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  1. #1
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    Life of an ARTIST

    I love art and want to make a career out of it (I'm sure you have heard this before) but i hear from alot of people that its hard, that you make very little money, that there are alot of bad schools, that it takes long work days, that finding a job is almost imposible....well 3 of my friends that went to school didn't find jobs after graduating and are still trying.......now its my turn...anyone have any personal experiences to share, any advise? Don't get me wrong, i love art but if it aint gonna pay the bills then why spend years and lots of money on it?


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    you gotta have your heart in the right place, otherwise the life of an artist is not for you. think about it, if all the artistic greats of the world didnt take on the job description for all its inconsistancies, then no great art would have been created. understandably you want to be able to support yourself financially, but even people who arent artists have trouble doing that. my advice? pursue an artistic life if you love and live for art, its not a prerequisite (only a stereotype) that youll become unemployed and on the dole if you do. if you cant handle that sort of prospect, then keep art as a hobby, and get a 9-5 desk job instead. all the best in your future, man!

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    There are threads on this already so you get the short note.

    Here's a good idea. Go to the main page. You'll see profiles for some artists there. Those guys are good enough to pay their way with their art. Now decide if you will get that good and how long it will take you to get there.

    I mean...if someone could tell you if you'd make it in the industry then they'd be making alot of money in stocks. There are way too many variables.
    [][][][] DRAW EVERYDAY [][][][]>

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    just take a page out of my book and you'll be great, cos I mean I'm the man!
    Take a look at greatness
    SSG#10 is your party host
    I'm the standard of greatness and I'm your new hero, baby~

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    I am majoring in business because I don't want the life of a starving artist. Oddly enough, I do more art now then when I was in art school.

    If you aren't in it 100% then think long and hard about what ELSE you could do that would make you happy. If you have a few, pic the one which pays the most.
    My work: [link]

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    a touching speech Lord blue, but if you really want to get ahead you have to be ruthless to dealers and sweet talking to customers so as to be a proverbial painter.
    Take a look at greatness
    SSG#10 is your party host
    I'm the standard of greatness and I'm your new hero, baby~

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    hmmm....lol, so i guess its either:
    A) be a starving artist, barely make enough to pay the bills, work long hours and even though i'll love the fact im in the field it will still suck
    B) I'll find a regular desk job from 8-5 and make good decent money, work less hours and even though im not in the art field ill will still suck
    ............hmmmm....thats how i see it so far....
    I know i sound negative but this is what i have heard from other artists...

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    I work full time as an art director and lead concept artist, I make a nice chunk of cash. I do however have business smarts, I graduated from business school and computer science school with two degrees a couple of years ago and racked up my time in the business world. I worked hard at my art for about 6 months before landing a concept art position, then was promptly moved to art directorship and was given company share and put on the board of directors after a few months.

    I also run my own freelance illustration business in my own time and did a lot of freelance storyboarding while I was finishing my businss degree and computer science degree.

    I will say that generally though, getting an artist job is very difficult, I feel I was moved into my position so quickly because of a combination of skills I have, no just art work but also because I have quite a bit of managerial experience behind me and a business development mind.

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    Frank Lloyd Wright left his 6 children and wife at age 42 because he was broke and wanted to run away, with some rich floozey.

    Jeffrey Jones changed his gender to her, surgically

    I know of some animation teachers that are disgruntled about Disney downsizing and no longer employing large masses of people for features.

    It's not a life of stability or knowing who you really are.....but then again where are the guaranteed jobs for life now a days? Where is the stability?

    We got so many lawyers nowadays, they'll even work for food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steinmetz
    a touching speech Lord blue, but if you really want to get ahead you have to be ruthless to dealers and sweet talking to customers so as to be a proverbial painter.
    Oh you misunderstand, I am studying business as a complete carrier change, not as something to help me sell my art. I will probably work in a managerial position (in god knows what kind of company) until I can start my own small business.
    My work: [link]

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    what does Jeff Jones' sex change have to do with a young artist making a living? Perplexing...

    It's tough, just like any other freelance or creative field. I've been told that it takes the average illustrator as much as 5 years before you really start getting steady and consistent work. I don't know how true that is, but it definately takes awhile. That's assuming that you're willing to put forth your best efforts and constantly be working towards improvement of your art as well as networking with art directors and other artists. It could be argued that we're all just fucked in the head for attempting such a life, but there must be some kind of reason we do it, right? I can't imagine working in an office 9-5, just not for me. A life sentence as the Dead Kennedys put it.

    And there's really no job security anywhere today. We just have a bit less.

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    what does Jeff Jones' sex change have to do with a young artist making a living? Perplexing...
    The knowing who you really are part.....do you wanna be an artist?....or anything else for that matter?

    Frank Lloyd Wright left his 6 children and wife at age 42 because he was broke and wanted to run away, with some rich floozey.
    Frank Lloyd Wright didn't even know if he wanted to be married......people do what people do.

    I think when you're younger you expect absolutes and stability, then you get older and you realize you're still insecure and uncertain about your choices.
    Last edited by NoSeRider; October 27th, 2005 at 04:04 PM.

