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What not to do when applying for an art job
show user profile  Erik Asorson
I have noticed something amusing. I regularly recieve emails from artists looking for work, and I have found that I can gauge the degree by which they SUCK before even setting eyes on their resume or portfolio.

The primary indicator is the amount of time they spend talking about themselves and the number of big words in their application, usually strung together in a paragraph containing far too many adjectives and descriptive phrases with not nearly enough nouns.

My advice to artists looking for work: Shut your mouths and let your work do the talking. Every time I recieve a very brief, factual, to-the-point email from an artist I open up the accompanying materials and VOILA! It's great! The guy has experience and talent. Phew! But whenever someone has diahrea of the mouth yammering on about how inspired they are, and how creative they are, how technically adept they are, how hard working they are, how enthusiastic they turns out they are a prime candidate for the gallery abominate. Don't try to overcome your shortcomings with words. You aren't going to fool anybody.

Oh yeah, my biggest pet peeve of all. When recent college graduates like to overhype whatever useless piece of paper they just recieved from their institution of choice, and then draw a correlation between that and their suppposed value. I did not even know until recently that such a thing existed, but apparently there is now a MASTERS DEGREE IN GAME DESIGN! LOL! That's funny. What next!? A doctorate!? Allright Dr. Mario. Recently I received an email from one of these "Masters of game design" who made no bones about his distinctive achievement, only to find that his portfolio may have qualified him as a Master of Burger Flipping, but not much else.

If anyone else who has served in a hiring capacity wants to contribute to this thread please do.
read 2140 times
1/22/2006 12:43:19 AM (last edit: 1/22/2006 9:40:26 AM)
show user profile  3Ddeath
LOL, this is just too funny.
Don't know if I feel sorry for you having to deal with these guys, or these guys who spent all that time typing that out with a glimer of hope, only to get burned.

"You aren't going to fool anybody."
Probbly not gonna fool you, but don't underestimate human stupidty, there are plenty of people i've seen that get fooled bad.
If thoes poeple that applied have bad portfolios and have previous work experince, then you know everyone they worked for in the past they fooled :P.

Portfolio Site
read 2128 times
1/22/2006 1:24:16 AM (last edit: 1/22/2006 1:24:16 AM)
show user profile  Error404
I have seen some pretty hilarious demo reels at work (not game related, but still 3d related). Only put your best stuff on your reel, if that means you only have 2 or 3 sequences, than so be it. anything less than your best will most likely be the piece remembered (or laughed at). -

read 2123 times
1/22/2006 1:35:21 AM (last edit: 1/22/2006 1:35:21 AM)
show user profile  timpa
Ive interviewed people for a department manager role amongst others...

The best resume ever came on cd.
Scrolling text with the star wars midi in the background.

read 2118 times
1/22/2006 1:49:21 AM (last edit: 1/22/2006 1:49:21 AM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
We had a guy apply for a database programmer job here last week. He seemed ok. His CV said "3 yrs SQL experience", but on the test we give to applicants, he couldn't even create a simple query. Why would you list something on your CV, and apply for the job if you haven't got a clue about the subject?

He didn't get the job.

read 2102 times
1/22/2006 3:02:23 AM (last edit: 1/22/2006 3:02:23 AM)
show user profile  Animated Mesh
Excellent point.

(semi-off topic) Erik, not too long ago you posted up a step by step of how your portfolio should be set up. Something like "Great, Good, Fair, great, Good".. and so forth with an explaination of why it is adviseable to do your portfolio in that manner.

Try as I may I haven't been able to find that thread nor have I found that exact same material covered in any of your GAPs. Do you have that written somewhere else?

read 2034 times
1/25/2006 3:54:35 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 3:54:35 PM)
show user profile  reeves1984
am it should be:

Great, Great, Great, Great, Great


Simon Reeves - VFX Artist & Blog
twitter <-- I work here

read 2015 times
1/25/2006 4:55:47 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 4:55:47 PM)
show user profile  Herminator
Hey, I'm doing a degree in Games Design.....
It's pretty good, most lecturers are from the industry, but they always say, a good portfolio is the most important thing by far.
read 2013 times
1/25/2006 4:58:05 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 4:58:05 PM)
show user profile  Dub.
I agree 100% Erik,

We got one here yesterday that talked about how they were going to save our company (!?) with the ideas they were going to bring and the fact that they read tons of manga comics therefore had great imagination. Needless to say the reel itself was shite.

read 2000 times
1/25/2006 5:58:40 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 5:58:40 PM)
show user profile  Dave
I'm also doing a degree in games design, I wont be flashing that around when I want to get a job though, I've never used grades to get into anything, After school, I made my first portfolio of shoddy 3d workings, that got me into College, after college had finished I had an alright portfolio, full of 3d and 2d, I used that to get to Uni, and when Uni's finished, i'll be handing out my portfolio to be. Which I honestly believe would be nothing if I hadn't of joined this course.

