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  1. #1
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    Art career in question by others

    So the other day I had a meeting with some of my schools advisers and I told the lady that I wanted to be a Concept Artist, But for some reason that didn't seem to work for then, like they didn't take it seriously and keeped pushing for something else. Now one of my teachers knows that I like hands on stuff, I could never been a paper pusher, and art is a hands on thing. But they keep saying that I should go to Sno-isle (its a school that trains you for the specific job and they don't have an art one) and do welding or something. And I feel like they don't see being a Concept artist as a legit career/job. I am also not sure if they think that its like that weird paintings that get splashed around or not, But has anyone else ever gone through something like this? I feel kind of insulted that they think that going to this "sno-isle" is the thing everyone should do.

    On the other hand I shouldn't worry about what others think as long as I do what I need to do to get me to where I want to go

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  3. #2
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    Yeah, actually, I had the same speech when I was in school like over 9000 years ago.

    Let me share a little nugget of wisdom with you. Be truthful with yourself and if you want to do something bad enough, then do it and be damned what others think is right for you. However, there is a small bit of discretion that should be given with that bit of advice. Don't sacrifice your dreams in the name of "what everyone else thinks is right for you."

    When I was 17-18, all I wanted to do was draw comics and do art and make enough to pay the bills/be happy/create cool shit. I wanted it really badly, despite the protests from my parents and so called "career advisors". The problem was that I personally wanted it so bad that I didn't listen to sound advice, like studying traditional techniques, etc. (side note: I am listening to Pandora right now and "My way" from Elvis came on, how fitting).

    So now I am in my thirties and after allowing myself to be defeated by the words "I can't" all in my twenties and settled for a career that I despise I am back on the goal that I set out on when I was 17-18. So yeah, my crusty old man advice is pursue your dreams, study hard, be a good person, and good shit will happen to you.

    (I apologize about being preachy/ranting, was typing a stream of consciousness)

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  4. #3
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    People will dislike you for chasing childish dreams. After your success people will dislike you because they are ordinary and you are not.

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  6. #4
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    Yeah, I went through that.
    In my highschool careers class I wasn't allowed to research "illustrator" or "concept artist" because those were not job titles in the "career search binder" -- the closest thing to art the inch thick book of photocopies had was to work at a framing store. Lots of arguing with that teacher followed.

    Don't let them stress you out too much.

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  7. #5
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    NovocaineHeartString - Thanks for that info. I know that I can make it as an artist, and i'll be damned if I let other people say I can't. To bad you didn't stick with it when you wanted to, but its never to late right? I don't think I could do something I despise, hell I am 18 right now and have yet to have a job (Changing soon hopefully) I have yet to tell my parents cause it does as Taneli said seem like a "childish dreams." I have also been teaching my nephews how to draw and that if they get good enough they can get paid to draw.
    Taneli - Your right people will dislike other people for "chasing childish dreams" and while they are stuck doing something that most likly hate or strongly dislike I will be creating awesome stuff, not working (in a sense that "fine something you love and you'll never work a day in your like")
    Kennygeeze - lol even my career teacher I don't think took mine serious either, there is no info on being a Concept artist or anything in that related field, I've had to do all the research on my own time. I can't even imagine what I would be doing had I not found CA.org. Though I still have not found very much info in books or the internet, only CA.org. Don't worry, they won't derail me

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    Tanelli is so right, don`t expect people to take you seriously, I never did, and now that they see my stuff and the fact that I have a career doing this they all shut up, and I pity anyone that questions what I do, I think they are just square headed slaves of what they were told, that will get old one day and realize they never reached their dreams, they never did what they REALLY wanted to do, that`s sad.

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  9. #7
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    Yes, you should pursue your dream. You should also have a backup plan/job. You're going to have to keep busting ass on your art for at least a few years before you make any money from it, so you'll have to find a way to live until then.

    Also, keep your eyes and your mind open, because the world of the arts is an awfully big place, and you might find other cool creative jobs out there, or your work might take an unexpected direction.