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    Some people get it and most people don't, thats the way it is. If you don't understand what I mean then your in the latter category.
    Strange coincidence that every man whose skull has been opened had a brain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSeRider
    I think when you're younger you expect absolutes and stability, then you get older and you realize you're still insecure and uncertain about your choices.
    don't burst my bubble.
    My work: [link]

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    Shithead: "We're gonna have to look for a cartoonist for this...a political type."
    Me: "I do political cartoons, and humor, for that manner."
    Shithead: "But you're a designer."
    Me: "So."
    Shithead: "You can't do that."
    Me: "Why not?"
    Shithead: "Because...it's like trying to be a designer AND a painter ...or a sculptor."
    Me: "I AM a sculptor...and a painter...and an illustrator...and a printmaker...and an art director...and a designer...and a photographer...and a cartoonist...and a writer..."
    Shithead: "Then you aren't any good at anything..."
    Me: "Probably...it would go a long way towards explaining the 800+ awards on the wall and the couple one-man shows...shoulda had more by now."
    Shithead: "Are you making fun of me?"
    Me: "I don't think so...don't you have to at least have an IQ above a single digit to realize something's funny?"
    Shithead: "What's that supposed to mean?"
    Me: "That I'm wasting my time...big time..."
    Shithead: "Faggot!"
    Me: "So bite me..."
    Shithead: "GET OUT!"
    Me: "Do you remember where the door I should use is, or should we ask your secretay to make duck noises so I can find my way out on my own?"

    If you're all lucky...the above is the best day you'll ever have in the business...unless you can choke the bastard and hide his body in a filing cabinet before you leave...

    If you can live with that...go into art as a business...at the worst, you might be broke, but you'll get to sit here when you're old and tell people like you all about it...

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    Doesn't anybody have people skills in this business?

    I'm gonna be like Teddy Roosevelt. Speak softly and carry a BIG STICK.....and I'll hit you with it too!

    I keep hearing that Art Directors are retards though.

    When you have an art director you usually expect the art director to be an artist as well, but a lot of times it's some guy that thinks he has an 'eye' for what looks cool and was probably hired through process of nepotism?

    I was wondering why 'interpolation' of a piece is so necessary....it's because a lot of art directors don't know what they want till they see it.......in other words, they make you do all the work without even knowing what they want.

    Am I wrong?....I don't know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilaekae
    Shithead: "We're gonna have to look for a cartoonist for this...a political type."
    Me: "I do political cartoons, and humor, for that manner."
    Shithead: "But you're a designer."
    Me: "So."
    Shithead: "You can't do that."
    Me: "Why not?"
    Shithead: "Because...it's like trying to be a designer AND a painter ...or a sculptor."
    Me: "I AM a sculptor...and a painter...and an illustrator...and a printmaker...and an art director...and a designer...and a photographer...and a cartoonist...and a writer..."
    Shithead: "Then you aren't any good at anything..."
    Me: "Probably...it would go a long way towards explaining the 800+ awards on the wall and the couple one-man shows...shoulda had more by now."
    Shithead: "Are you making fun of me?"
    Me: "I don't think so...don't you have to at least have an IQ above a single digit to realize something's funny?"
    Shithead: "What's that supposed to mean?"
    Me: "That I'm wasting my time...big time..."
    Shithead: "Faggot!"
    Me: "So bite me..."
    Shithead: "GET OUT!"
    Me: "Do you remember where the door I should use is, or should we ask your secretay to make duck noises so I can find my way out on my own?"
    This made my morning.
    My work: [link]

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    Ilaekae,

    You & I must have worked for the same shithead. Although it seems like I worked for a series of them.

    Boy those shitheads sure get around.
    Mark Hannon
    Art Direction & Design
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    When you have an art director you usually expect the art director to be an artist as well, but a lot of times it's some guy that thinks he has an 'eye' for what looks cool and was probably hired through process of nepotism?
    mostly you'll run into problems with art directors who are failed artists. Ego troubles, you know? There are good art directors and bad, just like anything else. There's probably a common assumption by art directors that all artists are arrogant greedy snobby bastards. And maybe they are for that matter...

    watch yourself around people who have too much to prove

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo
    mostly you'll run into problems with art directors who are failed artists. Ego troubles, you know? There are good art directors and bad, just like anything else. There's probably a common assumption by art directors that all artists are arrogant greedy snobby bastards. And maybe they are for that matter...
    watch yourself around people who have too much to prove
    That's an aufully broad generalization on both sides. While there are a few failed illustrators working as art directors, I think in many cases they will eventually end up as failed art directors as well. That chip on their shoulder will affect their job performance as a whole, not just the part where they interact with illustrators.

    I think that what happens more often than not is that art directors sometimes have to deal with unprofessional illustrators who treat the assignment as a personal sample and want to art direct it themselves. These artists forget who is paying for the work, don't care what the requirements of the assignment are and become argumentative when the art director needs to steer the concept back to the original specifications.

