So I've been told to give up on becoming a concept artist...
 
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    So I've been told to give up on becoming a concept artist...

    My situation in short: I am 23, studying graphic design, but my main interest is designing characters and illustrating.
    Thanks to college, I am almost completely broke. I have this job at a small IT company, but it's not full time and sometimes months pass without any work to do. I've always wanted to be an artist, to create, to be the best. Could be just special snowflake syndrome, but I've believed that this is what I am meant to do.
    But here's the thing: when I tell people about concept art, they don't even know what I am talking about. In the country I live, gaming companies are shutting down one by one. The graphic designer community is so aloof, it's impossible to get in unless you are someone's friend.

    So it seems inevitable for me to get work out of my field... and this horrifies me, because what if I will get stuck in a shitty, boring job and I will slowly lose my skills, my interest for art... dude I rather chop off my arms right now.
    I am not even sure what the hell could I work... I like drawing and writing, and that's all! I'm not good for anything else. Seriously, I have no other skills. In addition, I get anxious from almost everything... speaking with people, going to a new place... it's not really helping.

    In the future, I don't want to be a person who looks at some really awesome artist's work and thinks "this could be me... this could be my work... but I gave up."

    So I am miserable right now. If I have to give up art, I will be even more miserable. Because without my art, I am just a sarcastic, disillusioned woman trying to shut up her feelings with chocolate and mirelit pizza.

    It all began with a crocodile sketch...

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  3. #2
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    Where you're located doesn't really matter that much. Sure, if you live in LA you'll have a much better chance of getting work in the entertainment industry, film specifically. But apart from that and several other locations mostly in the US, the rest of the world is in the same boat.

    If your work is of high quality you'll get hired no matter where you're from. In the times of fast internet access it just doesn't matter. In fact, being located in a country like Hungary with very low living costs is an advantage to the freelancer because you can charge "normal" rates (e.g. in USD or EUR) that are far above the average for your country. I'm thinkling of moving to Budapest myself (my partner is from there originally).

    As to people not knowing what concept art is or discouraging you on principle, just don't listen to them. If you're really good, you'll get work.
    It's the "getting really good" that is the problem for all of us

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    If your work is of high quality you'll get hired no matter where you're from. In the times of high internet access it just doesn't matter. In fact, being located in a country like Hungary with very low living costs is an advantage to the freelancer because you can charge "normal" rates (e.g. in USD or EUR) that are far above the average for your country. I'm thinkling of moving to Budapest myself (my partner is from there originally).
    Well that's the other problem, my works are not high quality yet. I am not a pro, more like... I don't even know. But definitely not a high level artist. I am supposed to get experience, but I can't get that without getting hired. No one will hire me without experience.
    Well to you living costs might appear low, but with almost zero income and school fees to pay it's a different reality for me. But this is a different topic.

    I wish I could just not listen, but it's not that easy. Anyways, thanks for commenting.

    It all began with a crocodile sketch...

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    Quote Originally Posted by helila View Post
    I am supposed to get experience, but I can't get that without getting hired. No one will hire me without experience.
    If you're not getting hired, most likely your work isn't up to scratch. The remedy for that isn't trying (again) to get hired but to improve your skills. Work on your fundamentals (composition, anatomy, colour theory, formal perspective, form building etc.), paint lots and lots from life, improve your sense for design and if you want to pursue concept art, 3D is more or less a must these days. You won't get hired without that skillset. And once you have it, not having worked in the industry before isn't going to be a hurdle. Everyone starts somehwere^^



    Well to you living costs might appear low, but with almost zero income and school fees to pay it's a different reality for me.
    I have no doubt about that, I think you misunderstood was I was trying to say. I was talking about the point when you're starting to get work. Clients don't say "but you live in country X, living costs are lower there so we'll pay you less", they'll pay you whatever sum you can command- which in turn relates to your skillset and not to where you live. So, again, living in a country with relatively low living costs is an asset for freelancers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    Work on your fundamentals (composition, anatomy, colour theory, formal perspective, form building etc.), paint lots and lots from life, improve your sense for design and if you want to pursue concept art, 3D is more or less a must these days. You won't get hired without that skillset. And once you have it, not having worked in the industry before isn't going to be a hurdle. Everyone starts somehwere^^
    That's what I've been doing so far, except for 3D, I couldn't learn that one yet. I just thought, by this time I should be working. It's very dissappointing.

    It all began with a crocodile sketch...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    Interesting read. I did find some inspiration in this thread, thank you.

    It all began with a crocodile sketch...

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    Don't focus on a specific career: focus on decent skills. There are quite a lot of concept artists who fail in concept art, but manage to survive in illustration, background painting, character design, which may not be their first choice, but might open doors in the future.

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Quote Originally Posted by helila View Post
    That's what I've been doing so far, except for 3D, I couldn't learn that one yet. I just thought, by this time I should be working. It's very dissappointing.
    Hm, I've had a look at your sketchbook. Now, I don't know how up to date it is or if you post all your studies in there or not, but all I can see in your SB are character drawings/paintings.

    No formal perspective plots, no form building, no life painting/ life drawing, no colour studies, no master copies, no design studies to improve your visual library. No vehicles, exactly one gun prop, no environments.

    Be careful not to spin your wheel and draw/paint the same subject matter over and over again. It won't help you much to improve.

