How did you start your career?
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Thread: How did you start your career?

  1. #1
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    How did you start your career?

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  2. #2
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    I'll rip this from my Toy Design thread in the Employment Discussion forum:

    I interviewed for an internship at Hasbro during my senior year of college. I had to sneak into the interview in the first place (they were looking for ID students, not illustrators) and it had ended with the usual polite smile and "don't call us, we'll call you" air to it. I was about to walk out and accept that I had been passed up, when I turned around and said "Hey, how is the new My Little Pony line doing?" The interviewers brightened up and we ended up talking for another 20 minutes as I told them my opinions on the new line, what I liked about the old line and some ideas that I thought were cool for future toys.

    The interview did a 180 and they asked me to send more sketches to them, showing my thought process, handling of 3D shapes and breakdowns to how some toys might work. They wanted to see clarity and follow-through to my ideas. Even though 99% of the stuff in my portfolio wasn't toy-centric, it showed them that I had the drawing skills which I could adapt to their needs.
    So I guess I started the day after I graduated, doing my first and only internship. Things worked out at the internship and I was taken on as a perma-temp. There was a big layoff a few months later though, so I ended up freelancing part-time for Hasbro for a couple years, while working a full-time animation gig. I did a little art-ish work while I was in college, but it was one of those "We won't pay you but OMG YOU'LL BE PUBLISHED LOLZ!" kind of things. So I don't count it

    Internships are an excellent way to get hired eventually... it's essentially a studio's way the test the waters with you and mold your delicate, supple form into their stony image - I mean, see if you'd be a good fit a few months down the road. If you have any oppurtunity to get an internship at a studio that you like, even if all you do is sharpen pencils and get coffee, GO FOR IT.

    Last edited by Steph Laberis; December 7th, 2006 at 03:07 AM.
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  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    at a temp job.. i worked with a fellow that wanted to paint his truck.. with some graphics etc. he said he had searched everywhere but didnt find anyone he felt comfortable with to do the work. i asked him about his ideas and went home that night to draw it out for him. the next day i surprised him with it and he was blown away. he showed everyone there and then came to me and gave me $250 for 'my work'.. i wasnt ex[ecting it to turn out that way. but he then began to encourage me to sell my work to anyone interested. soon after i got more offers to do work, which i also sold.. and its been that way since. im a freelance artist.. i have 'clients' and i work by commission. but it is not my full-time career. just a way to make extra money on the side.. - JAG

    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
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    Thats awesome Steph!!! what a cool story....good for you youi had the guts to nail em!

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  6. #6
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    Awh, thanks Nic! ^^; Before that interview, I had never realized how important knowing the product of a studio and/or initiating conversation could be. Usually you're taught to just stay composed and answer "yes" to the right questions. The quality of my artwork didn't physically change within those 20 minutes, but the interviewer's perception of it sure as hell did, and suddenly I became more useful in their eyes.

    So all of you artists who shun having decent social skills... you're gonna need em if you'd like to work in a group environment like a studio

    I'm curious to hear about others though - chime in already!

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  7. #7
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    I got my first freelance gig through networking. I was working at the Wizards of the Coast Game Center (yeah, back in the day) and I had just gotten back from SDCC with portfolio in hand. I was talking to a few buddies of mine about some of the contacts I made and a corporate employee came up to the register and showed his badge for the discount we got as employees. I asked him what he did and he was the VP of the miniatures dept. I straight out asked him if he had a job for me. I delivered the line with a smile and chuckle but that started a line of conversation at which point I showed him my portfolio which got me an interview with the president of the dept. That dept. was dry for work but the VP passed my name off to a friend of his at another RPG company and he contacted me for a superhero RPG. That was my first true pro-job. The best piece of advice I can give anyone is to talk to as many artists and industry professionals that you can. Networking is more than 1/2 the battle for freelance work. Delivering high quality art in a timely manor is the 2nd half of the battle.
    -Mike V

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    it was acutally my junior year in high school and my furture saw me drawing in my sketch book , ansd was like you'd be one helluva characature artist went for the interview the training course was a month. i did it in a week and a half... that led to other commission and stuff... i'm just waiting for a better job concept designing n stuff...

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