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Old 09-26-2013, 06:36 AM   #1
BadrS
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Can I make a living as a freelance character artist?!

Hi, I'm just a guy who love 3d so much, especially creating characters, creatures and robots. My aim is to become a real professional 3d character artist! Unfortunately, 3d & vfx have no future or work opportunities in my country, there are no games, film or even advertisements industries here!

So, my question is, can I make a good living as a remote freelance character artist?!
note: good living in my country= $3000-$5000 per month

I'm actually studying in college right now, but I'm studying something unrelated to 3d or even computer (I really don't like the stuff I'm studying), but it has a better chance of getting me a work in my country. So, I'm asking this question to know if I there is a future for me to do what I love and make a living at the same time, instead of doing something I really don't like!

If you want to know how committed I'm to become a professional 3d artist, you can view my latest work, which I made in just 4 months of learning from the internet & online courses (I started learning Zbrsuh & Maya in mid-May 2013)
http://badrs.cgsociety.org/gallery/1125827/

Last edited by BadrS : 09-26-2013 at 06:42 AM.
 
Old 09-26-2013, 06:49 AM   #2
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Honestly, if you want do work in VFX or games, then you should be focusing on gaining qualifications that'd allow you to emigrate to a country where the industry is developed.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh
Honestly, if you want do work in VFX or games, then you should be focusing on gaining qualifications that'd allow you to emigrate to a country where the industry is developed.


thank you, but I really don't want to emigrate from my country even if I had the chance to!
 
Old 09-26-2013, 07:04 AM   #4
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Shot in the dark.

If you were really fucking good and stuck with it, I think you would have "a living" after 5 years of slogging it from little remote freelance gig to remote freelance gig.

No matter what, you need that first gig. I might be wrong. It might be 10 years, it might be never. "A Living" remotely in less than 3 years would be like winning the lottery I think.
 
Old 09-26-2013, 07:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadrS
thank you, but I really don't want to emigrate from my country even if I had the chance to!


Then the harsh reality is that you're not likely to be able to do what you want. At the end of the day, character work, especially photorealistic character stuff, is a real niche of the industry. While realistic characters may be all the rage on web galleries, in the actual VFX world there aren't many occasions when hero level characters are actually required; most characters are digi doubles and that's not the kind of work that's likely to be farmed out remotely. And that's not even mentioning the logistics of it all - issues like confidentiality, in-house tools and other factors that make most studios use in house artists only.

To make the kind of money you're wanting every month, you'd have to be working in a studio in a country where the industry is well developed.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:07 AM   #6
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Also, I'm not sure there's much work for freelance character work anywhere.

But--if you do want to be a character artist, look into the gaming industry, character artists for games are very in-demand but you'd really need to move near to a studio because they aren't likely to hire freelancers.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stankluv
Shot in the dark.

If you were really fucking good and stuck with it, I think you would have "a living" after 5 years of slogging it from little remote freelance gig to remote freelance gig.

No matter what, you need that first gig. I might be wrong. It might be 10 years, it might be never. "A Living" remotely in less than 3 years would be like winning the lottery I think.


useful information, thanks


Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh
Then the harsh reality is that you're not likely to be able to do what you want. At the end of the day, character work, especially photorealistic character stuff, is a real niche of the industry. While realistic characters may be all the rage on web galleries, in the actual VFX world there aren't many occasions when hero level characters are actually required; most characters are digi doubles and that's not the kind of work that's likely to be farmed out remotely. And that's not even mentioning the logistics of it all - issues like confidentiality, in-house tools and other factors that make most studios use in house artists only.

To make the kind of money you're wanting every month, you'd have to be working in a studio in a country where the industry is well developed.


well I'm not really all about just creating "realistic characters", I mean I have a passion for all kinds of characters (games, cartoon ...etc), but I understand what you say and I really appropriate your help and honesty.
 
Old 09-26-2013, 08:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthviper107
Also, I'm not sure there's much work for freelance character work anywhere.

But--if you do want to be a character artist, look into the gaming industry, character artists for games are very in-demand but you'd really need to move near to a studio because they aren't likely to hire freelancers.


thank you, really appropriate the informations
 
Old 09-26-2013, 09:22 AM   #9
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While you definitely need to be good, you also need connection. A friend of mine went to Gnomon school of VFX and is now a specialist Zbrush character/creature concept artist. He still do contract work for people he knew from school all the time after he came back home. Not final hero character but quick Zbrush idea sketches. Sometimes 3-4 characters a night. Connection connection.
 
Old 09-26-2013, 09:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panupat
While you definitely need to be good, you also need connection. A friend of mine went to Gnomon school of VFX and is now a specialist Zbrush character/creature concept artist. He still do contract work for people he knew from school all the time after he came back home. Not final hero character but quick Zbrush idea sketches. Sometimes 3-4 characters a night. Connection connection.


thank you, that was really helpful to know, but does he work in sight or remotely?
 
Old 09-26-2013, 10:27 AM   #11
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theres only one way to find out. why dont you start emailing studios?

one of the "big" studios in London outsource there commercials modelling,tracking and rotomation work to India. so whos to say if you got in touch with studios (smaller,commercials) in london they might not take advantage of your lower rates and good quality.
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Last edited by patrickrowan : 09-26-2013 at 10:41 AM.
 
Old 09-26-2013, 11:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadrS
thank you, that was really helpful to know, but does he work in sight or remotely?

Remotely.

My studio also hire freelance modeler all time when time gets really tight.
 
Old 09-26-2013, 12:02 PM   #13
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yes, you can work as a freelance artist, but not as a junior. You need, first, experience and you get that working on a company.
Sometimes to work as a freelance CArtist you need almost "god" level to find a good base of clients, and it is a real competitive market because there is a lot of good character artist around there.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickrowan
one of the "big" studios in London outsource there commercials modelling,tracking and rotomation work to India. so whos to say if you got in touch with studios (smaller,commercials) in london they might not take advantage of your lower rates and good quality.


That's because a number of the big London studios actually have branches in India. They're not outsourcing to random individual freelance artists - they have proper facilities out there and hire artists to work in-house.

The only time that high end VFX or game work (ie work that may require dedicated character artists) is farmed out by studios to individual remote artists is when those artists possess very rare, high levels of skill and often a unique style, and for whatever reason are unavailable to come work in-house. There are very, very few of these individuals in the industry.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:54 PM   #15
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I'll be honest, building a freelance career in those dollar figures you are quoting is going to be very difficult if you are limiting yourself to only character work. I personally have recently hired a freelance character artist for an indie game I'm making, because they were more skilled than myself, but there's no way I could ever hope to afford that kind of a monthly rate. Big studios rarely hire freelancers, so you're stuck looking at independent productions and generally speaking, they don't have much of a budget.

I freelanced for about 4 years and while I'll admit my art skills aren't fantastic, I still don't think it's possible to make a living doing only one thing unless you are in the top 1%. The key to freelancing in my opinion is being able to do a lot of different tasks and doing them all well. I created 3D art for games, made websites, programmed Flash applications, created motion graphics advertisements and mocked up physical products. The variety allowed me to find work.
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