topics like this probably came up before but i did a search and dindt find any. OK so how bad is it out there? i mean is your job really just drawing stuff you dont care for? how long did you go for without a job? and when you did get that job, was it friggin too low pay? is your job even fun anymore?
for me right now, i feel very niave (SP) of what the real world of being an artist is like. i just imagine myself struggling hard in the beginning and few years later having it where my job is pretty stable and im skilled enough to work for different companies.
right now im on my summer vacation closing into starting of college, and im thinking, well maybe i should just go to a vocational school and get out in a year and get the technician job which is stable instead (makes 30-50k but not sure about starting). and that will allow me time to build my portfolio (most likely without fulltime schooling but probably classes here and there and mostly self teaching and learning from books/ca org). then i can do part time concept arting for fun. the whoel thing is, i dont want to be where i have to worry everyday about whether i can pay for my bills for hte month if i just had an art job instead. i think that, if im truly tired of the whole technician thing,m i could jump into the conceptart field if i feel that i am good enough to be able to find jobs (but isnt job prospects down for artists?). ok sorry this isnt organized but im so filled with thoughts i dont know what to do.
For me, the answers are pretty straightforward.
Is the job still fun after years of practice? Are there still people out there doing it after years of practice? Yes.
The fun jobs will always be taken by the artists who wants them the most. It's just a matter of wanting it bad enough. It's perfectly normal to question ones choice of profession, it will weed out the grain from the salt (eeer?)
Last edited by CGMonkey; July 5th, 2006 at 01:22 PM.
The myth of there not being any opportunities for artists is total bullisht... especially in a town like Los Angeles you could find some work if you worked hard and prepared yourself. Decide whether making art (so many different areas and opportunities) is what you want to do or not, and then "jump out of the airplane." Sure, you might not be doing exactly what you want to do immediately (im doing graphic design work now, but i find that it really helps my draftsmanship and just level of comfort with making images), but whatever visually / design oriented you are doing that is somewhat creative will add another feather to your cap and more experience making images. It's discouraging at first to apply for gigs and opportunities and not get them, but if you are persistent and your work ethic + portfolio stand up and you will eventually find a little visual art making type work, from which you can build. Baby steps, unfortunately-->there's no other way. better to start now and get better with time than to put it off for money.
If you truly want to be an artist it is something that you feel in your bones and you will not be happy doing anything else. Money isn't everything, and the sacrifice in my personal experience/opinion has been worth it in every way.
adieus and best of luck
Last edited by guggemmaneuver; July 5th, 2006 at 10:18 AM.
Who cares how much competition there is out there? If you become skilled at what you do and have more to offer than every other Joe Schmo applying, you'll eventually land a job. Then you work your way up.
You also might want to consider the fact that you can switch careers as often as you want. If being an artist doesn't suit you, tech school takes two yrs (it's cheaper as an adult anyway).
Stop worrying. No time for that while working hard on your art.
im glad i saw this thread, i needed it.
The competition out there in this field is plenty, there are lots of johnny newguys who have caught onto the latest buzzword of concept artist - the field itself is relatively new and there is somewhat a romantic air about it spun by the naive.
Is the job fun? Is it difficult? Does it get boring sometimes? The answers you can figure out for yourself, and if you can't its yes.
Every cool sounding job comes shrink-wrapped in its own layer of hype and novelty, even the coolest jobs in the world becomes a job after time in the industry, there are the things you hate about it, and things you love, and thats the same with everything, with loved ones, with the food you eat, everything.
The vital thing to ask yourself after the novelty wears off is - do I appreciate the good points more than I dislike the bad? For me, the answer is still definitely - for others it might not be.
Specifically with concept art, you gain a type of freedom that you lack in other fields, that is part of your job description, to be creative - that can also be your bane at times, being creative on a time budget takes some getting used too, and unless you approach the field or self learning with a high level of logical improvement to processes and technique you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed.
I personally think your plan is a sound safe one, it is the route I took and it has paid off nicely for me - not only do you have a safety net, you also build a lot of skills that you perhaps may not in a pure art job from the start, such as professionalism.
Certainly it is not a pre-requisite, but it is to your occupational as well as financial advantage to have these skills - in the real world, the angst ridden artist who gives the middle finger to the world generally wont get too far.
Also, concept art positions do not need to be freelance, there are plenty of staff jobs out there, the only thing is your portfolio and your ability to sell yourself.
The opportunities out there are plenty for those who have the skills to tackle them - same as any other business. Its just that art as a vocation has a negative stigma placed on it by society, a stigma which in my opinion means jack shit in these contemporary times.
