Multimedia Artist/Animator  What They Do

Just the Facts

Multimedia Artists and Animators Career Video

Insider Info

dotMultimedia is the combination of sound, animation and graphics that we see in websites, games and mobile apps. A multimedia writer creates the text that is interwoven with those other elements.

A multimedia writer may create an easy-to-search encyclopedia with links to graphics and audio clips. They may produce interactive stories for video games. Or they may create interactive content for websites.

dotBe careful, however, if you search job sites for ads seeking multimedia writers. The word "multimedia" was once very common, but it has faded away as multimedia forms of entertainment have become the norm rather than the exception.

"We don't often see the term 'multimedia writer,'" says Paul Lima. He's a professional writer and writing instructor.

"If you were to look at ads and job postings and things like that, you don't see it a lot, but if you look at what you're being asked to write as a writer then you would know, 'I'm being asked to write an article... for a website or a publication' or, 'I'm being asked to write for TV or video,' whether it's going to show up on the web, podcasts, whatever.

"So even if a potential client doesn't use the term 'multimedia,' you as the writer need to be aware of what you're being asked to write," Lima adds. "And often these days it's a multimedia script or story."

dot"Digital writer, or content producer, is another [term] that is used for multimedia writers nowadays as well," says multimedia writer Michelle Ponto. She says the terms tend to be industry specific.

"Newspapers and magazines generally use 'editor,' so digital editor, digital writer, interactive editor -- that basically means you're editing content for the website that was in print for the web and writing web exclusive content that's not in their magazine. This could be articles, slideshows, their social media, and anything else that they have going on," says Ponto. "For TV, we use the word 'producer' instead of editor."

Just as in the traditional publishing world, writers specialize in different types of products. Some multimedia writers develop interactive game and adventure titles. Others who write and report for web-based publications may also call themselves multimedia writers.

"It's constantly changing," says Ponto. "Years ago, multimedia writing was more e-mail campaigns, it was website content, it was short online videos, things like that. Now it includes all those things, but it also includes SEO (search engine optimization) writing, writing for social media -- anything that is not on paper."

dotIt's a good idea to hone your skills by not limiting yourself to one type of multimedia project.

"[I]f you take on a broad range of media projects, the work experience will allow you to diversify later on," says Robin Grant. She's a professional writer and producer whose services include web content development.

Multimedia writers are always learning about the latest technology. It's the kind of learning that isn't restricted to the classroom.

"It's something that you kind of learn organically as a writer on what works, what doesn't work, and social media's always changing, and how people are finding things," says Ponto. "[S]omething new that people are starting to think about is, 'How is my stuff going to look on a phone or tablet versus how it's going to be found on a website?'"

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this career is about?Check out Just the Facts for simple lists of characteristics.

At a Glance

The next generation of storytelling

  • Writing experience is required
  • Familiarity with web design programs is important
  • The hours can be long and grueling