View Full Version : Aspiring Concept Artist in Melbourne: Animation, Multimedia, Business/Marketing? HELP

12 December 2011, 01:59 AM
Hi there! First thread and I am so glad I found cgsociety and got to read some of the online places available to learn from. (:

I'm from Australia, Melbourne and like everywhere else, industry is not so good.

I know this industry is portfolio based/show reel based,
you need to be REALLY good at what you do,
there's no "best" institution,
you don't need a degree,
you need to be really persistent, pro active, resilient
and many more experienced people are out there looking for jobs
and basically this industry is looking really bad; now usually focused on mobile games or things that you're not interested in.

Since deciding on my career change to study from 2012 onwards, I went from applying to Graphic Design [GD] to Interactive Digital Media/Multimedia and now considering animation.

An IDM interview told me that I can do anything without a degree as long as you have connections & a brilliant portfolio. Still, I desire the networking opportunities a course could bring, getting out of home & see and collaborate with like minded people and industry placements else I would stick to studying by myself and am very tempted by TAD, Schoolism by Imaginism Studios, Gnormon Workshop DVDs and other online classes I've noticed in that thread but I wouldn't know where to start and I am not wealthy either.

I have completed a double degree in a different field already of 4 years [so I'm already in debt], worked for over a year or so and I'm looking to study again because that career really isn't for me, it's a struggle to find jobs either, I'm not that good at it and I was deluding myself that I can do something I'm not passionate in. Now, I'm seen as a "bum" doing nothing at the computer all day with no consistent job [that's why I want to "get out of the house"]. But if the best way is to do independent study, I'm willing to do it. I intend to look for a part time job more seriously later but not until I've sorted out what I'm doing for the next few years and get some understanding on when I'm available.

What I am wanting to do:

Passionate about: Illustrative, Visual Storytelling, Character design, Concept building, Colour theory, Design principles side of things, Digital arts, advancing my Drawing, computer and technical skills [traditional and digital].

Will learn if needed: Website development and coding, manage a business/business course, marketing myself, networking, collaborations, 3D animation, 2D animation, creating my website, responding to briefs, getting work experience/placement/internships, technology, and everything else to ensure I'm on top of the changing industry.

What I plan to do:

Study Andrew Loomis books and other anatomy books. Then get subscriptions at Gnomon and/or Digital Tutor. I don't know whether I can afford Animation Mentor and the others.

The main point, My Questions:

1) I'm considering

Melbourne's Academy of Interactive Entertainment's [AIE] Advanced Diploma in Game Development [Game Art or Film/TV/VFX]? [2yr] --
[i]Qantm Melbourne's Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment (Animation) [2yr] -- [generalist course + design + mobile game design + 3d basics with maya + animation it sounds like]
Diploma/Advanced Diploma in Interactive Digital Media [IDM/Multimedia] from RMIT? Or from Victoria University, Swinburne, Holmesglen? [2yr] -- generalist/keeping options open where you do the basics for each venue [web, coding, sound, 3d, animation, etc] but don't master anything
A business/marketing course I'll do so I can manage finances and that
Do self study only [as planned above]
Do self study + do a business/marketing course
Accounting [if I'm really not meant for the industry] --this is really for the money and I don't have much motivation at all at it; last resort
2. Where do I learn business/marketing? Is there an online place I can learn it from? Anything free if possible? If not, I'll research into it, but I'm clueless about business things.

This thread is another way I'm trying to investigate my options.

[b]In short: HELP!!! I need opinions. I've got till mid December left for most of the above courses before time's up.

All this research is a bit draining but I need to be sure of my investment. I know there is no right way about it, essentially it's all in your effort/luck/networking, there isn't the "best" course in general, but I want some advice/suggestions considering my options.
I appreciate your time and suggestions (:

12 December 2011, 05:12 PM
welcome to the forum.

Acoolme is an Online Marketing Software Platform And Social Community (

12 December 2011, 09:46 PM
thanks alextui but no suggestions?
Pretty quiet here and so I've skimmed through other threads further.