What's so ridiculous about a course that teaches good games design? Big woop you're a games designer and you didn't do a course, self teaching is great, and I do it alot, but i'm also being taught things that I wouldn't of been able to learn on my own. I'm doing a lot more 2D now too, life drawing, character design and traditional animation... I wouldn't of done much of this on my own, instead i'd be sat in front of max doing tutorial after tutorial. But there are things tutorials can't teach you, for example... due to my traditional animation classes, my 3d animation has increased ten-fold.

I like this course, it's teaching me exactly what I wanted to know, and since the time that i've been here, there's a definite sense of progression in most of my favoured areas, and I've picked up a few more favoured areas too, ones that I wouldn't of even looked at before this course.

I know you're a wise man Erik, i've read many of your ramblings, and although you couldn't possibly sway my train of thought, I would like to know... What is so funny about the idea of a degree in games design to you?

And i've just realised I let my coffee go cold... now i'm super angry.

"I flew over Egypt once"

read 1989 times
1/25/2006 6:23:58 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 6:24:33 PM)
show user profile  Herminator
Hey Dave, you wouldn't be at Teeside would you?
read 1981 times
1/25/2006 6:27:35 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 6:27:35 PM)
show user profile  DamienStarr
For many jobs I see advertised, at least in my part of the world, almost all of them request a college degree as a minimum to even interview for a job. I respect anyone that takes the time and effort out of their life, to go sit with a bunch of people they barely know and get a degree.

Is a degree any gurantee of artistic skill? Of course not. But it shows that a person has the werewithal, reserve and determination to FINISH something that many people find unable to do, this writer included.

But if a person puts out some kind of energy that their degree somehow entitles them to a job, and tries to use the degree to hide their deficiencies, most employers can see right through that.


read 1973 times
1/25/2006 6:37:34 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 6:37:34 PM)
show user profile  Dave
Fraid not Herminator. I've placed myself in Southampton.

"Is a degree any gurantee of artistic skill? Of course not

I completely agree, Throughout college there were only 2 students that stood out in my class, and I don't mean to toot my own horn, but one of them was me. The others were just scraping by, and managed to get the same Diploma I did.

Even though my work was to a much higher standard, and to an extent, I see myself as "better" than they were, we ended up with the same piece of paper. So yeah... I completely understand that the degree doesn't make the artist, and i'm also aware that there's probably no course out there that will fully prepare you for a job in the "real" world. But it seems like a logical place to start for those of us who wish to better ourselves before diving into an industry.

I'm not one of those kids who will do what he can to pass the course, just for that degree, I actually enjoy the work i'm doing (though I do hate waking up early to do it ;)) and i'll keep working on whatever i've learnt.

So to sum up, I'm not in it for that piece of paper, though it will look impressive. I'm in it for what that piece of paper can do for me BEFORE I actually get it.

"I flew over Egypt once"

read 1972 times
1/25/2006 6:38:28 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 6:48:43 PM)
show user profile  -=LeadMagnet=-
Dave, you might really have a great thing going for you there in your course. It sounds good from what you're saying but degrees really tell a potential employer nothing. They're really no indication of how a new employee will be in a new job. My college course is... well it's ok... it's not great. I'm really only happy with the way 2 of my classes are being run. The lecturers for both know their stuff and they crit hard.

Only one of them has encouraged us to do things for ourselves while we're in college because we won't have time afterwards. That's what i'm doing with my time in college, i'm using my free time outside of college to learn and improve my skills. It's up to each person on their own to develop their skills. As far as i'm concerned, college is a place that introduces me to new skills that i wouldn't have otherwise considered and it gives some basic assignments to help introduce us to those skills. That's the minimum anybody in my course needs to do to finish with a degree.

A degree will never ever indicate initiative, a passion or desire for a particular line of work and that's what it takes to be good at it. Nobody wants to hire some guy who's not going to try to improve himself and who's just coming along every day for the money of the job.

Do A Barrel Roll!!!

read 1970 times
1/25/2006 6:47:48 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 6:47:48 PM)
show user profile  Dave
If I could have worded my post better, it would have looked similar to the last 2 papragraphs of LM's reply.

"I flew over Egypt once"

read 1966 times
1/25/2006 6:56:51 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 6:56:51 PM)
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