Alternative industries for Concept Artists to get jobs in
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Thread: Alternative industries for Concept Artists to get jobs in

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    Alternative industries for Concept Artists to get jobs in

    I'm guessing that most of you are aiming for jobs in game, animation and film industries right?

    Well, I was just wondering if any of you know any alternative industries or jobs you can get as a back up plan if you fail getting hired as a concept artist in the industry that you want. Has anyone tried to get hired as a concept artist but failed and started doing some other type of art job?

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    Essentially I can only see 2 reasons why a kind, team-playing person would fail to get a concept art job; Either they aren't good enough yet, or they are tired of it and want to do something else. If the former, finding another art job might not bare you any more fruit than the concept world. But usually the best concept artists are good craftsmen all around, and can easily wiggle into storyboarding/animatics, matte painting, book cover illustration, etc- some even dip into the gallery scene. Then there's always teaching.

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    It may be a surprise to some but the military and military defense contractors at times has a need for concept artists, you have to really look to find the jobs or know people but its an option. I know of a university that had an animation program start and fade away because they couldn't produce what they're benifictors intended i.e. animatics for defense products.

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    Well, I just worry sometimes my skills might not be good enough yet but I want a job by the end of this year. I recently left the Art Institute because I was spending so much time doing 3D classes that I hadn't draw for about a year. I felt miserable and I left because I want to get back to doing what I love. I've been practicing my anatomy for the last two months but yeah... I'm just hoping for some type of full time job by the end of this year. I'm training as much as I can until then.

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    It's not like the game or movie industries have no artists besides the concept artists.

    Who do you think draw and paint the detailed layouts for animation backdrops? Not concept artists. 2D and 3D artists are required at most steps of production. Be it to do a GUI in a game or to paint a trompe l'oeil for a theatrical stage, artists are involved who don't feel cheated that they aren't concept artists.

    I know this site is called conceptart.org but there is more to art than to be a CA and a lot of people act like if you are not a concept artist you better roll over and die. Just look at Gilead's work for an exemple of neat non-concept work.

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    haha, actually I knew a layout artist for disney who crossed over into concept art. he was damn good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    It's not like the game or movie industries have no artists besides the concept artists.

    Who do you think draw and paint the detailed layouts for animation backdrops? Not concept artists. 2D and 3D artists are required at most steps of production. Be it to do a GUI in a game or to paint a trompe l'oeil for a theatrical stage, artists are involved who don't feel cheated that they aren't concept artists.

    I know this site is called conceptart.org but there is more to art than to be a CA and a lot of people act like if you are not a concept artist you better roll over and die. Just look at Gilead's work for an exemple of neat non-concept work.
    Can artists get hired to do layouts and GUI if the portfolio they show doesn't have any examples of that? What if the artist only has concept art because that was what they were aiming for but would be okay with any art job. Do you have to alter your portfolio or will companies hire you even if your portfolio shows only concept drawings?

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    Hey tn100,

    Although i have no experience in the profession of conceptart, etc... (and thus am totally unqualified for ANY giving advice whatsover) i'll impart some wisdom that i got from somebody else!! (one of the editors-in-chief at Darkhorse comics. cool lady, btw)


    I had asked her about breaking into the comic book industry and whether or not it would be best to:
    a) do a bunch of single sheets of life drawings, poses, paintings, etc and then show that around to get hired for a company

    or

    b)just make a comic book on my own and show that around.

    She immediately said "Do the latter. Do the work, show that you can do it and you'll get in the running".

    If you want a job in any industry, you have to show that you have what it takes to handle the aspects of that industry. Even though i might get hired by Dark Horse to be a penciler.... my chances of getting hired can be raised by demonstrating that i could do: layout, inking, dialogue, color, formatting, print management, digital hoo-ha, and basic marketing of my work. All of that simply because i tried to do it all myself.

    Although this is an at-times frustrating approach, i've seen first-hand that those who wear a lot of hats and can demonstrate flexibility are far more likely to get hired. This also helps by putting yourself in challenging and unfamiliar territory (which in turn, helps for learning). AND this way, because of your familiarity towards what it takes for a particular job, you don't make the mistake of doing something totally out of touch to the project pipeline.

    Woof.. and now i've written myself a novel. Sorry if it was too drawn out/pretentious but i hope it answers your question.

    ...

    oh! and one other thing... should you alter your portfolio? God yes. Your portfolio should be ever changing, updating, etc. Constantly present your newest work, but don't forget to keep your old stuff easily accessible. Your portfolio is your LIFE.

    okay!!! now i'm done! gak!

    ~milo

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    Thanks for the help Mr Moo. I really appreciate it. So the more you can do the merrier. I had a fear that maybe if you show too many types of work u do than the people hiring wouldn't understand what you truly like doing.

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    I've actually heard quite the opposite of what "Mr. Moo" stated in regards to building a portfolio. True, one may get hired to do something like layout

    (which is the process directly after storyboarding - when animatics are beginning to be fleshed out and camera movements are established and backgrounds are blended with the storyboards and added to the animation pipeline).

    But its best to demonstrate that you are good at one thing. Then if the time comes and they need you to do something else they may offer it to you. It's like what Musashi the old Japanese Samurai said "if you chase two rabbits you will never catch one." I've heard this From Disney and Sony Art Directors, Graphic Novels for Dummies, even the DC Comic Guide to Penciling said something of this nature.

