Is begging for work the right way to go?

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  1. #1
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    Is begging for work the right way to go?

    I'm sick of looking for companies that are looking for me. Should I send Emails to every company I want to work for. For exposure if anything. Would I have anything to lose by doing such a thing? I've heard it can fuck your rep up, is that true?

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  3. #2
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    You should ask for work, but not begging. If you beg, they can trash you in every imaginable way.

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  5. #3
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    I remember begging a few times, and every time it did not work. I fear it could've possibly worsen my chances of getting anywhere.

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  7. #4
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    Never a good idea to beg. It's highly annoying.

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  9. #5
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    If you want a specific job at a company let that company know that you are available to work for them and why they should hire you.
    Companies hire because they think you are an asset. When you beg for a job you are most likely not an asset for that company, right?

    Creating exposure is ok, but I would not do that by sending e-mails to companies. If you are completely fresh I suggest call them and ask for a informal face to face talk with someone on the department you would like to work. Tell them you are new to the field and want to understand more about the field of work and that you want to know how to improve to the level that you can work for them. When you visit that person bring a small portfolio with you with various work and let them comment on that.

    After a few of those talks you probably know what you are good at and what to improve. You can use that as leverage for seeking a job when you didn't find one yet. Example from my own life. I was bad in social interaction with people. I wanted to improve. So I went to a company, told them that I wanted to improve my social skills and that I had skills and experience X, Y and Z which would be sufficient to make up for my lack of social skill.
    They hired me on a job with very much interaction with strangers and I was able to improve while making money for them with my previous gained skills and experience. Creating a win/win situation.

    Everyone has to start somewhere and every person hiring (not the HR department, those are strange people) knows that. It's just that hiring someone who has a plan is easier than hiring someone who isn't really sure about things. You just need to find your plan I think.

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  11. #6
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    You don't say if you're looking for full time or freelance. Either way you should try and find out first what they have available and if they welcome approaches. If they say no unsolicited enquiries then don't ask. If they have a procedure or vacancies, apply in the manner they state. If there's no information then either send an email or give them a ring, whichever seems more appropriate.

    Sending emails to companies that don't expressly request you don't isn't begging. They're not going to all get together and say "Hey, did that Duke guy send you an email too? What a loser." The worst that can happen is that they'll ignore you. Begging is when you get no reply, or get told no, and keep on nagging and reducing your rates.

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  13. #7
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    Maybe you aren't producing the type of work that the jobs you are applying for are looking for? Try to get as much feedback as possible on why they aren't interested when you apply for a job....then try to take that in and apply it to your portfolio, then re-apply once you fix things or use what they told you to improve your chances with the next company.

    It seems like you are trying to find a company that fits YOU (through random email spam)...instead of fitting yourself to fit a company you want to work for. It's a lot better strategy to get a few targets in mind and then work towards fitting yourself to what they need / want.

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  15. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_jos View Post
    Creating exposure is ok, but I would not do that by sending e-mails to companies. If you are completely fresh I suggest call them and ask for a informal face to face talk with someone on the department you would like to work. Tell them you are new to the field and want to understand more about the field of work and that you want to know how to improve to the level that you can work for them. When you visit that person bring a small portfolio with you with various work and let them comment on that.
    There is no way in hell that HR, or anyone in a big enough company has time to sit face to face with everyone who dreams of making games (and by big enough, I mean 15+, not 300+.) However, most bigger game studios have days when they receive students and beginners, either at the studio or in more general events. Sometimes they are at career fairs in schools or at game related events and conventions. Look into the studios around you and check if they host such events. You can contact the communications or HR department who will happily let you know if they have such an event soon.

    Many studios also have Facebook pages and stuff and by becoming a fan you can learn when they are going to have studio events, hanging out at these events can be educative, and maybe entertaining. You can also join sketchgroups or afterhours life drawing classes if you know that some game artists hang out there.

    I'm not suggesting to stalk them, if they don't want to talk to you, just let go, but making friends with people is a good way to get your foot in the door. Just don't be pushy. I don't want kids buzzing around me starry eyed just because I have a job pushing pixels, I assume others are the same.

