How Do Animators Earn A Living?
The Animation Industry consists of many parts but the big question is how does animation make money? The answer isn’t as exciting as most people think.
The truth is that most industry artists work for studios to produce cartoons and animation for mostly corporate interests like branding, advertising and marketing use in general. In the past, almost all profit made from this field was from ad placements and sponsors.
Conventional vs Modern
In the digital age, new use cases have evolved from the traditional art forms, usually for the same commercial reasons as before, but with added benefits and versatility thanks to software and hardware advancements.
Conventional networks that featured animated programming (ie. cartoons) work the same way any traditional network did at the time. Cartoons served as a way to draw in a target audience while production costs was covered by the network who profited from advertisement placements. The more popular a show was, the more advertisers would be willing to pay. This is how most networks still function to this day.
Animation today is used in video effects, games, apps, websites and film as opposed to before when it existed on physical mediums exclusively. The first animations were painted or drawn on a rotating apparatus that when turned produced the illusion of movement. That evolved into a more sophisticated wheel with light aimed through to project the visual onto a larger surface. Eventually the use of cellulose paper was introduced and so on. Film technology took cartoons to another level and then the digital age took hold.
Ways Animators Monetize Their Work
How do animators profit from their artwork today? Aside from getting hired to make shows for industry leaders, the answer is usually not far from its origin. Artists who are diligent enough to take matters into their own hands monetize with donations, merchandising, brand partnerships, games, licensing, affiliate programs, services, collectibles, streaming royalties and video purchases.
This field is notoriously passion-based due to the capped salaries and low chance of promotion. Those who enjoy making animation for the sake of creating won’t mind the drawbacks as long as they feel appreciated and rightfully so.
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