Hey guys. As a large group of us here at VCU have been getting ready to graduate, we've been working on promoting our work and getting are names out there. I was just curious about what fellow CAers did early on in their careers to promote themselves. Success stories, failure stories, let 'em roll. Any advice you can share or would be willing to share will go appreciated.
Good thread idea, Visions.
A couple of things I did when job-hunting that weren’t such great ideas:
My first professional portfolio was a handcrafted book that was expensive, work-intensive to assemble, too small, and couldn’t be added to as I generated more work. My second portfolio was made up of individual pages, each with art and contact info in case they were separated. That worked much better.
The other screw-up I made was that I had my hopes set very high for two particular companies, and I spent months waiting around to hear back from them. I should have been more wide-searching in my initial job-hunt, and less willing to wait when one of the companies made vague promises of openings in the future.
Three things that I have essentially been doing for fun may be leading to job possibilities for me in the future: giving the occasional college lecture, volunteering as a mentor at icouldbe.org, and doing informal teaching here. These things have led me to some great professional contacts, information about available teaching jobs, they have allowed me to test the waters of teaching without committing myself, and they have allowed me to build up a body of writing that I can point to in order to demonstrate my involvement with teaching.
I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.
Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
What you VCU kids should have been doing is hanging out at the SoI annual parties when Sterling got all them shiny Awards.
I've never sent out any postcards, but anyone will tell you to send out postcards every 3 to 6 months.
And getting face time with editors (which is pretty much impossible nowadays) is gold. That's why hanging out with Sterling would be great, because he could introduce you to a few people here and there. And if you have a postcard or a business card with a website, most AD's will ask you for one if you're introduced to them by a medal winner
Go to conventions and hang out and meet people, enter contests, send out promotional material and keep doing it continuously. You will not get work right away, even if you're James Jean. But you will be noticed and after a few years of trying (and hopefully improving) someone will give you a chance. Then all you have to do is not fuck it up
I started working for a convention dealer (one of those guys who has a booth in a dealer's room at a con) yrs ago for fun and it turned out to be the best possible networking tool. My boss knows tons of staff and guests, I get in behind the scenes, he pays all my travel, room, and food while I'm working, plus regular pay. I had an editor ask to see me at Comic Con last yr (and I'm on the East Coast) and boss-man flew me in to work it for free. He even threw in a trip to Vegas.
Otherwise I've gotta say that websites are THE #1 priority. I've heard the thing about postcards too, but I think it's a dying art compared to the networkings of the web. I've had editors so eager to share my portfolio with their bosses, that they asked if I had just a DeviantArt account (yikes).
although, having a tangible sample has it's benefits. You know exactly how it will look (no monitor variations in color, darkness, or contrast) and if they like it, they just might hang on to it. Just because they don't have something for you that moment doesn't mean they won't in a month or two. A sample pinned on a bulletin board or sitting next to the computer might remind them down the road. And it's easier to show their co-workers, should they want to. Just some things I like about paper promos.I've heard the thing about postcards too, but I think it's a dying art compared to the networkings of the web
Plus, it's an active means of advertising. Getting the right people to go see your website is harder than just putting a picture in front of their face.