    If you just want to send your resume in, look into the job/career section of game companies. Follow the instructions. They will rightly assume that if you can't follow instructions on how to send your resume, you won't be assed to follow instructions that your lead gives you. They often have a way to send a resume for a position even if that position is not currently recruiting, they will then keep your entry on file. Don't worry, if you are awesome, they will notice.


    Quote Originally Posted by the_jos View Post
    Everyone has to start somewhere and every person hiring (not the HR department, those are strange people) knows that.
    You don't have any credentials in your signature, except a sketchbook which I looked at, so I'm not sure where you get your information. I have worked in places where HR was very good at HR but very bad at judging art. They had the good sense of seeking professional help to sift thru portfolios. I also work with very professional HR people now who know more about the different areas of development than those at the previous job. They know full well that no one is born with experience, everyone started somewhere. However, when an entry is for a senior person, they are looking for a SENIOR person. Just thinking you are good is not enough. And just telling them that you can do good stuff but it's not in your portfolio right now doesn't work either.

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  17. #9
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    Your work should speak for itself.

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  19. #10
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    Thanks for all the replies. I am just beginning to become concerned that nobody with serious work has responded to my replies to their help wanted ads.

    It sounds like HR could be what's obstructing me. Because my resume looks like a pizza delivery guy, that took some figure drawing classes and not an experienced professional. My resume is definitely below average.

    I get the feeling nobody is looking at my portfolio.

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  20. #11
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    I don't have much in depth knowledge concerning your skill set and your preferred direction, but I do think I can understand your problem. Layoffs at big firms coupled with nobody wanting to spend money has led to some strain on those in my profession. In the face of ongoing rejection I am opting to form my own company so that as a controlling shareholder I can vote myself a majority board position where I can then give myself a cool job such as CEO. The trick, of course, is that I must have a profitable business plan or else my "job" is just a bunch of paper bullshit. Also I have a rather specialized skill set that allows me to DIY some things that other people must pay a bundle for.

    As part of my researches toward the business plan, I did note that there is a lot of need out there in the open source community for skilled design people to make not only icons, but wallpapers and announcement banners concerning upcoming releases of new distribution versions. If you have a lot of spare time you might be able to beef up your resume with some volunteer work to a relatively high profile project. Here is the entry portal to start doing design work for the Fedora (linux) operating system http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Join#Designer
    OpenSUSE: http://en.opensuse.org/Artwork
    Major application packages such as the GIMP, Inkscape, Open Office are other possibilities. Those screens, icons, and open clip art libraries came from somewhere. I know you would prefer to get paid, but if you can't right now at least there are other ways for you to demonstrate expertise at working on a design team.

    Last edited by arttorney; October 26th, 2009 at 04:50 PM.
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  22. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raoul Duke View Post

    I get the feeling nobody is looking at my portfolio.
    Are you mailing printed samples? I plan on mailing 12 page books the next time I do a job search.

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  24. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Are you mailing printed samples? I plan on mailing 12 page books the next time I do a job search.
    I never thought about that. All of my inquiries have been digital. Sure it isn't free to send out printed goods, but maybe it'll grab their attention before they dismiss it.

    Attorney- I have worked on an unsuccessful mod before as a concept artist and graphic designer. Unfortunately we lacked the necessary man power to make it. I'm not sure if that would be a black eye on my resume or not.

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  25. #14
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    Do keep in mind that I've been told some of these companties when they post a job ad, they might get around 500 replies so no only is the competition tough but the majority of the time they will not take the time to write 499 people telling them "no". Just because you didn't get a reply, doesn't mean that they didn't look at your portfolio.

    When you say your resume is bad, what do you mean exactly? Just that you don't have experience or that you don't know how to right a good looking resume? Either way I'd suggest you go to barnes and noble and in their business section they have books on how to write resumes and how to write cover letters. I'd highly recommend picking up a book or two about them, they are very helpful. Even if you don't have alot of experience they will explain to you how to work what experience you do have to make it relivant to the job you want. If you want to post a copy here and we can give some tips, that works (feel free to edit out any person info).

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  27. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raoul Duke View Post
    Thanks for all the replies. I am just beginning to become concerned that nobody with serious work has responded to my replies to their help wanted ads.

