How to Become a Background Artist


Background Artist Job Description

A background artist is someone who is involved in the process of animation who establishes the colour, style and mood of scene, as described by the writer, artistic director, or client. The work of background artists can be seen in motion pictures, television, video games and other forms of media.



Typical Job Duties

• May use traditional methods such as painting or drawing to create backgrounds

• May use digital media such as Adobe Photoshop to produce desired backgrounds

• Liaising with the artistic director, director, editor or writers in order to establish idea of what the desired background is going to be

• May involve painting primarily background keys or the establishing shot

• Seeking final approval of background images

• Working within tight deadlines and budgetary controls



Getting Started in a Career as a Background Artist

To become a background artist, you will need artistic/design skill and a little bit of initiative. You may consider beginning with paid work in theatre, by contacting local theatres and inquire about getting paid to design sets. This sort of work will help you network with others in your industry, as well as help build you r resume.


Networking in your industry is a great idea. Develop an online strategy and devise tactics to execute it. You may consider joining professional networking sites such as LinkedIn in order to get your name out there and develop contacts. People who you know in the business can help connect you to others in the business.


Eventually, or immediately if you so choose, you will need to locate and contact local theatre, television and film casting agents in your area to get jobs more relevant to your career goals, as the position of background artist is one that is rarely hired directly by the casting director.


Once have you worked a few background design jobs and developed a name for yourself within the industry, you will begin to receive more consistent work and more job offers.



Scholarships for Becoming a Background Artist

The Applicable Majors section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a background artist. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on our Fine Arts Scholarships and Film Studies Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for becoming a background artist. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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