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  11. #8
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    Same boat here. When I got out of school I went to uni just because that's what was done - I wanted to do art but just didn't think it was realistic. Fast forward 5 years and I was sick and tired of working in a bank. Fast forward two more years and I'm a full time concept artist.

    It's definitely nice having a backup plan as mickeymao says, I can go back to banking or marketing whenever I want in case things turn sour. But don't let your backup plan get in the way of your dream.

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    Pursue whatever it is you want to do. And don't stop until you've achieved every aspect of it.

    There is no point to dreams if you're going to do all that work only to settle for something less. Even if you never complete everything it is you want to do, you will be able to finish your life knowing you gave it a really damn good try.

    The beauty of being right is that you don't have to bother explaining it to other people. All you have to do is continue living, and the truth presents itself all on its own.

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    "And I feel like they don't see being a Concept artist as a legit career/job."



    It's not in the eyes of older generations. They wouldn't know how many variations of the same stupid nano-suit art directors go through before bringing you the final game character.....They don't play videogames either.

    But in their ignorance they are still right... Get an education you can rely on to support your lifestyle monetarily, and then invest yourself in art parallel to that.

    The field of concept art is more competition than the industry projects themselves are worth. It seems like a hard to get into glorified art factory job, because these are certainly not the people who come up with the projects or will get any recognition by the end of it, they are simply in the production conveyor belt that is in place only because the art director doesn't have anough time to draw what's in his mind him/herself.
    I'm not trying to discourage you here, interpreting someone else's vision is a nice job if you're not longing for anything more. But first, it's mighty worth securing yourself with a skill set that society actually depends on and hires easier.

    Last edited by Kraus; February 4th, 2010 at 07:30 PM.
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  14. #11
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    Well for the mean time I am hopefully gonna get a job at Home Depot at night, and that will probably be what I work at while doing school and art. I am also at the stage of my drawings where my studies are pretty good (for the most part(to me anyways)) and my creative stuff is kinda of crappy unless I am using a ref, which isn't that bad I guess. I almost 100% not going to a uni or CC (looked at their coarses for art, and they all suck. So I think that I will probably just work and save money(I live with my mom) to buy art supplies, books, and random stuff. And the whole being a slave to what people tell them, So true, like people want to go to college but I don't see the point if you don't like/know about that career field and the debt that you would have wow that is a lot of money and the way the economy is right now that would be like the worst thing ever (not literally). And I'm not so sure why I care so much about other people not liking what I want to be, maybe cause the only thing that I have been told for the last (almost) 4 years of my life is "YOU HAVE TO GO TO COLLEGE AND BECOME A BUSINESS PERSON" or something to that extent and then I get into art class (art 1) and I'm like :o I want to be an artist, its the one thing in my life that has been there for as long as I can remember and I had been on CA.org for the last half a school year (I would read it during graphic arts) and I wanted to be doing the same kind of things these people were doing. i'm glad I've never has my art laughed at (when it wasn't suppose to be funny) or that would have been horrible.


    I sometimes feel like teachers are highered by the companies to say this stuff to use that we need to go to college and that we have to work in an office and that we have to buy home and buy cars and that will make us happy because everyone knows being 50K in debt and a job you don't like is the life we all want. And one of my advisors even said him self that he knows I would never be a paper pusher. And the career tests they have are shitty, cause my score was to but out in nature (like park ranger) or be an industrial something. Anyways sorry for that rant lol

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    Maybe this will help: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=174079

    Print that out and ask to have another meeting with them.

    You may or may not end up with a career as a concept artist but it is worth shooting for. There are plenty of great opportunities and careers for visual artists in today's world. Virtually everything manufactured or constructed starts with an artist or team of artists visualizing the product, building, vehicle, etc.

    The recent blockbuster "Avatar" (now the highest grossing film of all time) employed hundreds, if not thousands of visual artists...and maybe ten primary actors and a bunch of secondary extras.