Still my choices are now:
-- do AIE's 3D modelling & 3D animation/VFX for film & TV 2 year course
-- do AIE's 3D modelling & 3D animation & game design 2 year course
-- do RMIT TAFE General Multimedia course 2 years
-- do RMIT TAFE General Multimedia + RMIT Uni Animation & Interactive Media courses 2+2=4 years
-- do AIE's 1st year of 3D modelling & 3D animation + RMIT Uni Animation & Interactive Media course 1+3=4 years
-- do RMIT Uni Animation & Interactive Media course in 2013 [1 year waiting+3=]4 years still
-- do RMIT TAFE General Multimedia + RMIT Uni Design Games course 2+2=4 years
-- do AIE's 3D modelling & 3D animation/VFX for film & TV course + learn animation/illustration myself as planned via online tutorials/courses --2 years or more

Not sure still because I hate my fear of not being employed, knowing this is a difficult industry to get into. I'm still currently looking for a part time job as well. Hmm...

12 December 2011, 03:17 PM
I can't give insight on what you should do with your life, I can suggest glancing through this list: and putting in some deep thought of what you want to do. Anyone can choose to take a job to make money and get by, others choose to take a risk and do what they love. You might not be rich and might not have job stability but for some that is where they find happiness. For me personally I am planning on the school route for animation, I am building up a little safety net by getting a degree in business management but this is more because of a military funding benefit to pay for it while I am in instead of me doubting my dedication to be an animator. I am unfamiliar with the schools but am fairly convinced as long as your doing what you love and want to do the school is just a tool for creating your final result.

12 December 2011, 04:53 PM
Yeah impossible to tell you what you should do, although anything calling itself "general multimedia" i would be very skeptical of if your serious about 3D and drawing/design.

Have you considered anything quite established? like industrial design? It might be less fun but will at least give you a good grounding in design, which is important for a good concept artist. You will also need to do some fine art stuff in your own time too, attend life drawing, practice painting and so on. Not necessarily at the same time but possibly so.

I consider concept art 50% design, 50% image making and illustration, its definitely a synergy of both.

Then again, animation and 3D modeling is a whole other ballgame, 3D to me seems like a natural progression of miniature model makers from the old days, a skilled craft. Animation is a whole world within itself and i know little about it!

12 December 2011, 11:09 AM
Appreciate the responses! I almost lost hope! (: I understand no one can tell me what to do but I need some discussion to guide me along.

Thank you for that list! Also all the best for your route in animation! (:
The thing is, I don't have any specialised Art schools/colleges where I am. And Visual Art degrees where I am aren't that impressive in terms of work so far; I believe I will have to learn on my own and take classes when I can afford to . That and it's too late for me to apply to any Fine Arts/Industrial design/Illustration degrees or courses.
Hm, you've given me food for thought as what I *really* want to do is illustration/concept art/comics/visual storytelling rather than animation itself. The only reason I am considering the 3D animation course is because it's the next "best thing", because I was fairly impressed & amazed with the work they produced in their teams but they realistically told me that there's no guarantee in a job and it's all in your skill/showreel. Perhaps it's not for me after all as I'm in it for the wrong reasons; as a substitute for illustration.
So along the lines of what you've said; I am still not able to do a course [that I can access & afford] that I actually want to do [at least next year]. Hmm. [see the "@both Andrewty07 & conbom" section for continuation]

Hi there! I appreciate hearing from a concept artist! (: Yes I was skeptical too, so I did not enrol even though I got the offer after my interview for the General Multimedia practical course.
No, I haven't considered industrial design. Unfortunately for me, anything that requires me to have portfolio interviews [like industrial design] does not allow any more applications for next year by now. It's too late for me to apply to any visual art degrees/courses as I said to Andrewty07 above. I didn't know that about industrial design! (: I still would be reluctant to apply I must admit though if I still have the chance but you make good points.
[i]"I consider concept art 50% design, 50% image making and illustration, its definitely a synergy of both." Thanks; I'm starting to realise that too amongst all the confusion between visual art fields and me trying to find out where I fit.
Yes animation and 3D modeling is something different I realise after playing a tiny bit with Maya...and as I said above to Andrewty07, I'm more interested in illustration/2D design...
Fair enough! (:

