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Is it Worth it ? Polycount Thread.

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 19, 2012, 7:11 PM
A couple of people pm'd me suggesting I should spread this far and wide, I'm glad some people find my past failures useful haha!

Here are my two contributions:

The first:

************

Its absolutely worth it if its what you want.

Let me put my cock hat on for just a second.

*has now become a dickhead*

imo n00bs that I have worked with, talked with, hung out with *think* and say they want to be in the games industry, but tbh they only *kind of* want it.

They want all the cool shit, without the slog through the mud for the first 3 - 5 years to get there. They want instant rockstar status, to tell their friends, to be cool nerds etc.

My lecturer at Qantm, stood up in an auditorium and told the entire room of 70 odd brand new students that at the end of this diploma, there would only be about 20 people left, of which 10 or so would pass, and only 2 or 3 may get a job, of which 1 or maybe 2 will be in the games industry for any great length of time.

That stuck with me big time, and what he said turned out to be pretty damned accurate. From the 70 or so students that were in my intake, only 4 that I know of went on to work in games for any length of time, and only myself and 2 others are still working!

Most of the 'passionate' n00bs that I was with at the time, swore up and down that they would be in the games industry - absolutely no doubt. But throughout the course, it became pretty clear who actually wanted it and who was there just fucking about.

I liken this to anyone who wants anything tbh.

So my question to you OP is

Do you really want it ? or do you just kinda want it?

Because if you really want it, the state of the industry shouldnt be your concern, getting good enough in your chosen area to even be considered is.

There is a tonne of studios hiring people right now, lots of firing too no doubt, but just look recently what happened here when vigil layed off some folks, at how many studios came forth saying hey we are hiring - it was like an avalanche!

Now if you think you might fall into the 'only kinda want it' category then hey, its your time - make of it what you will - but chances are you will more than likely not get very far, and there are no winners in that case.

And if the answer is you dont know, then I agree conpletely with what Gav said.

Theres no winning to be found in squandered time.

The Second:

**************************

Sorry to do this OP but he's brought it out of me, blame snacuum!

Snacuum: I completely understand what you're saying. Trust me. I came this *makes really small shape with fingers* close to throwing it all in after about 3 years of 'trying' to be a character artist. I actually had wanted to be a baker as well, so I got a bakers apprenticeship all lined up because after all that time I just wasn't good enough of an artist to be in the games industry in Australia or anywhere else for that matter.

However, looking back on those 3 years, I didn't actually try very hard at all. For lack of a better expression, I wasted a lot of fucking time. But I had to be honest with myself and look back to identify that. Here's what I ACTUALLY found I spent most of that 3 years doing:

Talking about being a better artist with friends.
Spending hours looking over awesome artwork for 'inspiration'
Spending hours reading forums.
Spending hours surfing the net.
Hanging out with friends.
Spending hours playing Games.
Having a life.

After 3 years I had built 9 characters. Really ??????

Fuck man, I lived at home with parents, had no bills to pay, no responsibilities and all I could muster was 3 half assed characters per year ?!?!!?!? I'm utterly ashamed to really even call that 'trying' especially because it was supposed to be something ' I REALLY WANTED TO DO' .....what a joke. I should have had at LEAST 6 characters per year if I was coasting!!

But screw coasting along, I want to be a character artist, I can't coast, I want to be awesome!!!

If I *REALLY* wanted this more than anyone else, I needed to identify what method would help me to learn the fastest. Once discovered, I needed to knuckle down and get into a process of iteration and refinement - it was that simple.

I'd have to lock myself away from absolutely everything and simply make character art. Let it absolutely consume me.

Instead of the bakers apprenticeship, that's what I did.

I listened to Bobby Chiu all day long over and over, whatever I needed to do to keep me producing. More focus on production, less focus on what the world thinks of my progression. I still have to this day, probably 5 times the amount of finished character work than I've posted online, sitting on my HDD never uploaded anywhere and literally dozens and dozens of unfinished pieces / experiments, dabbles into things.

At that time, I spent 12 - 14 hours a day just producing.
I unplugged my internet to reduce the distractions.

I had to win.

TBH when you do this, and take on this kind of challenge with art - you can't fail. When you dedicate yourself so wholly to producing artwork for long enough, you will become great - baring tragedy you cannot fail, it's IMPOSSIBLE. In fact I challenge anyone to try it, and fail. You will fail at failing, I guess that's a fail, but the reality is you'll actually win!!

To some degree I still maintain this ethic, when I've worked fulltime, I also freelance. When I'm not freelancing I'm working on my own projects, or doing the odd character for competition. I'm always producing or working on something, even if its experimenting with new hair, new ways to do eyes, anatomy sculpts, painting / 2d etc. etc.

