Friday, March 27, 2009

Facing reality... about to hit rock bottom.

Hey everyone,
Daniel here. There's been alot of thoughts going on my head lately. I've been under alot of stress.
Thoughts tend to come and haunt me as they bring me down into depression.
I'm realizing alot of facts about who I am as an artist. Actually, I'm not even an artist really.
Just a guy who knows how to use couple of programs and putting things together.
Here's the situation. I've been laid off at the current studio, Heartwood Studios. They ran out of projects and basically I'm laid off.
So I've been applying to alot of places. Whatever job there is, I applied.
CG Generalists, 3D Modelers, 3D Character Artists, 3D environment artist...
And so far, nothing.
Recently I went to GDC to interview Valve. The art director there made me realize that I lack originality. That I should be doing my own designs. He kept asking me on every model I did, if it was my own design. No, it wasn't. Everything was heavily based on someone eles' vision.
Even this model here.

Was based on my good friend Marco's vision. So in the end, am I still an artist?
No... just another 3D Modeler. Not a 3D Artist.
I thought this is what 3D Modelers do though... I was told you're supposed to see a 2D picture and be able to make it into 3D. That's not enough now. The boundaries of being a 3D Artist keeps getting pushed further and further.

Looking at the past...
I first attended AAU without any drawing skills. People said you have to know how to draw first.
So I did. I worked hard. I stayed up all night and day getting my drawings to stand out.
I tried so damn hard.
Then I was told I should learn to model humans properly. So I modeled the shit outta the nurbs guy. This was my second try.

Then on I made the female.
Then to a car because they said I should have a hardsurface model.
Then someone told me I need something flashy. So I said okay, what about an Orc?
I make it and not really that big of a reponse from the cg community. But did get a couple freelance and a job at Cryptic Studios.
I made a tank just for fun. To get away from character stuff and my friend told me that I should be making some good hardsurface items. This gets me into Heartwood Studios. They're a military/architectual company.
I keep taking advice from other people and think about what else I have to do...
but there's a lack of SOMETHING here...
Something that all the other great 3D artists have that I lack. 
Is it originality now that I lack?

Could this be the missing element in my portfolio that's hold me back from getting a job?
Or is this just one of the missing elements? What am I doing wrong?
How do I figure this out? 
Sigh... wish there was a guide to this whole thing...

Let's see if I can break this down... (I'm thinking as I go at the moment)

Here is the mission:
"To get a job before my savings runs out and I become homeless"

1. I'm laid off and have no source of income.
2. No cushion from my parents since they're on a chokehold. No home to go back to if I hit rock bottom.
3. Figure out elements that are missing from my portfolio and fix it.... FAST.
4. Studios are laying off and alot of experienced people are seeking jobs... which rapes my probablity of landing one.
5. Studios aren't hiring enough. Therefore the pool of applicants are huge.

That's about the jist of it.

Thank God I have a girlfriend who's supporting me through all this walk of life I'm going through.
Otherwise I probably would have drove myself maddddd. o_O


Solutions I came up with in my head.

1. Go to Korea and see if I can be a rapper. (LOL)
2. Setup a small outsource modeling company with my friends. Making high quality models and selling them online.
3. Finish up my Space Marine and pray to God it grabs me a job.
4. Make couple game characters per 2 weeks. Maybe even a week after I have a base mesh. and just start posting them out and make a new game character reel.
5. Make Environments  and pray to God I get in as a environment artist.
6. Just push through and keep trying to make high quality models... and work at McDonalds or something if money runs short till I can get a job.

So... there you have it...
but for now, I believe I should finish up the character model even though I'll probably get asked, is this your own design? But I have to finish it... I must.

Yeah... different thoughts and solutions keep running around my head. All this runs as I worry about that day when I run completely out of money... how do I keep myself afloat?
Till I figure it out, I'll just keep modeling away.