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Old 10-30-2013, 01:01 AM   #1
arteco2
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Need some advice (I dont like my job)

Hello im a concept artist (working at my first fulltime studio job for a triple A game) , and I hate going to work everyday but trying my best not to feel that way. I feel a bit trapped and tired of being there. So I come here because maybe someone has some advice. Here's why I dont like my job...

1.) I feel singled out.

The other artist get praise for everything. Everyday i have to deal with hearing this from the art director to the other artist... "good job , good job, good job", but when they come to me its always "fix this, or Im not really feeling this"...Now I can deal with criticism no problem but after hearing this for nearly 3 years now with few encouragements in between im just exhausted and feel useless as an artist to be honest... And ill bust my butt and stay extra late and work hard only to hear the same thing the next morning most of the time "im not feeling this or that". Makes a person feel like nothing they do is right or good enough. Lost so much confidence in myself since being here...

My fellow artist can turn something in that looks sketchy and just "acceptable". But I can do a similar design and make sure its very tight, lots of detail and professional and get told it needs more detail. I get so confused why I have to add more detail but others dont. I asked the art director this, and he was just silent for a second but finally said we're just alot more detailed oriented now. But why does it seem like it only applies to me when Im giving you a high quality end-render rather than sketches. Its not a question of skill or anything, because we're all skilled. It just seems like people get favor over others.

2.) I never get to paint illustrations. I cant fully grow here

I joined this studio thinking I'd get the chance to do some illustration work as well, but didnt realize that 90 percent of that is done by a single person (my age). I cant grow here if I dont get the opportunity to pratice more things besides designing props everyday. If I have to design chairs for another year while others constantly grow in illustration skills im going to lose my mind. My boss tends to keep it this way it seems despite my efforts for a change.

I could go on and elaborate some more, but Im trying not to make this post too long. And i apologize if I just sound like im complaining a lot but Ive simply lost the will to fight after 3 years now. I dont even like practicing at home anymore and Im just sick of art, sick of this job, sick of laughing and smiling pretending like i love it there, and sick of feeling trapped. Dont get me wrong, the pay is good, the people around me are generally nice, and for most thats enough, but at this starting point in my life/career, I want to feel complete and useful as an artist.... Not just the weakest link they give all the unfun work to. The game is almost releasing soon but I want to quit this job so bad, but havent gotten another one yet. If theres any advice out there from fellow artist I sure could use some.
 
Old 10-30-2013, 02:01 PM   #2
mlager8
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I think there are 2 possibilities here. Either;

A - You really are being singled out for some reason (some people in power are the most childish, things aren't always fair). Or
B - There is something about yourself maybe you're not aware of or a little delusional about.

I don't want to put you down, but sometimes a little introspection goes a long way. If your're unjustly being singled out then bite the bullet for the times being and step up your job seeking. Find something else fast as you can. If your skills are equal to your contemporaries you should not have a problem and issues of parity (or lack thereof) should dissolve. BUT if the problem is that your skills are not as up to par as you think, or your attitude or general demeanor puts people off for some reason, you're going to have the same problems anywhere.

How do other people besides your boss treat you? Do you have the same social interactions with other people like your co-workers? If you don't than, great your boss maybe just is a dick and you need to move on. Some places just aren't the right fit. I've left places for this reason. If your boss isn't the only one treating you this way...

Again I know I'm sounding like a douche but really don't take this as an attack. I've had to realize I'm the one who's wrong sometimes and it's not always easy to see that until someone else points it out to you.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:14 PM   #3
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I've worked as a artist and also as a producer so I've seen this from both sides - you've put how you're feeling very eloquently and speaking personally, when I was a producer I'd have been delighted to get this kind of feedback from the artists I was working with.

Obviously your work has value to the company (since you're still in a job) but you're not feeling valued and that seems the root of the problem.

In my experience working with concept artists, some just have a feel for exactly what's needed (with appropriate direction) whilst others struggle - not in creating the art but in nailing what's required - usually that's down to communication.

Were I in your position I'd ask to sit down with the art director and perhaps a colleague from your department to discuss this and see if there's a way to work on the communication from both sides so that you have a clearer idea of what's required from you and also so that you're made aware of when you're getting it right.

I'm pretty sure any reasonable employer would be happy to do this - if they're not a reasonable employer then perhaps your skills would be better utilized elsewhere.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
In my experience working with concept artists, some just have a feel for exactly what's needed (with appropriate direction) whilst others struggle - not in creating the art but in nailing what's required - usually that's down to communication.


I do have to say I've worked with many good artists in the past. I've had them draw some concept art for me and what comes back, though beautiful, is not what I was looking for in any way shape or form.

For example I will have a character, say draw it as the exact same character, but in your drawing style. They come back redesigning the whole thing. I didnt say redesign, I said take all the elements, keep them the same but draw it on your style not your redesign. I had an alien creature who had big mickey mouse style ears. They came back with antennae. Just goofy things like that. You and the director may not be seeing eye to eye on design cause I've had somebody throw a sketch at me and that was what I was looking for vs the great artist that redesigned the thing for me in such a beautiful colored drawing.

