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Artist looking for mutually benificial relationship in Austin, TX

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#1 Hamsta   Members   -  Reputation: 1171

Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:50 AM

Hi guys, new to the forums.

Here's the deal, I just moved to the Austin area hoping to land a job in the game industry as a concept artist. I haven't had much luck yet, but I'm hoping that will change as I get to meet people.

While I wait for a life changing reply to one of my emails, I'd like to hone my skills and improve my chances of getting such an email.
I can offer a variety of 2D art assets, from concept art, to UI design, pixel art, and some animation.
I'd also love to hone my 3D skills, but my poor laptop can't handle the software. (If you have a computer available, I can supply the software through my student account, and I will love you forever.)

To see my stuff you can go to http://www.hamsta180.com

I would prefer local people, so we can hang out and kick each others ass when we get lazy ;)
Itamar Reiner: Self Financed Concept Artist http://www.hamsta180.com


#2 dpadam450   Members   -  Reputation: 1281

Posted 02 July 2011 - 07:28 PM

Well I feel its better to be negative and honest than to let you/others believe you have a good portfolio. When I saw your site I thought hey here is a HS student, viewed all your work, and then saw a resume and was like wtf. Without saying anything more, I want you to look at this portfolio, this kid is 18 with no schooling and is usually what I see from people that are trying to get into concept art or are in concept art:


I could post tons of other artists that I follow on DevArt, but that's the idea. Try getting some gnomon dvd's maybe? Fang Zhu is pretty sweet.

#3 Xandamere   Members   -  Reputation: 127

Posted 03 July 2011 - 12:49 AM

Go check out the breaking into the game industry forum, and look at the FAQs there by Tom Sloper. They're incredibly useful.

#4 Hamsta   Members   -  Reputation: 1171

Posted 03 July 2011 - 02:34 AM

Thanks for nothing, dpadam450.

Unless you have something constructive (not nice) to say, I would suggest you keep the negativity to yourself. No one wants to work with someone negative.
I'm not blind. I know what other people are doing that gets them in, and that I'm not quite there. I watched a few Gnomon DVDs, doesn't work for me.

I did get positive feedback from people better than you, and some people on this forum might think I'm up for the job. I have one offer already.

Xandamere I am quite familiar with Mr. Sloper, and his website, having read it about 10 years ago, and going back to it whenever someone posts a question on the IGDA forums, and Tom directs him to an article.
Itamar Reiner: Self Financed Concept Artist http://www.hamsta180.com

#5 shadowofamn   Members   -  Reputation: 134

Posted 03 July 2011 - 01:44 PM

I have to say constructive feedback can be borderline positive and negative. But I agree with dpadam, your work is not great, they are average. And with the industry being so competitive, guess who is going to be left out? I don't do concept art, but I can tell you have the base foundation of silhouette, sketches and color. But there are better people out there that is looking for the same thing you are looking for, and they are also watching Gnomon DVD, Digital Tutor, and buying reference books, hone their skills everyday to earn their job.

Honestly, you are just one step behind a lot of people.

#6 GninjaGnome   Members   -  Reputation: 182

Posted 03 July 2011 - 02:07 PM

Hey man, That hamster is epic. I can't help but grin every time I look at it :)

... and just to let you know, I'm working with a professional studio right now, and the concept work I get looks just like your work. (I'd post examples if I could)
Don't let one dude's opinion get you discouraged.

Good luck

#7 VigilantAudio   Members   -  Reputation: 121

Posted 03 July 2011 - 04:54 PM

Dpadam450 and shadowofamn, this thread really isn't the place to critique. He's not looking for advice about the industry and hasn't asked for feedback. He is just offering him services, which seem to be free of charge, to people in his area to help improve his skills.

#8 ChrisHurn   Members   -  Reputation: 232

Posted 03 July 2011 - 05:19 PM

Whilst I agree it is nice to be honest about a portfolio - let's remember that the OP did not ask for a critique of it. He specifically stated in his original post that he was looking to hone his skills and therefore improve his chances of getting an email. Frankly I thought posting a link to another persons portfolio was plain insulting and rude. Don't you all realize that people develop at different speeds, I can show you a ten year old who can shred the piano but that does not mean that a 30 year old won't one day catch up with them and ultimately be a more successful pianist, when they combine their passion and life skills with the music.

Furthermore, sometimes careers in this industry are established by longterm connections, as I'm sure we all know, often it is not the 'best' (whatever that means) artist or developer that gets the job, but somebody who is well rounded and has experience working with a team, or whatever.

