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About Digital Art / Hobbyist Member Jesse DavisMale/United States Recent Activity
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Mascot Girl by Damaged927

Well, your skills are noticeably improving. The lineart is solid for the most part. I'm kind of feeling like we should be seeing her ha...

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Donatello by shiroboi
Donatello
My daughter asked me to draw a ninja turtle, specifically Donatello.  20 min, pencil, no references.  I know it has a few problems but it isn't a serious piece so I'm not fixing it.  :P
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Hey all,  I run a semi-successful game art studio in Bangkok, and after hiring (and not hiring) a buttload of artists I thought I'd come up with some advice as well as discussion points on what you should or shouldn't do when applying for a job.  This is not a complete list, so I could use some help from you veterans with any other job tips that might be beneficial for artists trying to get hired.

As always, these are my opinions and experiences.  Different advice might apply differently to other art jobs.  For reference, the position I hire the most is a production artist position which involves making art assets for small mobile games.

Here's my general tips for artists seeking work:

Tip #1.  Don't think that DA represents the real world.  You might think you're top dog because your werewolf, cross-gender, inflation-fantasy comic got a half million views.  Understand that DA is a niche filled with sub-niches.  A potential boss will be less than impressed.

Tip #2.  Diversify your general art portfolio.  Unless you're specifically targeting a certain job (which is recommended, see #7), you may want your general portfolio to show what you're capable of as an artist. 

Tip #3.  Get creative with your resume. I've seen some really cool, well designed graphical resumes.  Not appropriate for a programmer but completely appropriate for a creative artist.

Tip #4.  Are you Genzoman?  If you're not Genzoman or at the top of your illustration game, chances are, nobody is going to pay you to sit around and make pretty character illustrations all day.  It's not a worthless skill but it needs to be accompanied by something else. Show some layout skills, user interfaces, logos, buttons, ads.  Anything with commercial value is welcome in a general portfolio.

Tip #5.  Don't depend on school projects for your portfolio.  I can smell a school project from a mile off.  I'm more interested in what YOU like to do or projects that you've involved yourself in.

Tip #6.  If you get the job and you're coming off freelancing and doing fanart, your life will change.  You will have to W.O.R.K.  It will not be fun sometimes.  You will not get to wake up late and most importantly, you have to wear pants.  Freelancers in particular have a harder time switching to a job working for someone else.

Tip #7.  Target your portfolio to the job. This is ideal if you can do this. Think backwards.  What would someone working in your desired position do?  Try to include those sorts of art in your portfolio.  Less than 5% of the work we do involves characters.  If you're applying for a game art position, include examples of backgrounds, characters, buttons, powerups and user interface.  Those are all key elements I look for in a game art portfolio.  If you are decent and you check all those boxes, you'll get an interview.


Did I miss anything?  I'd love to see some discussion on your experiences either as an art manager or as an artist trying to get work.  I'm also happy to answer questions if you guys have any. 
Hey all, DA peeps.  It's been a while since I rapped at ya.  Still running my game company in Bangkok.  We've grown quite large.  Due to me running the company, I don't have much time anymore to do leisure art.  It's a shame really.  I always think I'm happiest when I'm drawing or doing art. The upside is that I bought a beautiful house close to a lake.  It's a great place to hang out and the kids love it there.  I do think I found my niche in game art.  So that's the reason why you don't see anime illustrations from me anymore.  I like art but I'm much better at building things with components.  It scratches the technical as well as artistic itches at the same time. 

On a side note, I do have job advice for aspiring artists.  I can say this because I frequently hire production artists who often are on deviantart or doing anime style illustrations. 

Tip #1.  Don't think that DA represents the real world.  You might think your top dog because your werewolf cross-gender, inflation-fantasy comic got a half million views.  Understand that DA is a niche filled with sub-niches.  A potential boss will be less than impressed.

Tip #2.  Diversify your art portfolio.  Unless you're specifically targeting a certain job (which is recommended), you may want your general portfolio to show what you're capable of as an artist.  If you apply for a graphic designer position and your portfolio is nothing but characters, it's not going to do too well.

Tip #3.  Get creative with your resume. I've seen some really cool, well designed graphical resumes.  Not appropriate for a programmer but completely appropriate for a creative artist.

Tip #4.  Are you Genzoman?  If you're not Genzoman or at the top of your illustration game, chances are, nobody is going to pay you to sit around and make pretty character illustrations all day.  It's not a worthless skill but it needs to be accompanied by something else. Show some layout skills, user interfaces, logos, buttons, ads.  Anything with commercial value is welcome in a general portfolio.

Tip #5.  Don't depend on school projects for your portfolio.  I can smell a school project from a mile off.  I'm more interested in what YOU like to do or projects that you've involved yourself in.