You guys don't seem to be meshing in thinking patterns.

Plus....WELCOME to the real world. Many of us do not even have a job in the close vicinity of what we want to do. You are fortunate enough to have a job using your talents to some degree. Some of us are stuck at call centers being yelled at by customers, some of us having to pick up poo from old folks or crunch numbers and figures all night while we dream of drawing something.

I say either quit and find something you can tolerate while you draw for you.
Or stick with it and find the joy in outside venues while creating a new portfolio for another company.

Chances are when the game is done the company will probably let you go anyway. That seems like the norm these days. So I'd get it all polished and ready to go by it I mean your portfolio.

Maybe at the same time lend your talents to other smaller projects that you really like and lets you expand while making a little side money. That could lead to bigger jobs and connections and who knows maybe working for yourself someday.

But at the end of the day, sitting at a desk even for 12 hours making good money is not that hard of work. Digging ditches and working on scaffolding for 12 hours is hard work plus you get about 1/3 less for that.

So count your blessings, plan ahead, look ahead to find something else and see what you really want.

Last edited by banman7 : 10-30-2013 at 02:29 PM.
 
Old 10-30-2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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After reading what you've said, a few things came to mind. Don't take criticism personal, learn from it. Develop your skills in your own time, not just on the job. Think different, if you think negative, things will be negative. Think positive and things will be positive. Be thankful you're working in the industry you decided to work in, or step aside and let someone who really does, do it. There are worse things that can happen in life, and designing props isn't one of them. Show them you have the skills, bring in some of your own work from home and ask for feedback(if time allows), and they'll see that as trying to improve and possibly give you more responsibility. Favoritism may be playing a part in this, who knows, but rise above it, instead of treading.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:32 AM   #6
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never mind

Last edited by mehdift : 11-11-2013 at 04:59 AM.
 
Old 11-11-2013, 02:22 AM   #7
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I think Andrew really nailed what I want to say - design that matches what your boss has in mind.

@mehdi, which country are you working at?
 
Old 11-11-2013, 07:55 AM   #8
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Is the art director new to the job? I've met art directors who've been incredibly inconsistent when giving feedback to the artists(for various reasons), resulting in bad work going into the build, and subsequently taken out and reworked by another artist. Either that or there's something he wants that he's not seeing in your work. Ask him if there's something you can improve upon. He probably should've brought this up himself, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
 
Old 11-11-2013, 08:19 AM   #9
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Maybe you will feel better if you consider yourself a craftsperson, instead of an artist.

Be an "artist" in your personal time.
 
Old 11-11-2013, 11:11 AM   #10
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Well, as musch as it might be correct what people write that you should see what you can do better its also the art directors freakin job to be able to communicate exctly what is needed, what is expected and in what style. without that he can just call himself art without out the director.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
the pay is good, the people around me are generally nice

Bloody Hell count your blessings!
I worked in a commercial illustration studio for 10 years and never reached number 1 because the people I worked with were incredible artists and I am a designer. I kept practicing but the other artists did too so I never caught them. They got all the best illustration jobs (not the design ones ha ha) but they really deserved it. It was a privilege to work with them and I learned more than I ever dreamed I could.

You have a well paid job in an area that you have a chance to make contacts in? Sonny Jim if you were in front of me I would give you a clip over the ears so hard it would make your brain swim! All this because you dont get a pat on the head and different work for a measly 3 years?

If you have to make props, make the best damn props and do it so well that these art directors will want you for the next job. If you want to up your game it is working in the weekend, after work and holidays to fill your showreel and website folio. It is taking workshops and reading books to sharpen what you have. You can never feel you deserve more because it is impossible to judge your own work.

I am aghast at the lack of sympathy I am feeling right now.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanga
Bloody Hell count your blessings!
I worked in a commercial illustration studio for 10 years and never reached number 1 because the people I worked with were incredible artists and I am a designer. I kept practicing but the other artists did too so I never caught them. They got all the best illustration jobs (not the design ones ha ha) but they really deserved it. It was a privilege to work with them and I learned more than I ever dreamed I could.

You have a well paid job in an area that you have a chance to make contacts in? Sonny Jim if you were in front of me I would give you a clip over the ears so hard it would make your brain swim! All this because you dont get a pat on the head and different work for a measly 3 years?

If you have to make props, make the best damn props and do it so well that these art directors will want you for the next job. If you want to up your game it is working in the weekend, after work and holidays to fill your showreel and website folio. It is taking workshops and reading books to sharpen what you have. You can never feel you deserve more because it is impossible to judge your own work.

I am aghast at the lack of sympathy I am feeling right now.


I remember a story about someone working tech-support for a large Cargo Transport company. The work was dead boring.

Some technical issue came up about some error in the Customs data system.
One of his colleagues felt the work was beneath him.

But after checking the manifest, they learned the cargo was for meds. If the data error isn't cleared the cargo can be barred from unloading for hours or days.

So he said: "Maybe this job is boring.... But if we don't fix this problem.... You don't know whose life we might have put in danger."

The key is to always know the VALUE of what you are actually able to do in the job.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:28 AM   #13
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