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