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  1. #1
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    Student concerned about financial viability of concept art career

    My first thread had a rather awkward title, so here it is again.

    From this forum, I gathered that the life of a concept artist must be pretty difficult. My question is, how much can a concept artist expect (vs how much superstars expect) to make each year?

    How much can one make at the beginning and at the high point of his career?

    Is there a difference between the pay of someone working in movies as opposed to video games, and if so, by how much?

    In fact, what percentage of people get to work in movies as opposed to video games(and how realistic is it to become involved with movie art)?

    Is concept art an ultimate destination, or do concept artist dream of one day becoming a production designer or art director (or something else...)?


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  3. #2
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    all these questions you have just posted again have already been answered in your last thread concerning this, i remember specifically telling you myself some of them, if you want to be rich...go get a business degree, all the people here that do this for a living dont do it for money, its what they love to do, you know the answeres to your questions, but you still doubt urself, maybe its not for you, but just because you dont chose this path doesnt mean you cant do it for fun as a hobby, maybe one day you could make it more than that. good luck
    Nathan Campbells 3 steps to drawing like a pro, 1. Sketch 2. shade. 3. highlights and ur done

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    plain and simple, if your into creating a career in art for the sake of making money, you're in the wrong business.
    "You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else." - Tyler Durden

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    Gasmask, you really don't get it.

    Of course money should not be the reason one commits a lifetime to art. It is also extreme stupidity to ignore the matter of money altogether. Don't you think it is a good idea to find out what to expect? I did not ask this question in the hope of hearing exagerrated salary ranges or careers, to delude myself into naive expectations. I want to get a realistic picture, so I can plan out my life accordingly. Is this not a reasonable question? How you plan to handle your college loans and raise a family depends on this issue. Don't many others on this forum share this same question? You are young, gasmask, and I feel sorry for you, if you had not thought about this matter before charging into your career. Beyond this, what made you think that I want to become an artist because I love money? That is an insult.

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    you are asking the same questions you did last month, many people repeatedly including myself told you how much you can expect to make, and i chose to follow my dreams which is art, im doing the right thing, i dont know if thats the right thing for you, you have to decide, and never once did i say u were only trying to make money, dont put words in my mouth, i only posted here because its sortuv rediculous you would keep posting the same questions wasting space on the boards. if you want to know how much money to expect, read in the last thread you started, about 6 people told you.
    Nathan Campbells 3 steps to drawing like a pro, 1. Sketch 2. shade. 3. highlights and ur done

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    good points well made..

    job satsifaction is infinitly more rewarding than a good wage.... job satisfaction and a nice wage however... BINGO!!

    plus some one famous once said "if you can make your hobby/passion your job then you never really work"

    why dont you (if money is such a factor) study a subject relivant to a carrier (such as industrial design or better yet architect) still retaining a creative influence.. then when established in said career studied at night for your love of art..

    (guess who worked in college's and uni's for 3 years)

    I went down this path got Qualifications in Elec & Mech engineering, got myself a decent enough job and now im practicing my art.. turns out adds a little to my mecha drawings having engineering knowledge... im a happy bunny.. for now.

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    you wont be struggling if you are a good artist.

    the professionals ive met with personally - jason manley, coro, targete, etc - they have nice places, nice cars, go out for meals, all the stuff ppl in 'regular' office careers have. They worker longer hours - but they love to do it.....even if it frustrates them sometimes..

    and having the drive knowing that you have to bust out a piece to put food on the table is exhilarating. A life where you know as long as you show up in the morning you can wing it....is.....uninspiring.

    A career in art keeps you on your feet, keeps your eyes open, and your mind awake.

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    Oliver you are missing the point, there is no expectations, no exact ruler to measure any one of us against. You want "If I put in X amount of effort for company Y then I should expect to make = Z" LOL it does not work that way.

    People do this because they have a PASSION for it, the salary range and amount of work is as diverse as the talent on this board.

    I can promise you something though, if you keep a mechanical mindset and work hard enough to bleed the love for this art form out of your vision you will be making next to nothing. But, if you keep at it, put in a professional level of effort and dedication you won't have to worry about dollar figures because it will be more than enough

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver23
    My first thread had a rather awkward title, so here it is again.

