If you are reading this, chances are you are an artist wanting to be in the creative field or you already are. This article is catered to those who are not yet in their dream job. The first thing to think about is what you want to do in the industry. Do you want to run your own studio, make characters for video games, or even produce backgrounds for movie sets? These are all different jobs that have different requirements and need to be researched before choosing the right one for you.
So say you want to draw characters for video games. What is the first step for this path? Some people would automatically claim that schooling is the first step. While going to a good art school is a great first step, that's not the option available to everyone. If you are lucky, make the most of it! Go to your classes on time, take it seriously and appreciate this head start. To those not so fortunate, there is still a way and it takes plenty of hard work.
First realise that you don't have it easy. You may have to work a job you don't really like for eight hours a day or more and then go home and force yourself to draw for another two. However, you do need to try to keep your head from going into the clouds. As frustrating as your current job is, don't think about quitting and living off of freelance. This spells disaster for the unprepared! You aren't as good of an artist as you think you are and there is always room for improvement. If you get someone to honestly critique your work, you should be told this. This prevents you from getting an ego!
The steps to your dream
Keep yourself grounded. The best way to get a job is to figure what it is exactly that specific job entails. Will you have to have to have a large body of work, lots of various subject matter? Or can you just get enough clients coming to you for art in your specific style? What seems like a dream job at first, after research may not be. A concept artist job includes drawing things you may not be comfortable with on a regular basis. Buses, people, animals, weapons, machinery, landscapes... You may not have to draw each to a technical precision, but you need to have a firm understanding of all these objects and how they look and work.
After researching your career path and you are certain that you are willing to do the work necessary, you need to get a portfolio together. This is the hardest part for those not in a portfolio assembly line... aka school. For those in school, those projects that you hate are great material for your portfolio! When forced to make your own portfolio, you have to force yourself to do those projects you don't like. This is a very difficult step, but it will be the one that lands you the position you want. Stray away and far from your comfort zones and practice!
How have you followed your dream to your desired career? Please share in the comments!