Originally Posted by grantmoore3d
One thing that I see that causes a lot of disappointment for new CG artists is that they focus too much on getting into that one big studio of their dreams. There is an incredibly wider breadth of work that can be done in CG that there is really no reason to limit yourself to just film, vfx or AAA game work.
Personally, I've been surviving primarily as a freelancer by doing animations for industrial technology companies, creating presentations that show how their equipment works at a high level and explaining the features with bullet points. My point here is that there are plenty of people who would like pretty graphics, and even sometimes they don't even know it's a possibility until you approach them! Sure, this kind of work might not have the same kind of glamour or appeal as getting your work up on the big screen, but it's been paying my bills and means I get to open up my favourite software every day instead of getting a job as a barista.
Short Version: Find a niche market and run with it, studio work is not the only thing you can do in CG as a career.
Your point is valid to some extent, but I've heard it so many times I have to admit to becoming tired of hearing it stated so absolutely.
You need to bear in mind that many people get into this because they want to work in film or games first and foremost, and CG secondarily. In those cases it's absolutely not the case that one can decide to go for some other niche.
IE: Personally I got into it because I like large teams of clever people, and doing creature work.
I literally couldn't, professionally speaking, thrive in any other environment other than the one that I stubbornly decided to pursue (mid and high budget film work).
The fact it involved CG was a byproduct of the fact that I started programming, then using CAD apps, very early on in my life, and the animatronics and maquettes market was already on its last leg when I joined the ranks quite a few years ago (which was my original aim when I was a kid).
It's like telling someone "hey, you want to drive a car, you know you could deliver milk instead of racing le Mans, right?!", when they want to actually endurance race, and the car just happens to be coincidentially required.
If you want to be an "operator" for certain applications (and I imply ABSOLUTELY NOTHING bad in this), then it's fine, go for whatever. If you're happy with a certain level of input in creating or assemblying something, and it doesn't matter what it is, again go for whatever works.
Some of us though want to work on movies or games, not just monkeying around some DCC app, nor are we content with working on our own or in small teams all the time, and that means picking some odd and profitable niche wouldn't reward us to the whole extent, and possibly not enough to bother at all.