    It sounds like HR could be what's obstructing me. Because my resume looks like a pizza delivery guy, that took some figure drawing classes and not an experienced professional. My resume is definitely below average.

    I get the feeling nobody is looking at my portfolio.

    Man, in the art world, your portfolio is your resume. You should be very grateful (I am) that the art is so honest about skills.

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  29. #16
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    I've sent emails to like 300 labels. None of them were begging emails, only asking for work. I've been hired by 2 of them...

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  31. #17
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    Thanks for all the replies. I am just beginning to become concerned that nobody with serious work has responded to my replies to their help wanted ads.

    It sounds like HR could be what's obstructing me. Because my resume looks like a pizza delivery guy, that took some figure drawing classes and not an experienced professional. My resume is definitely below average.

    I get the feeling nobody is looking at my portfolio.

    As crappy as you may feel about not getting work, your suspicions are probably quite accurate. I'm not trying to punch you while you are down, I'm just saying that if this is happening...then it really does mean that you need to start finding a way to pay the bills, but work your f'ng ass off to make your portfolio better. Experience is obviously something you lack and that will hinder progress in getting a job as much as anyone who doesn't have experience, so you have to show your amazing skills to a job so they can't help but write you back.

    Storytime to highlight my point:
    I was out of work for almost 8 months in 2002 living off of credit cards. I remember it pretty clearly. I had went to (oddly enough) a local pizza joint here in Seattle because it had hit a point where the credit cards were maxed and even though the pizza job wouldn't even cover rent + bills, I needed SOMETHING to eat off of. I went into the interview and got the job. But I knew that since it was full time, if I did that it would actually hold me back on getting my portfolio in line with where I knew it needed to me. So on the first day I said "FUCK THIS!", called the manager up and apologized for wasting his time, and I went and painted up something that really showed my abilities at the time, posted here of all places and 2 days later an outsourcing game developer PM'd me and I got a contract that lasted until I got a full-time gig. Luck was obviously a HUGE factor....but sometimes shit like that just happens you know? You NEED to have work that is representative of your best efforts in your portfolio. And when you get there and your ability has reached that level, you'll find luck finds you a little more...

    Finally, if you are putting "pizza delivery guy" on a resume to get an art job, just take it off. It's not relevant at all and will only highlight your lack of experience. If you have done ANYTHING even a commission or contract work put that there, but don't put service jobs.
    Hoping the best for you....

    -D

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  33. #18
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    Thanks for so much honesty you guys.

    Jake-How consistent is work in the recording industry? That sounds like allot of fun and I had always been inspired by album art but I know nothing of the art side of that industry.

    Dusty-That is a wild freakin story. I take it the economy was amazing at the time.

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  34. #19
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    Oh yeah I forgot to make this clear when I said "begging" I meant unsolicited submissions and if no response send them another submission, maybe discussing low rates. I got the answer I was looking for, but I just wanted to make myself clear.

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  35. #20
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    I take it the economy was amazing at the time.
    Not even close.
    It was an outsourcing company in Holland.

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  37. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raoul Duke View Post
    Jake-How consistent is work in the recording industry? That sounds like allot of fun and I had always been inspired by album art but I know nothing of the art side of that industry.
    It's an interesting scene. Most of the artists are hired by their friends and such so it's difficult to get work if you don't know anyone. Some of the label owners can be judgmental and prejudice so it's somewhat necessary to keep your identity and musical tastes separate from your work hahaha. I'm learning the ways I guess ... It's basically what I want to do in my life, however unrealistic that is.

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  39. #22
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    Do you have a portfolio online Raoul?

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  41. #23
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    Qitsune,

    I know that some companies have excellent HR departments. It's just that in many fields of work HR seems to block candidates who could be considered a hire for the manager him/herself. I've heard that complaint too many times in too many different situations.
    Specially in creative jobs.

    About my credentials: I don't have any art related since this is only a hobby for me.
    My job is a mix of several fields of work and therefor it's almost impossible to get the right education for it before you enter my kind of job. You start out with one of those fields, get hired for my work and from then on it's on the job training and specialized courses.
    I'm involved in interviewing and recruitment of candidates so I know what base skills and mindset to look for. Just because I'm not working in art doesn't mean I cannot say anything about the hiring process. We need to hire people based on potential, it's almost impossible to find someone with the right skills for the job. In the decade I work in this field I've met one candidate who had the right skills and experience, too bad he didn't have the right mindset for the job at our company.
    I don't see how this would be any different at a company hiring artists, they also look at past experience and how those skills fit for the job. They can look at a portfolio to determine skill and potential amongst other things, we just need to look at other things.

