Find Your Dream Job as a 3D Artist: Best Career Tips

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Looking for a job in 3D? Want to start your career or looking for a more interesting and complex job? Then these career tips will help you.


Build Your 3D Artist Career with This Advice

Gamedev is an industry where the love of drawing, the desire to work in IT, and the passion for games intersect in one place. But the difficulty is that even an academic art education does not guarantee entry into the industry. Lots of 3D freelance artists are looking for their dream projects and the competition may seem high. But if you are a strong professional and know how to make your job search effective, you should not be afraid of it. So read further if you want to secure a dream job in gamedev and build a successful career as a 3D artist.

Preparation Stage

The game industry is too broad just to want to get into it. But if an artist has at least a basic understanding of what they want and in what direction they plan to move further, they have more chances to build the most effective path to their goals.

✓ Decide what kind of art you want to create

And you better do it before you start choosing a project. You may dream of making characters in a AAA studio, but if you first decide on a project, it is more likely that you will be working on characters’ shoes. That is why to decide on what you want and like and then choose a project where they have a free position.

✓ Choose your preferences

AAA projects, mobile games, small indie studios — there are plenty of different projects and teams you can potentially join. But you should keep in mind that all of them have their own specifics for creating art. For example, hypercasual games imply a short development cycle with a small team of specialists. This format is closer to a hackathon — rapid development, where the team’s broad competencies can be narrowed down in one person, making him or her an indispensable generalist. The opposite example is AAA projects, where even a very linear specialist can find a place. Which working environment feels like a better place for you?

✓ Study the game market

A game artist should play games and be curious about how the visuals are arranged in them. Additionally, you need to keep an eye on companies and trends in the particular field in which you work. Do you remember when independent developers started releasing pixel art en masse? Then the big studios joined the trend and pixel artists were in great demand.

You can keep an eye on what’s new in the industry right on Steam, Origin, and the Epic Game Store, and on the mobile market — in the top lists on the App Store and Google Play. 

✓ Get to know the company

Create a list of gaming studios that are worth your special attention. Play the games they create, visit their website, read the articles in corporate blogs, etc. You can also contact the company directly through social media; don’t be afraid of asking questions and demonstrating your interest.

Conferences and meetups are the other way to reach out to studios. They give a chance to interact with their employees and find out open positions. It’s common practice to evaluate portfolios “here and now,” and you can come up, show your work, and chat about whether you’re a good fit.

 First Communication

Imagine you’ve found your dream team, studied the projects and decided to be the first to write a letter to get acquainted. In game dev, they always read letters and look at portfolios. If it doesn’t get lost, most companies will answer you, no one leaves without feedback. Just remember that recruiters plan their calendars several days in advance and can’t always respond the very next morning.

The recruiter wants to know why you chose this particular company, what tasks you are personally interested in and what you want to work on — character, environment, game objects, or generalist position. Thus make sure that you attach a cover letter to your application with an answer to this question and a description of why you fit the position and how you see your future career. Next link to your portfolio. It is crucial that you attach the works that allow you to evaluate your skills.

If the recruiter is the first to contact you, it’s worth responding even if you’re not currently looking for a job or if the company just doesn’t suit you. The important thing here is that you are building a dialogue with the person, not the studio — recruiters also change jobs, but they retain the contacts of those with whom they have communicated before. It may well be that the new company of a recruiter you know will be of interest to you.

Junior Specialists

Beginning to develop a vocation as an artist is always quite difficult because there are so many different directions. You can choose everything from your personal style to the company with which you will start to grow and develop.

Basically, you should obtain a good knowledge of programs because it will help you to develop and improve your practical skills. When you are hired as a junior specialist, you are not expected to produce polished art right away. You should be able to work with software and know different methods of creating models. The further work will be done under the supervision of your team lead.

Middle and Senior-Level Professionals

When you already have experience in the industry, it is much easier to find a dream job. But it doesn’t mean you should stop developing your skills. Take additional training courses, master new packages, and continue working on your portfolio. Your persistence and good results can lead you from mid-level to senior artist and further secure a lead position.

Should I Agree to Do a Test Task?

The test assignment gives you a chance to complete typical tasks and feel out the stylistics of the art. By trying out a test assignment, you’re able to determine how interesting the project and the position offered are. Most likely, if you are a senior-level artist and have a versatile portfolio, you can omit to work on test tasks. Nevertheless, it is a normal practice and you shouldn’t be afraid of it.

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