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Old 03-07-2016, 12:33 PM   #1
Nmn
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Default How do you earn your living?

Yo folks, I tought of an idea I think may be interesting. How 'bout we share our experience where we get our income from? I mean, we all aspire to be professional illustraors, or are. If so, how do you percieve your job? What did you do prior to becoming a pro? Or what do you do now?

Currently, I've been at a first day at a call center, since I moved out of my folks. So far nuthin, it's been only motivational crap talk. I'm actually eager to start ringin' people.

My last job, from October 15 till' February 16 was a server at a restaurant. It was horrible, I was bullied by my coworkers who had longer experience at that place, was tempted with alcohol (yeah, I was told a good waiter has some percentage in his blood, trust my word on this) and while the money was very good, the emotional cost was just too high and I decided to quit the damn place.

So whatcha got to say?

P.S. *sigh* if only I could draw whole day and someone would buy me food...
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Old 03-07-2016, 03:05 PM   #2
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I'm a general artist at a small games company. I started off as a 3d modeler, but as time went on I had to try and spread out to cover just about everything else (UI, web design, multimedia, and a slew of other things that unfortunately aren't 3d modeling).
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Old 03-07-2016, 04:54 PM   #3
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I do remote IT support for hotels. Occasionally, I'll get a commission here and there, but nothing to write home about.
I tend to favor character design and figure drawing, so if I had my say, I'd go for something like that. Been looking at a lot of traditional artists, like Huston, James Gurney, Sargent, and Zorn, so I'd be okay with doing some key art, like covers or illustrations, too.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:42 AM   #4
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I work in IT support. My first proper job out of Uni was working for IT Support for a small logistics company. Spent more time writing reports and the company didn't invest much in IT despite everything being done online at the company. When we asked the company for 10,000 from their 5 million a year to refresh the company's IT work stations, they said no and instead invested in more trucks, that's when i called it quits and left the company.

Went to first line support for a company that supported an insurance company. was more happy there as i was using actual skills to do my job. Except it didn't last long as the company lost the contract 6 weeks i joined. Six months later i was out of a job and cut loose.

1 month later i was a contractor working for the NHS doing IT support, felt like a step up as i was doing new stuff and the work was manageable and we weren't being bogged down with the petty stuff. Except due to cuts and the such we were merged with the other service desk and i was relegated to call center Battery hen picking up calls. Lost all opportunities to improve, lost the will to train (i was MCP certified for xp and Server 2003 at the time and i didn't use a single lick of that stuff), the call center was numbers driven (if you didn't hit your quota for the day you were quickly out of a job), The customers on the other side Eroded my patience and enthusiasm for IT in general felt like hell that i couldn't do my job properly without any support. It wasn't helped the fact that i was being paid nearly 25% LESS than everyone because my contracting company wanted a bigger slice of the pie. I was naive at the time and didn't know my self worth. When my company asked them to pay me the same amount as everyone else, they said no. "If you want them to pay johnway more money, give us more money to do it" was the general idea.

Worked there for 3 years and increasingly felt like i was on life support rather than having fun. I only left the company because they were moving offices and it wasn't feasible to follow them. Had a good send off from my mates and most of my friends left not long after the various services for the NHS were merged. But thats a long story for another time.

I now work in another small IT company and things are much much better. Doing more hands on work and they have better benefits etc. It does get busy at times and really stressful if too many people fall ill or on A/l as we have very few staff and things really stack up. On average you could be juggling 20 calls and at worst 30-40 calls in your queue plus all the daily checks etc.


Would i want an Art career? i don't know. I never associated fun/work as the same thing. I thought IT was fun when i started but now i'm starting to hate it sometimes. Its my midlife crisis occurring. I probably hate art if i had to do it all day. Hell, some days i barely work up the enthusiasm to draw. It probably because i'm creatively bankrupt, there are some gaps in my knowledge or maybe i'm not at the level i am satisfied. If we go by the 10000 hours of experience at the rate i work at i would be dead 3 times over before even nearing that number.
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:35 AM   #5
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Woah guys I envy you (especiallly Agent), in the least you have IT education and experience and that' a forevah expandin' market. I had the misfortune of getting a Master in Fine Arts. They taught me CRAP (I was actually discouraged from doing comics and illustrations), and now I can't find work even in advertising studios. Last week or so I was at an advertisin agency, the lady said I can work on so-called probation for her since I have no experience in gettin' commissions done quickly, and offered crap money that wouldn't last for even my rent. The test they've given me was a piece-o-shit computer where PS crashed every 5 minutes or so.

