How important is networking in concept art
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    How important is networking in concept art

    I've talked to a lot of creative and non creative professionals, who all say that it comes to networking and making connections to people. However no one them are concept artists or game artists, and I know that people skills are more important in some fields than others, so which category does concept artist fall into? I mean isn't this field more about your skills/creativity demonstrated in your portfolio?

    Also what kind of people tend to "keep" their jobs once they get them, I'm not sure if this is a field with a lot of office politics or not. When it comes to personality, what do game companies like their concept artists?

    I'm still a student trying to collect info on something i'm interested in...I hope i don't soun too clueless

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    Quote Originally Posted by denaliah View Post
    I'Also what kind of people tend to "keep" their jobs once they get them, I'm not sure if this is a field with a lot of office politics or not. When it comes to personality, what do game companies like their concept artists?
    Heh, some of you guys worry about the weirdest shit.

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    Networking is important in any profession.
    But for the moment you might want to focus on improving drawing skills to become REALLY good, so good that YOU'll be the one to decide whether to "keep" an employer or not. And not vice versa.

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    Artists have to produce great work that satisfies the client. So being great at what you do should be the number one concern, as Maidith says.

    After that your personality comes into play when dealing with other people; nobody wants to work with an asshole. The people who do well are the ones who keep their head down and do their work. Office politics are for losers and mediocre talents, people who don't do their jobs well, so they have to scheme to get ahead. If they spent as much time improving their craft they wouldn't need any of it.

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    ^

    All of that.

    I'm not saying you can't get a job if you are an asshole, but it's like a scale...you need to be REALLY REALLY fucking good for an employer to overlook it. Sure there are some 'rock star artists' in the world that need some humble pie, but overall most people learn that just being a nice person and doing good work is the way to go. Not just in art, but in life.

    Networking and connections are vital, but I don't think it's the kind of thing that you sit down and say "Okay...it's 10am, time to network today".

    Just by posting on CA.org, you are networking in a way. Talking to people, working with people, meeting people at art related events, following your favorite artist on FB or Twitter....that's all networking.

    That's the best thing you can do...just let it go organically and don't think too hard on it.

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    For active job hunters, networking is basically a strategy of doing an end-run around HR through personal connections.

    So, I guess a rephrasing of the OP's question would be:

    How important is it to avoid corporate HR in getting a concept art position?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    For active job hunters, networking is basically a strategy of doing an end-run around HR through personal connections.

    So, I guess a rephrasing of the OP's question would be:

    How important is it to avoid corporate HR in getting a concept art position?

    You can't avoid HR when you get hired by a company. Networking can help you come to the attention of HR quicker than you might be able to on your own. In the end though your portfolio will get you the recommendation.

    I saw plenty of people get recommended to me when I was an art director; girlfriends, boyfriends; family members. No one ever got hired without the skills to do the job and no one ever got hired over a more talented person that came from HR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    You can't avoid HR when you get hired by a company. Networking can help you come to the attention of HR quicker than you might be able to on your own. In the end though your portfolio will get you the recommendation.

    I saw plenty of people get recommended to me when I was an art director; girlfriends, boyfriends; family members. No one ever got hired without the skills to do the job and no one ever got hired over a more talented person that came from HR.
    I'll agree, and disagree, with this based on [non-conceptart experience]:

    Given an appropriate skill base, I think there are many cases in industry where HR "takes dictation" from folks who are high enough up the food-chain. Again, this has been my experience, personally, and that of friends and associates, all be it, outside of the conceptart realm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    I'll agree, and disagree, with this based on [non-conceptart experience]:

    Given an appropriate skill base, I think there are many cases in industry where HR "takes dictation" from folks who are high enough up the food-chain. Again, this has been my experience, personally, and that of friends and associates, all be it, outside of the conceptart realm.
    Maybe in something that doesn't require a tangible skill but for things like programming or production art its pretty hard to fake it or get by on good looks even if the boss put in a good word. Now, producers or marketing that is another story...

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    Hey dpaint,

    I think you're mixing up some sort of corruption with HR departments that arbitrarily weed people for no apparent reason.

    In my experience, people who actually have the skills to do the job at hand have, in conjunction with personal contacts with upper management and/or VP level personnel, have been able to score jobs, often before any postings to the public at large, despite any guff or misgivings that HR may have.

    Granted, I have a negative view of HR types that I have been able to avoid/evade!

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    whats HR?

    anyway my view on this is... given a certain minimum skill-level... more people knowing you = better chances to get onto a project. thats it.

    softskills? they are important everywhere and at all times... noone likes assholes, and everybody will avoid spending time with them as best as possible.

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    HR = Human Resources.

    They are the point of contact at any given employer when seeking employment.

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    Edit: Dusty beat me to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sone_one View Post
    whats HR?
    "Human Resources"-- a layer of American Corporate Bureaucracy.

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    i see.. thanks guys . beeing from europe and only working on not-exactly-blockbuster projects, i havent had to deal with those yet.

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    I love Neil Gaiman's comments here (at 14 min). There are three factors: being really good, delivering on time, and being pleasant to work with. You have to have at least 2 out of three. He's talking about freelance but I think it applies within a studio as well.

    I will also say that I never had to apply for a job after my first one. Networking (plus my scores on the above three factors) always got me a job offer without applying anywhere. Conversely, places I applied where I didn't know anyone never hired me, except for that first time.

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