Can I get help for deciding my next step in 3D career?


It’s not another topic on asking If I want to pursue Arts, I already answered that 6 years ago. But I have to tell you my life story before I can ask this question.
I loved drawing, but my family is poor. You always have fights and discussions about money in my family. So art is not a viable option to make money in my father’s eyes. He told me to study finance, and I did. I tried to ask for art but you know, it’s not easily negotiable. So I spent my whole childhood doodling and most of my university life drawing badly. Then I tried to save money and quit my job 2 years after graduation and studied Graphic Design. Fine art is still out of option as my skills are not enough, I need more time and money to practice, which I don’t have much.
I figured out 3D is more suitable, where I can get a low level hard-surface job with very low salary to step in. At least I can live with it, and practice more on drawing, anatomy, shading… until I can become a good 3D artist, and do character creation. But Covid came, and then the War, and now most of 3D jobs disappeared in my country. I’m left with 2 options: Do another job or being jobless and practice until I’m good enough to get a job.
Well, I hate listening to my father saying “I’m not fit to be an artist, and it’s useless and he was right.” There’s some truth in his sayings, but I love doing this so much, much after the boring life of office works I spent. At least I feel alive.
Now, I’m stressed over the last week to the point I can’t sleep and have constant panics and depression. But I have to find a way. So I’m here to ask for your opinion: should I do manual labor jobs, while practicing to be better; or should I try to find the lowest entry job in art industry, like coloring comic books base color, or finishing sketched line arts; or just stay at home and practice until the industry recovered then I can find some jobs in 3D industry. An info to decide: my country is a small one, most of the jobs are outsourcing to big Western studios or creating casual mobile games. So 3D arts or most of the art jobs right now only require senior, at least 2-3 years exp. All of the entry level jobs are so rare and highly competitive or have disappeared with the closure of big Western studios’ projects.
Can’t avoid that I will be attack mentally by my father’s criticism. My mental health is not very good since I quit the finance job. But I still hope for the day I can live with what I love. At least right now by pursuing my dream, I feel better than the days locked in office with paper jobs, despite I’m very stressed now due to looming recession. More info, I’m 28 years old now. Which is old in my country, but not late to start again (I already know that). To be precise, I’m a bad good-for-nothing guy by social standard, but I still have little hope that after I studied anatomy, practicing basic drawing and using 3D apps like maya, substance, zbrush efficiently, I can find a better life. Please help me. Thank you so much.


I read your post and I can express I was once in a very similar position.

I struggled with financial income, didn’t have much personal support who saw art as a real career, worked bottom rung jobs at Restaurants, Factories and Retail , my country was hit by the Covid pandemic which forced many businesses to close their doors, and the Ukraine/Russia war further made things more complicated and difficult.

However, I still refused to give up, and after polishing my portfolio and passing multiple interview rounds, I actually landed a 3D Industry Job as late as last year (2022).

So what advice can I give on deciding your next career step?

You must look at it like this: don’t feel bad that getting into the Art Industry is hard. In fact, it’s not just Art that is like this. These days, every industry has thousands upon thousands of people applying for companies that only have 3 or 5 actual roles to fill. I’m being dead serious.

Even the “entry level” jobs you speak of, again, it’s hard to get them because many of the applicants who send their resume in, have been waiting in line for YEARS. During that time, they started building enough experience that they finally got picked up by a company later.

It all sounds daunting but it’s not impossible. If you want to hear some good news, I will say this:

-Building a 3D Art portfolio is far easier today than it was 20 years ago. You have access to free tutorials, free software packages, free web hosting sites to help you get noticed. 20 years ago? You had to watch training videos on DVD’s, deliver a physical copy of your portfolio to a studio instead of clicking an email, your average Computer was super slow unless you invested lots of money in powerful renderfarm.

-Take advantage of trends in the market. There is Virtual Reality, Next Gen Consoles, Smartphones, Crowdfunding Sites, Social Media, Archviz, Livestreaming. The jobs are out there and all these platforms continue to create new opportunities or seek people to create them.

-Even though your goal is to be an Artist, there’s actually a lot of business management and spreadsheets involved. Take it from me, when I got hired my Employers were impressed by both my art skills but also my skills in creating documents that help solve the evolving pipeline. This is perfect for actually moving up in the company, where you can qualify for bigger roles like Director, Supervisor, Leads etc.

I could go on but I hope this helped solve your question on what happens when a downtrodden and underprivilege person manages to beat the odds and get a foot through the door. It was an exhausting process trying to apply with very little experience, but I still manage to overcome this because I determined Art was the most important thing in my life. It was the only thing that would give me real happiness that washing dishes or sweeping floors would have bored me to death…


Thank you. Can I ask a bit more about you personally? Like how old are you, where are you from (not really specific country if you don’t feel comfortable to share), and how long did you spend to get 3D job?
Right now I can say I’m still in my 20s, but 2 more years It will be way harder to appeal to employers where hundreds of fresh graduates come to find jobs. Although I can’t really do much about the recession, I can still find courage from more artists and similar stories. And I wish you success in your job too.


I’m 29 years old. From North America.

As for how long it took? My first serious attempt at applying for a 3D job was in 2016. I had gotten one interview but l lost out to a more experienced candidate back then.

During the inter years I started creating vastly better portfolio pieces, searched online for feedback/crits, from other Industry Veterans and I also did a bit of freelancing to make up for the lack of studio experience I didn’t have.

I then tried again in 2020, but because of the Covid pandemic, I basically lost an entire year since Studios would not let anyone inside (they were in the process of going remote).

I tried again in 2021 but the Covid stuff still had Employers scared for bringing in new people. However, I did get more and more interviews and for a short duration, I got to actually work inside a studio, but the company was beyond toxic so I moved on.

In 2022, the extreme Covid lockdown restrictions was being lifted and more Art Studios were open to hiring again. I kept a list and applied to over 100 studios. I got many interviews but many rejections as well. Eventually 3 Companies did reach out and had serious thoughts of interviewing me.

1 of them bailed out, while I was still doing art tests and 4+ interview rounds. The company with the art test bailed at me after the 5th interview round so only one remained.

In June 2022, I received a letter confirming I was chosen to move forward and join the company. I agreed and I’m still working there to this day.

So ultimately, it took 6 years of improving my work, doing research and just trying again until someone out there liked or saw I was capable enough to join their team. For the entire Art Journey itself, it was much longer.

I was making 3D Art in early 2010. And during the 2000s, I drew on paper and painted a lot in real life. So it’s a passion that’s been with me for decades that I refused to let go of…


I feel you for the hardship during pandemic. Luckily I was still in 2nd year of my Design Uni. But now I will have to face it afterall. Your story encouraged me alot more and I will try my luck at some small studios here. Hope there are others who can share their experiences so I can learn more. Wish you the best luck with your new company.


I have just changed my career at 36 years into marketing. If you have a strong desire you will get it period. I agree obstacles are discouraging, I would suggest you do some prototype work or sample projects on your own even if possible, Today, learning a skill is easier than ten years ago. You have to keep pushing yourself. You will ultimately get what you want. May God Bless you.