I'm becoming increasingly disgusted with the whole job market. And my luck.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnway
I probably hate art if i had to do it all day. Hell, some days i barely work up the enthusiasm to draw.
This definitely happens. Work constantly drains my creative juices, so by the time I'm done for the day I just want to do something else to recharge for tomorrow. The downside for me is that works like a single 'Sims Mood Meter' that drains regardless of the creative task; if I spend all day trying to figure out how to best scale a design responsively, then I don't feel like drawing/painting/sculpting when I get home. Those skills are becoming rusty and stunted as a result ._.
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Old 03-09-2016, 04:41 AM   #7
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My first real job was at Localization Agency as a Project Manager. I worked sa an in-house translator before for a whole and other language related jobs. Project management was more fun that being a translator but I lost pretty much all the remaining enthusiasm for it. I always wanted to make art. Create characters and games and such. The job could become stressful at times as I had been responsible for freelancers and with the localization amrket shrinking rapidly we had been forced to swich between those freelancers often which meant I did not have a team I could rely on most of the time. When I entered the industry was pretty much at its peak and even here in Eastern Europe we could make really good money, but it grew worse and worse (and it keeps doing so even now) so the benefits slowly dropped off. So I quit this Summer and became unemployed after 2.5 years.

Now I work as a freelance artist on a few game projects and it is better. Although I am pretty lonely, as I work from home. On one hand it is kinda cool, but on the other none of the projects is anything I could be overly excited about. I have a clear idea about how game mechanics and design should be approached and it is very hard for me to find people who think alike. This makes it really hard for me to concede to different opinions as I simply believe they are doing it wrong. But it is a start. Once my contract ends in September I am planning to revise my possibilities heavily and get to work with a creative team. So in my free time, I am honing my skills in the direction I would like to take (Ankama, Labzero, Counterplay or Motiga would be pretty cool... a man has dreams).

I suggest you go to conventions. Any that you can go to. I have been to several around here. Splash in Prague is pretty cool for you as an artist - they have great workshops and I learned a lot. I have also been to GDS in Prague, which is great if you are looking for work. There are so many talented studios in our neck of woods. There's also CEGC in Wienna a few weeks ago which showed to be promising. And of course Reboot in Croatia. Making friends is equally, if not more important, than your actual skills. (I am very bad at making new friends, but that doesn't keep me from trying).

Other than that, figure out what you want to do, and devote a chunk of your free time to that.

p.s. there is a live stream with ANthony Jones today, if you care to pop by. https://www.facebook.com/events/1138230179522949/
I took his character design workshop in November and it was amazing.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:30 PM   #8
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I was quite interested about your story Lamby, since both of us come from the same area on the world map. Here in Poland, especially in the crap city I live in currently, there is no desire for illustrators. The only way to do what I do is to work remotely, doing comissions from home, maybe with some contract for long term payment.

I'd love to be an illustrator. Advertisin agencies mean shit to me, and I emphasize that (here when you say "Graphic Artist" everyone think about billboards and posters), especially since everyone is so greedy and a new guy often gets crap payment and gets drowned in commissions. I should go to conventions, I should attend art contests, only I'm poor at organising my time and am runnin' low on cash.

It's true that networking yields more value than the skills themselves. Last year my Master Degree uhh... promotore (a guy who supervisors your Master Degree work) contracted me with .. the police, they wanted a short comic about promoting the positive image of a football fan, aimed at kids. It was hard work because of deadlines, but it was the best thing I've done in 5 years at the art school. Naturally it was all pro-bono.

My current plan is to build up a considerable portfolio at Deviant and at my site and then start hunting for folks who want pictures, especially foreigners since my english is decent and they got more commies than here. Only that idea is aimed for the next 5-6 months and in the meantime, since I moved out of my parents', gotta work at some crap day job and I feel like I'm half-wasting my time. I'm starting to think movin out wasn't the best idea...
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:47 AM   #9
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You are not wasting time as long as it brings food to your table and a roof above your head.

