates also need to possess some essential job skills. These skills include excellent communication (both oral and written), organizational skills, people skills, creativity, artistic skills, multi-tasking, an ability to see the larger picture and the capability to work odd hours.

Annual Salary

The average annual salary earned by art directors is $76,980. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, art directors earned a median annual wage of around $63,740 in the year 2004. Those who are employed in advertising or public relations earn a higher average salary of $80,170 annually. With increasing experience and getting promoted to senior level positions, creative arts directors can earn an annual income as high as $108,090.


Filed under Film & Television, Journalism

How to Become an Illustrator

Illustrations make written and visual publications complete. Whether it is a concept, an idea or a story, it requires illustration for a visual interpretation. The illustration used along with the written text serves the purpose of getting the message across in a meaningful and effective manner. Illustrations are in different forms including drawing, photograph, painting etc. Therefore, the task of an illustrator involves a lot of creativity, because they are responsible for getting the point across effectively. They are a type of artists that create an array of visual images to accompany text.

Job Responsibilities
Illustrations have the job responsibility of creating communicative images for books, magazines, journals, newspapers, periodicals etc. Not only do they create images or illustrations for academic products, but they also create images for commercial products including calendars, textiles, promotional posters, stationary and greeting cards among others. Images help in describing a concept which is not expressible through written text. There are many illustrators that create images for children story books to make the stories come to life.

For creating the images, illustrators make use of a wide range of materials. These include water color, pastel, chalk, oil painting, linoleum cuts, wood engraving, pen, pencil etc. However, these are not all. With the advancement in technology, illustrators also create images using computers. Images created in digital format have opened new horizons both for the illustrator as well as the publications. It has led to a wonderful variety of images.

Educational Qualification & Training
Though there are specific qualifications required to become an illustrator, it is advisable to complete fine arts and visual communication courses to gain a competitive edge over others. Today, there are multiple colleges, universities and professional schools that offer courses and degree programs in visual communication, fine arts and animation. All these degree programs train students in areas like drawing, sketching and composition. Since you need to show your artistic talents to employers, you need to prepare a portfolio of some of your most impressive work. There are numerous bachelor degree programs that also help students create portfolios.

Career Prospects
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for illustrator jobs is expected to grow at 16% between the years 2006 and 2016. More job opportunities are created for computer illustrators as the web industry starts using a variety of detailed images. Candidates may need to face competition while landing jobs. However, trained professionals with a few years of experience will have no dearth of employment opportunities.

Annual Salary
The annual salary of illustrators ranges between $30,396 and $44,083. As you grow in experience and skills, you can earn a salary of up to $51,004 annually.

So, if you have a excellent ability and talent in the field of drawing, you can consider becoming an illustrator. Creativity, a keen eye for detail, perseverance, team playing and abstract thinking are some other essential skills you will need to establish your career as an illustrator.


Filed under careers, Journalism

How to Become a Professional Cartoonist

The job of a professional cartoonist is not only one of the highest paid careers, but it also gives the cartoonist the opportunity to express themselves. Though the profession does not require special education, it definitely requires lots of creativity and some special courses. Professional cartoonists can land jobs with magazines, televisions, publishers, advertising agencies and websites among others. Besides being financially profitable, the career is extremely challenging. If you are innovative enough, strong power of imagination and passion to draw, the career of a professional cartoonist can just be the right option for you.

Becoming a cartoonist enables you to do what you love doing. The field also provides you with the excellent opportunity of reaching out to millions of people and showcasing your unique talent to them. And when you begin getting appreciation and recognition, it truly brings a lot of job satisfaction. Landing the perfect cartoonist job position will certainly take a lot of time and research. However, the struggle and effort you put in will be worth it.

How to Get Started and Train to Become a Cartoonist
To becoming a successful professional cartoonist, you need to enhance your drawing and sketching skills. If you are attending school, you can choose to take some special classes on the subject. Candidates can also select an arts school and take some special courses to develop and polish their skills of drawing cartoons and sketching. Also make an attempt to get your cartoons published in your school magazines and the local newspaper, to start with.

Creating an Impressive Portfolio
Get yourself a nice portfolio case to showcase your work. Review all the work that you have done. Select some of your best work and create an impressive portfolio to show to the editors while applying for professional cartoonist jobs. You can also show your work to a professional first, ask them for advice and then create your portfolio.

Finding Opportunity in the Local Newspaper
When you are just starting your career, you should try to get your cartoons in the local newspaper of your area. Look for community events occurring in the area. These occasions are a wonderful platform to put your creative work on display and let the public view it.