The reason I do this? Because I'm not the fastest learner in the world, I need repetition to really nail something and I'm always seeing younger artists, who are much better than I am, and I'm not about to get comfy at any company and let my skills go to the weeds so I can live in a delusional world where I get into a great amount of debt and hope that said company will help me out of it so I never have to prove myself again. This just doesn't fly for me, my skill is my power, when I relinquish it, I have nothing.

So, whilst this may seem extreme to some readers, I am by no means a hard worker lol. I have lived and worked with people who are MUCH more driven than I am, and it has really humbled me and put into perspective what I thought was dedication and hard work - because I was quite proud of my dedication and hard work until I met some people that just totally humbled me.

So, along with my own 3 year 'try' and living and working with some real driven people, this has made me acutely aware of 'real effort' when someone says they are 'trying' when tbh all they have is a couple models per year, and there's no real progression in their work at all, even after years of trying ( like my early self). The same goes for the 10 - 12 year veteran whose folio is so outdated due to getting comfortable in some studio and never bothering to polish their skills outside of work.

I'm not sure if those people realize how obvious that actually looks to an artist that has put in the effort. It's literally like your holding a massive ' I'm a lazy fucker ' neon sign.

Having said all this terrible, angry-response-to-this-post inducing stuff (lol), I know not everyone's situation is the same. Maybe you've got family, kids, poor health, other dramas and troubles or things that take time away from producing art. Maybe you can only dedicate 2 hours per day to actually making art, and therefore it does actually take you a year to make 3 characters.

If that's you, and your currently 'trying to get good enough to get in' you better make damn well certain that you put in an honest 2 hours if you even HOPE to compete with the next generation of young artists from China, Korea, India, Russia and the rest of the world who are actually working harder than you and me will ever work put together, to get that same job.

I do believe that most people are intelligent enough to realize that no one can really fall into greatness or mastery of something. You can't become Roger Federer by just playing tennis every now and then or become Michelangelo by chiseling a bit of rock a couple times a year.

So 2 choices/paths:

1) Just do it, over and over and over again until you make it.
2) Be smart enough to realize that your individual circumstances don't allow you to become great or even passable quality to do what you want to do, so you can refocus on something else that you like and DOES work with your lifestyle.

I go back to my comment my lecturer made to all of us fresh new hopefuls that practically none of us would get a job in games - and I don't know if it was fear, shock, disbelief or a combination of all of these things really that shut us all up, but ultimately after all things were done, time passed, and he was right.
I believe it's important to tell the truth, especially to students or people considering there next step.

I encourage anyone to wants anything, to decide whether they really want it, and if so, prove to yourself that you do. That will separate you from the people who only kind of want it and the people who due to their circumstances, just can't and will never have it.

Sorry for such a long and personal post – I have characters to build now – My forum time quota for today is used up lol!

If youd like to read the thread in its entirety here it is: www.polycount.com/forum/showth… Some useful thoughts in here from a lot of industry folks.

  • Listening to: Instramental
  • Playing: Enslaved
  • Drinking: Tea
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:iconclaire-warren:
Claire-Warren Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I love this thread and always come back to it. Quick question - I have just got my first job as a generalist doing some 2D and 3D - suddenly my motivation has slumped. I know this is not good as I've only just got my foot in the door and the hard work should be just beginning. My motivation before was to get a job in the industry - now I've reached that I'm not sure how to continue. I need to re-figure my goals - was this an issue for you when you landed your first studio job? How did you keep going?
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Professional Artist
I think maybe due to the sounds of it, your goal was to get a job, not to be a good artist. Thats where the problem lies i think. See being a good artist is something that takes years and years, getting a job, really at the end of the day is simply a by-product of your hard work and determination. So when you succeed at your goal which was 'get a job' you are all of a sudden like.. okay? what next? but if your goal was i need to 'get better as an artist' it never really ends. Just a row of successes one after the other :)

