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  • 20 Tips For Applying To A Junior Artist Position

    [02.28.19]
    - Herve Piton

  • SKILLS

    Your degree and your software knowledge are less important than you think 

    Talent and skills take time to acquire, learning a new tool not so much. If you're a good fit, nobody in their right mind is going to turn you down because you use SAI instead of Photoshop, especially at a small company.

    Be versatile but find your own niche

    If you're applying at a small studio, show that you can do anything relating to game art competently (not just concept art, but also 3D assets, sprites, full game mockups with UI, logos, etc.). If you're applying at a big studio, show you're extremely talented at a specific skill (ideally the one the job is about!) but also competent at other tasks. 

    Be a good artist first, a gamer second

    Being passionate about games is a plus for working in the games industry, but that's not what you'll get paid for. Don't let your passion as a gamer get in the way of becoming a talented professional. You probably won't always have the chance to work on the exact type of games you love playing, but don't let that impact the quality of your output. Instead, find a part of the job you can be passionate about even if you're not the target for the end product. You might dislike racing games but you could still enjoy working on one.


    DO YOUR HOMEWORK

    Pick your targets carefully

    Read the job ad carefully, research the company and apply only if you honestly consider you're a good match. Look at your portfolio - does it objectively look like the kind of art the company you're applying to would make a game with? Ask a good friend with knowledge of the industry to give you his honest opinion if needed. Competition in the field is high so you won't get hired by default. Avoid the scattergun approach and be a sniper instead, carefully crafting applications for positions you really care about. 

    Style matters

    Research the company you are applying to and if possible, include some art in the style of their games in your portfolio. If a company only produce cute games and you apply with a portfolio full of ultra-detailed monsters, it might not be the best approach. Maybe you can also do cute but if it's not in your portfolio the company will assume you don't enjoy doing it. Similarly, if you're a 3D artist who applies for a 2D position (and vice versa), you can be pretty sure you won't be considered as the aptitudes required are quite different. If your style or skills are very specific, target companies that already make use of those.

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