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What not to do when applying for an art job
show user profile  organic II
"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."

preach on brother. the best artist i know are self taught. EMB

read 861 times
1/25/2006 7:26:30 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 7:26:30 PM)
show user profile  timpa
Organic : There is a big difference between some useless artist with a degree and an opinion of all artists whove gone to college.

There is NOTHING wrong with getting an education on how to do something. Some people just do a course and gain nothing from it but a piece of paper.
That shouldnt affect all the people like Harmonic who went and put effort into their course.

read 846 times
1/25/2006 8:49:31 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 8:49:31 PM)
show user profile  jasonlg3d
Don't lump all college degrees into the same pile. Not all of them are just pieces of paper. I know we are strictly talking about artish degrees here but getting a formal education is something to be proud of in and of itself. Now if your work sucks I would question how much education you really recieved. Or maybe you went to one of those schools that dont want to hurt anybody's feelings so they just kept telling you that your doing great no matter what...Which incidently is the problem with most of our (U.S) government skrewls.

"Gamera is really neat! He is filled with turtle meat! We've been eating Gamera!"
read 841 times
1/25/2006 9:05:13 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 9:05:13 PM)
show user profile  Erik Asorson
Getting a formal education is not an achievement and it does not say anything positive about the character of the graduate. If you are persistant enough to stick around for four years and get your degree that's all you've really proven yourself to be; persistant. The most talented and accomplished people throughout history not only did not believe in institutional learning or formal education but they harbored a great disdain for it and for authority in general.

"To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate has made me an authority myself"

-Albert Einstein (who hated school and taught himself, not an isolated case)
read 831 times
1/25/2006 10:36:55 PM (last edit: 1/25/2006 10:37:51 PM)
show user profile  Dave
You give 1000 men 1000 hours worth of free time and one of them is bound to make use of it.
You're saying you believe that the greatest of us choose not to be eductaed by another, but rather by ourselves, without any form of formal education in the first place, how were they able to make these decisions?

I think, statistically, if you were to look at all the people who dropped out of schools, only a small minority of those went on to do something worthwhile. There are always exceptions to the rule, but you can't form a decent opinion based on those exceptions, you give me Einstein, I give you the drunk hobo who lives in a car park. you give me Phindile Ngqentsu, I give you the canteen lady, you give me Ray Charles, I give you the janitor.

And just for the very public record, I did not attend my final year of school, I'd stayed long enough to know what I wanted to do, then I hopped off and did it. I wasn't looking to get out of education though, merely looking for a higher form of it, so I did, then I finished college, and went in search for another higher form of education... and so here I am, and I sure as hell wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for my formal education. And you're trying to tell me that all i've proven myself to be is persistant? By be being able to do what I want to do? Well I guess that makes a lot of us persistant, how long have you had your company for now? Since 2002... hmm, I guess all you've done for the last 3/4 years is prove how persistant you are then... no?

Oh no wait... it's all about what you've done within those years, right? Yeah, cause when I attend my classes, I don't do any work, There's no learning going on... infact Uni is just filled with Tv's and snooker tables, can't even buy a pencil.

"I flew over Egypt once"

read 822 times
1/26/2006 1:16:51 AM (last edit: 1/26/2006 1:16:51 AM)
show user profile  Setherial
What's so funny about a doctorate in Game design ? A lot of expertise is needed to write games and a specialized eduction aimed towards that market does not sound over the top to me. For programmers and managers it sounds natural, I used to think education was overrated and I always concidered myself an above avarage pretty good programmer but now that I work for a very high level company where most programmers are masters or dockters in math, informatics and physics I must say these guys blow me away each day, their level keeps amazing me.
Aside from programming I can see where art is not all that much different, sure you need talent but talent is overrated. You need hard work and study. The Bachelor-Master-Docter thing is just how far you push your limits dedicating yourself to one field of study, be it art, coding, physics or whatever. I don't know about schools abroad but here in wee Belgium someone who is smart enough to get a Doctorate is not a stupid fella.

Now I understand that a lot of people are full of it, I sat at the good end of the table at job interviews on multiple occasions and most people (80%) applying for a position are crap, but it does not mean because someone writes a lot of hype in his letter he sucks, in fact hype is what most companies feed on, they can't get enough of it.
read 821 times
1/26/2006 1:17:44 AM (last edit: 1/26/2006 1:17:44 AM)
show user profile  PlanetoftheGrapes
It's a bit more useful than burger flipping.

I myself do Computer Games Technology.
read 792 times
1/26/2006 5:11:19 AM (last edit: 1/26/2006 5:11:19 AM)
show user profile  tuna
I think we're all taking this a little too personally when most people are arguing the same thing:

It doesn't necessarily matter how we got there, but that we got there in the end.

