Crimson Daggers — Art forum

Full Version: Getting started post-grad
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Hey, all. Haven't been here in a while. I'm hoping to get some help, sorry if this is already been posted before, but I'm crossing my fingers.

So it's been about a month since I graduated university with a BFA in illustration. Although I met a lot of great people there and learned a lot, I still feel like my portfolio isn't as good as I'd like. I've been looking into freelance resources, and although I haven't really reached out yet, I just feel like my stuff isn't up to par to get any call backs.

I'm hoping you guys can point me in the right direction. I'm in PA, and would prefer to stay within the Northeast corner of the states. It's frustrating, because I feel like there isn't a whole lot over here. Plus, I'm not even really sure of what kind of job I want. Concept art, vis dev, comics, graphic design? Everything I see seems to be catered towards video games, and I'm not sure if that's what I want to get into.

Has anyone tried Schoolism? I'm thinking of subscribing to their monthly service for over the summer, and I'm curious if it'll be worth it.

Thanks to everyone here, you've all helped me tremendously in the past few years. I've been frustrated the past few weeks looking into jobs, I'm not sure if I'm ready for the art industry, but I'm also not sure what direction to even go in. Any help would be appreciated greatly.
Sorry I can't help with specifics in your area, so this is just general advice looking at your folio as it is.

1. Almost all the work shown seems to speak to comics or cartoons with only a few randoms like the book covers thrown in. I have to say this, but your folio appears very conspicuously to be a student one filled with course work. This isn't bad on principle depending on the work quality, but you want to start moving away from this by keeping pumping out new work and begin to replace the weakest material with newer stuff. Err on the side of showing only the best work. You are only as good as the worst piece in your folio when it comes to art directors.

2. You should tailor your folio to really speak to what you 'want' to do and are interested in. You likely won't be getting concept design work or graphic design and arguably vis dev or game work with this folio as it stands, because there are very few to no examples of these at all. I rarely believe any resume that claims proficiency in illustration, comics and graphic design all in one, and this is easily disproved with a quick look at a folio anyway. The temptation to shotgun blast a folio and resume for maximum spread to hit any job available is almost certainly bound for failurr.
So while you may not know specifically what you want to do ideally, you should start to dabble in any likely areas now to give yourself a clue. It helps to have a niche and focus when applying for work, so it is time to seriously start thinking about and dabbling in what you might enjoy now to help you figure it out. Comics seems to be a thing for you, but you need to do much more of it I feel and a bit more tailored to the industry if you want to work with the major publishers on their IPs. Something often said is to think about things you loved and experienced as a help you find a lasting inspiration or theme to get stuck into.

Schoolism I have heard is very good and value for money for the non critiqued courses. I am going to be doing a few myself in the coming months to keep the learning going. I am pretty sure you will benefit from them. Select courses wisely and for specific reasons.

There is a decent freelance resource thread on this forum you can find started by Mariyan Hristov. Freelance is very hard to break into and maintain without having a somewhat impressive body of work and is not for the weak-willed or poorly disciplined. So I would say get a bit more work under your belt first or you will find yourself working a lot for very little with indies and randoms with your folio as it stands. This isn't an impossible task, but low tier freelance is a bit soul crushing in a specific way and can easily suck joy out of art.

Unfortunately, I am not giving you any positive uplifting opinions on getting work quickly but from experience I feel it is better you really focus more on your work and driving up the quality and focus of your folio now as you continue to search for opportunities, because more opportunities will become available the better your work gets.

Hope that helps. It's a tough game, so try not to get discouraged. it's a long game you need to play.