    If that doesn't help maybe this will: http://www.artnews.com/issues/article.asp?art_id=1520

    If none of the above helps have them call me.

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  16. #13
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    Thumbs up

    That was an earth-shattering statement, Taneli!
    Holy god.

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  17. #14
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    JeffX99 - Thanks for the links, as for another meeting that was like once every two years and i'll probably never talk to them again, so i'll just brush them off my shoulder because I know what I want to do as a career and if CA doesnt work out then I'll shoot for another job on your list. Hell I've been drawing on anything I can get my hands on at school. lol course 99% are not very good but w/e. And right now we are learning cubism. again thanks for the links.

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    So much truth here in this thread..

    As everyone seems to be telling their stories and putting in their two cents, i will too.

    My plan for so long was animation or comicbooks, i would spend ages dreaming up characters and worlds, for my own comics and stories.(as derivitive and copy, pasted ideas they were)

    After finding this site, it became much more about art , and the idea of constantly creating as a concept artist.

    i am off to university in a week and a half to start my Bachelors degree in Fine Art. A BAF certificate itself may not speak volumes interms of getting you places, but i aim to make the work made earning that piece of paper speak loudly and clearly.

    barring any avenues opening after the completion of the degree, i aim to attend the Art Department to further along my education,then segway into further completion of my aspirations.


    Find what you want to do then, knuckle down and find the path that will get you there, it may take a long time, but you will be heading in the direction that you want.

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    You might as well get used to it, even when you are a pro people won't take you seriously. And they certainly will have no clue what your work consists of. (For years my dad thought 3d was what you did when you got good enough at 2d.)

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  21. #17
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    Weirdly enough I had a talk about this half way through my interview for Computer Arts at University.

    When I brought up being a concept artist, she almost sneered, and went on a rant about how everyone wants to be a concept artist, but it'll never happen, etc, etc.

    Not the kind of thing you want from the person who would be teaching you.

    But yeah, we've all got to a stage with our art, where people say it's not art, or it's cheating, or it's amateur or whatever.

    We do this because we are compelled to, it's our nature, not because of what other people think.

    Would you still draw if you were on an island alone? If you knew no-one would ever see it?

    We're artists. Do what you like, and fuck the critics.


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    they didn't take it seriously and keeped pushing for something else.
    Well, they can try.

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    It's a good thing you're not there to impress your school counselors and what not. You're taking art for yourself(hopefully) not everyone around you.

    My brother will make a good $170,000 a year, my cousin makes a whopping $300,000 a year, I'll be making around $30,000-70,000(if lucky) a year. As you can see, I'm not doing it for the money, or to impress people. Nor am I doing it for the money.

    You do what you want to, have fun the way you want, and you'll have a fantastic life out of it.

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  25. #20
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    Those peoples' job is to make everyone mediocre and accept the most average life possible. For some people, that is great...average careers have powered this world for a long time, so I don't blame them, really. But you have to explain how important something is to you.

    I recommend speaking with actions rather than words and get to know your art teacher really well by being a stellar student who clearly has a dream and a goal. Having the support of a staff member to help you explain to them that you intend to make a career out of art should change their tune a little.

    Just remember, It's your life, not theirs...when you are out of that school, they will forget about you and move onto the next round of kids. So don't make hasty decisions because someone tells you something is "safer" or "smarter". At age16-18, you've got so many years ahead of you and you can afford to make a ton of mistakes.

    So go make those mistakes and learn from them....go be an artist.

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  26. #21
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    I guess I can chime in...

    I'm by no means of the level of some of these people and I am still working to get in to what I want to do.

    That being said... My mom was a graphic artist and fine artist when I was born. But she didn't pursue at it, so she made minimal money despite being quite talented. And she left the field. She and everyone else in my family told me that while I was talented I would never be able to make money at it, only those really lucky souls did. Funny enough, her sister, a neonatal surgeon was the one who told me to follow my dreams. But with everyone else telling me no I needed a high paying job, I was smart why woudl I waste that on ART (derogatory comment here).