I think game design courses sound funny because it's just such a vague title, and every bit as arbitrary as "board game design course" or "TV show design course". Not that I'm taking the piss (I am), it just seems like a huge mish-mash of things to cram into one area. I guess this benefits some people more than others. But what would I know, I'm just an uneducated kid :)
read 787 times
1/26/2006 5:32:16 AM (last edit: 1/26/2006 5:33:26 AM)
show user profile  Edge
Diploma In Software Engineering
Degree in Computer Science
Masters in Computer Science (WIP ;) )

Given that my course is highly considered throughout Ireland and Europe as being one of the most practical and hands on courses in Europe. I think I came out with a good all round knowledge of a vast range of topics.

You can’t honestly tell me that someone learning at home could come out with:

Web Technologies (Microsoft, Java and Open Source covering all areas)
Business (Starting your own, Managing, Accounting, Law etc)

We did labs every day, with 3 major assignments per subject per year. Then a final year project and which teaches you how to document, and creatively develop a full product.

Now you cannot honestly say that my Qualifications have simply made me capable of flipping burgers?

Art is the same yes some people simply don’t have the aptitude to actually develop the full skill set, or the merely haven’t yet discovered the niche. But I don’t put this down to bad education on their part. I put this down to you "Artists"...

Don’t get me wrong, most guys on the forums are good people. But all you Artists work yourselves up into a position where you develop "I’m Worth it Syndrome", where just because you can do something means that you must charge through the nose for it.

Erik you are no exception, you value your time. And when people especially developers get your quotes I’m sure they take a step back and go "Woahhhh" well imagine getting quotes like that times 80 per day.

Some people are utter shite, and the use of big words, or CV'S don’t play to their hands. I go straight to the work, while Erik you may dismiss someone for trying to express themselves to you. I prefer to skip "Bullshit Bingo" and go straight to the main show which is the content they submit. If its right for the job then I will see their rates and talk with them.

An added bonus is the guy who actually rights a specific and detailed piece when applying. This to me means that they were thinking about what I am looking for.

If I were to receive the following email from you Erik.


I saw your post on CG-Chat, I run an outsource development company and believe I can help with your project



I would consider this a bullshit application, fine you didn’t waste my time by expecting me to read content, but you do expect me to trawl through your site looking for content.

When I look for a weapons texture artist. I look for a weapons texture artist. Not an animator, not modeler. A texture Artist.

This post is very exact, but I still received applications for all manner of other positions, that simply don’t exist.


At the end of the Day, Erik and everyone else. You cannot snub someone because they are educated, nor can you snub someone because they are not. If their work is good, their rates fit your needs, and they are reliable/interested then why not choose them.

My advice to all you artists reading this:

1. Do Not blanket send out your portfolio it makes you seem desperate. Select companies within your talents and limits and apply to them

2. Pick and Area that you and your peers consider your strength and focus on that. You cant do everything and will most likely sell yourself short if you try. Small steps and build up your talent

3. Read posts, do your homework and tailor your reel/portfolio to the needs of the client. If they are looking for a weapons texture artist then simply apply your skills and talents to that and that alone. Because if they are specific about what they are looking for. They sure as hell don’t want to hear from music composers or level designers etc.


5. Value your time and apply a fair and realistic price system based on this. If you are shite, and look for $160 an hour, good luck to you. But if you are good and look for a fair rate and are competitive then you will stand a far better chance.

6. Honesty and Interest. Don’t bullshit your application but still show an interest. While Erik would certainly be able to tell you Honesty and Directness is key. But one major factor that he misses is that its not just about the money, or challenge. Its about the money for the company, if you can make them money and more than they have to pay you. Then you stand a far better chance. Erik has no interest in games and for me this is not a selling point for him, and for me this is why I think all his bloody rants on the games industry is flawed. If you don’t care about the industry, if you don’t care about the products you work on (beyond the challenge and the money)... then you may in the end find it far more difficult to stay in the industry once you get in. At the end of the day you will be working long hours, for low pay, and very little glamour, let there be no illusions, they will work you like a dog.

7. When sending in your Application, do the leg work for the reader, so they view your best content first. After that follow Eriks guide for submitting content. With your best content at the start and end, to leave that lasting impression.

(I hope I don’t have you wrong Erik, but I have been reading your posts for nearly 6 years, and over the years you have ranted and ranted. and from what I can gather you are not in industry for the games, you are in it for the Challenge and the Money)

Education is the starting point, you need to learn somehow, be it via a recognized institute or by your own means. Once your content does the talking, you have the right attitude, you have the passion for the project and the employers interest in mind. Then you should have no problems in getting gigs.

I do However agree that some people sell themselves short, just by sheer oversight. Read the job descriptions and submit the content that you feel is most applicable to that area.

