direction: illustration or concept art or both?

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  1. #1
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    direction: illustration or concept art or both?

    It's been some time that I've visited the forums, which is because I was busy with school...and illustration. Yes, I've graduated in Illustration in July 2011. Since then I've done some small illustration jobs and I have been working with some cool guys to develop games (unpaid and next to a side-job though..). However, as almost any recent graduate illustrator I have a hard time finding illustration jobs and I'm still developing 'my' style. I don't know what I like to do best and I'm trying out things.

    So, just when I was planning to make some illustrations of childrens, because, that's what I lack in my portfolio when I want to work for children's books publishers....I asked myself: is this really what I want to do?
    I like illustrating stories, I have plans of creating books but the books would be about two things: cool fantasy-like animal characters or a lot of environmental (fantasy) art. And I concluded that I'm still (yeah, I've had a pause with concept art because while I was looking for an internship nobody was interested and I was told I wasn't good enough) interested in concept art. Last month I bought some artbooks of Tangled and Kung Fu Panda and I've just realized that....I think...what I really would like to do is creating environments and characters and illustrate scenes with a lot of color and atmosphere.

    I'm in between illustration and concept art, in the sense that I like cartoony-and-cute style characters, not the realistic type thing (though I know that the real world is the best inspiration and learning source). I love environments, I'd love to make more environmental art....

    but I don't know what to do at the moment. If I take my time and drown myself in concept art (again?) I won't have time for illustration jobs anymore...and I'm afraid that I'll never be good enough. There are SO MANY people out there that create amazing things...
    And where would I get jobs? We don't have big animation studios in the Netherlands I think, we do have game companies, but I have the feeling they only like game art students instead of illustration students.

    Is there a possibility to do both? Should I follow my heart and get into concept art again with the chance of losing my illustrational dreams too...or worse..lose both when I never get good enough?

    I find it hard to make a decision, any help is welcome!

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  3. #2
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    Do both.

    That's what I'm doing right now and it's working out well enough.

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  5. #3
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    Concept Art could really be considered just another branch of Illustration, the distinction has always been fuzzy and is only getting fuzzier... There's plenty of people who do both concept art and more traditional illustration jobs like book illustration.

    You might need to build multiple portfolios to target different types of jobs (say a portfolio for concept art and another one for childrens books,) and maybe you'll need to spend some time building up a portfolio appropriate for concept art if you don't have enough material to make one yet, but nothing else is stopping you from trying to get different types of work.

    Clients don't care about what you majored in, all they care about is your portfolio, and whether you have the skills they're looking for.

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  7. #4
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    Don't let someone telling you that you're not good enough stop you. Reach for what you really want, keep going for it. Prove then wrong. It is only a matter of how hard you are willing to try.

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  9. #5
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    If you aren't getting jobs or people are telling you that you need better skills just focus on getting better doing what you enjoy. If that is cartoon characters and environments then practice those . While I don't think you should specialize, you shouldn't work on things you don't want to do either because it will show in the finished product.

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  11. #6
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    Thanks everyone, you're all really helpful. Maybe I just need to focus on concept art for the moment...I mean...for a while, so I get better at it....and just don't give up.

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