Graduating from a lackluster school - What should I do?

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  02 February 2010
Thank you Kanga. That was very helpful!
  02 February 2010
Take what Beaker said to heart man, cause that is some pretty epic truth. You've got another thing coming if you really think you're going to take that spot with the big dogs that you were shooting for, unless of course you've actually got the chops for it. Even with your 60k education (which I sincerely hope is a BA for that much coin) you may not land the gig because what you were taught or what you got out of it doesn't meet the big standard when it comes to skills. At the end of it you're pretty much paying for a fancy slip of paper that states that you have an educational knowledge which met the criteria of that BA but what it doesn't tell anyone is whether or not you know how to apply that knowledge, nothing about what kind of skills you're packing.

That's what your demo reel is for. As far as trying to land one of those sweet gigs, four months to prep your demo reel is not enough. If I were you I would take those four months to start planning on a year long project either solo or with some colleagues and get working on something awesome that maybe you've been wanting to get off the ground but haven't found the time or motivation to, you make something great, get it out there and your work shall pay off.

Or if you really want to get in the work force, take those four months and make a sweet demo reel, get some work at smaller shops, freelance, that good stuff. You'll work your way up, get into bigger and better stuff as you progress.

Judging by your portfolio, either choice won't be too much of a problem.

I can only imagine how stressed out you must be because of this crappy deal but unfortunately that's something that in any area of education there's bound to be teachers who come off as unqualified or entire facilities that seem highly questionable. Best thing one could suggest is just do your research as thoroughly as you can, doesn't matter whether or not you can afford the cost cause any amount for crappy education is not worth it because of the wasted time.

As for pushing on in your education, forget going to another facility, I don't think you need the extra debt right now. Just get yourself some good books and DVD sets to sharpen your skills, plenty of free resources online to learn from too, then you've got CGS to give you feedback on your work, few other good forums as well.

Probably going to be a bit rough especially with a loan of that size hanging over you but the definite thing is that this is not the end, plenty of ways out of that financial mess. Your main concern should be working on your skills as an artist so you can get that dream gig. Keep that flame of your passion strong, your priorities in check and you should do just fine.

Best of luck to you!
  02 February 2010
Originally Posted by KillahPriest: Which is exactly what 95% of last years graduating class is doing. Of 25 students, 2 people work in a CG related field and it's got me really worried.

If it has you very worried (which it should), then use that as motivation to work as hard as you possibly can to make your reel as great as it can be. Thats what I did when I was in school. I constantly compared my work to some of the work that is in CG Choice Gallery. Obviously it still wasnt as good (and still isnt) but I constantly analyzed my work against what I considered to be great work, and just kept going at it.
Previously "Aryafx"

Website and Demo Reel:

Last edited by SanjayChand : 02 February 2010 at 01:25 AM.
  02 February 2010
Wow thanks for all the feedback. I may have mis worded my original post. I'm graduating with a BFA after around 10k in loans. The 60k I meant was referring to the Gnomon Digital Production course that I would really love to get into, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. 60k is a lot of money plus the living expenses of LA would be pretty insane I think. I've heard from a few alumni that you don't have time to work a part time job during the program so I'm not sure how that would work out. I feel like it would be really worth it though considering most of what I know comes from their DVDs and being able to learn from the people who make those DVDs would be a great experience.

I'm just going to keep working on improving myself and keep an eye open for opportunities. I'm not sure of when to send my reel (Not that I have one put together yet). Should I wait a month or two until I have more to show or send it as soon as possible? I don't want to send crap to all the studios around me and have that be their first impression.

I'm going to send in my portfolio to Gnomon to see if I get accepted and just keep busting my ass in the meantime.

I've updated my CGPortfolio a little if anyone wants to take a peek. No new textures yet just modeling and render tests. I'm working on a human model now complete with props, UVs, and textures.
  02 February 2010
Looking at the stuff in your portfolio, it seems like you have a good foundation, especially for just getting into 3d coursework. Now you've just got to chain yourself in front of the computer for the next few months and crank out work. 60k seems a little steep for something you can learn on your own, especially because you've already laid the groundwork.

Good luck!
My Portfolio
WIP Blog
  03 March 2010
KillahPriest, I agree it looks like the two characters you have posted look like good base foundations. Many art schools with 3d programs dedicate a class for one or two semesters to demo reel production (semester one is planning out the reel, storyboarding it, and beginning production, semester two is production, rendering, and mastering of discs). So this gives you a good idea that you will probably be at least three to six months behind many graduates from other art schools. Take heart though, I don't mention this to make you feel down about your endeavors.

Besides just the 3d stuff, how did your traditional art course work go at your school? Many people looking to get into the industry forget that traditional skills are still needed in this line of work, and showing good traditional work along side your 3d work is a huge bonus. Did you take any drawing or sculpting classes and have any quality work to show off? This is especially great if you can show a character that goes through the concept in 2d to completion in 3d. This will let you show to future employers that you can follow the concept as well as your artistic abilities.

As others have mentioned you will need to hunker down and be as creative as possible until you get the work you feel shows off your skills to their fullest. Also, think about companies you may want to work at and what kind of stuff they produce. Is their work more realistic, sci-fi, fantasy, etc. and try to cater your demo reel to as broad a base as possible.

Then all you can do is send it out to as many companies as possible and cross your fingers. I sent my reel out to half a dozen companies before getting any responses at all.

Keep us posted with any updates you have and let us know how things go for you.
  03 March 2010
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