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.


Rebecca Kimmel said...

Hey Wooyang, thanks for your comments to my blog. :) I'm sorry to hear about your present situation - it's really a tough time for everyone and everyone is being affected. Really we can only do our best to stay positive, active, and busy, and so I encourage you to really hit the forums, hit life drawing sessions, and just practice your own projects at home. Sometimes these tough situations are a great chance to refocus and retool. Best wishes and I'm sure you will find your way. :)


Yin said...

Hey man, sorry to hear you're doing bad =\

I was just going around the internet and I got here..

My biggest dream is to be a 3D modeler and work in some gaming company in the US, and your post kinda of scares me.. :S

Don't give up man, find a temp job until you get out of this !

Good luck !!

Jimmy Nguyen said...

Mister daniel-son!

Times are tough for everyone but I hear you got a job in colorado? I hope that is going well dude. It seems for you things are turning around, since i'm sort of two months late on this post. But you can always work at bloomingdales if you need extra cash. Peace out korean man.

- Jimmy

ps check out my new layout on my blog it's awesome!

Victor van Schagen said...


I've just stumbled on your blog, and I would like to comment on your latest post. I'm sorry you're in such a bad situation and I hope by now things are much better for you.

I'm a professional concept artist and level designer for computer games working in Poland (though I'm originally from The Netherlands), and your story sounds very familiar to me. Basically, I'm sorry to say, you've gotten lousy advice. My experience is mostly from within the game industry, but I think what I will write will fit for anyone in the visual arts.

1. Your portfolio is your life. Even if you have a steady job or regular commissions, always spend time updating it with new work, which you designed. Modeling other peoples designs will show your skills, but (as you discovered) will ultimately not count for much.

2. Do not spend 3 months on one model. You can have one or two such high resolution pieces in your portfolio, but better spend that time on simpler models, showing the range of your capabilities.

3. Don't do what everyone else is doing, like huge muscled men, scary monsters and Orcs(!). If you must, at least be original and try to find some new, refreshing aspect or element. let yourself be inspired by art, instead of looking at what other 3d artists are doing. Find yourself, and it will express itself in your work.

4. Skill isn't everything! That's the secret. The difference between good and really good artists isn't their technical skill, but their ability to convey emotion. We are all human beings and we want to be touched somehow by the image we look at. Again, look at art and classical sculpture and find out what it is that stirs you.

5. Lastly, do not advertise yourself just as a 3d modeler. Such a person is a manual labourer, technically skilled, but easily discarded and replaced. I hope for your sake you are more than that, and you should believe it too, and show it. If people will think you are hard to replace, they will not eagerly do so.

I've typed enough by now, I think. Good luck, anyway. Don't give up. Your young and you've got time. You'll get your chance :-)

Rachel Antony C said...

wooyang what u said is just hard to swallow reality. there are just so many 3d modelers ( myself being one :) ) nowadays that getting a job is like winning a lottery!

what victor said was helpful .

goodluck wooyand ,

Thor said...

Without wanting to sound like a sheep to the herd, I too am currently going through exactly the same situation now myself (8/2/10), it nice to see that I am not the only one that seems to feel this way. A lot of the time I see famous artists that talk about how easy it is for them to bad a job at some company or other, but rarely do I come across one that tells me that actually its damn hard and difficult to get the feeling that your not just rehashing someone else's work. If I can find the will to keep going then you will too. I hope that you have had better luck by now, but if not then don't worry eventually there will be a opening of some sort eventually that can allow you to once again get your foot in the door.