Q Benjamin asked a question concerning getting that first job. Can you rely primarily on a really nice portfolio and a degree, while having a sparse resume? Are internships prevalent in the field of the concept artist?
A That first job can be tricky. A sparse resume indicates a lack of experience, which some studios will require in order in order to be an eligible candidate (they usually require 2 – 3 years minimum). So you may be asking yourself: “well, how do I get that experience if they aren’t willing to hire me?” And that’s the rub.
To answer your question: While it is possible to land those jobs without experience, your portfolio would need to be AMAZING in order for a studio to take a gamble on you. The degree is less important. I would suggest beefing up your resume by taking on smaller side gigs for legitimate clients. They may not pay very well, but they will show you can work as a professional.
Personally, while still in college, I searched job boards and forums for people in need of art. I got my first job illustrating a cover of someone’s print-on-demand book (which was new technology back then), and a few other small jobs designing logos and other crap. This went on for several months, until I had enough “experience” to land a job with a bigger client making TV pitch ads (none of these were concept art – more so illustration, but it got me the professional working experience I needed). By the time I graduated and it was time to find employment at a video game studio, I already had 2 years of professional art experience. I used that point, along with my solid portfolio, to win over my first video game studio.
A To answer your other question: While I have heard about concept art internships, they are usually few and far between. Be on the lookout for them, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. Of the many concept art peers I have worked with over the years, only one had an internship first, before begin hired full time.
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