For example saying you have 4 years experience with SQL and not knowing how to form a basic Query....

read 777 times
1/26/2006 5:50:44 AM (last edit: 1/26/2006 6:06:39 AM)
show user profile  jasonlg3d
Most people who dont get an education tend to put down others who do. I'd like to meet the person that just stuck around for 4 years and got their degree in the Electrical/Computer Engineering program I'm in now. People are failing and droppiong out like flies. If you've made it without an education then thats fantastic for you. But that doesnt mean you should have a chip on your shoulder about everyone else who chose to get that education.

"Gamera is really neat! He is filled with turtle meat! We've been eating Gamera!"
read 749 times
1/26/2006 9:36:51 AM (last edit: 1/26/2006 9:36:51 AM)
show user profile  jbrophy
Hearing this sucks

I hope I can do something with my BFA in Visual Communication and make something of myself. All those classes I had to portfolio into, 200+ try, 30 get in, wait next semester and try again, but you better be better than last time. Oh what a waste.

/me stomps off and ponders how he will go on and make something useful of himself.

Jesse Brophy

Fry Monkey

read 735 times
1/26/2006 9:57:58 AM (last edit: 1/26/2006 9:58:31 AM)
show user profile  Erik Asorson
Edge, you are close but not right on. See I used to LOVE video games, but I am dissapointed in the direction which the mainstream video game industry has gone. It has become "big business" and has lost its soul. Somewhere along the line people decided that video games were no longer amusing entertainment and were a serious important endeavor. Now all you see are big budget sequels, licensed products, and genre-ripoffs that to me have absolutely no inspirational value whatsoever. The only way I can force myself to work on them or even feign an interest is by concentrating on the money and the challenge. It's sort of like trying to eat a smelly fish or something that you really don't want to eat. You just plug your nose, lean your head back and chug it down. In a soul-less environment the only way I can survive is to shed my own soul too.

But, in recent years I have found a glimmer of hope in indie developers. Many of them have not yet been corrupted by the vicious funk which hangs above the game industry like a plague, sapping the joy out of everyone inside. Indie developers (at least the ones that don't blindly model themselves after mainstream developers in hopes of becoming one of them) haven't yet been taught that games can't be silly, short, easy and fun. That not everyone interested in playing video games is a greasy nerd with 14 hours a day to kill glued to the television or computer monitor down in his mom's basement. Remember when COMEDY was a main ingredient in video games? I haven't seen a game with an element of comedy in at least the last decade. It's all serious shit. Hardcore graphics with indepth play mechanics and a control scheme that takes 2 weeks to understand. All for who? For the nerds. The nerds demand more and more complexity so that they can fill their empty lives with more and more meaningless activity. And the suits demand more bullet points to list on the back of the package so they can dupe consumers into paying higher prices each year for the latest technology.

To me games are not important and they will never be important. They are a mildly amusing entertainment medium, which at one time was a very enjoyable way to spend a couple of minutes or a couple of hours on a saturday afternoon. They are not something which should consume your life, become a passion of yours, be seen as an important educational tool, or anything else of that nature. That instantly saps the fun right out of it.

Tuna got it right. I think that video game design courses are amusing and silly. They are the equivalent of going to clown college. Even though its not uncommon for clowns to go to college I would still laugh if I heard one say that he had a Masters Degree in Unicycling and a P.H.d in Juggling!
read 723 times
1/26/2006 10:21:14 AM (last edit: 1/26/2006 10:47:25 AM)
show user profile  TurboTwo
quoted Setherial
"sure you need talent but talent is overrated. You need hard work and study"

you can study and work as hard as you want.. but if you have no artistic ability or talent.. your still going to suck. I know plenty of people that are knowledgable in 3d modeling, but they 'suck' (maybe that's a harsh word) because they have no talent.

read 716 times
1/26/2006 10:24:40 AM (last edit: 1/26/2006 10:24:40 AM)
show user profile  [P]aradox
Very wrong, Turbo. I don't think talent has anything to do with the ability to model off a character sheet. You think EA's artist stables are full of talented, imaginative creative types making new faces for the next Madden? If you want a modeling or texturing job somewhere, learn to model and texture to spec. If you want to be a concept artist, then you'll need creativity - but you still don't need talent. Anyone can learn how to become a superb artist - it's a technical skill like any other - and creativity is something that goes way beyond being able to draw well without trying hard.
read 702 times
1/26/2006 10:46:56 AM (last edit: 1/26/2006 10:46:56 AM)
show user profile  scotch_forgot_his_password
I love how when someone writes "having a degree doesn't make you any good", so many people manage to read "having a degree makes you bad".

read 693 times
1/26/2006 10:56:37 AM (last edit: 1/26/2006 10:56:37 AM)
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