Unemployed and considering a career change


May 24th was my 32nd birthday, and coincidentally the day I got let go from my last job. I’m taking the weekend to seriously ponder my future on this planet.

In 2012, I obtained an Associates in Multimedia from ITT Tech (yes, I know, it’s a garbage degree - I don’t need anyone to remind me), and with all of the magnificent training I obtained there, I went on to work a variety of unrelated customer service and production jobs. I showed a talent and interest in 3D design back in the day, and I’ve often wondered about making a serious go in the Graphics Design field.

At this point in my life, most of my expenses are covered (section 8, food stamps, etc), and I really only need a few hundred a month to make ends meet. The way I see it, I could probably find a job to satisfy my financial position, but I really need to start working towards a career I care about. Most recently, I’ve pondered the feasibility of polishing up my Blender skills and working towards selling models on market sites such as Shapeways. I’ve realized that I need achievable short-term goals to keep me from burning out, so what are some good goals I should consider in this career-change process of becoming a competent designer? I’m not expecting to go sell my first model next week, but then again, that might be a valid goal - I wouldn’t know. I’m looking for a glimpse of the industry and a reasonable series of bites I can take from this particular pie.

Responses need not be related to 3D modeling. I’m open to the possibility that I may have to become varied and well-versed in several other facets of graphics design, and I could definitely use some inspiration (and encouragement, frankly).


Yeah, certainly a valid goal to work towards just depends on the amount of time and effort you’re willing too invest, much like anything in life one envisions is worthwhile pursuing. Anyway for a broad spectrum of avenues that may provide further material in terms of generating a possible/potential revenue stream, click page 7 on this board and open a long running thread titled:

“3D artists Making money on the side…tell us your ideas”

A veritable wealth of info to be had, hope this helps.


Take your time to polish and develop your skills. Remember who your customers would be. They give you their money because you do something they cannot. And remember there are lots of model resources out there already for them. Keep perspective. If you want it it will come. But don’t be in a rush to make a living out of this because getting good enough will take quality time and effort on your part.


Staying alive in this business can be a real mutha. I’ve managed to stay in it and support a family of 6. I started back in '91. I got fully into 3d by '97. I’m still cranking away, but its been getting more and more unstable relying on someone else to get you work and keep you employed.

You really have to get good at getting your own clients and finding paths that are less traveled. I’ve managed to get steady work in the forensic/litigation industry since '98. However, I’ve also delved into the military contracting business as well as a few others where I could apply my 3d skillset. I just picked up a 3d printer and once again, adapting my skills to apply to another area.

Keep honing your skills, hunting for work and gigs and plugging away. There is no cruise control, if you don’t keep hunting, you’ll be left standing still with no way of making money with your skill.


You can make it, It will be tough or easy if you aren’t late or quickly prone ot burning out.
A few tips from me for you:

-Befriend an already experienced artist (Kidnap one if you have to)
The reason being that nothing is better than a mentor, Someone you can ask questions and get instruction from will fast track your learning.
If i had to train a new modeler i could easily teach him all he needs to know and leave out a bit chunk of what i had to learn that isn’t relevant to get going.

-Learn by doing (Accept your shitty initial work and do it again until it’s better)
Try something-you gain instant experience-analyze why it’s shit/ compare to others-do that same thing again- repeat.
If you start out with making a teacup model, make 5 more teacups, don’t just make something once and move on go about it from different directions.

-Money is there, Just be ready to claim it (You are your clients)
If you needed to hire an artist, web developer or whatever. The first thing you’d do is find out their experience and see what they’ve done previously.
In visual arts especially people are only paying you to do what you’ve already done again and again, You make good characters? “Hey make a character for me” etc.
So with that said if it takes you 6 months to make a AAA looking character and your portfolio is just that 1 thing, You’re already among the top percentile and will get work.
Many artists make allot of models that look so so and very little that is amazing, They see the work necessary to not be worth it and as a result misses the core element that clients are watching, looking at their work from different perspectives. In the end you need amazing looking stuff that can impress you and you will impress others.

-If your roof is secure, Don’t waste time (Be lazy when you’re dead)
While you always have to be careful of burning out and loosing all interest in the things you want to do, If you have food on the table and the roof over your head secured then don’t waste time.
Put allot of time into the field, cut out videogames etc if you have to, You’ll suffer but once the field of expertise becomes a part of your bones, you’ll be fine.