Learning and getting better applies to every job you do in your life. I read I nice article concerning unemployment (and trying not to be unemployed, of course) and it stated quite nicely that you have to make yourself indespensable to keep your job. Thinking further, you might come to the conclusion that if you earn a reputation, other companies may think that you could be useful for them aswell.
It's like driving school. Most important decisions you earn after you got your license
And like Mirana said, you can switch if it doesn't work out as you wish. I stick to the system of doing things you like first and if it's not what I want, I take the secure road.
[EDIT] After reading what Magic Man said... I forgot one thing: As for me, I'm half a year from being a trained media-designer. So I got that "safety net" he's talking about. I probably wouldn't have thought of going to art school or something just after I left school. It's riscy to do so. You might find yourself in a situation where every step further overwhelms you and every step back would be a confession to yourself.
Last edited by Jabo; July 5th, 2006 at 01:04 PM.
what? if you choose to take a job you don't enjoy, that's your own fault. If you can't get yourself into working on commissions, maybe this isn't the field for you. Now sure, everyone is going to wind up working on a job now and then which, for one reason or another, is less engaging, but those should be the exception and not the rule. You gotta love every piece like your baby.i mean is your job really just drawing stuff you dont care for?
thanks a lot for the information everyone, yeah i guess simply put is whether i want to take the secure route or the more risky route. THe difference is that i wont be able to do art earlier. well the good thing is is that i found out this job makes 50-70 instead of what i had thought earlier, so thats pretty good. I do like the idea of being secure and not freaking out over not being able to pay off stuff monthly.
i was actualy thinking about your story Magic Man while i was thinking through my options. I remembered what you said about doing your business degree but then hopping into art. So you were doing business, but were you doing art on the side then? and then soon after you hopped into it fully? because i too would like to create a studio (who doesnt i guess?)
LadyLionessOriginally Posted by LadyLioness
I sort of went through the same thing you did.
Truthfully, it makes no sense to go to a tech school if that's not what you're interested in to do a job you're not interested in. It takes a lot of time, money, and effort also, it's not exactly a walk in the park. And, it's very unlikely you'll be banking eve 50,000 right after finishing school. Even if you did land a job making that much money, a job like that also carries a lot of responsibilities which you will literally have to focus all of your time and energy on so you can do a competent job. You won't have time to do concept art.
It could be that you are just changing your mind on concept art and really might want to do something else. You are very concerned about making money and you know that art isn't a glamorousy high-paying gig, especially when you are just starting out. You know what is in your heart.
well, i picked that because of the short amount of schooling needed plus the amount of money it takes, i was thinking, if i am going to do a job job, might as well do one that pays well. i just have no sense of what artists make out there, and im guessing probably 30-40 starting? the problem is stability. im just so confused, like many of us are out there. honestly, i think its because of the person im talking to whose making me really doubt this. on my own, im very confident about the outlook of my future, i know that whatever i do i can do well ebcause i put my all. I guess, its because im not used to someone giving me negative feed back, like shes telling me that i wont have health coverage, i ll be worry about whether i can pay for bills for the month etc and why would i choose a hobby as a job (that part i freaked out because art isnt a hobby to me). she says shes giving me a reality check and that the world does revovle around money. hearing all that makes me feel like im some sort of niave little girl who doesnt know anything. Though i always hear that line, go for your passion and the money will follow
my own opinion on the subject: sounds corny, but money really isn't everything. It's important, but you need to be happy in what you do. It takes time to get the ball rolling in the art business even after you're out of school and ready to go. If security and high starting pay are priorities, this may not be your line. If you feel that satisfaction in and enthusiasm for your work are worthy trade-offs, at least in the beginning, that's another story. There's not really such a thing as starting pay with this type of work, and if there is, it fluctuates so wildly that it's of little use statistically speaking.
A friend of mine went to school for molecular biology. He finished up about a year ago and shortly after, he landed a job at a lab. I finished school a year before him and have been painting full time since then. He makes steady money and benefits. He works 9-5 monday through friday. He can say, with reasonable confidence, that at 10 am on the first tuesday in June, 2008, he'll be in that lab doing whatever they do. If he wants to go visit family or whatever, he
Originally Posted by DavePalumbo
My background was a (relatively speaking) cushy job as a health practitioner. After 4 years of practice, frustration built up - I knew I was not doing what I wanted to do. I thought screw the money, screw the security and the family expectations, I'm gonna do this for myself and what I feel passionate about.
For me, job satisfaction comes first and foremost.
