What's the easiest art or design job to get? Graphic design, industrial, or Ui/ux?


So I have a very generalist 3d background then I focused more on character modeling, took around a year off of 3d to do more 2d and learn concept art.

My goal is to get ANY kind of Art /career type job while continuing to study to be a concept designer/artist as my main long term goal.

I did manage to get a job in Architecture without an Arch degree because they liked my character art but due to my current living circumstances ( please don’t ask) I’m not able to do anything in architecture for a while longer.

I feel like there’s 1000 times more jobs for graphic design/industrial design/ and UI out there than concept art or character design/modeling ( my main interests) so I was wondering if I can just spend a few weeks putting together a graphic design reel and quickly land a basic entry level job , even if it pays minimum wage I’m cool with it. Maybe even if it’s a free internship.

I feel that a lot of the tools I learned in Maya over the years I’ve forgotten anyway sadly because I stopped using them so I’m wondering should I stick with cg or spread myself thin to UI /produc/graphic design now.

I have studied design in college and throughout my cg experience but never been a strong focus of mine.

Can I just continue to just do what I want in character design to show my 2d and 3d artistic skills but then just because I’ll have a couple Graphic design pieces the company will see I can also do Graphic design, be impressed, and hire me? The same way I got the architecture job ( at a startup).

I think graphic design would help me improve in terms of pursuing concept design jobs.
Or maybe jobs in illustration or modeling for dental/medical. Not sure what they are called.

I have been getting potential job interviews /tests in 3d but they are in other states and I can’t travel too far right now.

I need a job where I don’t have to commute to various locations like with architecture and it can have Shit pay I don’t care.



The most jobs would be in graphic design, since absolutely everything to do with digital media needs it. It’s a more stable job but most don’t pay that well.


I did UI design many, many years ago. By far the best software for UI was Adobe Fireworks. It is discontinued now, but if you can get your hands on it from Adobe, it is a great, non-destructive mixed vector-bitmap effects based tool for designing all kinds of complex UIs. Try designing some example UIs with Fireworks for a few hours, and you’ll see why its really good for this type of work.

Some people are recommending Xara Designer Pro or Photoline instead of Fireworks now:


There are lots of mobile apps with shit UI design right now - the Youtube, Gmail and Outlook Android apps are terrible. You could try approaching these companies about designing them better UIs.

There are also hundreds of small 20 - 100 Dollar software tools sold on the Internet that could use much better UI design - everything from DVD Ripper and File Management tools to Video Encoding tools and similar often have bad UI design. This is because the UIs are designed by the programmers themselves, or graphic designers who make things look pretty, but just don’t know how good UI workflow works.

You have 2 advantages in UI as a person coming from 3D CG:

  1. You can model and render great looking 3D icons for use in software UIs
  2. You have been exposed to some of the most complex and fully featured software UIs in the world - 3D software UIs. Study the UIs of 3D software like Moment Of Inspiration, XSI and Cinema4D.

UI design is not as simple as placing a few buttons. You have to think hard about how the UI works. You might want to sketch each UI out on paper first like a storyboard - what happens when you click here, and what happens when you drag that. How big should I make this? What is the best color coding for that icon? What do you see when X function is activated? Is the UI easy to learn and understand for a complete beginner? And so on…

There is also a lot of research on what works well in UIs, and what you really shouldn’t do in UI design. Read as much about UI, UX design and “usability” on the Internet as you can. For example, many people can click easier and more accurately on an important icon near the top corner of the screen, than an icon placed elsewhere. There is research and articles on all of this.

I don’t know what the UI design market looks like right now, but I do know that there are huuuge numbers of decent graphic designers working in general graphic design jobs.

There are far fewer really good UI designers. If you are really good at designing UIs - UIs that both look good, are easy to learn and are very usable in daily use - you may be able to make a career and money out of it.

I did my UI design over a decade ago, so I cannot tell what it is like to work as a UI/UX designer these days.

Your biggest advantage in UI design will be that you are familiar with complex CG software UIs.


I just found this:


These appear to be the 7 most popular software tools for prototyping UIs right now.

I did everything in Fireworks back in the day. If you can still get it, it probably is still good for UI design.


Great, well Ill certainly look into UI then since I have an advantage coming from 3d. So far I’m doing graphic design and its been really fun and I’m learning a lot.

Any other opinions welcome.


Stick to CG. If you’re into concept design then I think you should get a job more closely related to the career. I was a graphic designer for a short while and I can’t say it’s a great career; long hours, low pay, tedious, not a lot of career progression - can’t recommend it to anyone that doesn’t already feel passionately about graphic design. I think you’d be wasting your time learning Ai and Id when you want to do CG. Being a good designer will help when you’re laying out portfolios/CVs/websites but knowing 150 fonts by name won’t be very useful when you want to do concept.