The OP has plenty of time to get themselves up to the 'standard' of other people's work, and what better way to do it than by collaborating? Let's say the OP just happens to do the concept art to one of those rare indie games that hits it big. Chances are they'll get work again, and again, maybe with the same crew - maybe they will move onto a bigger project. If the team works, the team works - and afterall, concept art comes in very different forms, just like everything else.

I don't doubt there are people out there with amazing portfolios in this field that visually knock you out - but we also have to keep in mind that there is certainly more to game development than flashy pieces of concept art. This is probably half the reason so many projects fail, people go for the eye candy and forget that making a game is like any other piece of entertainment - you have to entertain, and you have to inspire. And that includes everybody down the line.

I have no doubt that the OP will continue to develop and grow as an artist, and we should be encouraging new users here, not just jumping in with unwanted and unnecessary critiques of one's work.

This is not the first time I have seen this kind of attitude on this forum. Very embarrasing to say the least.
ChrisHurn.com, film & game composer.
@chris_hurn on twitter

#9 dpadam450   Members   -  Reputation: 1281

Posted 03 July 2011 - 05:52 PM

I don't expect you to be my friend or say something nice after that but, my post was as constructive as your going to get from anyone on here. Most people on here are strictly programmers, I follow over 120 artists and a lot are concept artists. I was just trying to find a piece someone did as a concept artists test for cryptic studios but I could not find it, but it was awesome. As for your original post, I'm not saying you cant be on a team or that it wont help that team, but why do you need a team anyway? You can be a concept artist without them. I give criticism based on experience/time doing something vs what they can do with it. I'm just being honest dude, and anyone that wants to say I'm wrong I gave an example of someone that is 18 with no degree vs someone that has 3 degrees. Which portfolio was better?

Maybe to get you more on my side: here is someone that works at I believe Insomniac: http://meckanicalmind.deviantart.com/
You see how detail and more shape/form things like his mech have compared to yours? Maybe you can achieve more, but your website seems to have no real finished concept to go hand of to a 3D artist. I wouldnt say your black mech outlines are bad, but you need to pick one of them, do a couple extra variations and the start leading towards finishing it. Its unfortunate I couldn't find that concept art test for you to get an idea.

And to the guy who complained about posting to another persons portfolio, how does anyone get better without studying other work? I look at art every single day and try to self-teach myself how to get myself better. Its not about speed when you are that far invested.I'm not implying your art isn't this, so you suck. I'm implying that is the type of work I see or better from tons of other people that either have jobs or want jobs. I'm just trying to say if you want it, lock yourself inside and do it.

#10 ChrisHurn   Members   -  Reputation: 232

Posted 03 July 2011 - 05:59 PM

dpadam450 ,
You completely missed the point. It doesn't matter who's portfolio was better. It is completely off topic. There will always, always be somebody out there younger, untrained, with a better portfolio. Always.

but why do you need a team anyway? You can be a concept artist without them.

Fundamentally flawed. This is wrong. Concept artists should also be collaborators. You know how you get better? By a combination of spending time alone working and studying AND working with teams. I bet a lot of these guys can draw up excellent mechs but let's say they are asked to draw something they're not used to, or maybe they have to come up with things outside of their comfort zone - this is why working in teams is important. It develops other skills that round you as an artist.

Game development is collaboration.

I can't believe how far off the point you are. I am not saying don't study other people's work! Every artist studies other people's work. I spend half my week doing it. But you don't go into somebody's post about them looking to collaborate and develop their skills and state obvious irrelevant facts and post other people's work saying how much better it is! The OP is in training. Working in a team is part of that training. They will obviously still be developing and honing their craft.

ChrisHurn.com, film & game composer.
@chris_hurn on twitter

#11 dpadam450   Members   -  Reputation: 1281

Posted 03 July 2011 - 06:01 PM

I'll agree with that. And yes he can get better. I only responded because he is half trying to get a job and half trying to join a team. So I was just pointing out the reality of the job aspect.If he didnt mention he was trying to get a job, I wouldnt have even viewed his portfolio.

#12 Abel Oroz   Members   -  Reputation: 103

Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:01 AM


I'm a professional concept from Spain, working in a game studio, while I've also worked for 3D animation.