@both Andrewty07 & conbom:
Thanks both for the responses. Right now, I realise I really don't think I should do 3D animation when my passion lies in Illustration. Yet I cannot find any art courses that stand out, I can't do any long term fine art degrees/courses now and short fine art courses I cannot afford; being jobless at the moment.
Because I am both analytical/logical and artistic; both practical and want to follow my passion--this leaves me pretty indecisive at this crossroads. I want to be stable & do what I want which will be almost impossible.
Perhaps I can do a Master degree in Multimedia 1.5 years and do a Master degree in Accounting part time simultaneously. [Since I have already completed a double degree]
I would still not be doing what I want but I hope I will able to spread my skills across coding & designing websites, online graphics, video, sound and with Accounting...I'll just give that a go and see if it suits me or not before I quit. Hopefully I'll be able to fit in self study in the Fine Arts in the mean time as well!
That's what I'm considering for the sake of employment & financial stability because in my country, I am under an impression from other people that there is no outstanding industry standard education where I live which leaves me disappointed & skeptical of degrees and courses in general.

What do you both [or anyone else] think? Or suggestions of better combinations? Is this straining myself too much? I'm pretty much more reluctant with Accounting and more "I don't mind" with Multimedia. I don't want you to decide for me as I just wonder if there's a better solution I haven't thought of or whether this current one is actually hindering me.
Basically: Fine Arts self directed study in my own time via internet, books, dvd & do full time Master of Multimedia Technology degree & do part time Accounting?

Apologies if I ramble a lot (:

12 December 2011, 02:31 PM
Looking for stability in an art based job is challenging to find, especially if you are freelance or at a small studio. Since you already have a double major at your fingertips I suggest you use it to get your financial standing improved and of course it's easy to learn traditional art methods part time and even for free. Countless artists love teaching so you will find resources all over to improve your skills until your finances can support your artistic endeavor. There is no rush to dive into an art career and you can always pick up freelance side work online to get your name out there while you save up and pay off loans. The other benefit of holding off on the animation route is you have nearly everything you need to practice traditional art without all the cost of schools and software.

12 December 2011, 11:29 PM
Thanks Andrewty07 for your prompt response! (:
I didn't think of it that way about artists teaching classes [though too costly for me at this moment]. Thanks for the encouragement in not rushing into art and holding off animation as that's a slight different perspective! You are right about doing side work as well and about the debt I'm getting myself into.

I just have to figure out whether my current plan to get finances up is doable.
I don't know if I can handle doing two degrees of Multimedia & Accounting at the same time *and* study Fine Arts on my own.

Again thanks and I wish you the best in your animation dream (:

12 December 2011, 05:16 PM
I just have to figure out whether my current plan to get finances up is doable.
I don't know if I can handle doing two degrees of Multimedia & Accounting at the same time *and* study Fine Arts on my own.

Yeah it is a lot to take on at once, a lot of people put all their time into it since the competition is so fierce and positions so few its somewhat expected to really go for it to rise above the crowd, I've been trying to get a staff position for some time now and have been doing small freelance jobs in the meantime, make no mistake it is tough out there, there is a limited market for concept artists and illustrators, I need to work a lot harder and iron out my weaknesses to get that staff job. They expect you to be good in all areas as well as exceptional in some others. Its a demanding career, 5% get good pay and 95% get nothing, its certainly not impossible to get into that upper level but it demands commitment and a LOT of practice, without question it is like that.

12 December 2011, 09:45 PM
Thanks conbom for your insightful input on being a concept artist & illustrator and the industry. May you reach that staff job in the coming year then (:
I understand that it would take many, many years for one to be at least "good" in all areas and that it takes commitment and practice and time = huge volume of work. My fear is that I won't be able to put in much time to see much development in skill if I choose to do two other degrees at the same time. I've been thinking over the past two days that I should need to choose one degree only because based from past experience; I would only burn myself out from studying the two degrees rather than any Fine Art studying of my own. Hmm...

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