Wow, 2 posts in 1 week, that must mean I get to take several months off now?;) I’m actually scheduling time to work on the blog regularly (3 days a week). Regardless, before I head out again for another weekend adventure I wanted to touch on a couple of subjects. One I find dear to my heart, another I’m in a tumultuous relationship with.
Artists, Art Directors, Writers, Editors, Electricians, EVERYONE should have a mentor. Mentors are people that can offer you sage like advice with work related issues and sometimes with personal issues. I have been a mentor both during my time on active duty and to some artists I’ve worked with. It is a truly rewarding experience. For all you artists out there, having a mentor will help you navigate the muddy waters of freelance and take your skills to the next level. Does anyone out there know of sites that hook up folks with mentors? Does Art Order have anything like that or does anyone know if that might be an option coming down the pipe?
So that said, I started this blog by request with the idea that I have something to contribute to the professional and amateur artists out there that want to work in games. If no one asks questions, I’m just going to run my mouth and that’s not necessarily a good thing! So if you have questions, I may not always have the answer but I sure as heck know people that will have it. 🙂
I have worked with several studios and have had both good and bad experiences. I absolutely love the idea of studio’s as a whole but there are some things that are sticking points to me being willing to give a studio a shot. A few AD’s I’ve talked to from different companies have told me that they refuse to work with studio’s because of bad experiences. So Studio guys/gals, I’m going to shed some light on what would make you more approachable and leave clients more satisfied.
- “I’m a dude disguised as a dude playing another dude”. I’m an Art Director trying to art direct an Art Director… anyone else see a problem with this picture? Put me in direct contact with your artist, allow me to approve the artist you’ve set to work on the art I’m contracting your studio for.
- Don’t give me your 3rd stringer whose work didn’t make the studio portfolio. Furthermore, if the artists can’t do work that’s a part of the studio portfolio, why is he/she a part of your studio to begin with? I want to credit your artist individually for their work. I started something with our core book that most companies don’t by putting the artists name and the page number of the work in the credits. So if you turn in great work, all the people out there will know your name!:) On the flip side, if you turn in bad work they’ll know your name for not so good reasons. 😦 The idea I want to get across here is that if I get to work with your artist directly, have a great experience, credit them for their work and put your studio name in there it becomes a win win.
- Show me you care about who works on my property. I’ve heard from studio insiders that that my assignments are being thrown around on an internal forum so any freelancer you have can take the job. If I wanted to do that I’d go to conceptart.org once a month in advance and put up a recruiting post and roll the dice.
- Please read the briefs in their entirety and ask questions for clarification. I think this speaks for itself. If you’re unclear about something, ask. I like to give artists some freedom in thumbnail to have fun with composition and not have to focus on details until later stages. I am considering changing this policy. The biggie is that if you don’t use the reference/inspiration folders I send you and the final piece doesn’t look like it belongs in the setting, we will have a major problem.
PARTING WORDS: (I feel like Springer)
It’s not the AD’s or other artists you should really be concerned about, it’s the fans. Those are the people you need to impress. You were once a fan too, otherwise you wouldn’t be in this industry. My parents always told me, “Do what you love. As long as you’re happy doing what you’re doing that’s half of life.” Money isn’t everything, it helps, but it’s knowing that the work I produce reaches thousands of people (sometimes tens of thousands) and they like what I’m doing, that’s what makes a difference to me. If you’re only in it for the money, it’s going to show in your work. If I get to choose between an artist who’s fired up to do the work and a studio that’s only in it for the money… I’m going to choose the individual artist every time so, “Don’t be that guy”. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE!
Next Post: Mistakes I’ve made as an AD and Artists work that’s on my mind right now! YAY EYE CANDY!!!!