First off, let me say that concept art is, today, probably the most crowded position in the game industry. Part of my job is reviewing portfolios, and I must say that for every concept artist offer (which are scarce, compared to, say, 3D modelers), you will have perhaps 200 applicants (assuming it's not a big studio, in which case, the numbers would be much higher). Of those 200 portfolios, 95% are pretty much amateurish stuff that you browse without interest, and only a few show a great style and mastery, and the ability to solve visual problems (which is what concepting is about). Eventually, only one of them will get the job.

Concept art is no longer driven by people's passion for art, but has formed some kind of "star system" around it, by which people just aim to become "famous" and respected, rather than being passionate about their job. I know quite a few artists whose only target is working for Blizzard or Massive Black, since that's what makes one cooler, and feel unfulfilled in really nice smaller studios in which they really have much more creative freedom that they will in those huge companies. This "star system" has become so popular, that the sector is totally massified right now. Even the smallest studios often house true masters, which is not something that happens in the rest of the pipeline. Right now, I couldn't recommend anyone to become one, because the chances are really low. I myself, have become lucky enough, I work with other guys miles away from my skill and I can't count on that luck continuing in the future, and even loving what I do, I might need to switch to 3D modeling in the future to land future jobs. If someone desperately wants a painting job; I'd recommend illustration; and if he aims for a gaming industry job, I'd go for UI artist or FX artist, which are way more demanded.

That said, relying in DeviantArt or Gnomon DVDs for the art education needs is the key to failure. DeviantArt is full of crap (like my own portfolio), and tutorials will show you a couple tricks, but they won't teach you the fundaments of art like studying from the masters (Rembrandt, Velázquez, Sargent... forget about concept "divos"). The best concept artists in the world are masters in traditional painting like the best 3D modelers are real sculptors. Forget the tutorial-oriented education; that only leads to repetitive portfolios that just want to look like everyone else, encourage "trendiness" and eventually conformism. The world doesn't need more space-marines and sexy warriors. I discard a portfolio instantly whenever I see another badass, darkish demon with skulls and spikes.

I hope my point of view helped someone :)

#13 Zethariel   Members   -  Reputation: 310

Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:31 AM

@ Abel Oroz

A very interesting point of view. If you have the money to be picky with a job, then I guess it's fine to become a master amongst indies. If not, it's space marines and sexy warriors. Bussiness is bussiness, be it gaming or hot dog selling.

I too prefer the idealistic view of designing games, making brave ventures into the unknown, experimenting with gameplay that is rarelly seen -- still, as far as job hunting goes, it's what the client thinks/wants that payes the checks.

If the OP will be "good enough", confident and have some experience in making games, I am sure he will be able to land a job. As said before, it is more about the right time, moment and people nowadays.

In he meantime, @Hamsta -- maybe I'm not from your region, but I would deeply appreaciate if you would contact me on PM about making a few concept arts :) mainly humanoid characters, some enviroments if you are into it. A few pieces, around 2-3 humanoids and one setting would be awesome.
Disclaimer: Each my post is intended as an attempt of helping and/or brining some meaningfull insight to the topic at hand. Due to my nature, my good intentions will not always be plainly visible. I apologise in advance and assure I mean no harm and do not intend to insult anyone, unless stated otherwise

Homepage (Under Construction)

Check my profile for funny D&D/WH FRP quotes :)

#14 Abel Oroz   Members   -  Reputation: 103

Posted 04 July 2011 - 08:49 AM

In concept art, "good enough" is definitely not good enough.

#15 dpadam450   Members   -  Reputation: 1281

Posted 04 July 2011 - 11:23 AM

That said, relying in DeviantArt or Gnomon DVDs for the art education needs is the key to failure.

Almost every artist I track on DevArt has a job as a 3D or concept artist. Why does it matter where they post their work?

#16 RedPin   Banned   -  Reputation: 36

Posted 04 July 2011 - 01:05 PM

This argument is a good resource into some people's thoughts and opinions on the artistic side of the game industry. For starters, you just need to get lucky and start posting a lot of your stuff around on the internet. As for a job, you might want to do a lot of freelance work on the side, it may take several months to find a studio willing to hire you around your area. The freelance jobs will give you credentials and experience needed to keep a job.
Failure is simply denying the truth and refusing to adapt for success. Failure is synthetic, invented by man to justify his laziness and lack of moral conduct. What truely lies within failure is neither primative or genetic. What failure is at the heart, is man's inability to rise and meet the challenge. Success is natural, only happening when man stops trying to imitate a synthetic or imaginable object. Once man starts acting outside his emotional standpoints, he will stop trying to imitate synthetic or imaginable objects called forth by the replication of his emptiness inside his mind. Man's mind is forever idle and therefore shall call forth through the primitives of such subconscious thoughts and behaviors that Success is unnatural and that failure is natural. Success is simply doing something at man's full natural abilities and power, failure is the inability to act on what man wants, dreams, wishes, invisions, or thinks himself to do. ~ RED (concluded when I was 5 years old looking at the world with wide eyes)