    I would suggest people not to start at large/well known companies.
    There are other players on the market that are far more attractive from a starting position. I used to work for the number 1 in my previous field of work. It's hard to enter such a company, they get many potentials a day. And when you are a starter (I had previous experience from a smaller company) they don't hire except when they really need someone fast.

    Nowadays I work for a relatively unknown (well, from the perspective of people outside our market) company. Before I was asked to work here I didn't even hear about the company. Well, I did years before but completely forgot about them and didn't consider them a company I could work for.
    However my company is very well known in their field of work (one of the largest and most active European companies). If I want (I don't) I can easily switch to several of the very well known companies.

    That's why I say it never hurts to try and get some personal contact, not so much to get a position as well as to have experienced people comment on work.
    It's just that people should have a good reason why I should spend my time talking to them, hence my comment on having a plan at the end of my post.
    When there are several people asking for the same thing I probably schedule a meeting and gather them together. Happened in the past a couple of times.

    I cannot imagine that companies that are not at the very top of the field get hundreds of those requests a month or even a year. A friend of mine worked at as graphics designer for a well known company (not the top though) and while they got some applications every month they didn't get many requests for a chat about work from people who were still at school or just entering the market.

    From a hiring position I can tell you one thing. I've met a lot of people the past years on various events. Talked with many potential candidates. I keep my eyes open. With some I keep contact once in a while, just to see where they are standing nowadays. Because we might not be hiring now but we will be in the future.

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  42. #24
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    Begging will only worsen the chance of you getting the job.

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  44. #25
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    I used to run my own little 1 person business doing game art assets and even if I didn't promote much I got plenty of : people offering irelevent services (like wanting to do art for me,) students/hopefuls asking for interviews/advice/contacts, resumes.

    Also, Raoul, send a new e-mail when you have something new to show, not to lower your rates. If they don't like what you do, the cost won't matter. You will just look desperate, and that's not good.

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  46. #26
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    I doubt begging will ever really help you. At least no more than making yourself an artist that is so great they don't have to beg in the first place..........


    Know what I mean?

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  48. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivory_Oasis View Post
    Do you have a portfolio online Raoul?
    Yeah, DigitalEyeSoar.com
    I should update my signature.

    Jake-Oddly enough I Just got an Email back from a band I contacted a week ago. It sounds like they might want me to do a poster. I'm not sure how serious they are, but they do have a large tour in the works. I didn't have to "beg", discuss rates or anything either.

    Last edited by Raoul Duke; October 27th, 2009 at 01:42 PM.
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  49. #28
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    Well after looking at your portfolio, it's pretty clear that you have talent. My only suggestion would be to try to "finalize" stuff a bit more. Style is one thing, but you have a lot of work where the shading is done with a quick whisk of a marker, for example.

    It's possible potential clients are looking at them as sketches and not as real portfolio pieces. I think you can spend more time on them and easily keep your loose style.

    Just my two cents...good luck with the band thing!

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  51. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty View Post
    Well after looking at your portfolio, it's pretty clear that you have talent. My only suggestion would be to try to "finalize" stuff a bit more. Style is one thing, but you have a lot of work where the shading is done with a quick whisk of a marker, for example.

    It's possible potential clients are looking at them as sketches and not as real portfolio pieces. I think you can spend more time on them and easily keep your loose style.

    Just my two cents...good luck with the band thing!
    You are right about that. I don't really know what to tighten a picture after a certain point. I don't think I have ever improved a drawing after 8 hours. Part of it has to do with taste and partially gaps in my education. At least I can confidently say I understand time management. I hope my work reflects that.

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  52. #30
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    What kind of companies are you applying at? I would guess that companies would want artists that can mesh with the style they are using... but your things seem to be all a certain style (so maybe more diversity? really depends where you are trying to get work though!)

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