The “dental/medical” stuff is called medical illustration, and typically requires a masters degree with premed+solid 2D portfolio, and industry certification (can’t remember what it’s specifically called). I know some guys that managed to get certified without the masters but that’s because they were working in the medical industry for more than a decade.

Why don’t you apply for concept art related apprenticeships? Where are you going to school and what are you studying?


I’ve heard in cg podcasts though that concept artists sometimes have graphic design backgrounds that has helped their career because they understand design well. But ya I can’t imagine learning all of that type face and things I’m not interested in. I thought I could just finish a few digital tutors courses and get some entry level graphic design course just to learn design and get paid.

I’m not going to school anywhere but I’ve been learning from Anthony Jones tutorials on his site and I’m thinking of doing his mentorship. Schools a waste of money though.

Ya I’ll try looking for concept design apprenticeships. They just seem so few and far between compared to Graphic design and it seems like even indie game companies I’ve talked to at networking events aren’t even looking for any free concept design help because they have their crew already established.

With the medical illustration stuff I do have an AA in Biology and I’m 3 courses away from dental school but it’s a bit of a stretch. haha

In the meantime I’m going to try to keep my 3d knowledge strong and try to get 3d jobs too since there are more of them, or start designing in 3d as well.

Working in Retail right now. lol


Yeah I’m pretty skeptical graphic design skills are worth honing in particular if you want to do concept, it’ll help for sure, but you’ll be taking a (really) long route. You’re also assuming that graphic design is easier than what you want to do, which it may not necessarily be. As far as I’m aware I’ve never met a graphic designer without at least a BFA, and my friends that own their own offices only ever hire 3rd or 4th year students as (often unpaid) interns, but I don’t know how it is in your area. By all means give it a go but to be frank with you I’m not entirely sure if as a kid out of high school you’ll have the credibility to land much more than an unpaid internship - and since you want money not experience that’d be a waste of time. You mentioned before you worked in an architecture office, so it sounds like your strongest angle at the moment so long as you can render reasonably well is archviz.

As for school being a waste of money? I’m not sure, I guess it depends. I do know people without degrees in the VFX/CG industry but they still all did some sort of professional course, and quite a few of them have taken time out of their careers to study more. Do you think your work puts you at the level of a fresh grad from a 4 year degree? Because they’ll be your direct competition, you’ll have to be demonstrably better than the large majority of them for you to get anywhere.


I just meant I think private schools are a waste of money because they force you to take a lot of unnecessary courses unrelated to your focus a lot of times just for a degree. I definitely think online mentorships like gnomon or robotpencil are worth it and yes I think I need to take a bunch of those in order to improve because I’m definitely not there yet studying on my own.

Probably give up on graphic design its too unrelated you’re right.
Thanks for the advice!


Yes and no. How many students got to a school already with a specialty? Schools are good for figuring ‘that’ out for many.
Another mistake is thinking your portfolio will be finished when you leave a school. When in fact it maybe only be beginning to resolve into a focus of animation, modeling, etc.
Education is only a step towards getting a job-but it isn’t a ‘job getter’ by itself today. True with not just Animation these days.


Hm, I actually think being forced to do courses you don’t necessarily want to do is one of the biggest benefits to doing a degree. Stuff you actually enjoy only ever makes up a small part of what you really need to know. I think circusboy has a good point that studying is a lot about figuring things out, personally I discovered a lot of things doing undergrad; stuff I didn’t realize I was good at, stuff I didn’t know I liked, and stuff I didn’t realize was important but is. I remember looking through my course lists in first year thinking that there was a lot of useless courses I had to do, but in hindsight those courses were really critical. I just didn’t realize at the time it because I was just a teenager that had no idea about anything. The degrees also were essential for getting working visas overseas and are often helpful for professional connections; internships, jobs, etc.

You don’t have to go to school to get the job you want, but you’ll probably get there faster, be better informed and have more flexibility if you do. It’s also not necessarily expensive, there are really good state schools in your area and I’m sure there are a lot of scholarships you could apply for. I’d seriously check out what educational opportunities are actually available to you before giving up on school entirely.


Ya you guys make some good points I’ll look into it then. I didn’t consider those things as much.


Hi! I am not sure there is any common answer. I guess every person is unique and needs a special approach to their career. Probably you need to improve your skills in something and get to the next level in your profession. You may use some free service or lessons for your self-education. Just like this site https://visionpic.net/ with free pictures, that you may use for any project of yours.




There are lots of mobile apps with shit UI design right now - the Youtube, Gmail and Outlook Android apps are terrible. You could try approaching these companies about designing them better UIs.