    Painting character portraits from imagination is not the same as working on your fundamentals. Grab Loomis: Successfull Drawing / Norling: Perspective made easy (after you've worked through it you can graduate to Robertson: How to Draw) and Gurney: Color and Light and get started on your fundamentals. Draw/paint from life and reference as much as you can. If you want to specialize in characters (though you will have to reach proficiency in all subject matters regardless) life drawing (with an actual model) is also a very good idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    Hm, I've had a look at your sketchbook. Now, I don't know how up to date it is or if you post all your studies in there or not, but all I can see in your SB are character drawings/paintings.

    No formal perspective plots, no form building, no life painting/ life drawing, no colour studies, no master copies, no design studies to improve your visual library. No vehicles, exactly one gun prop, no environments.

    Be careful not to spin your wheel and draw/paint the same subject matter over and over again. It won't help you much to improve.

    Painting character portraits from imagination is not the same as working on your fundamentals. Grab Loomis: Successfull Drawing / Norling: Perspective made easy (after you've worked through it you can graduate to Robertson: How to Draw) and Gurney: Color and Light and get started on your fundamentals. Draw/paint from life and reference as much as you can. If you want to specialize in characters (though you will have to reach proficiency in all subject matters regardless) life drawing (with an actual model) is also a very good idea.
    Yeah I am guilty of spending too much time in my comfort zone with character drawings and portraits... I haven't done any studies in a long while and didn't bother to upload them then. Vehicles... never really thought about drawing those. I was checking out the master studies thread today, guess it's about time for me to try myself at them.

    I think I already have these books (or some of them at least), and I always use refs for my drawings. I either use photo reference or take a look at myself in the mirror.

    Thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate it.

    It all began with a crocodile sketch...

    SKETCHBOOK - crit and comment always welcome

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    Quote Originally Posted by helila View Post
    Yeah I am guilty of spending too much time in my comfort zone
    Aren't we all =) Just work consciously against it. It's not like you have to give up drawing what you like, it's just that it won't help you hone your skills as much.

    Vehicles... never really thought about drawing those.
    Doesn't have to be vehicles necessarily, could be architecture, props, or other hard surface stuff. Orthographic views and perpective views of the same object/ turnarounds. That sort of thing. Anything that needs rigorous perspective plotting and form building. You'll find that once you get better at those very technical things, you'll get better at drawing soft surface/organic subject matter as well, since perspective is necessary for both.

    Sok szerencsét kivánok!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post

    Sok szerencsét kivánok!
    Köszönöm!

    It all began with a crocodile sketch...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    Sok szerencsét kivánok!
    Quote Originally Posted by helila View Post
    Köszönöm!
    Gah! They're using a secret code! Conspiracy! AAAAAAGH!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    If there isn't already, it'd be great to see a thread with peoples' stories like this. I think it's really useful to see the many ways that people wiggle their way up. I see the question about school a lot, and I think in the end, it's relevant to se that there are a ton of ways to get there and school is one way. I'm not there yet, but I'd say I'm towards the end (or beginning!) I'm doing art and design in advertising, and was just recently able to shift my schedule to fewer hours, so I can focus on art again. Hell, I have the 4 school, 8 year BFA. I did most of my journey on my own, but am definitely grateful to those who helped me and even to those who disregarded me. It makes me now realize just how much I love art as a whole and the design industry, creativity, and fairies and dragons, and that's ok.

    Find work that you love that is totally not your style, or usual subject, or you think, "God, I could never do that," and emulate it, learn how, start fresh. For example, I can't do mech, or guns, or cars, to save my life and I honestly am not drawn to it, so guess what, I'm going to start drawing one every day. Blech! Maybe find a similar challenge and expand your portfolio?

    "I'm not good for anything else. Seriously, I have no other skills. In addition, I get anxious from almost everything... speaking with people, going to a new place... it's not really helping.

    Read more: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/new...#ixzz3CITlUXUy"


    I'd like to mention that it sounds like you may be pretty depressed. If you aren't, these kind of thoughts are depressing and not helpful no matter what. Please take inventory and care for your well-being and know that you are a WIP.
    If you love what you do artistically, feed on that. Challenge yourself. Be good to yourself. Pull joy from that.

    "Do great work and be great to work with." - Chris Oatley is a site that is worth looking at it. This guy's got a great attitude and an inspiring podcast. Sometimes we need the folks who are hard on us and push us and critique us, sometimes we need gentle nudges and support. Chris Oatley is more the latter IMO, which may be good for you.

    I understand the money thing. It sucks. I think the advice to not get stuck on a particular job title is important. If you can find work that has anything even close to what you want to be doing, as in using similar tech tools, or design, or visual whatever, that's something better than say, working in sales, then wiggle your way up.

    Don't give up!

    That's my 20 cents.

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    If you get the chance and need a break from practicing your art check out the LevelUp channel on YouTube. They feature a new artist every week who tells their "rags to riches" story about how they started and what they did to get where they are. The sum of the story is "work hard"! There's no short cut. Best of luck... now stop reading and go art something!

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  22. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    Aren't we all =) Just work consciously against it.
    Reminds me that the most important task of a teacher is to kick students out of their comfort zone. Some people need a teacher for this, others are flexible enough to kick themselves...

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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