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Hello everyone. I'm a student trying to decide where I would like to go to college, and I'm having some trouble deciding what I want to do. I really like digital artwork, drawing, and overall designing. I live in Minnesota and plan on going to college in Minneapolis. I would love more than anything to be a concept artist. Unfortunately, I know very little about what the job entails. Could someone who knows what it means to be a concept artist fill me in on what I should be aware of? Some questions I have are:
- Is the employment rate good?
- How much traveling/moving is involved?
- What can I expect for pay?
- How important is a college education (community vs art/design college)
- How likely is it to have a stable job?
Thanks. An answer to any of these questions or anything else I should be aware of is greatly appreciated.
I'm not a professional (yet) and I still have a lot to learn, so take everything I say with lots of salty pinches. I'm not sure anyone can go into the profession knowing exactly what they're getting anyway.
1. I don't think there'd be any way to calculate that. The impression I get is that most people who want to get into concept art are too young to have had a chance anyway, so it would be very hard to say what percent of people who try to get into the industry succeed. Also, since there's no formal system, it really depends on your individual skill, luck, networking and determination. I don't think there's a statistical approach.
2. Usually not much. Theoretically you can do the whole thing over the net and telephone if you're freelance, but it may or may not be common for companies to want you to visit their physical studios. I'm pretty sure that doesn't happen very often. If you're working for a specific company and are not freelance, they'll want you close by so that you can be in their workplace full time.
3. I have absolutely no idea, but don't expect much. You're an artist.
4. If an art director thinks that you are the best for the job (that includes personality as well as artistic skills) the chances that they will turn you down because you don't have a degree are very, very small. Art directors want someone who will do the job to their satisfaction at a price they can afford. They will hire the artist they think will do the best at whatever job is being applied for.
That being said, a college degree might be a tie-breaker if there really is an absolute tie because it shows that you have commitment and life experience. Also, college can be helpful to your artistic education, but all education is what you make of it. I should note that art colleges and colleges in general get a pretty bad reputation as far as teaching the craft you'll need to be a concept artist.
While I am only going on the downloads and streaming classes that I've seen so far and my analysis of the faculty and their words ( I have not, nor has anyone, experienced the actual program, I think Discovery and TAD right here on CA are going to be well worth it on the education front.
The community vs. Art and Design question is not one I'm any sort of authority on. Just remember that education is what you make of it.
5. Again, I'm no expert. But I can tell you that it probably isn't a good idea to get into art if what you want out of life is a stable job.
Remember to take these answers lightly! Wait for more and more experienced people to weigh in!
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