Thursday, 24 May 2012

Creative Development: Portfolio Building

As part of applying for a job i any industry everyone needs a portfolio of sorts, this can range from a list of previous places of employment or a more tangible portfolio full of pieces of work completed by the applicant.

In my case I want to enter the games industry as mainly a conceptual artist but I would also quite like to work as a modeller or a texture artist as I feel an affinity towards these disciplines, currently though I don't think I have a very distinct style, yes I can emulate styles and change my own but I don't have one that I think says outloud "KEN MCFARLANE!".

I think when it comes down to it I want to specialise in creating fantastical worlds and characters within them, this ranges from character designs, to prop and vehicle design and finally environment designs, such as fantasy or sci-fi games so I think I should develop and put pieces that represent a range of these things in my portfolio. Currently I feel I have a good foundation of this kind of work but due to my own erratic nature the designs styles jump around and so does the standard of quality. Ideally I would like to spend the next few months working on the weaknesses in my current body of work such as the lack or environment art and a higher standard of digital painting (touched upon in previous blog posts). I don't think I should pigeon hole myself by just exclusively designing one genre of characters, by creating a range of characters from say a battle scarred barbarian to a smart, sleek high tech spy who uses guns should prove that I'm more than capable of designing anything that would be required of me. I think by present a range of styles wouldn't hurt either as it would show my ability to adapt, I'm just cautious that the quality of some pieces may devalue the rest of the portfolio but I think by presenting a range that also high lights that I can create mature content and more family friendly content should be able wow employers with the range I can deliver.

When it comes to present my skill as a character artist I think I should develop a range of character designs that have a mix of genres, gender and body types and maybe even species. This kind of think can be applied to any part of my conceptual side as by present a range of differently themed work I believe it would show that I'm capable to adapt to what an employer would want me to create.

When it comes down to presenting my modelling and texturing skills I think the best way to present it would be with showcase videos and screen shots (for physical portfolios). Again by applying the same methodology as the conceptual art by presenting a range of designs for different specifics could prove to be favourable when it comes down to applying for a job with portfolio viewings, a good idea maybe to create models and textures based off original designs and present them in the portfolio to show that I can go through the whole development process from concept to final model with texture.

One option I haven't explored yet is adding in GUI and user inter face graphics, something I've become more familiar with in my most recent project, as this could act as a catalyst to getting a job within a company.

The key point to all of this is creating a balance of work that high lights the range of skills I can bring to a production company and perhaps it would be best to create various portfolios, one that focuses on concept art with my texturing and models taking a back seat and one that works in the opposite. I think I'll be constantly adjusting my portfolio to apply to the particular job interviews I will go to.

My main point of action over the next few months is to seriously buckle down and start working on my art and to also try rediscover the greater passion I used to have for drawing in general that I had some years ago. I feel that by being released of the academic side of art I should be able to rekindle this spark and I really want to get down to it and start working to my potential more. As it stands at the moment I feel
that my body of work would make for a very amateurish portfolio that may do me more harm than good but I feel that I understand the types of pieces I should have in my portfolio and pieces that I should be aiming to create and that this can act as an advantage for me over the coming months as I can actively aim to create pieces for a portfolio, it may be grueling hard work but I know that it will ultimately pay off and that I believe I'll be able to re capture to awe and wonder I used to have for the discpline.

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