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For a long time now I've been wondering just how many people here are professional artists (in any capacity) and how many are amatuer or art fans. Most of the art looks pretty professional and I'd be surprised to learn otherwise. At the same time I wonder how much work is out there as I (along with everyone else no doubt) aspire to a future in the industry.
Any comments, opinions or information on the industry welcome
I think you'll find that there is quite a broad range of members here at conceptart. As for myself i'm only an amateur. As for work, the video games industry is a multi billion dollar industry and growing yearly, so keep your hopes up and work hard! Start a sketchbook and start getting crits to improve your skills
Look at the galleries at the top of the forum, that should give you a starting point. I think there is a range of skill levels here from basic beginner to seasoned professionals. Most of the people who sound like they know they are talking about, probably do.
The majority of work posted in Finally Finished is by pros, because it's the one area of the site that's heavily moderated for quality.
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I guess I count as semi-pro? I've done a couple jobs but not enough to pay the bills.
There are people who are pros in the sense that they are making their money from art and yet they themselves do not actually make the work they are selling. Would you categorize them as pros or as art fans? It's a very complex community here.
Similarly, there are people posting pro level work but not making any money for one reason or another, e.g. they are still in school. Are they amateurs?
I do freelance for a living, dont consider myself a pro. Pros are like superheroes to me, like old masters and most of the top concept dudes. annnnnndd yes there are lots of jobs out there if you have the right skills.
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I suppose I am a 'professional' considering all my bills are payed with an art job, but I would be reticent to describe myself as a pro. I still have too much to learn.
In all honesty though, it shouldn't matter too much as far as these forums are concerned, unless you are just curious how many people are making a living doing this, to which the answer is probably "more than you think."
I would wager that a good portion of those pro's consider themselves professional amateurs - as we're always pushing to improve no matter what our skill level is.
I'm pulling in a full time income with art, and live off of it, but my work is nowhere near where it needs to be to compete on the level that I consider a big professional area. So yeah, I dunno what that says for you - is your definition based on quality of work? Or ability to live off of it?
I definitely consider myself an amateur. This site has definitely helped me a bunch though, I've learned a lot about perspective, color theory, abstract drawing, realistic drawing, painting, anatomy, geometry of people and things, the importance of patience, good reference sites, good practices, and all around good advice. And I've already seen a huge improvement in my overall work and comprehension. The more I work, the more I see that I'm able to do stuff that, as little as a year ago, I never would have imagined I would be able to do
But I think the definition of a professional is a bit of a relative term. After all, even if you have mastered one style ofa particular art form, there's still much more to learn
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I dont know if id feel right calling my self a professional ever, not that i am, im just saying i think its more for other people to decide about you not a title for you to call yourself
although this opinion will probably change after a few years
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How about an amateur that gets paid from time to time? (No idea why, though, honestly.)
Don't particularly want to categorize myself, but I really know fuck-all at this point.
My definition of a pro also is someone who makes a living from art. I consider myself semi-pro, because I don't earn enough yet to pay the bills.
I don't really extend the definition to the quality of the work itself because I know that any serious artist, even if they're extremely skilled, thinks they still have a lot to learn (and I know I have a lot to learn too)
Well, how does one define "pro" here?
Even pros are still learning, but for me a pro is someone that is recognized, professionally employed AND able to teach at an advanced level in his/her field of expertise.
That definition could be a bit insulting for some though...
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Definition from the dictionary: "a person who earns a living in a sport or other occupation frequently engaged in by amateurs: a golf professional."
I guess some people only use the word professional or "PRO" to describe someone who has reached some recognized level of skill and received some level of celebrity.
OK maybe I am communicating wrong... how can I explain.
For example DaVinci may have no interest in teaching, or be particularly good at teaching, but many can learn a lot from observing his artwork, because his knowledge base is so vast and his skill set is so advanced that his expertise lie well beyond the "average" and most likely studying his works would help improve the "average"'s artwork instead of degenerate it.
Sure, if he was to literally "teach" someone that would be great too, but I am saying a professional, would first need an extensive knowledge base so that he has the ability to teach in terms of bestowing his almighty knowledge . Simply studying their work (which is still you being taught) or even having them literally teach you must serve to improve you and not cause you to recede.
I may have repeated myself somewhere, but hope that is a little more clear
Last edited by Tamara Ramsay; December 17th, 2008 at 07:48 PM.
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"...as your orriginal statement that they "should be able to teach at an advanced level" implies a formal setting, most likely in a college or academy of some sort."
I think you're just arguing semantics here, Peter. It's simple English, and you're reading too much into it just to disagree...
There are at least fifty subjects off the top of my head that I'm qualified to teach (not all of them "art"), and I'm not the only one on this forum, but can't in a college/formal institution because I/we don't have a degree...
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Anyway, for Sunny Koda, I think your question might have been about whether the art on here is a reasonable benchmark to which one can aspire in seeking to become a pro; in which case:
What Elwell said.
If you get to where you got a portfolio of about 20 pieces that could hang in the Finally Finished section without getting moved (and they are of a similar style to each other), then you could probably go out looking for a job without fear of undue embarrassment.
We're lucky to even be able to ask that question. What if we were fans of, say, brain surgery. Next time you meet new in laws, try telling them that you are still an amateur brainsurgeon but you are studying hard every night after work and practicing every chance you got. Just look at their face. Art, meh, it's hard work and study, but anyone could potentially do it, money or not, schooling or not. It's the end result that counts.
Thanks arttorney, that's pretty much what I wanted to know and it gives me something to aim at
Thanks to everyone who contributed, interesting perspectives one and all. By the way, a professional is someone who makes their living from their skill... don't give the word any more meaning or significance than that. The phrase 'personal definition' is just silly.
Ha! When I saw this thread my first thought was:
So, I guess that tells you where I am.
I think Arttorney and Elwell summed it for your question. I'm not sure the motive of the qustion, but I did just want to add one thing. I think the diverse mixture of skill levels and backgrounds is what makes this place so special. Even though there are some heavy professionals here, I dont think there is anyone that comes to this site and doesnt learn SOMETHING new.
Hmmm, I think I can consider myself semi-semi-pro. I have made some good money whenever I did paid work. But since it's a rare thing right now, as a saying goes, it's not enough to scratch my bum with.
I think that might change in these next years, and my confidence in selling more art will help. For the actual looks of my art, I think I just want to improve, making my art look great, even if it looks professional or not. (definitely a grey area though, as many said already)
As for the teaching argument, let's not worry about it! O_O That's a varying thing with people, whether some implicit/explicit teaching could happen from their works or their words.