So maybe you can pick an artist you really admire, and try to be as good as them! Then slowly keep levelling up, getting better and better and better - you will find you wont need to worry about getting a job once you start getting really good, because most studios would be willing to have you :)
I hope that helps in some way :)
Reply
:iconclaire-warren:
Claire-Warren Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the reply! That sounds like a great idea actually. I think like you say because my goal was to get the job I forgot that originally I wanted to be a great artist. I like the idea of picking one artist - it's a very clear goal that will help me focus on the level I want my skills to be at. That is a great help - thank you again.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Professional Artist
You are welcome! Glad to help!
Reply
:iconbarrager:
Barrager Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2013
just found this post now, awesome and inspiring! :D
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Professional Artist
thank you! I hope it has the effect that you were looking for!!!
Reply
:icondencii:
Dencii Featured By Owner May 13, 2012
Again, thank you for the inspiration.
Reply
:iconjoelwhite:
JoelWhite Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Hey man, I was just reading this post again and I have a question. Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to break into the industry after you really buckled down and dedicated your life to art?
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional Artist
about 8 months :)
Reply
:iconjoelwhite:
JoelWhite Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Wow dude, that's pretty impressive.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Professional Artist
haha thanks man :)
Reply
:iconmelviso:
melviso Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012   Filmographer
U are right...practice does pay off.But there are sometimes when u have to admit defeat and go do something else thats worth ur time.In my three years of 3d animation attempts(self taught),never was able to get my head around the technical problems that arise with rigging,simulation.These are things u can only learn as an intern or in college.(Its like the fundamentals for understanding rigging is not readily available to the public especially for complex rigs).I have spent 8 months meddling with 2d animation and I have been able to do so much and I am improving with each practice.The awesomeness of 2d is that u are not constrained or restricted by any technicalities/or anything.All u need to do is DRAW and need I mention how u do not require high spec CPU to do things like simulations/rendering frames for hours.
Reply
:iconfleance:
fleance Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012   General Artist
Wow man, I felt a metaphorical thump in my chest. I'm shaking in both fear and excitement. Fear because I have no idea what lies ahead of me, and excitement because I'm still going ahead and down that path...
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Professional Artist
You will make it !!! go go go go go!!!!
Reply
:iconfleance:
fleance Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012   General Artist
And no worries, I'm learning to do some UV mapping at this moment!
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:iconfleance:
fleance Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012   General Artist
XD You're so enthusiastic and encouraging!
Reply
:icongemmasuen:
GemmaSuen Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012  Professional Artist
I felt so guilty reading this, you probably recieved a lot of these comments but- that guy is me right now. Going to graduate soon, I know I can do well, but I'm always so reluctant to draw/model because I'm so afraid of failure. But I'm kidding myself because the only way to succeed is to fail! D:
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012  Professional Artist
You can do it! Go for it!!
Reply
:icongemmasuen:
GemmaSuen Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012  Professional Artist
:)
Reply
:iconjatsuyo:
Jatsuyo Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012  Student
This. This is what I needed. It's time to step my game up. I don't know how old you were when you kicked up your learning curve, but I'm 17 and I think I'm well overdue.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012  Professional Artist
much older - like 24 when it clicked....
Reply
:iconultranoire:
UltraNoire Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012  Student General Artist
-sigh- Really touched me to read this and so true.
I am only 'kinda' interested in 3D Art. I find it cool, but I already know it's not my thing. Or maybe I just tell myself that.

I have a problem though. I am attending a media highschool here in germany. Media, it is a wide variety of stuff I thought. Though the main focus in my classes suddenly changed to 3D. Now I am stuck with 3D, that I stopped a few years ago deciding to try becoming a webdesigner, what I did, though I only have about 2 or 3 hours a day. I think I could've tried harder though, got lost somewhere on the road.

Now my A-Levels and my jump into a good College *DEPEND* on 3D Art, since it is what my main subject in highschool turned out to be. Yet I want to try harder to become a good web designer. Code anytime I'm free.

I am in a pinch, not knowing what to do. Let webdesign slide while I am doing my A-Levels so I can then afterwards get into a good college to study web design. Or only half assedly go into the 3D topic and have to face the fact that my A-Levels are gonna be a little bader that way. Which way to go?

I was also thinking, if I give it my all to succeed greatly in my 3D classes in highschool, shouldn't I then also go on with it? Otherwise it would all just be wasted time in which i was not working towards my goal of being a web designer?

All together I think it is so sad that even though my school calls itself a 'media' school it focuses on 3D Art way too much and web design actually is just a little thing beside 3D Art.

Maybe I am also just otherthinking everything, but I am already going to be 20 this november, I need to start dedicating myself to something or I will end up never going to reach any goal.

O_o i don't know how this much text just suddenly appeared here, but i guess i'll just hit 'Add Comment' grab a coke then go back to modeling my first 3D head.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012  Professional Artist
If i could go back to when I was 20, I would do the thing I enjoy most man :) Without question. The only time I wouldnt do that, is if i needed a qualification in order to eventually arrive where I want to go. Dont think too much man, just pick a path, and go for it.
Reply
:iconultranoire:
UltraNoire Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012  Student General Artist
Well that is what i did. Picked web design. Worked like shit on it. Got a D in my 3D Classes Exam because I didn't learn enough about it.
Anyway thanks for the inspiration. I will somehow figure it out.
Reply
:iconar-x-designs:
AR-X-DESIGNS Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Orientation day of college. Mike Tracy stood infront of everyone, including parents and said, choose now: It's either you do this, or you get a Hummer. It's the same price and most of you won't even make it, so you could go through years of this getting told your stuff sucks, or you can just save yourself the trouble and buy yourself a Hummer.
Reply
:iconpolymune:
PolyMune Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I'd like to further add, it did speak to me..(though i'm sure you already knew that) i've had a lot of doors slam in my face, but never giving up and keep going after your dream. If it's your dream to be in the game dev. industry whatever job in there you want, don't give up! I haven't :)
Reply
:iconpolymune:
PolyMune Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It's so very true, and remove that hat, i see no dickhead comments within this!