BTW Dave your post looks truncated.
Last edited by Cwn Annwn; July 6th, 2006 at 04:46 AM.
I intend to be an artist for a living. I do not intend on being rich, but I intend on eating daily and playing the current nintendo consoles. Becoming an artist is a risky and hard thing I've heard. Getting a stable job even harder, but from the people I've talked to who do, they wouldn't trade it for the world. If I can find that sort of happiness in a job, I don't care how much I'm getting paid. There's nothing worse than working a job you hate, except for the things worse than that.
Hi again ladyL, yes I undertook and finished a business degree and a computer sciencce degree, after that I went to work in an executive job, that company closed shortly after I joined and so I went to another place dealing with logistics as an assistant manager - boring shit, but let me have a lot of spare time to decide what I wanted to really pursue.Originally Posted by LadyLioness
I got so bored with that job I changed companies and entered into the health field, go my master trainer fitness certification as well as working in a health food place as a general manager, while using all my money to fund my capita investment into photographic and design equipment, I think I've spent something close to $40k already while living at home to minimise expenses.
I was doing storyboarding and some design work on the sideline, but when my equipment was all paid for and i had everything I needed, I decided to quit - 1 week out from leaving I met a director of a start up video game company and he offered me a chance to join the team as a concept artist, after a few months I moved into art directing and then onto a producer's role, and now I've moved back into art directing and concept work - although I am now leaning towards perhaps leaving these shores to work exclusively as a concept artist since I prefer that over scheduling and managing (although the money is typically a lot better). I also concept and produce for another developer in my spare time.
I'm happy I learned early on money isn't everything, in fact, a high salary in a boring job is usually detriment for people who want to follow their dreams, because "they wont be paid as much" they fail to chase it.
I'll honestly say that illustrating in your spare time is not something that you can keep up for a long time if you do other work too, often you'll be too tired to continue your art studies and your art dreams will fall by the wayside, if you truly want to follow an art career this won't work long term.
I'd honestly say to improve your skills now and hop into a staff art job as soon as possible despite low pay - as long as you can survive on it. Its as close to a win-win situation that you can get, you get commercial work under your belt and your resume/portfolio and experience in the field.
These are worth more than money in the short term, in any job in fact, money shouldn't even be a high priority until you have a few year's experience, think of it as paying your dues. When the time is right, when your skills are field tested, the money will come and you will feel more conplete than most other people on earth.
I've always stuck to this principle and it has always paid for me, I don't see why it couldn't work for others too.
shit, how'd that happen? oh well, I was probably rambling anyhow. Something about how some people are happy in a 9-5 and some people want anything but. The thought of working a 9-5 with vacation time and all that makes me feel claustrophobic, but my buddy likes it and says that working a freelance job would freak him out. Gotta know what you want.
Well that's just a question of personal taste. Still living in the countryside (I'm not a city slicker, you know), almost nobody I know makes demands concerning a (future) job. If they have one, they try to stick to it as long as they can (lifelong, if need be), if they don't have one, they take anything that get's paid good.
In the end, there are two kinds of people: The ones that don't like working, have almost no hobbies but have to earn money to spend on shit they like to have, and those with lifetime goals and illusions from the beginning of their crappy existence.
If you're one of the former, you have the opportunity of being pleased by almost anything, which can be a good thing I guess.
If you're of the latter kind, there's a big chance of being in that schizophrenic situation, where one voice in your head tells you to keep on going to succeed in what you like and the other voice tells you to give up and become a member of group no.1
The good thing is you never get bored...
It sounds like the real source of your anxiety is hanging around with people who tear you down & piss on your hopes & dreams. Assuming you're not related to this person, you would be well served by not spending as much time (or any) with them. No real friend would ever do that to you.
Art Direction & Design
A staff job in videogames ?? can you give more details what thats about. Is it an in-house concept artist ?? or someone that does several tasks like clerical work and every once in awhile contribute to the creative process of a product ?? whats the best way to go after a position like that ? i'm sure everyone is using gamasutra but are there other ways ?
Originally Posted by Vhan juju
i think the thing any youngin going into the art world needs to understand, is that unless you are a genious on the same level as Picasso was, you WILL have to eat your share of shit out there. Just accept it. there is no easy, Jackpot way to make it. just get it over with early on becasue it will taste a lot worce when you have a wife and kids to feed.