Submitting Your Work and Landing Cartoonist Jobs
When you are ready with an impressive cartoonist portfolio, it is time to submit your work to the employers you have targeted. Do some research on the employers that match up with what you are looking for. It may be possible that the employer you have targeted is currently not in a hiring mode. Don’t worry. Just get in touch with the employer and request them to have a look at your work. They may keep your cartoonist portfolio for future references.


Filed under careers, Film & Television, Journalism

How to Become a Sports Writer

The field of journalism offers multiple career opportunities for aspiring candidates. If you have keen interest in sports, talking to players and teams and covering sports events, you can choose to become a sports writer. Sports writing is an important form of journalism. Trained sports journalists are quite well versed with attending events and composing articles and stories on sports. Even when you want to enter this field of journalism, you can choose to either specialize in a particular sports activity or can choose to cover a variety of such events.

What Sports Writing is all About
Taking up a career in sports writing means you need to report informative and exciting and engaging sports articles and stories, which needs to be done on a regular basis. In addition to keeping abreast with the team and player news, writers also need to be in close touch with the fans of a particular game they are covering. The basic job role is to update the sports fans on what’s happening in the sports world including news on players, teams, coaches etc. Besides, the writer also has an important role to play in giving the fans a deep insight into the performances of teams and their players. Not only that, writers can also suggest ways in which teams can improve their performances to play at their best.

Becoming a sports writer also requires professionals to keep updated with the history of sports as well as the latest happenings. Therefore, writers need to do a lot of research and reading as many books as possible to increase their understanding of sports and games. Analyses of teams and their players is an important part of an accomplished sports writer.

Education & Training Required
A high school diploma is the minimum requirement. However, if you really want to be successful in your writing career, you should possess a college degree in sports journalism, journalism, English or a relevant degree. To acquire some real world experience, candidates can also start writing for their school sports magazines and local newspapers. Internships also prove to be much helpful in obtaining jobs with big publications. A keen interest in watching and understanding sports is always key to becoming a successful sports writer.

Candidates also need to build a portfolio that they present to employers while applying for jobs in larger publications. Apart from that, candidates need to be quite well updated with all the latest happenings and advancements in the sports world. A strong writing skill is a prerequisite if you wish to make the most of your career. Therefore, participating in writing workshops and going for advanced writing courses always has a major role to play in shaping your career. Creativity, self-motivation and objectivity are ingredients that will make your journalists career successful.

Career Prospects
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for sports journalists job is expected to grow as fast as the average of all occupations, with an increasing rate of 10% between the years 2006 and 2016. As people continue to take more interest in sports and technological advancements in the sports world continues, there will be more job opportunities for sports writers or sports journalists. Jobs for sports writers are available both full time and part time. Many writers work on a freelance or contractual basis with employers.

Salary Offered
A sports writer’s salary may vary depending on their work experience and the work location. On an average, professionals earn an annual salary of around $49,000. As you grow in experience and keep enhancing your writing skills and style, you can earn a higher salary.


Filed under careers, Journalism

How to Become a Photojournalist

Photojournalism career, educational requirement, career outlook and photojournalist’s annual salary..

Photojournalism is a part and parcel of journalism and deals with the capturing of photographs that help in telling a news story. Also referred to as news photographers, photojournalists are responsible for taking a variety of photographs depicting various aspects of the community and events. Photojournalists are trained professionals who know how to capture commercial and saleable photographs for newspapers, magazines, journals, magazines and television production companies. These photographs may relate to places, communities and people.

Photographs are captured in a way that they can effectively illustrate a recent event or a news story. In terms of time and representation, these photographs should be accurate. At the same, they should also relate to reader of the viewer of the news story or the event.

Educational Requirement
To become a photojournalist, candidates should posses a college degree in photography or a relevant field. Trained photojournalists are quite well versed with photography equipment including digital cameras, scanners, special software etc. In addition, professionals also need to have a good knowledge about internet technologies. To keep abreast with the advanced technologies, it is also essentials for photojournalists to be an active participant at conferences and seminars related to photography. To land jobs, photojournalists should have an attractive portfolio, a collection expertly taken photographs that display the creative and intelligent skills of the photojournalist.

Career Prospects in Photojournalism
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for photojournalism jobs is expected to grow at a rate of 10% from 2006 through to the year 2016. Candidates may need to face stiff competition landing jobs as more and more people are attracted towards this field. Those with appropriate degree and formal training and some additional experience will have an enhanced chance of getting jobs in the field of photojournalism. More jobs will continue to be added and growth continues in newspapers, journals, magazines etc.

Salary of a Photojournalist
Salaries of photojournalists depending on the years of experience they carry. Those who carry an experience of 1 to 4 years earn an hourly wage between the range of $10.32 and $14.42. Professionals with a working experience of 5 to 9 years earn between the range of $11.79 and $16.45 per hour.

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Filed under careers, Journalism