How to Break Into the Industry
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How to Break Into the Industry
23 May, 2018
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Getting your foot in the door is not the easiest task for aspiring game artists, is it? You need to know a couple of things to be ready for possible challenges and to attract potential employers. Let’s check out a recent post by Michael Pavlovich to learn some best practices. 

Here is a small piece of the article to get your interested:

Website

If you haven’t made an Artstation page, I’d go ahead and do that. And I’m not just saying that because this is on an Artstation blog, or because ArtStation is paying me to say this (they’re not). I’ve just yet to click on somebody’s difficult to navigate, slow to load, woefully out of date personal website and thought “wow, I’m so glad they had a personal website to show off their work instead of just having an ArtStation page!”

I’m not saying there isn’t an amazing personal portfolio website out there that someone has made, I’ve just yet to click on it (ever), and any of those examples, if they do exist, will prove to be the exception, not the rule. I personally don’t hold the belief that a good artist is extra special because they gave HTML a shot, and somehow proves they go the extra mile. If their website is a poor experience, all it proves to me is they make poor time management decisions, and instead of making a difficult to navigate, slow website, they could have been polishing their portfolio or honed job-specific skills to make them a more marketable artist for our department’s needs. I don’t know of any art positions that require you to make killer 3D models but also do some web UX and coding too. If you need to post something on a confluence page as an artist, it’ll take you a few minutes to brush up on how to edit a page, and someone at work will help you out.

The “Generalist” 

When students graduate and they’ve dabbled in the entire production process, uncertain of where they want to hang their hat, they have a tendency to label themselves as “generalists”, in that they can generally complete tasks at any point of the production pipeline. They can break down a story, develop a character, storyboard a sequence, compose a shot, model, texture, rig, animate, light, render, composite, post, you name it! And I do think having that breadth of knowledge is important, as these skills will not only allow you to problem solve from different angles in production but also allow you more insight to the needs of downstream departments, as well as the ability to talk intelligently in a production setting with other disciplines. 

However, very few (zero?) companies are hiring generalists out of school to work on all areas of a pipeline. Unless you’re a tremendously gifted student, you’re not a marketable professional generalist, you’ll be student-level at generally everything. That is to say, you’re a generalist in the sense that you’re generally pretty new to everything. Don’t be afraid to show off a little that you’re proficient in multiple areas of a production, and use that information in your interviews to explain how you’re well rounded and use that knowledge to make you better at what you’re applying for, but you’ll need at least one area or skill where you’re better than your competition to get your foot in the door. Being able to storyboard is nice, but if they’re hiring a prop modeler position, they’re going to hire the portfolio with the better props, not the portfolio with the mediocre props scattered between mediocre figure drawing studies and mediocre storyboard panels. Long story short, if they’re hiring you out of school, it’s probably to put you in a specific department with a very narrow need. And you’re probably not as good at that long list of stuff as you think. Yes, you were able to develop a story a few times at school, but right now we need models of fire hydrants, and we have people from Harvard writing our stories. 

Michael Pavlovich 

You can find the full article here.

Source: ArtStation

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