#17 dmitsuki   Members   -  Reputation: 150

Posted 04 July 2011 - 02:48 PM

Indie studios are not and will never be about being the "best" at something. Most indie games do not have "the best" artist who are 25 year veterans in the industry and charge you craploads to make three pictures. That is not the point. Op isn't asking to be hired by Blizzard, he is trying to make games with somebody in his area. Something anybody can do now do to the low entry requirement for making games because the tools available on the internet.

Also, linking to another persons portfolio and saying "they are better than you" isn't constructive at all. It's basically only going to get the other party angry because I'm sure he and any other artist realizes THEIR WILL ALWAYS BE PEOPLE BETTER THAN YOU. What do you think you are accomplishing by doing that? It just makes you look like a douche.

As for the OP I hope he finds somebody. If he wants constructive criticism on his art which I believe he said he does I would practice more figure drawing, because your forms are not completely anatomically correct. Also you do not seem to details, only thumbnail. Most of the paintings on your site are not complete.

Best of luck to you.

#18 Hamsta   Members   -  Reputation: 1171

Posted 04 July 2011 - 11:17 PM

This thread really has turned up some interesting posts.
I never thought everyone would hold an opinion like dpadam450, who is the only one who posted anything negative, as far as I can tell.

Posting work from other people can be beneficial, but there's a right and a wrong way to do it.

I would love to get any work in the game industry (although the terms of my visa currently limit me to jobs in visual communication.) I would love to do GUI or 3D CGI,
However, my laptop cannot run Maya, which makes it difficult to hone my skills and update my portfolio.
As for UI/UX work, I enjoyed doing it for 2 months last year, during an internship with Resolute Interactive in Memphis. Again, it's something that's kind of hard to when you don't have a specific project/problem to work on.

But hey, I'm open to suggestions and connections. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever. :)
Itamar Reiner: Self Financed Concept Artist http://www.hamsta180.com

#19 Abel Oroz   Members   -  Reputation: 103

Posted 05 July 2011 - 02:01 AM

Almost every artist I track on DevArt has a job as a 3D or concept artist. Why does it matter where they post their work?

Yes yes, I am not speaking about the "usefulness" of posting your portfolio in those sites to expose it to potential customers. I myself have it in several places, just to encourage criticism. Those websites are useful for freelancers mostly, to build some reputation, since for a company application you have to send your zipped portfolio and/or or official url link (and it better not be a DeviantArt address, because it is a terrible first impression).

What I was meaning by "relying in DA for your educational purposes" is that too many artist wannabes substitute real art education (ecorché drawing, art theory, analyzing the masters, going to museums...) by hours of browsing Deviantart, like if downloading a couple "how to paint hair" tutorials done by pretty sub-par artists and replicating other people's concept art was going to teach you anything about art at all. It can be a place to know what's going on in the industry, but better don't consider it your art teacher. If you are not an artist, in the deepest meaning of the word, you cannot be a concept artist.

And yes, the best artists in DA have an industry job, just because the best artists already have a job; that needs no further explanation. Also, many of the absolutely best artists on the industry don't need that kind of sites to get the top-notch jobs. I can't imagine Dice Tsutsumi or Neville Page hanging their stuff in DevianArt. In fact, DA is probably the most amateur-heavy of those sites; others like CGHub are quite more professional. In any case, the problem is still the same: the star system, and every aspiring artist willing to follow the trends and be like their favourite "stars", rather than developing their artist individuality.

#20 flodihn   Members   -  Reputation: 254

Posted 05 July 2011 - 09:18 AM

Constructive critique:
Your portfolio shows promising talent, but is mainly displaying one type of urban combat warfare.
What I would like to see is that you extend your portfolio to include concept art in other genres, like fantasy, sci-fi, horror, perhaps even pixel art.

If you want to add GUI to your portfolio, there no need for you to actually use a real UI library, just draw an UI design as an image like this:

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