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Thread: work dilemma...

  1. #1
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    work dilemma...

    Hiya,

    ive got a bit of an issue and could really do with getting some advice from the good people. this may not be the correct forum to do it on - if so i apologise in advance

    a bit of background first:

    i currently work as a 2D artist for a video games company mainly working on Nintendo DS games tho we're starting to get into more last gen consoles and live arcade.
    the majority of the work we do is on big franchises - so basically all im doing is taking art assets from the publisher and re-formatting them for the NDS.
    now i know this is a good job and the pay is good but its utilising neither my skills nor my creativity and (like loads of other people here i guess) im really looking for work as a concept artist...

    im working on portfolio stuff all the time but feel i'd make more progress both in quantity and quality if i was drawing/painting full time - so basically im thinking ive got 2 options:

    stay in my current role whilst all the time working on my portfolio and applying for suitable jobs - nice and safe, but im concerned that ill never achieve my aims by playing it slow and steady

    quit my job and work full time on my portfolio, picking up illustration work here and there whilst applying for suitable jobs - scary to have no cash coming in and theres no guarantees that ill be able to find work eventually as a concept artist...tho it would definately be an exciting experience

    or is there any 3rd way that im blind to? im sure there must be a few people out there who've had a similar decision to make so id love to hear any relevant success/distress stories. this would be a big ol' decision for me so any advice / opinions / common sense would be gratefully received...


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  3. #2
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    I'd go with the 1st option. I'd rather have a steady job and time to work on my portfolio, hoping something bigger and better comes along, rather than leave and have no money coming in. I'm sure you have reserves somewhere, but how long will that last and how far do you really want it to go down? Stick with the job and work as much as possible on your portfolio...safer bet...

  4. #3
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    judging from sketchbook

    keep option 1.

    At least you aren't cleaning bathrooms or bagging groceries.

  5. #4
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    I'd go with option 1.

    Experience in the industry is very important for getting higher level positions like concept artist. The more experience you have, the more doors will open for you. A great portfolio can get you far, but nowhere near as far as a great portfolio and years of experience in the industry.


    Eric
    www.WhereIsMyEyeball.com My portfolio! Go check it out!
    Sketchbook

  6. #5
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    Just look at Seedling's sketchbook to see someone who works full time in video games and still manages to make headways in a completely different aspect of art. She just sets aside sometime each day to work on her new skills.

  7. #6
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    As Qitsune said, it is all about time management. You can carry around a small Moleskine during the day, sketch during lunch or whatever (not sure how the game industry schedules its days), and then when you get home, chill and sketch some more.
    Boston Splinter Cell 36
    Jushra | Purb36 | PartialArtist | Vorp | Kongni

  8. #7
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    Option 3: quit your job and join the circus!




    ... no seriously stay where you are and practice practice practice. slow and steady IS a good way to do things. many things. but i'd at least ask for more creative freedom or more money at your job. keep at it, best of luck - JAG
    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    Just look at Seedling's sketchbook . . .
    Aww, thanks Qitsune.

    Strybjorn – I admit I’m biased, because I’m in the games industry in a similar role, only I have no desire to become a concept artist. Is your company large and varied enough to offer job mobility within the company? Are there other companies in your area that offer concept art jobs? If your company is reasonably large, it might be worth your while to stay put and angle for a different position that’s more to your liking, while working on your skills after work. Or if there are other companies around, keep the current job, practice in your free time, keep your antenna tuned for news from the nearby companies, and fire off a resume every so often.

    Maybe? I wish I had a perfect answer for you. It all depends on what makes you happy.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  10. #9
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    Option 3 - Stay at your current job, and increase your efforts to find another job. Sure, this means less overall slack time, but IMHO will provide the best results in the long run. As Jushra said, time management is the key to making it happen.

    Besides, haven't you ever read Aesop's Fables? Slow and Steady FTW!!!

    or something...

  11. #10
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    cheers everyone - well that was pretty much unanimous! i think i definately needed the injection of common sense from you guys

    Stark, 0kelvin, JAG. Professor Az yup i think you've all pretty much hit the nail on the head there - i think its mainly down to impatience... ive been working a long time to get into the position i am now and it would be utter stupidity to throw it all away just as im getting closer

    Justin Oaksford cheers mate - i could do with a crit if you've got the time?

    Qitsune, Jushra, Seedling yeah, i think that could be part of the problem - its a very small company just finding its feet and its very much a company of coders with some artists thrown in at the last second...i think this is why i feel a little under-utilised, creatively. I have to admit, what your saying about finding work in a company with more potential for progression to a concept role has occurred to me and i have applied for such roles that are relatively local. i think you're right - keeping my options open whilst working my arse off and applying for interesting positions is definately the way forward.

    thanks everyone for giving me good advice! at least i dont have to worry about un-employment now! yay!

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by strybjorn View Post
    picking up illustration work here and there
    Unintentionally hilarious.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

  13. #12
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    t'was just a bad choice of word - i meant stuff like landscapes and pet portraits type stuff as theres quite a market here for stuff like that in middle england

    no controversial statement intended

  14. #13
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    judging my your sketchbook, you should be happy to have a steady concept art work. So stick with it, as working there will improve you 10x's than just winging it. Also, working on your personal work while you're at home and during the weekends helps a lot too.

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