8 tips which will help you to get a job in the CG industry
From setting goals to working on soft skills, take a look at 8 essential tips to help you achieve your target of working in the CG industry…
There is a myth that it’s almost impossible to get a job in the CG industry and at the same time, so many specialists are successfully working in the field. To understand what the beginners are doing wrong and to give you some practical tips we talked to Dmitriy Glazyrin – worldwide famous digital artist, a freelancer and CEO at Mondlicht Studios.
Set up a goal
The most common mistake is to have no clear goal. If you ask a beginner in CG, what he or she wants to do, the answer will be: to work at Marvel/Pixar/Blizzard. Mostly, people are dreaming about a specific place, but not about a specific job. Even if your final goal is to work in a famous company you should realize what you are going to do there – create concept art, do some modeling, deal with post-production, or something else.
Dmitriy Glazyrin “So many students are asking me what they need to do to get a job at Marvel, but almost nobody can say what they are going to do there. Firstly, think about what you want to do and only then where. When you are dreaming about something abstract, you will never understand what types of skills and portfolio you need. But when you know what exactly you want to do, the path becomes much clearer.”
Improve the skills
After you realized what specialization you like the most, you need to understand what skills you have to improve to get a dream job. The best way is to do some research and look through the vacancies you would like to apply. You will find all the information about what is needed. The next step is to develop the skills and create a portfolio which will be appropriate for this job.
Dmitriy Glazyrin “Another very popular question is what level of skills a person needs to become rich and famous. CG industry never stops developing – and for that I love this industry – so never should you. Be curious and stay consistent: you don’t need to study everything, but you have to become better in what you do day by day and broaden your skill set step by step.”
“Porsche - Underwater Road” - one of the most famous artworks in Dmitriy`s portfolio
Create a portfolio
The client who opens your portfolio should have no problems with understanding what skills and specialization you have. Even if you are incredibly talented and able to work in different directions, it is better not to mix everything you’ve created during your career in CG. Usually, the client does not have time to spend hours intending to understand what skills you actually have. It is much easier for him to close the page and look for other candidates. Which is why it’s so vital to prepare your portfolio for the clients you want to reach.
Dmitriy Glazyrin “If I need a person who creates good 3D cars, I will not offer this job to a person who draws dragons. No matter how beautiful and detailed these dragons are. Looking through portfolios, I evaluate not only the quality of the projects but also the specialization. Every direction in CG has its specific issues, which is why it’s easier to work with a person who has experience in this exact type of projects.”
Find a mentor
A highly-skilled professional can help you a lot at the beginning of your career. There are several ways to find a mentor. The most obvious one is to find a job in a studio with a good team. No matter what position you will get, the most important are the connections and experience you will gain.
Another way is to look for the courses or training programs created by professionals in the industry. At some point of the career, many of them start to give speeches and lessons for the beginners – attend the events, ask questions, work on your skills, and you will get noticed. Sometimes it takes time, but it’s totally worth it.
Use social media to follow the artists you admire, leave comments and try to reach them. Now you don’t need to go to another city or country to ask a person your questions – it’s enough to write to him or her via Facebook. You may not receive the answer – don’t give up, be persistent, but polite.
Dmitriy Glazyrin “The idea of master and apprentice is still successfully working. If you find a mentor, you’ll improve much faster. At the beginning of my career, I was working with a great team of professionals, and I’m still incredibly grateful for all the knowledge they shared with me.”
Get the contacts
It is very important to be a part of the community – friends can help you with the skills and portfolio and sometimes even with a dream job, so be open to new connections and always look for them. A lot of beginners are afraid of communication, and sometimes it is the only reason they cannot get a job no matter how talented they are.
There are two ways to broaden your network. The first one is to attend the events and get connections with the speakers and your colleagues. The second one is to use social media. The best option is to combine both ways, so your network will grow much faster.
Dmitriy Glazyrin “Never underestimate the importance of the community. It’s not only fun and interesting to get in touch with people of the same interests, but it’s also incredibly useful. Think how much they can offer you – help with your projects, awesome collaborations, interesting job and so on.”
Honda NSX - Moonlight
Work on soft skills
Beginners usually concentrate on hard skills, trying to become the best specialists in a specific program or field, forgetting how important it is to be a person everybody is happy to work with. Being a friendly, nice, responsible person is sometimes even more important than having a broad skill set. Your knowledge is the reason the company is paying attention to you, but will you get a job or not also depends on your personality and ability to be a part of the production process.
Dmitriy Glazyrin “You can be very talented, but if you can’t deal with deadlines and work with the team, you will never get a job or be fired very soon. If you realize that your soft skills is needed to be improved, don’t get upset and just work on them. There is a huge amount of information about soft skills and emotional intelligence. The only thing you have to do to improve them is to begin.”
If you show your work only to your friends, there is no wonder why you don’t have any job. Use social media and portfolio websites to promote your creations. Yes, you may face some criticism – use it to improve your work and become better. Never get upset – there will always be somebody who doesn’t like what you do.
Also, be very attentive to your personal social media pages and think before you post. Your pages should correctly depict you – if you post inappropriate or even offensive materials nobody will offer you a job.
Dmitriy Glazyrin “Social media is a great way to get in touch with the people you want. However, you should understand that for you they are a tool, so use them wisely and be careful with what you post.”
Don’t be afraid
Every beginner is afraid to get a “NO” as a response and can delay your career for ages. Yes, the company can decline your offer, but you can get feedback from the team, work on your skills and portfolio, become better, and apply again. Life rewards persistence – you will get noticed if you work hard enough.
Dmitriy Glazyrin “You have only one life. It’s stupid to waste it on your fears and indecision. Act, make mistakes, get better every day and success will not be long in coming.”