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October 27th, 2005 #1
almost 29 and unsure what to do...
I'm new to this forum, but it's so nice to be inspired by so many talented artists! Please bear with me as I post another thread about education...
My dilemma is that I am 28 (almost 29) and would like to work in the entertainment industry in games or film as a character artist. I am currently a full-time web/graphic designer, but my main strength has always been illustration and I've been drawing characters since I don't know when. I'm trying to make a career change, but am at a loss as to what next step I should take.
Realistically, I know this is a long term goal - this will not happen quickly. What I am thinking of is strategizing a way to position myself to 'eventually' get to that level. I will always have to draw and take classes to improve myself, regardless of what happens. The question is what should I do to 'get my foot in the door' so I can maneuver? I would not mind 3D modeling or doing 2D Texturing - should I approach my studies in this way (of course while working my art) ? Or should I go back to school in an arts program? Should I be daunted by a 2nd B.A in illustration at my age (b/c I feel daunted)? I guess I just feel late in the game
I am not afraid of learning on my own, but would like to hear opinions on whether going back to school (probably an art school) would be recommended. Please be as honest and realistic as you can about my situation - I would like to hear what you would do in my position.
Thanks for reading!
Hide this ad by registering as a memberOctober 27th, 2005 #2
Do it and die trying. Quit trying to nurse your ego and self esteem and just do.
Ignore people, a lot of them are a'holes.
Be successful and get revenge.....without being vengeful.
If you're married, forget what I said.
October 27th, 2005 #3Registered User
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Okay my opinion - is not worth a lot - im 21 & just started to take all this art thing seriously - first of all welcome to CA.org - in my opinion I dont think you really need to go all the way back to art school - some people on here have never gone to art school or any magic further education at all - as far as I know - i.e. self-taught artists.
You seem to already have lots of experience - so you will - I guess - have it in a way easier then you might think - in my opinion - to do this career change.
First thing I guess is to stay here on CA because this is a very valuable site & propably perfect for what you are looking for.
There are lots of tutorials - lots of helpful beginning & profeesional artists - with a lot of character based work .
So do not run away
I think that oviously to get your foot into somewhere you need to have work/a portfolio.
But thats ovious & as you say you have been drawing characters for ages so I guess just continue with that & expand & concentrate your energy on the new things ahead.
" I will always have to draw and take classes to improve myself, regardless of what happens."
-> we all have to always remember to try to improve & be as good as we can be (quite hollow words from a lazy person at the moment like me ) .
In summary it sounds that you can certainly manage this change on your own without having to go back to an art school where you will propably learn not so much more as you already have experience .
I hope a pro can give a proper answer to your question.
October 27th, 2005 #4
thank you poohgee for your thoughtful words. I'm at that age of transitioning a lot of things (like almost being 30!!), so I think I'm dealing with a lot of issues in general as to what I should do. I guess I don't really need to go back to school, there are so many paths to take - it's hard to figure out the best one. I should probably take some art classes tho to help refine some basic things I might be missing. Graphic Design didn't really offer that many art courses and I didn't think thoroughly enough about taking art classes in college. Drawing came very easily to me back then, but now that i'm older - I find myself lacking and you guys in this forum do such fantastic work, I really need to catch up! so, i'm just trying to figure out how to school myself.
are a lot of people in the forums are self-taught artists? that is comforting if that's true.
I'll def not run away thanks again!!
ps. if there any pros out there - I would love to hear from you too!
Last edited by moraisins; October 27th, 2005 at 05:00 PM.
October 27th, 2005 #5
I don't think you need to get a second degree, but you could probably take a couple of classes to sharpen your skills. If you've got your BFA and have been working in graphic design, I would imagine your skills are pretty solid. I think it would be a good idea to take a figure drawing class and maybe a class specifically geared towards what you wanna do. Like a character design class or something.
I'm 19 so I'm not speaking from experience or anything. This is just what I would assume is a good course of action.
October 27th, 2005 #6Originally Posted by moraisins
And my thoughts regarding your age are that it really never matters. As long as you have that inner desire, you'll do fine. Life's too short to be working at just a job. What we do in this artistic field is more of a career.
I thoroughly enjoy my job. I can't imagine that I get paid for doing what I do and I can honestly say that I'm NOT counting down my days to retirement. This is what I plan on doing as long as I can. it's more about being passionate and love with this field.
