JA-forreal is spot-on.
But there are also some other considerations that are equally important.
Even if you think you can’t do it…you’ll never learn without experience.
The experience will come WITH WORK. So even if the job looks too
big, take it - you can always hire extra hands if you’re in too deep
and if you failed then it’s a learning experience…you’ll be better
prepared next time. Another thing I’ve found out as a 3d-illustrator
earning my daily bread is that I’m always surprised how well things
turn out when under pressure. With pressure I mean responsibillity.
People tend to do MUCH better when they HAVE TO do it.
- Don’t sell yourself too cheap:
Selling yourself too cheap is the single BIGGEST mistake you
can make (besides not “delivering”). No-one will take you
seriously if you sell yourself for a smile and a cookie. No-one
buys into that old song “I’m doing it to build up a portfolio”.
The reason for this is that an experienced employer knows that
the chance that YOU “deliver” is much bigger if there’s money
riding on the train…because then you HAVE to deliver.
If you are only doing it to get experience…then you might
bail-out and say…well…I’m not getting paid for this anyway,
that’s not professional …so even if you’re not a pro. yet…
it’s not only knowing your 3d…it’s beeing able to stick to your
assignment and deliver.
- Exercises are good, but doesn’t display your true potential:
I do exercises in 3d/2d all the time (just look at my crappy glass
in the finished work section on this forum) It does NOT display
what you are capable of. What you do in your JOB - WILL be your
portfolio and will be your proven track-record. What your friend
thinks of your work means little as he doesn’t pay your salary
(harsh-but-true)…nor does it mean a thing that your mother
think’s you’re the most talented artist in the world. The customers
will decide in the end.
- Everything doesn’t need to be photo-realistic:
Photorealism are fun, and especially good for pracising materials.
But they are far from needed in every situation. What defines
“photoreal” is up to you and your audience. You don’t need
photorealism to sell unless it’s an requirement.
I’ve created advertising campaing for the products that
the company I work for sells that are on display all over our
country. It has been approved by my company superiors,
collegues, ad-companies and retailers all over the country.
(unfortunately I’m not allowed to show these things Abroad
because of licensing restrictions…darn…I really want to but
such are an NDA…another thing you’ll run into as a working pro.)
What I mean to tell you is that you can create stuff that
looks cool to the general public…sell products with it…
and make your employers happy at a standard thats good
enough for the targeted market.
It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.
Your clients or co-workers/employers etc. need to be confident that
you can deliver exactly what they want. Sometimes this means a
good understanding of the people you’re working with. There’s no
place for “ego-tripping” in a team - so even if you’re doing a lot of
skilled work - it’s important to aknowledge the other people’s work
even if it isn’t as artistic as yours.
- Tell them that you exist:
How will your potential employers know HOW to get you
if they don’t even know that you exist. You need to make
a portfolio…even if you haven’t worked as a pro before you
need to show your stuff. Only show your best stuff…instead
of a lot of…well…stuff. It’s better to display 2 - GREAT pictures
rather than 20 …look “ma” …I can model…
One way to get the attention of the employers are to
pay for subscriptions to big website recruitment agencies,
(that’s how I eventually got hired)…and belive me…
the employer couldn’t care less if what program I used to
get the jobs done…they only want results (of course).
Another way is trough your friends. Don’t be afraid to
ASK around. Don’t ask for a job directly…but try to
see “creatively” and advertise yourself into their company
and give them ideas on how you could be of use!
You’d be amazed how much use there really are for
an creative illustrator in any jobsituation.
I hope these tips will help you or ANYone out there
increase your chances of getting hired.