I will probably move back to my parents' for the Summer. It's the most boring place imaginable, but at least I can save up some cash. I work freelance anyway and life costs in Bratislava (where I live now) are quite high. You will probably find in-house positions as a illustrator in studios in larger cities. There is no point in founding a game company in a small backwater town. Since you already moved out, there is nothing that would keep you from moving to another city.

Portfolio building is a very good investment. I am working on that right now. I'd like to get an internship or in-house position at some studio abroad. Just get your art out there, make it as easy as possible for people to find you. Make your portfolio focused, make it clear what you want to be doing. Not only subject wise but also the style you like.
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:54 AM   #10
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It's good you mentioned about style... I've been thinkig. So many people paint nowadays those bloody super realistic concept art with using photos more than drawing/painting. This stuff is so allover the place. I was wonderin' wether I should include some like that in my style or not. I think I'll just stick to painting stuff digitally in a traditional manner, to be frank.
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Old 03-10-2016, 11:19 AM   #11
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I think everything has its place. I've read of concept artist using photobashing more than painting, and of other artists being discouraged from bashing, and just straight up painting. I think it depends on what you're trying to do and what and where you work.

Speaking of style, I think I need to explore other styles than realistic: I've been studying realism for a while now, and I feel like my pieces are starting to look very stiff, so I need to inject some dynamism and high energy and exaggerated action poses into it!
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Old 03-11-2016, 03:09 AM   #12
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Joey I heard that when you don't focus on style it just comes out naturally, so maybe that'll help? At least it did for me. I hated my style, it was dirty. As it stands now Ima thinkin' "sure it's not the most, but no one can do this shit the way I do it, and that makes it interesting".

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing photoshopping pieces, they look amazing, it just doesn't fit my tastes. Come to think of it, I may try my hand at stuff like that, but the fact it's alluva the place and seems to lost a bit of its magic, back when Sparth and others like him were just introducing this stuff, holds still.

Joe, you didn't say where you get yours incomes from...
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Old 03-11-2016, 09:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nmn
Joey I heard that when you don't focus on style it just comes out naturally, so maybe that'll help? At least it did for me. I hated my style, it was dirty. As it stands now Ima thinkin' "sure it's not the most, but no one can do this shit the way I do it, and that makes it interesting".
Very nice way of looking at things.

Quote:
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Joe, you didn't say where you get yours incomes from...
Yeah, I did. Second post in the thread. I work in IT.
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:59 AM   #14
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Ima total dumbass, sorry for omitting that xD
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Joey I heard that when you don't focus on style it just comes out naturally, so maybe that'll help? At least it did for me. I hated my style, it was dirty. As it stands now Ima thinkin' "sure it's not the most, but no one can do this shit the way I do it, and that makes it interesting"..
Learning new styles can keep you from doing the same mistakes over and over. As it forces you to follow/create a new, more effective pipeline.
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:50 AM   #16
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I try that sometimes, imitating someone's style. I've done that w/ Jim Lee and it let me to discover "flow lines" so that limbs are not as stiff.

On a side note honeys and lads, I've just came back from a test work day at a restaurant. Everything was going swell, serving customers, until a cook pushed me away when I wanted to get past by him to pour water into a jug for a customer, and asked if I wanted to get whacked in the head... I immideatly threw down the pinafore and walked outta there...
Folks, really appreciate the works you're employed at the moment, trust me.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:09 AM   #17
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For the last year and a half, I've been working in IT (which seems really popular around here) for a bank. While I definitely like working with computers, I'd like to move toward something that's more than just rebooting users' computers. Whether I'll go to graduate school to do so is another story.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:45 AM   #18
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Yeah you guys are all IT folks. Anyone here an art student or art graduate, or better question - how many of us are self taught?

I obviously am not entirely, but mostly.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Yeah you guys are all IT folks. Anyone here an art student or art graduate, or better question - how many of us are self taught?

I obviously am not entirely, but mostly.
Personally, I don't know if you can consider someone 'self taught' if they're still reading books written by other people and getting assistance/advice/guidance from other people.
If we're going by the strict definition of "never went to art school", then yes, I'm self-taught. But I've taken a lot of direction from artists such as Loomis, Sargent, Kevin Chen, Steve Huston, Bridgman, Ron Lemen, and Bryan Lee.

Also, yeah, funny how a lot of us are IT people, eh?
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:33 AM   #20
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Yeah that definition of never going to art school, or attending art courses.

Seems like me and Lamb are the Black Sheep (pun intented )
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