Applying for jobs you almost qualify for...

  • Hi all,

    This is sort of specific, but I'd like to ask some advice. Hope you don't mind.

    I'm going to apply for a concept design job as an Art Department Assistant. It's a pretty big company, so my confidence is a little shaky as is, but on top of that, I don't have a lot of concept work on it's own in my portfolio.

    What I do have, is a lot of comics and storyboards that show my work in research, character and environment design and storytelling, and there are plenty of illustrations showing my drawing skills. However, the only turn turnarounds and object designs I have are either several years old or unpolished Inktobers.

    The obvious answer to me is to wait and update my concept art, but am I being too cautious? Should I stop second guessing myself and just go for it?
    here's a link my portfolio so you can take a look. If anything else sticks out as problematic, I'd like to hear about it.

    Thanks everyone!

  • I think it comes down to what the job description is and what they are requesting that you have. Because I know with some jobs what they want to see if evidence that you can do the work they need you to which they might be able to find in the work you've already done, and not necessarily the exact thing that you will be doing if you are hired. That being said, if they are specifically asking for concept art to be included in the portfolio, then you should put it in there.

    You've got strong work on your website, but it's hard to tell what you should put into your portfolio without knowledge of the company, the work they produce, or the description of the job. Because that greatly affect the kind of work you should be presenting. I'd say the best bet is to put your best work in regardless, and not limit yourself to only what you think they want to see, but include what also really portrays you advantageously and proves you have the skills to complete the job.

    You'll want to curate your submission portfolio with your best work starting off and you won't include everything you've done. They'll have your website link, but for the actual portfolio, your best pieces, and 15-20 portfolio pages is the average I think. Well-formatted with a good flow. I've heard that sometimes they don't get to the end of the portfolio when reviewing it, so make sure your best stuff is what they see coming out the gate and it isn't so long because art directors are busy and don't have that kind of time. Also, check if they have portfolio guidelines on their website or in the description.

    Hope that helped at all 🙂

  • You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

    There is no appreciable downside that I can see to trying.

    Worst case scenario they say 'no thank you'. That's it. That's the worst case. I Guarantee that no one will hold a grudge or be angry with you for applying.

    Next to worse case scenario, they say 'no thank you' and then provide feedback.

    Best case, they hire you.

  • @Art-of-B thank you so much, this is incredibly helpful, as simple as it is, and I often forget it. It reminds me of the saying "They can't eat you".

    @Teju-Abiola You're absolutely right, the number of pieces on my site is a bit of a concern of mine, since I haven't seen anywhere to upload a pdf of my work. I'm applying to ILM, but it's the entry level so while the competition is high, I don't know how high their expectations are. I'm realistic, so I know I'm not exactly what they're looking for, but I'm also kind of tired of being too afraid of taking chances, and I'd like to give myself the best boost I can. What was it they were talking about on the podcast a while back? Sanding puppets? That's the job I'm kind of looking at. Anyways, sorry for the long response, and thank you for your response. \

  • Don't wait. Just apply. At best you get the job. Yay! At worst they say no now. Regardless, they now know your name for the next time you send work and see the improvement you've made in the time you last applied.

  • When is the deadline for the application?
    If there is some time, you should create more concept art pieces and add them to your portfolio. If not, then just apply and don't worry. If you get it it's a "YAY!" If you don't get it it's a "continue doing/improving your art, keep your job (if you have one) and keep trying"

    Hope your style fits the company style.

    Also think about it in this way: if you have little experience in concept art and they were going to hire you and get you to start work on a good project this coming Monday (for wathever feature animation/movie or AAA game they may be producing), would you feel like you are able to do the job?

    If you have little time to add some concept art to your portfolio, do it thinking about this situation. Because in the industry, you may be given 5hrs to finish a full piece for your team to add to the product or to give to some client. And if that is the potential case for this company, your portfolio should show them you can do it!

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