I Want to be­come a free­lance game artist – Do you Have any ad­vice?

3D World - - ARTIST Q&A - Antony Ward replies

From the out­side the free­lance life looks ideal. You can pick and choose your projects, or­gan­ise your own hours, and you get to work from home in your py­ja­mas if you so choose to. Un­for­tu­nately, how­ever, if you’re not or­gan­ised or prop­erly pre­pared, it can ac­tu­ally be a bit of a night­mare.

You are now fully in charge of what you earn, so imag­ine the pres­sure if you have bills to pay but no work com­ing in, and se­cur­ing those all-im­por­tant con­tracts isn’t as easy as it sounds. You are up against some stiff com­pe­ti­tion, not only from other artists, but artists who may do the same work but at a much lower rate.

So, how can you put your name at the top of a com­pany’s out­source list?

First, I would sug­gest you get some in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence. Go and work in a stu­dio, or even a few stu­dios so you get to know how they work in real life. Not only this, but you will also gain a greater un­der­stand­ing of the pipe­line and work­flows, mean­ing that once you are free­lance, a po­ten­tial client will have more con­fi­dence in your skills be­cause you have the ex­pe­ri­ence to back them up.

In ad­di­tion to this, over time you will make many friends and ac­quain­tances who, in the fu­ture, could be­come reg­u­lar clients. An­other key part of be­ing free­lance is that it’s as much about who you know, not just what you know.

I would also try and gain some ex­pe­ri­ence in mul­ti­ple ar­eas, so as well as mod­el­ling per­haps you can also an­i­mate and even rig char­ac­ters. Not only does this, again, make you more valu­able to clients, but it also means that you have more av­enues to ex­plore when look­ing for con­tracts.

Fi­nally, I would sug­gest you make sure that be­fore you take the leap your port­fo­lio sparkles, not only with pol­ished ren­ders but progress shots to show how you work. When it comes to game de­vel­op­ment it’s not just the fi­nal prod­uct that needs to look good, how it’s built is just as im­por­tant – so don’t be afraid to share the wire­frame and tex­ture pages to show off your topol­ogy and Uv­ing skills.

Be­ing free­lance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, not un­less you’re pre­pared and en­ter it with your eyes open

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