    So I listened - I worked hard and got in to a univeristy overseas for history and archaeology. BUT while I was across the world from all the nay sayers taking a degree I found interesting but not a passion, I discovered my art was what I wanted. They scared me telling me art would be less fun if I took my hobby and made it a job, how it would kill my desire to draw. I started doing small illustrations for my university newspaper and people commented. Suddenly I was getting attention for little comics. But it was -something-.

    I dropped out of university and came home, intending to work but still undecided of what to do. And met so many people in the bank I worked at who were artistic like me and had gone to school for it and still didn't have jobs. So I got disheartened and left it alone, working a job I hated because that's what everyone said I should do.

    About 6-8 months ago I found this place, and started drawing again. And discovered you honestly can't let others tell you what's good or bad. You can't let others decide what will work for you and won't. I'm learning this the hard way as I go...

    Sorry for the ramble, I was typing as I was thinking.

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    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~Gandhi

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  29. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty View Post

    I recommend speaking with actions rather than words...
    Pure truth, that.

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  30. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taneli View Post
    People will dislike you for chasing childish dreams. After your success people will dislike you because they are ordinary and you are not.
    Do you wanna make out?

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  31. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovian M View Post
    Do you wanna make out?
    lol wtf...

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    So the other day I had a meeting with some of my schools advisers and I told the lady that I wanted to be a Concept Artist, But for some reason that didn't seem to work for then, like they didn't take it seriously and keeped pushing for something else. Now one of my teachers knows that I like hands on stuff, I could never been a paper pusher, and art is a hands on thing. But they keep saying that I should go to Sno-isle (its a school that trains you for the specific job and they don't have an art one) and do welding or something. And I feel like they don't see being a Concept artist as a legit career/job. I am also not sure if they think that its like that weird paintings that get splashed around or not, But has anyone else ever gone through something like this? I feel kind of insulted that they think that going to this "sno-isle" is the thing everyone should do.

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    Man, all this guy wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and
    listen to what happened to him!!!



    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

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  34. #28
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    Oh good lord, ignore the high school career counselors, those people never have a clue about what kind of careers there are in visual arts, or that there even ARE careers...

    That said, job positions for actual full-time concept artists are rare, so you'd do best looking at a related art career that can lead into doing concept art - anything that involves, say, animation, illustration, matte painting, storyboarding, 3D rendering, etc. Maybe study graphic design on the side so you can pick up design work when times are tough. But you'd be best off pursuing work somewhere in the field of visual arts, because then it's easy to jump into other kinds of art jobs. Don't get side-tracked into a dead-end career doing something totally unrelated to your dream job...

    Also, while universities and community colleges don't always have great art courses, there are some excellent art schools out there. (Some CCs may also offer a few decent courses that could help pave the way to getting into a good art school.) But you want an actual ART school, not an art major at a university. (Art schools are usually categorized under "trade schools".) If you can get a good score on the SATs and you can put together a good portfolio, and your family isn't high-income, you may be able to get most of your tuition covered by financial aid. I had almost 100% of my tuition and housing covered by financial aid, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to go to art school at all.

    (Of course after you've been accepted to a good art school you have to work your ass off so you can keep getting good grades so you can keep getting financial aid... but them's the breaks.)

    Some art schools that I can think of off the top of my head:
    Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
    School of Visual Arts (SVA)
    Parsons School of Design
    Pratt
    Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

    And many, many more that I'm forgetting, but you should check out the Art Schools and Education forums on here for art school info...

    Check out the websites of any schools that look good, maybe request info packets and applications, see what their requirements are and brush up your portfolio if necessary, also try to find out what their financial aid options are and whether your state has any financial aid programs you could apply for.

    Last edited by QueenGwenevere; March 17th, 2010 at 10:32 AM.
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