11 Working for a VFX company versus working in an on-set art department
Just as there are differences in production, there are major variations between working within an outsourcing or VFX company versus an on-set art department. When you're working off-site on films, say for a VFX firm or visual development outsourcer, you're surrounded with an extra layer of colleagues, art directors and leads who can help you grow as an artist. Many companies will have artists on several projects at once, which will be very exciting on the creative side as you're switching between many types of design.
In contrast, working in an onset art department brings you closer to the production. You'll interact with the production designer and sometimes the director as well, depending on the project. In a physical art department you work with many more disciplines, with set designers, graphic designers, and the on-stage crew. Based on how long your contract is you might even see the film develop from start to finish. In my experience, you get to try out a wider variety of design in terms of tasks, even though this will normally be governed by your particular speciality.