Most game companies don't have full time in-house concept artist (but most game companies are usually start-up developers getting into mobile gaming). Usually, concept art is contracted out to freelance artists. Pratically all large game companies, such as Capcom, EA, and perhaps most medium sized ones too, will have full-time, in-house concept artists. No company is going to hire a concept artist to do clerical work too,lol!Originally Posted by gruve24
Usually, concept artists working in-house have to have some amount of 3D skills, since they'll have to do miscellaneous tasks such as camera positioning and maybe even texturing. A lot of people get job refereals from friends who are already in the biz, but if your portfolio is good that's the best way to get a position. If you want any job in the video game industry, consider being a QA at first, and try to impress the bosses with your artwork, 3D skills, as well as your reliablity and professional demeanor. When a position happens to open up, and think you can handle it, they would rather hire someone they know is dependable then some stranger off the street.
Last edited by CaptainInsano; July 7th, 2006 at 07:38 PM.
im not workin atm not in the field any way ... id did work for 2 years on a game that never saw the light of day but was payed really really well . and since moveing back to home base <my house > i can barly feed my self .i work a wage slave job jsut to afford my self the internet and pencil leads . eating is good . my location dosent really afford me opertunitys to have a decent wageslave job ... and still beable to draw and paint as much as i do .
all that being said .. i couldent stop now if i wanted to . reguardless of what happens i will keep drawing 8 hours a day minimum . because i love it and if as a byproduct of that i get a decent job doing waht i love cool ! if not thats fine to . if some time ago i would have started a diffrent path like you suggest picking up a tech job or waht not and then while living comfortably persue latter the art thing things defently would have been easyer and would be easyer now .... <equipment out dated , cant afford to go to seminars not being able to play the electricty bill seriosouly cuts into the ablity to use the equipment i do have , lack of food makes for crapy drawings ect >
i think if your still at a point where you can make a decision intilecualy then i would say shoot for some degree of security first and go from there . money makes things a hell of alot easyer .
I was told the same thing when I was younger: "You can do that as a hobby". That seriously affected my at that young age. I didn't get back into art till I was much older and then it was too late to go to school, mostly because of family reasons. But that was my choice.
If you are not doing something you love, or even like, you will be miserable. No matter how much money you make. I making some decent money at my current job for the phone company but I hate it. I've been put on stress leave, have some sort of stomach ulcer and am currently on suspension, management calls it a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) and the only thing that's stopping them from firing me is that we have a union.
I spend most of my money on books, dvds and got to go to the Montreal Workshop. I remember when it was portfolio review day one instructor asked me what I wanted to do: games, movies, etc. I said "I dont' know". I actually didn't really care as long as it made me happy. That's really the key, if doing the tech job will make you happy then do it. But you don't have to decide your whole life out. No one can. Just make decisions that feel good.
alright thanks everyone else who so kindly left their advice and story, certainly a lot for me to chew on. I have not made a deicison yet but it was certainly helpful to hear from different point of views. hopefully this thread could help out others as much as it has helped me.
i can see how you feel worried about the money and job security as opposed to following the risky dream of being an artist. Its something we all need to confront sooner or later. I can only speak from my own experience, but once id decided what i wanted to do with myself, i started working towards that goal. Ive been lucky that i learned at a young age to live with very little money. Ive managed to mainting a healthy and comfortable style of living on a very low budget. Money is great, but not the end all be all of necesities for a good life. Ive chosen the path of going without alot of cash or a security net to follow my dreams, which require alot of flexibility and "lateral thinking" to stay afloat. It can be stressful, but it keeps you creative, on your toes and makes you learn to depend on yourself instead of a system/boss/job/ etc to take care of you.
I have a steady paycheck now for the first time in my life, and its been an interesting process to see how i spend that money, and to constantly remind myself of how i lived well on alot less. Money is a hang up weve been programmed to depend on. We dont need most of the things society tries to sell us, and we can buy the basics for alot less than you might think. Im not working my job for the money it pays me (though of course it does keep a roof over my head), its a means to an end. I love my job, the people i work with, the environment and the project, but i also see it as a path to get to being an artist. as long as i am making progress towards that, i am content. Money, afterall can always be conjured up when necessary. i think youll find that if you focus wholly on your goals, and keep your eyes open for opportunities, the rest sorts itself out more or less on its own. you just need to act on the chances given to you by circumstance, and not get distracted on the way to your goal.
dont ever let anybody tell you you cant do something.
*self help rant over*
How Layil, that was actually a very heartwarming speach.
I was actually thinking about all of the money I spend of garbage that I never use and have no real use for. I could probably live on about a 3rd of my pay as it is now. I guess you have to think about what's more important.. working a job you hate and coming home to lots of material wealth. Or working a job where you don't want to come home at all.
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