    If you give them a portfolio with a lot of everything . . . they won't have any real idea what your interested in and will treat you accordingly. I've had colleagues, with loads of talent not get the job because of broad portfolios. What Mr. Moo said may be the case at some Graphic Novel houses but in most Hollywood Piplelines its the more specialized case.

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    Ahhhh so...

    yeah, mussel farm studios has a really good point, and i now feel quite foolish.

    schooled, perhaps?

    sooooo, ignore my advice and take mussels.

    btw. i love that Musashi quote, that's pretty excellent. thanks for the
    slap upside the head!

    ~milo

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    nah . . . it ain't like that bra . . . I've made these mistakes in the past and I'm trying my part to help those in the same old position is all it is.

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    haha! don't worry mussel...

    i didn't take any offense. your response was concise, well written and it struck me how obvious it was that if you bounce around too much in your portfolio, people get confused.

    however, i notice... even in some of the pros online portfolios they have different sections (character design, matte painting, environments, etc) is it okay for THEM to do that? and if so, does it mean i fair better if i just stick to ONE thing (as someone who wishes to break into the industry)?

    Thanks mussel. You're a saint just for postin'

    ~milo

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    Zaxser is offline Steph Laberis Fanboy Level 6 Gladiator: Provocator
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMoo View Post
    haha! don't worry mussel...

    i didn't take any offense. your response was concise, well written and it struck me how obvious it was that if you bounce around too much in your portfolio, people get confused.

    however, i notice... even in some of the pros online portfolios they have different sections (character design, matte painting, environments, etc) is it okay for THEM to do that? and if so, does it mean i fair better if i just stick to ONE thing (as someone who wishes to break into the industry)?

    Thanks mussel. You're a saint just for postin'

    ~milo
    Easy Hard Solution: Multiple Portfolios. If you really want a job somewhere, make entire portfolios just for that company.

    Do you Mentler?

    Booting up a new sketchbook.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaxser View Post
    Easy Hard Solution: Multiple Portfolios. If you really want a job somewhere, make entire portfolios just for that company.
    Pretty much what the Zaxser says here. You aim your portfolio towards the job and company thay you want to get into. I made the mistake of sending Bungi the same stuff I sent Disney . . . I know better now. Makes sense, it's like adapting the concept of Tsun-Tsu "know your enemy,". . . "figure out there weaknesses" . . . compared to your strengths in this case . . . same goes for companies.

    And concept artists with multiple portfolios won't show everything from their website in their physical portfolio. For the most part, they will only show what applys to the situation. . . . I never used one of these and I thought it would be cool!

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    In other threads on portfolios, not only was the customized portfolio mentioned, but a recurring piece of advice has been that your portfolio stands or falls on the weakest piece in there. If you see something that looks like chaff or filler to you, then that piece has got to go. Make a better one. Show your portfolio to some friends to see if they think anything is weak. You need the portfolio to have your best, and only your best.

    But in answer to your original question: yes. If you are good at industrial design you can get work making patent drawings. If you are good at graphic arts there is advertising. etc. etc. Art is all around us. I saw brilliant animated graphics yesterday showing stats of a baseball game I was watching. An artist made that. I guarantee the play by play announcer didn't doodle it up between innings. It was slick digital stuff.

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    to be a concept artist you have to be a good artist in general right? drawing + painting? i heard that parents will pay up to $15,000 to have their kids rooms painted, murals of winnie the pooh, etc. (which is a HUGE profit margin, considering paint will cost you at most a couple of hundred?) you can look into airbrushing cars, doing tattoos, etc.

    these are some of the things i wanna get into when i feel comfortable with my art... why pay my way through college doing some crappy job i hate when i can do things like this

    like arttorney said, art is all around us, those are the things that interest me, find stuff that interest you and do a lil bit of research

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    Quote Originally Posted by tn100 View Post
    I'm guessing that most of you are aiming for jobs in game, animation and film industries right?
    Not really, I'd be cool with anything where someone pays me to draw and paint all day.

    Whether that would be illustration, storyboards, flyers, comic strips, t shirt designs or cutesy cartoons for tampon boxes, I really don't mind much..

    If I'm getting paid to practice I'll have a pop at it.

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    Seriously. Gilead, who was cited by Qitsune, just did a paying gig painting the walls of a kids room. Art is all around us and you just have to find a niche. Mexican restaurants often have mural art on the walls.

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    well i intend to be a concept artist/graphic designer/illustrator/photographer
    there all pretty similar in one way or another and that way ill be bound to get some $$ if i can do everything

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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsane View Post
    well i intend to be a concept artist/graphic designer/illustrator/photographer
    there all pretty similar in one way or another and that way ill be bound to get some $$ if i can do everything
    Realistically, everyone who plans on working as a freelance artists has to wear all of those hats, unless they go corperate. I also admit that you are right in that they all do share common traits. I go back to Musashi on this one.

    Musashi was not only a master swordsman, who pretty much developed his own style, but was a flower arranger, a painter as well as into a few other artistic things, but he traced his ability back to the fact that he mastered the sword first. Meaning that even though you want to do everything . . . you must first master one thing and through that mastery of one thing you will be able to find those traits that make things possible on that "universal level." Plus you have to be able to seperate yourself from you competition with something that is in a way "signature." Alex Ross's drawing process begins with much photo research . . . check out his book Mythology if you already haven't.

    Hope it makes sense . . . later Bra!

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