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Wondering about career path and school, please help!

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Wondering about career path and school, please help!

Postby dubji34 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:32 pm

I'm currently in high school in California. ever since i could remember i've really enjoyed art. (Not trying to get an ego, just sharing some stories) When i was 9 my mom made me take an art class and it was too easy and i was bored in it most of the time. When i was twelve, my Mom wiggled me into a class with a professional artist, who was only accepting adults 18 or over in the class, but made and exception for me. I learned a few things in the class, like how to check proportion and use negative space, but the teacher had taken me off to the side and told me i was propably a little too advanced for the class. Now, i know this isnt saying much seeing how i have no idea the skill level it was intended for, but to be direct about it, i have some natural talent in pencil illustration and artistic ability. there.
Now, with that being said, i am the only one in my family who enjoys art, or does art, besides a dead grandmother who painted as a hobby. So, i have no idea what i should be doing in terms of classes, or college interest. I hope to one day work for a nice successful company such as Pixar, Dreamworks, and Blizzard are the ones off the top of my head. I would like to work solo, as well as part of a team. I'm usually very creative, and my weapon of choice is the pencil. Though, i have recently stated using a drawing tablet in Corel Painter X and i am about an intermidiate-advanced user of photoshop. I would obviously like to make as much money as possible, while still enjoy my career.
Unfortunately, i have little knowledge of the titles of different artist positions at companies liek the ones i earlier mentioned and what those positions entail. I have read various job descriptions on the sites, and it seems like i would be happy as a concept artist, designer, story artist, or something along those lines. I'm not a huge fan of creating 3D computer generated graphics, but i dont mind a little here and there. I would like to have some influence on the project, but for the most part i'd appreciate a job where i'm told, " hey we need to see something evil that lives in a cave, has weird horns, and has a hobby of fishing" and then with a description like so, i come back to them in an amount of time and show what i have come up with then maybe work with them to start over, change parts, or make any adjustments they need. So, something where i have artistic freedom, but not so much so that i am forced to come up with every little sprout of an idea fresh and new from my

I really need help on knowing where i should go to school in California, what majors i should look into, and what qualifications i need to meet. Also, just anything i should know about the road to success is greatly appreciated.
It's really important to me, after all its the rest of my life im working on here!
thanks a lot.
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Career Path

Postby DeDeSorensen » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:52 pm

The companies you listed actually have information online regarding the types of employment opportunities available within the company and the types of skills needed to fill those positions.

Here is the link for Pixar:
Pixar even has an intern program and career guide for students.

Here is the link for Dreamworks:
Just look into careers under the company link at the bottom of the home page.

Blizzard Entertainment:

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
:) DeDe

Postby Jabberwocky » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:46 pm

If you're looking to go to work for a movie studio, you're probably going to be looking at things like concept artist (designing characters/environments) background painter, or 3D modeler (actually creating character models and moving them). It's not really my area of expertise, but I'd say the more practice you can get with computer stuff the better. Pencil is all well and good for character design, but you'll probably be expected to know the technical stuff as well. At least you're in California-- there are a lot of art colleges there, I hear.

You might want to check out CGSociety.com and Conceptart.com as well; there's a lot of people working in those areas who can help you out.
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Postby Harmonygirl » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:27 pm

You may come accross terms like "production" or "creative". It may be obvious to some and not to others... but if it is obvious just jump to the end...

production work, will be the building of the art after the concept has been created... can be grunt work, and not all that creative.
Creative work you would be given a task either to come up with the idea of or you will be given a basic idea and you would come up with something....
I will tell you to get to the creative stuff, the fun stuff, you got to do the grunt. Also getting your hands dirty by doing the production will make you better for the Creative....

just my two cents

all the luck, its a good area to get into.

art comes from the soul

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Postby cirekoy » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:03 pm

My friend attends Otis school of art and design in LA. And while some people might think art school is "easy", I can tell you without any hesitation that it is not, so keep in mind that it may be a lot of hard work.

I personally would recommend a degree in graphic design, largely because of its relative flexibility. You can get into marketing, web development, television, etc. Unlike some art related majors (unfortunately) you will both learn about art and still be marketable in a professional world.

I definitely agree with the previous poster that recommended getting up to speed with computer related skills like photoshop, illustrator, maya (for 3d modeling) etc. No matter what path you take, those skills will be vital.

I know this'll sound corny, but seriously follow your heart. Don't get stuck doing something you absolutely hate, and follow your dreams!
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