    I have worked with art directors who had dealt with a number of these prima-donnas who at first seemed hard-ass and inflexible. In truth they were actually bracing for the battle they expected. Once I proved to them I was a professional and would work with them on that level, they calmed down and were actually good people to work for.
    Mark Hannon
    Art Direction & Design
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    yeah, I guess you missed the "there are good art directors and bad" bit. I'm saying that, like anything else, sometimes you'll get a terrific art director who doesnt get up your ass about what shade of blue the guy in the backgrounds jeans are, and sometimes you get one that does. As for the artist comment, of course I'm not serious. Its my stern-faced new avatar, everyone things I'm all hard-assed now...

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    The shitheads are the majority of the population, people who dont understand what you do. If you want a carreer in this, you'll better get used to living with them, just like Iklaekae has done. If he didn't, he wouldn't have lasted those 40 years!
    "Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius in sensu" | SB | Portfolio | FJGC (blog) | DA (Profile) | EJERCICIOS DE COLOR

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    xxjames

    To succeed in the art field in IMO you will have to have total belief and confedence in yourself. Since I'm not in this line of work I think this is how you will have to be. Listen to the folks here. They've been there, done that.Its not imposible.

    Just think of it as 2 lines of people. In line 1, your family and friends(50 to 100 people) will say how good you are and would you please draw me a picture of a squirrel.

    Line 2 will have most everybody else(10,000). These guys will say things like you can't do something. Its not posible, its not this or that. You know the type and you will have to get past these guys to succeed. Keep to the strait and narrow art path and one day you will win.

    Don't give up and you'll get there, Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilaekae
    Shithead: "We're gonna have to look for a cartoonist for this...a political type."
    Me: "I do political cartoons, and humor, for that manner."
    Shithead: "But you're a designer."
    Me: "So."
    Shithead: "You can't do that."
    Me: "Why not?"
    Shithead: "Because...it's like trying to be a designer AND a painter ...or a sculptor."
    Me: "I AM a sculptor...and a painter...and an illustrator...and a printmaker...and an art director...and a designer...and a photographer...and a cartoonist...and a writer..."
    Shithead: "Then you aren't any good at anything..."
    Me: "Probably...it would go a long way towards explaining the 800+ awards on the wall and the couple one-man shows...shoulda had more by now."
    Shithead: "Are you making fun of me?"
    Me: "I don't think so...don't you have to at least have an IQ above a single digit to realize something's funny?"
    Shithead: "What's that supposed to mean?"
    Me: "That I'm wasting my time...big time..."
    Shithead: "Faggot!"
    Me: "So bite me..."
    Shithead: "GET OUT!"
    Me: "Do you remember where the door I should use is, or should we ask your secretay to make duck noises so I can find my way out on my own?"
    i hear ya about that one... so funny but yet sooo true...


    xxjames820xx: the 3 point way to become a professional

    1.) become as good as you possibly can and when you're that good, try to improve some more

    2.) polish a lotta doorknobs and be persistant (talking about rottweiler mentality here- you see a job its "GET AT HIM, DOG!!") and always remember to keep your middle finger ready in case you end up in a situation like Ilaekae.

    3.) always have a plan B ready in case you fail and continue with art as a hobby if you do.

    cheers,
    Etienne

    P.S.: sidenote on egomanic art directors with no talent whatsoever: go out with them, get drunk as hell with them, punch'em directly in the face and blame it on the alcohol the next day - perfect alibi

    "How do you know you're good enough?" "You know." "What if you're wrong?" "You find out."

    *** Help a CA artist! Visit the Critique Center! ***

    MY HOMEPAGE

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Pluto
    Line 2 will have most everybody else(10,000). These guys will say things like you can't do something. Its not posible, its not this or that. You know the type and you will have to get past these guys to succeed. Keep to the strait and narrow art path and one day you will win.
    Actually...family tends to be in line two.

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    Mmmmmm...again the same question, i think we have something like this every 4 days, or at least once a week....to keep it simple: If you have to ask such a pointless question like " Is Hard or Easy?", you have to first realize that there isnt such a thing as easy in anything, aswell as you cant have everything in life, no matter what path you choose, best chance you have if to realize waht you can get, what you can´t get, what you will sacrifice and what you will gain in return.

    Simpler than that, if you are a lazy ass artists with bad eye for proyects, you wont get much money / if you work hard, make sacrifices and keep learning about everything, you will get by just fine / If you have an amazing talent, work your ass off 12 hours a day, master yourself in every media in your bussines and have an incredible way with people and lots of contacts, you will be even better.

    Same as anything in life, folowing the same rules of giving something to get something else in return.

    People dont even know what money is nowadays.....and that misconception and blindless in the general population makes me think that they all got their brains fryed somehow, i dont even think i need o explain what money is in this place, because 80% of the people here know what they are talking about.


    As for art directors, is nice to have them, they are mostly right, but when you have a writer/executive/producer/ (or any unrelated function) as an art director, you will find nothing but a person that looks down at you, that have never lift a pen to draw and think is easy, so they are not afraid of wasting your time, treat you like an untelligent maggot or let you hear their asses talk for them, convinced they "know" about art.

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