How do I get started in the industry? (moved from Entertainment Design)
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Thread: How do I get started in the industry? (moved from Entertainment Design)

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    Red face How do I get started in the industry? (moved from Entertainment Design)

    I'm brand new to the site (please be gentle), and I've recently been put into a situation where I'm questioning my future. Injuring my back numerous times over the course of my career as a bricklayer has forced my family and I to reconsider other forms of employment, this will be no easy task.(father of 4 boys) Fortunately I've been drawing since I could grip a crayon and my dream is, and has always been, to use my talent in the games industry but Ive got no idea where to start. I suppose the purpose of this thread is not only to inform myself but others who are confused as to what direction to take.
    So I've got a few questions:

    *What do games developers require as prerequisites for hiring?

    *What course/courses should I take?

    *Is it possible to have a good portfolio and get a job based purely on talent?

    Any information at all would be greatly appreciated, and I hope to contribute my art to the forum in the near future.

    Cheers, Mischa.

    Last edited by Elwell; February 10th, 2013 at 11:05 PM.
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    Answer number 1: You have to be good at drawing and painting and to be able to express ideas on drawings, both yours and of your employees, and if you have a fertile and trained imagination it's much better . If you can draw like anything (from characters to high perspective environments) then you're almost there.

    Answer number 2: It depends on how good you are but generally anything that helps you develop the basics skills required its OKEY! So any good school or online course (today those are really good too!).

    Answer number 3: Talent doesn't exist, if you're good at something it means that you've spend enough hours training yourself to do that thing properly and even if some natural skills can give you a small edge it will never be enough to be a concept artist of any kind, you need training and effort to reach that level. So if your answer is "do i need anything else than skills" (like a degree or something) the answer is NO! If you're good enough you will find a job.



    Anyway i'm sorry about your situation but sometimes something must happen to let us find our real goal in life and it seems like you have an opportunity in here! So take the time that you need to reach the professional level, work as hard as you can to reach your objective and you can totally do it!

    I'm telling you this cause i did the same thing, it's not a dream, it's very possible.

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  4. #3
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    Thanks you for your kind words and response, searching for these answers had been difficult up to this point and you've definitely inspired me to press on!

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    I'm really glad i did

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    Hello Mischa

    I think it's absolutely possible to get a job in the industry without having a degree. And maybe if after all concept art isn't your destiny or you can't get your way in, there are other fields like Illustration where you can suceed with drawing / painting skills, even if you don't have a degree.

    If you want to pursuade it further, there are tons of good resources on the web, both free and for money.

    Learning to paint: ctrlpaint.com has a lot of good, easily digestible short videos for certain aspects of drawing, (digital) painting, concept art, concept art and so on. There are also a bunch of recommendable videos in the store.
    There's also gnomonworkshop.com which seems to have a ton of great videos teaching a lot about concept art, but it's not free

    Business: There's a great book called Getting into Freelance Illustration by Holly DeWolf, which focuses on the business side of illustration. A lot of it also applies to concept art.

    There are a ton of good artbooks from Movies and games, be sure to get some of those if you can, you'll learn a lot from them.

    And of course this awesome forum, where you'll benefit a lot especially if you participate in some activities or have your work critizised in a sketchbook thread.


    checkout my sketchbook or my blog
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    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll be sure to check those sites out.

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    What do games developers require as prerequisites for hiring?

    If you want to be a concept artist, having excellent drawing, painting, and design skills, preferably over a wide range of subjects, is a must.

    In games specifically, it is also a plus to know at least the bare bones of 3D as well, if only to make the 3D guy's life easier, since you have some idea of his limits and difficulties, and will work more smoothly in the process. Occasionally game companies encourage artists to learn code too (I have heard this from Valve's handbook, and a guy who has worked for indie groups), so they can help out the programmers, but I have never seen anyone set this as a staunch requirement yet. The best way to find out what game companies require currently is to check out their job sites, and to look for adverts for jobs elsewhere (like in CA's job section).

    *What course/courses should I take?
    I suggest you make a a mindmap or a list of 1. The drawing skills you have and 2. The drawing skills you need. If you are not sure what drawing skills you need, try making a sketchbook thread, or perhaps a critique thread, here, to get feedback. Rinu mentioned CtrlPaint, which is an excellent beginner resource for illustration and concept art - I also second learning about business. It is hard to advise specific courses since there aren't really many concept art specific courses, and I don't know your skill level or knowledge. If you just need to generally improve your drawing and painting skill, illustration is something to look into, if you want to, and can afford to pay for school.

    There are absolutely loads of free materials and more affordable books out there for any motivated learner however, if school is too pricey - and I am sure the community here will recommend ones for specific areas. There are a lot of video tutorials out there too - again, feel free to ask for recommendations for specific topics before shelling out cash. 3D can easily be learnt over time using online materials - the community is rich with them.

    *Is it possible to have a good portfolio and get a job based purely on talent?

    Yes. A lot of people working in the field have degrees, but the point of getting a degree is basically to hire a teacher to drive them to build their skills and give them advice when they are stuck, as well as get connections in school and to learn... how to learn, haha. It is totally possible to work without a degree, or with one that is unrelated - I once saw a guy with an economics degree painting on youtube, and I dearly wish I remember who he was.

    The most important things seem to be proven high level of skill, good people skills/connections, and being able to work to a time limit - sometimes artists have to produce a very high volume of work. And all of those can be learnt. Furthermore, a lot of people come out of their degrees not having worked particularly hard, or unwilling to continue learning (not willing to learn about business, web design, 3D, or any other skills they need to pick up for specific tasks), and simply do not get jobs. Artists walk forwards on the feet of learning and hard work.

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    Just in case you want to learn some 3D as well as clockodile mentioned, you should check out Blender3D (www.blender.org). It's a great open source 3D Modeling tool, where you can learn to model, texture and animate basically anything you could think of. Be sure to check out http://cgcookie.com/blender/ for some great step by step tutorials. Also a great tutorial would be this one, where you're modelling and animating a tim burton style character: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ2ob8F3sJQ

    In any way, just know that you can do what ever you want to if you have the passion to do it and are willing to put effort in it. Concept Artist or Illustrator may not be the easiest jobs to get in, but I'm sure they're some of the coolest jobs there are.


    checkout my sketchbook or my blog
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    Thank you for all the sound advice and help guys, it's really encouraging me to get down to work on my sketchbook for starters. Hopefully I'll have something to share soon, and then Ill try my hand at digital painting.

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