Can I make a living as a freelance character artist?!

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Old 09 September 2013   #16
Originally Posted by grantmoore3d: 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.

That is probably the best advice you will get.
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Old 09 September 2013   #17
I agree too.

When I talk to artists starting out, I usually advice them to diversify their skill-sets.
For those looking to freelance, having a diverse portfolio of skillets it makes it easier to find gigs.

And for those looking for contract position I would recommend themselves attractive to potential employers by offering "more bang for the buck" .
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Old 09 September 2013   #18
Thank you so much guys, I really appreciate all your comments and advises, you opened my eyes to a lot of stuff right now, thanks again
 
Old 09 September 2013   #19
EDITED FOR CRIMES AGAINST GRAMMAR...

One more piece of advice...
Learn to play nice with others, and let your ego parked at the door.
Time and time again I have seen talented people crash and burn at studios because of their inflated egos.

Ill give you two examples.
Lets say that in my studio when we have two candidates to pick from:

One is Jake James (fake name), a 24 year old character animation who happens to be a GOD in Maya . He is know for specializing in humanoid character and he is considered to be one of the top animators in the east coast..The key problem with him is that he knows how good he is. And he makes damn sure his fellow co-workers know the pecking order since he is the top dog at the studio. He is very hard to work with, that he rarely listens to what his management/co workers have to say. And often talks to the client directly without keeping anybody on staff in the loop. More than once the studio has been blindsided by something he agreed with with the client, but "forgot" to share with everyone else.
Also when a deadline is coming up his project can turn out to be nightmares for the studio. Thanks to the new requirements he negotiated on his own the projects can become crunch time monsters. And if things don't get done, he will not hesitate to name names of who he feels failed at the studio..

Lets see another candidate.
Her name is Ana Lopez (fake name) , and she is a 35 year old Maya artist, who can do decent work but she is known in the studio as a workhorse. You give her a task, she gets it done. No drama. Also she is known to be a great team player, since she knows how to communicate well with management (while NOT BEING a brown noser), and her fellow co workers. People love to work with her because when a bad deadline is coming, and a coworker is struggling, she will not hesitate to help him or her out.

So if I had to pick either of them who should I pick?
(And BTW both are based on people I have known in the past 20 years)
In my view the choice if obvious.
Of course we would keep hands down the team player.

The work we do provides enough drama as it is. You would be surprised how many people fail go understand this.
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Last edited by RobertoOrtiz : 09 September 2013 at 04:09 PM.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #20
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