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GoodJobJR's thread of things

GoodJobJRGoodJobJR Registered User
edited November 2011 in Artist's Corner
I've been working as a graphic designer for 2 years, and I recently lost my job so I'm trying to get a job as a 2d artist/ui designer videogame company or something else like that. Since I was working as an graphic designer/print technician, I didn't do much illustration so it's hard to get back into it. I'd like be able to build a portfolio that would work for a job like that.

Here's the portfolio I'm using right now:
www.nvzio.com

Here's a couple of stuff I did recently:
lauren.jpg
rivers.jpg

And I also do french rock musak:
http://nicepouliot.bandcamp.com/track/tortue-de-terre

GoodJobJR on

Posts

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Those illustrations are pretty cute, but if you're gunning for a 2d artist/UI job, you really should try to focus on producing some stuff that look like usable in-game assets, more so than just doing a lot of straight up illustrations. For the 2d stuff, full character sheets and environment design bits (buildings, props, etc.) For UI, Icons, buttons, menus, etc.- if you have a decent handle on Flash, being able to produce functional examples of how the UI will work/animate will go a long way towards selling yourself as a UI guy, especially with mobile and social game companies that usually have smallish teams working in Flash.

    Even how your portfolio functions itself is a great place to sell your UI abilities- right now you've got a fairly barebones presentation there, when a little more cool flourish could go a long way towards selling yourself (personally I prefer a stripped down presentation for my portfolio so people can just get to the work ASAP, but that's also because I actively try to avoid getting roped into doing UI work as much as I can...it always seems to be the most scrutinized and reworked part of any game, so I generally find it a bit frustrating myself.)

    When doing UI examples, one thing you might want to keep in mind- and this is something that differs a lot from most print graphic design- is that often games will have to be localized into different languages, so keeping an eye towards using a minimal amount of text in buttons and menus can make your, and your co-workers, jobs a lot easier. (Trying to retrofit a game designed to be in English to work in German is a total pain in the ass, considering German takes up something like 2.5 times as much space to say the same thing on average.) The more you can demonstrate your ability to get concepts across with symbols rather than text, the better.

    Also, the photos you have in there might have been relevant in a graphic design position if you had to take your own photographs for stuff, but for a video game job, employers are just going to wonder what that section is doing there, since they don't have much relevance to video game work.

  • GoodJobJRGoodJobJR Registered User
    Those illustrations are pretty cute, but if you're gunning for a 2d artist/UI job, you really should try to focus on producing some stuff that look like usable in-game assets, more so than just doing a lot of straight up illustrations. For the 2d stuff, full character sheets and environment design bits (buildings, props, etc.) For UI, Icons, buttons, menus, etc.- if you have a decent handle on Flash, being able to produce functional examples of how the UI will work/animate will go a long way towards selling yourself as a UI guy, especially with mobile and social game companies that usually have smallish teams working in Flash.

    Even how your portfolio functions itself is a great place to sell your UI abilities- right now you've got a fairly barebones presentation there, when a little more cool flourish could go a long way towards selling yourself (personally I prefer a stripped down presentation for my portfolio so people can just get to the work ASAP, but that's also because I actively try to avoid getting roped into doing UI work as much as I can...it always seems to be the most scrutinized and reworked part of any game, so I generally find it a bit frustrating myself.)

    When doing UI examples, one thing you might want to keep in mind- and this is something that differs a lot from most print graphic design- is that often games will have to be localized into different languages, so keeping an eye towards using a minimal amount of text in buttons and menus can make your, and your co-workers, jobs a lot easier. (Trying to retrofit a game designed to be in English to work in German is a total pain in the ass, considering German takes up something like 2.5 times as much space to say the same thing on average.) The more you can demonstrate your ability to get concepts across with symbols rather than text, the better.

    Also, the photos you have in there might have been relevant in a graphic design position if you had to take your own photographs for stuff, but for a video game job, employers are just going to wonder what that section is doing there, since they don't have much relevance to video game work.
    Thanks a lot for the tips I'll be doing exactly that. I know the photo section might seem off for video game related jobs but I'm still applying at graphic design places and it helps to have that on the side.
    So I should be trying out stuff more like this? http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=assets&order=9&offset=168#/d3fop98

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Exactly, that kind of thing shows off what you'd actually be able to produce if hired for a role; I've seen a lot of very good artists-better than myself- get shot down for jobs simply because nothing in their portfolio showed direct relevance to the job, and nobody wants to hire someone on a leap of faith.

    Though I might add when thinking up things to draw for examples, you may want to pick as subjects at least some stuff that that will be big, style-defining bits of the game like buildings or vehicles or characters, rather than purely just a bunch of random small objects like in that example.

    The reason for that is that while you may indeed spend a lot of time doing random objects like that on the job, those are also the things that are most likely to get outsourced because it's not a huge deal if they wind up looking kinda mediocre in comparison to the rest of the game. Obviously it's better for you to present yourself as being able to be trusted with the more important stuff, so you're not competing with people who might only require 1/3rd of your own salary and be able to hit the same level of quality. Show them why you're worth 3 times as much.

  • GoodJobJRGoodJobJR Registered User
    GoodJobJR wrote:
    Those illustrations are pretty cute, but if you're gunning for a 2d artist/UI job, you really should try to focus on producing some stuff that look like usable in-game assets, more so than just doing a lot of straight up illustrations. For the 2d stuff, full character sheets and environment design bits (buildings, props, etc.) For UI, Icons, buttons, menus, etc.- if you have a decent handle on Flash, being able to produce functional examples of how the UI will work/animate will go a long way towards selling yourself as a UI guy, especially with mobile and social game companies that usually have smallish teams working in Flash.

    Even how your portfolio functions itself is a great place to sell your UI abilities- right now you've got a fairly barebones presentation there, when a little more cool flourish could go a long way towards selling yourself (personally I prefer a stripped down presentation for my portfolio so people can just get to the work ASAP, but that's also because I actively try to avoid getting roped into doing UI work as much as I can...it always seems to be the most scrutinized and reworked part of any game, so I generally find it a bit frustrating myself.)

    When doing UI examples, one thing you might want to keep in mind- and this is something that differs a lot from most print graphic design- is that often games will have to be localized into different languages, so keeping an eye towards using a minimal amount of text in buttons and menus can make your, and your co-workers, jobs a lot easier. (Trying to retrofit a game designed to be in English to work in German is a total pain in the ass, considering German takes up something like 2.5 times as much space to say the same thing on average.) The more you can demonstrate your ability to get concepts across with symbols rather than text, the better.

    Also, the photos you have in there might have been relevant in a graphic design position if you had to take your own photographs for stuff, but for a video game job, employers are just going to wonder what that section is doing there, since they don't have much relevance to video game work.
    Thanks a lot for the tips I'll be doing exactly that. I know the photo section might seem off for video game related jobs but I'm still applying at graphic design places and it helps to have that on the side.
    So I should be trying out stuff more like this? http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=assets&order=9&offset=168#/d3fop98
    Ok, thanks a lot man!

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