Hope that helps.  I'll probably post this on a forum or something.
  • Mood: Content
  • Watching: Goonies
  • Playing: Battleheart: Frontiers
  • Eating: Grapow Moo Gruab (Rice with pork)
  • Drinking: Caramelly Coffee
Dinosaur with barbarian girl by shiroboi
Dinosaur with barbarian girl
Quick sketch I did as a request from a member of reddit.  Not used to sketching with a wacom but it turned out alright I guess.
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shiroboi
Jesse Davis
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
United States
Current Residence: Maryland, USA
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Large
Favourite genre of music: Metal/industrial/rock/electronic/jpop
Favourite style of art: Cel Style Anime
Operating System: Windows XP Pro
MP3 player of choice: Winamp
Wallpaper of choice: Something Abstract
Personal Quote: Never trust a woman with a hose.
Interests
Hey all, DA peeps.  It's been a while since I rapped at ya.  Still running my game company in Bangkok.  We've grown quite large.  Due to me running the company, I don't have much time anymore to do leisure art.  It's a shame really.  I always think I'm happiest when I'm drawing or doing art. The upside is that I bought a beautiful house close to a lake.  It's a great place to hang out and the kids love it there.  I do think I found my niche in game art.  So that's the reason why you don't see anime illustrations from me anymore.  I like art but I'm much better at building things with components.  It scratches the technical as well as artistic itches at the same time. 

On a side note, I do have job advice for aspiring artists.  I can say this because I frequently hire production artists who often are on deviantart or doing anime style illustrations. 

Tip #1.  Don't think that DA represents the real world.  You might think your top dog because your werewolf cross-gender, inflation-fantasy comic got a half million views.  Understand that DA is a niche filled with sub-niches.  A potential boss will be less than impressed.

Tip #2.  Diversify your art portfolio.  Unless you're specifically targeting a certain job (which is recommended), you may want your general portfolio to show what you're capable of as an artist.  If you apply for a graphic designer position and your portfolio is nothing but characters, it's not going to do too well.

Tip #3.  Get creative with your resume. I've seen some really cool, well designed graphical resumes.  Not appropriate for a programmer but completely appropriate for a creative artist.

Tip #4.  Are you Genzoman?  If you're not Genzoman or at the top of your illustration game, chances are, nobody is going to pay you to sit around and make pretty character illustrations all day.  It's not a worthless skill but it needs to be accompanied by something else. Show some layout skills, user interfaces, logos, buttons, ads.  Anything with commercial value is welcome in a general portfolio.

Tip #5.  Don't depend on school projects for your portfolio.  I can smell a school project from a mile off.  I'm more interested in what YOU like to do or projects that you've involved yourself in.

Hope that helps.  I'll probably post this on a forum or something.
  • Mood: Content
  • Watching: Goonies
  • Playing: Battleheart: Frontiers
  • Eating: Grapow Moo Gruab (Rice with pork)
  • Drinking: Caramelly Coffee

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:icona3kitsune:
A3Kitsune Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014
Thanks for the llama.
Reply
:iconshiroboi:
shiroboi Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you as well!
Reply
:icondoggynino:
DoggyNino Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday~
Reply
:iconshiroboi:
shiroboi Featured By Owner May 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:icontiffa:
tiffa Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Hope all is well in Thailand! Happy birthday!
Taking a trip to Thailand later this fall =].
Reply
:iconshiroboi:
shiroboi Featured By Owner May 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh wow, are you?  That's fantastic.  Where are you planning to go?
Reply
:icontiffa:
tiffa Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
=D!! Gonna be based out of Bangkok since that's where my family is. I'll take the first week to explore southern Thailand and not sure what I'm doing the second week yet. Either way, beaches & relaxing will be in there somewhere!! Last time we were in Chiang Mai (scary road trip, omg!!). I've never been to southern Thailand ^_^. I'm looking forward to it! And I'm still leaning towards setting up over there now that I'm freelancing full time. Still unsure how complicated it is. Maybe you have some advice for me? lol
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:iconshiroboi:
shiroboi Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've got tons of advice.  First off, the beach is great but Bangkok is where the action is.  My company is in Nonthaburi near Central Chaengwattana.  It's at the northern end of the city. I like it a lot actually. It's a great place to live if you're a freelancer, the important thing is to set up in a good place that you like if you're going to do freelancing.  Cost of living is very low so you don't need to take that many jobs to make a living.  You can speak English so you can go after western clients.  That's a huge advantage.  The main thing I learned while doing freelancing is that business customers pay a lot better than enthusiasts.  If your work has a commercial purpose it's more valuable.  In my case, I make iOS game art.  When it was just me by myself, I was making around $1,000 - 2,000 a month which is enough to live here by yourself.  If you get a lot of work, it may be worthwhile to hire a Thai assistant who can help you.  That's how I ended up getting started.   I ended up being so busy finding and managing the work that I had to hire others to help me with the artwork.  And now we're moving AGAIN to a larger office so I can hire more people. Sadly, you'll find you make more money as a business owner than as an artist.  It's give and take.
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(1 Reply)
:iconbkf9:
bkf9 Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Student Interface Designer
Happy Birthday! 
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:iconshiroboi:
shiroboi Featured By Owner May 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconbkf9:
bkf9 Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Student Interface Designer
no problem !
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:iconcirprius:
Cirprius Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy Birthday! :D
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:iconshiroboi:
shiroboi Featured By Owner May 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconcirprius:
Cirprius Featured By Owner May 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I hope it was awesome :D
Reply
:icondoodah:
Doodah Featured By Owner May 19, 2014
happy birthday :)
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