For you, I think I think it's going to be some courtship with it but it's never too late to dive into the field. Your happiness is worth it.
October 27th, 2005 #7
29 is very young--not daunting at all. Let's all hope we want to change what we do at 60 and 80 and beyond.
As long as you know how to create, or study creation methods on your own for the industries you want to break into, you shouldn't have to go back to school. Build a portfolio, then start sending it. Get feedback, work some more, send it again.
Not that school is a bad thing--it can be a refresher--but it isn't necessary id you have a strong drive and portfolio.
October 27th, 2005 #8
Hello, Moraisins. I know how you feel. I'm almost 26 and I feel old as well! And here I am... trying to start a new career as a graphics designer / web designer. I'm trying to apply to Cali schools and take a second course (which is far from my previous one - Architecture). I guess you're just never too old to change course. That's what everyone keeps on telling me... well, not everyone.
But IMO, it all comes down to the money. Can you afford to change your profession? If you can, then go for it! Nothing else matters except your happiness. I can't believe I just said that... I should apply that to myself!!!
October 28th, 2005 #9Originally Posted by YOHAN14344
That's it! Between you two, I need to stress that it's never too late to start in on your happiness. If you truly believe that your happiness lies in an alternate career, go for it. Life is too short to be stuck with a job that you dread going to.
And while it's been awhile since I've had to pull an all-nighter as a student, I still pull many an all-nighter for my work. I laugh at it now because I'm still loving what I'm doing. Now if it was just drudgery, there is no way I'd be staying up as late as I do now for it. It's just not worth it!
Go and pursue your happiness.
October 28th, 2005 #10
Thanks everyone for your thoughts! All of you have provided great advice and I will take it all to heart. I don't know why I feel like I'm old - I think I have expectations of where I should be at this age. I'm sure many people go thru this type of feeling - maybe it's b/c I'm almost 30, it's a milestone! eeps!
storyboard dave - I did receive your email. thanks!! I posted one back as well
Yohan14344 - I am actually a web/graphic designer. You can do it - all you have to do is apply standard design principles to everything you do, and a lot of it is subjective and what 'looks good'. I do freelance work on the side - you can start this way with small jobs, but be very careful. I have had 'bad' clients try to swindle me, or argue over payments - stand firm. You can even start by doing a couple pro bono (non-paid) gigs, and develop your portfolio this way. I definitely don't regret studying graphic/web design - it's something solid I can fall back on. If you think about it - almost EVERYONE wants/needs a web site, there are a lot of jobs for it. you can do it.
October 28th, 2005 #11
I know, morasins! I'm actually planning to study graphics design to help me with web designing! Kinda weird, eh. But they are very much connected. I just decided I like web designing 5 months ago. Got clients for logos and sites, already. Still learning, though.
I'm having a problem with php. Do you have to learn php? I want to learn it... I don have an idea... but I don't think I have the time to learn it. Hmmm.
October 29th, 2005 #12
I can't stress to the both of you how it CAN be done. Age has absolutely nothing to do with your drive to succeed in the art world. Technically I'm a graphic design grad and yet I do illustration for a living. I'd like to think that my design skills have helped with my illustrations and vice versa. It's just another little skill that I've got in my bag o' tricks. Don't ever think that just because you start out in one field, you can't make the slide over to another- and this one's easier than say if you were coming over from accounting or dentistry! Both of you guys have a solid design sense already. Whereas you were monkeying with html. and type hierarchy yesterday, now you'll be playing around with juxtaposition, light, composition, storytelling and things that go into an illustration.
Trust me. It can be done. I've seen it first hand with students of mine already and they're doing amazingly well.
I always espouse that what really matters is your happiness with life. And if you think that going one direction is best for you, who are we to argue?
Good luck to both of you guys.
October 29th, 2005 #13
yohan - you don't have to learn php. it's kind of neat to know (I don't know it), but it allows you to handle database information. I'm actually not that technical, which is why I'm going back to illustration. what you should get good at is CSS, some ASP (include files), and some flash. Graphic Design is pretty fundamental for web design, it'll make you a better designer overall.
Storyboard Dave - thanks for the words of encouragement! How did you transition from graphic design to illustration? did you keep working on illustration on the side and submit your portfolio to companies every so often? Or did you go back to school to pursue illustration? I probably should have realized back in school I was more prone to illustrating - every design project I ever contained my illustrations!