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How NOT to get a job as a video game artist.

Recently we have been looking for a new concept artist (which we have found, and he is amazing, we will be showcasing new stuff very soon) and a couple of interns for 2D elements and 3D modeling, and all the while we were looking, we received tons of submissions from all across the globe. In these portfolios, we received some that were good, some that were ok, and some that were… Let’s just say some left us speechless.

I therefore had the idea of writing this post, that can both entertain and shed some light on what a design team is looking for when looking at an art portfolio, and more importantly, what NOT to put on your resume.

1 – Don’t paste your face all over your resume

One of our candidates thought it would be a good idea to take 10 photographs of his face at different angles and making different mimics, and put it in every 3 lines of text. Unless you are the hottest chick on earth trying to get a job as some kind of face model, it looks just like it sounds… creepy.

Tip: if you really want to show your face, just put a thumbnail in the right or left corner, it’s way enough. We are interested in your art skills, not what you look like.

2 – Don’t write a punch line joke under every sentence

We don’t need a punch line for every sentence you write. I know that most of you wouldn’t even think of doing such a thing, but I have seen it. One person thought it would be really funny to write a crappy joke under each entry on their resume. For example, under their name he wrote “I know it’s kinda crappy, but I was born that way”, under his phone number “don’t play them in the lottery, 81 doesn’t come out that often”, and for his address, he gave us latitude and longitude coordinates. And that’s just a few of the jokes all over his CV.

Tip: So you’re a funny guy? Showcase this in your art! Make a amusing animation, drawing, comic or anything else that can amuse and wow at the same time. Just use this great character trait to showcase your talent.

3 – Don’t send a blank email…

This might sound stupid, but you’d be surprised at the number of blank emails I received with the correct object, but no message.

Tip: Guess.

4 - … and then brag about being sure of getting the job position on Twitter

I receive a blank email with a name. So I did a quick Google check to see if the guy had a portfolio, cause you never know, forgetting to post your resume can happen. And all I find is a twitter account on which the guy is sure he will get the Internship easy and would earn lots of money… Oh how wrong was he?

Tip: Don’t.

5 – Don’t have a portfolio ONLY composed of huge breasted naked chicks

One of our candidates made a living mostly by selling erotic comics. Why not… But if you are looking for a job as a concept artist, please, oh please, change your screen name… Don’t call yourself “Megaboobs” (name has been changed so as not to harass the poor guy, but it is similar in style…), and give us other types of drawings, not just HUUUUUUUUGE breasted women who are penetrated in all the wrong places…

Tip: A bit of diversity, in style and techniques goes a long way. Try to vary, from realistic to comics through scifi, fantasy and other genres, such as log and interface designs. Show that you are capable of adapting to what the production will ask of you. And try not to showcase your porn artbook...

6 – Turn on spell checking in your Word processor

Seriously, one or two mistakes are fine, but 1 mistake per word is just silly! If a red squiggly line underlines everything, then you are doing it wrong! So you claim to be dyslexic and can’t write properly? Then ask your grandma or a friend to spell check what you wrote! All this tells me is that you are either an anti-social that has no friends or acquaintances, or that you are just too lazy to left click on a word and change the spelling. In either case, it is not very positive. And if your screenname is "megaboobs", I tend to think the former and cower in fear of meeting you.

Tip: Have someone read your text, at least once, they will often spot mistakes you would not have seen. It is not really important per se (your art is much more important), but when you get 30 cvs a day, a nicely written one, with correct grammar and sentences just stands out.

7 – Send your portfolio

Some people just send you a CV and a cover letter. No portfolio… Why would we consider interviewing somebody without even seeing his or her art style? I always took the time to signal this error to the different people, but in other big companies, the application would go straight to the trash basket. Hell, some people don't even do any art AT ALL! They just want to work in the games industry because "I like playing games".

Tip: Double check that everything is attached to your email. Don’t forget that your artwork is what is most important, not your school. Create an online portfolio, easily entered in both your cover letter and CV, and put everything you can on there.

8 – Don’t send your resume as an image

It is unusable to us. It is heavy, clutters a mail box and serves no purpose in showcasing your art.

Tip: Just send a link to your portfolio within the mail, we will go check it out, no need to put a 1280*800 jpg to show what you can do. Its just annoying. Keep your mail or PDF design clean and fresh, maybe add a cool and simple background graphic, showcasing your vector art skills.

9 – Have a useable website

Some artists think it’s a good idea to make a fancy, hyper complex website, with a lot of flash between images, cool slider effects and other crap. It isn’t.

Tip: A simple gallery, with thumbnails. Order each gallery by artstyle if you want. But make it so the recruiter has an easy time going through all your art. If its tough, then he will most likely leave before seeing all there is to see and you will lose an opportunity.

I have nothing against 90% of the cvs we received, and some were actually incredible, but strangely, its the worst ones that stick in the back of my mind.

Well, there you have it, I hope this has been useful in anyway, or at least made you laugh. If you disagree or care to add something, please go wild in the comments!
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About Brain Candyone of us since 3:48 AM on 04.20.2010

My Name is Alexandre, I am co-founder of Brain Candy and this is my personal dev/rant/random/QQ blog.

Brain Candy is an independent games studio from Paris, France and was founded by 3 industry passionates.

We strive to create great products for the gamer crowd and will always listen to the public's feedback, whether it is positive or negative (we'll just smack you in the face if we don't like what you're saying).

We hope you will enjoy interacting with us as much as we enjoy making games for you!

Some of my favorite games are:

The Half Life franchise
Final Fantasy 3/6 and Tactics
Wipeout 3 and HD
Secret of Mana
Fallout 1/2

Our Website: https://www.braincandy.fr/

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PSN ID:Yshaana


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