practice practice practice, if you want that game industry job earn it :D
Reply
:iconexplodingseashells:
ExplodingSeashells Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
haha which qantm did you go to? igot pretty much the same speech and sure enough, it turned out to be true.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Artist
Brisbane :) My lecturer at the time was the only one in the whole place that had any game credits to his name, he got fired soon after.
Reply
:iconexplodingseashells:
ExplodingSeashells Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
haha shiit dude me to! What year did u go through? I was.. 2007 iirc.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012  Professional Artist
2003 :)
Reply
:iconexplodingseashells:
ExplodingSeashells Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Haha wow ok, bit earlier. Well you got some fantastic work to your name, and you obviously worked your ass off for it so congrats! Keep it up!
Reply
:iconsheggy:
sheggy Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thank you so much for posting this. Thanks for letting us know about the video game industry/occupancy. This will give us an idea of what to expect for those who want to enter the video game industry.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Artist
np!!!
Reply
:iconsheggy:
sheggy Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
heheh! =D
I would love to enter the video game industry. Me and a friend try to write video game scenarios and I am "character designer."
We have ideas written and drawn out for our "possible" and "hopeful" future.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I don't often fave journals but this has to be read. I could tell my personal story here but there would be no point. It's all the same. One thing I will say is that if you REALLY want it (speaking generally about whatever you might want) one of the hardest things to do is make others (especially non-artists) understand that it may mean you'll be socializing/being part of the family/going out less, and probably not at all for weeks or months at a time. They'll call you selfish, obsessed, perhaps even crazy, but you can't let it break you down. It may even cost you relationships but that's what it means to be dedicated to your goals.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Artist
Damn straight man. Thats exactly it. You have to make sacrifices in time for other things.
Reply
:iconsethnash:
sethnash Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
amen mister Haz!!

The barrier to entry is so damn high right now that there really is no way that you will get a gig in video games without working your ass off every moment of the day that you can.....also agreed that it is really humbling when you think that you have a good work ethic and a guy comes along that blows you out of the water....but I guess that it just makes you push that little bit more.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Artist
Yeah man, its crazy, im getting pwned by youngsters every day, its a killer!!!
Reply
:iconjohanz:
Johanz Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I really enjoyed reading this, read it on Polycount. Good stuff. The teacher at our game school said the same thing about us graphic artists... except that probably none would get a job, haha.

And I can really relate to how you were before, just doing the bare minimum and doing other stuff instead of practicing. I have almost been bred to be lazy which hasn't really helped with anything in my life so the last years I have been trying quite hard to just to stop being lazy, seeing stuff as busy work and seeing problems as obstacles that just need solving, doing productive stuff all the time instead of just sitting on my ass waiting for things to happen. And I try to take any chance I come by that I wouldn't normally do because it is outside of my comfort zone.

And yeah, this was very inspiring read, well written! Totally reminded me on why I wanted to stop being lazy in the first place. Less of "man this is tedious" and more of "just shut up and do it!". So thanks again. It is easy to loose sight of things sometimes and I'll be sure to just read this again if I ever feel lost again. :)
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Artist
Gald its of use to you man :)
Reply
:iconazraele:
Azraele Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
So true...
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Artist
:) Glad its useful!
Reply
:iconricedeviantart:
ricedeviantart Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Some motivational stuff, thanks man
For all who want to get their success
[link]

regards, rice
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Artist
Your welcome man :)
Reply
:iconshinnwar:
Shinnwar Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012
Thanks for this post man. It's true. I didn't do any 3d for a year and went through a dark period. I'm back now doing what i love and i know that i'll get in if i put in the work.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Artist
Yeah man often those periods where you do nothing, self perpetuates nothingness. Life is a direct reflection of what you put in. Its awesome to see your back and making 3d dude, i remember you were around when i just started here!
Reply
:iconshinnwar:
Shinnwar Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012
I know. You're works really improved as well. I thought you were good before but the polish on your work now is really impressive
Reply
:iconpixelpandaa:
PixelPandaa Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Wow

Thank you so much for posting this. Did you write this? I can't quite tell if you are spreading somebody else's words.

But I shall read this a couple more time over this weekend.

It's making me question myself.
Reply
:iconhazardousarts:
HazardousArts Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Artist
Yes i wrote this, thanks :)
Reply
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