    1 From this forum, I gathered that the life of a concept artist must be pretty difficult. My question is, how much can a concept artist expect (vs how much superstars expect) to make each year?

    2 How much can one make at the beginning and at the high point of his career?

    3 Is there a difference between the pay of someone working in movies as opposed to video games, and if so, by how much?

    4 In fact, what percentage of people get to work in movies as opposed to video games(and how realistic is it to become involved with movie art)?

    5 Is concept art an ultimate destination, or do concept artist dream of one day becoming a production designer or art director (or something else...)?.)?

    1 there are few positions. every job out there is competed for. You want the gig at rockstar or sony or ea or??, you have to get thru me, noxizmad, coro, smellybug and dozens more. Thankfully there is more work than any of us can do. The problem is that people dont spend enough time doing art. Those that do (wes9000 or insane visions for example) are immediately hired into the field. Coincedentally both those artists are employed by Massive Black Inc. Is life hard? uhm...hahahah....every time i drive by the guys shoveling the broken cement away from the jackhammer or the guys putting up scaffold I thank the stars that I made the choices I did and feel very fortunate indeed.

    2. as stated before, it all depends on these things. Talent, people skills (hustle), client budgets and about a dozen other factors which always change. experience helps. what to expect...man i wish i could tell you. some companies may have twenty five grand budgeted...some might have sixty...some might have eighty.....starting is typically under fifty and often under fourty thousand. Hourly rates if freelance depend on job size, budgets and many of the same factors as above. it is possible to make doctor lawyer money doing this stuff as well. sky is the limit...how you sell your skills and how you hustle is up to you. can you do books, suppliment with dvds, do consulting, get the fine art rolling...etc....if you are industrious and have a neverending drive then you can make as much as you can figure out how to make. this question always bothers the hell out of me. simply because every situation is entirely different. every project has different size budgets, every artist does their best to get what they can get.

    3 film pays about 25 percent higher on the average...perhaps as much as 40 percent more...however you get laid off after projects (most artists...especially beginners) and often go months without working. film can pay six figured within just a few years....but then the project ends..where to go...good thing you made friends at the last gig cuz they just told you where the next gig is....oh wait..you pissed off one of the guys you work with...oh well you just lost that gig...time to eat macaroni. hmmm..you have amazing skills and work harder than anyone...then your phone ringing constantly will annoy the hell out of you thus forcing you to get an agent. see number one as those thoughts apply here as well.

    4 any art career is realistic if you want it....low self esteem with your dreams makes me nuts. you can do anything you put your mind to if you work hard enough. to answer your question find out a list of every movie production made...count all the artists....do the same for games...subtract...yawn


    5 it all depends what you want to do man. find out what those positions entail and then see if you like it.


    know this...MONEY doesnt mean jack shit when you compare it to doing something you enjoy. I learned that lesson the hard way. I chased a high dollar gig because it was just too much to pass up. guess what? Within THREE days I was staring at my shoes asking "what have i done?"..."how much would I pay to have days I enjoy?"....find out what you need to survive...and make it happen....anything else is just fluff if you enjoy what you do on a moment by moment basis. if you make great money doing what you love than that is a bonus for sure.


    j

  11. #10
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    Those were some good questions, and good answers.

    Ones that are always on my mind for sure.

    Thanks for the insights Jason.
    Motivation...gone.

    Sketchbook be here...

  12. #11
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    I could not agree with Jason any more.

    I am working 55 hours a week while I am full time at University, people are constantly asking me HOW, how in the world I can keep this up and to be honest I never really knew why until this year.

    I really do love this shit.

    And it puts you into the wonderful position of "I don't give a #%&* !!" Because if you honestly do want this for your life you will find yourself up until 5am when you have to be at work in two hours, just like the night before, the week before, the month before. It isnt a choice you make, it is just you.

    The money will come, the positions will come, and go. But in the end you are doing what you are. And that is a beautiful thing.

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