10 Shocking Truths/Facts YOU MUST KNOW
Before Studying Any Game Design, Animation, 3D Modeling, or Art related course
That No One will tell you!
(Not knowing these could cost you €10,000s!)
Before We Begin!
We would like to thank you for taking the time to read this report. The information provided below applies to most art-related fields including 2D & 3D Animation, 3D Modeling, Digital Sculpting, Game Design, Concept Art, Matte Painting, Character Design, Environment Design, Illustration, Graphic Design, Motion Graphics, Product Design, 3D Architectural Visualization, Interior & Exterior Design, Video Compositing & Editing, Photography and more. However, it does not apply to art-related fields such as Architectural Design, Aeronautical Design, Automotive Design, and any other field that has a direct correlation to health and safety. Please be advised that some facts we include in the below report may sound harsh but we assure you that based on our extensive experience, they stand true! This information is not something you can easily find elsewhere so we advise that you carefully read the content in the order it is written as at some points we reference previously stated facts. This report is the detailed version of all the information we disclose in regards to what you absolutely need to know before studying any art-related Bachelor Degree, Master’s Degree, Course, Workshop, advanced dedicated lesson, and more. If you prefer the short version please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 70006266 to either book an appointment or discuss the matter over a phone call.
10 Shocking Truths/Facts YOU MUST KNOW :
Part 1 :
Part 2 :
Part 1 :
1) Say Goodbye to what you thought you knew about studying Game Design, 3D Modeling, Animation or any other art related course.
– Portfolio Comes First!
– Perfect Practice Makes Perfect!
– The 4 ways you can get enrolled into a University!
– The BIG Difference Between Teaching and Training!
If you ever asked yourself: How can I study Game Design, Animation, 3D Modeling or any other Art related course and get a career job after, then, you are in the right place at the right time!
You may think that enrolling to an art school can open doors to Universities and later on lead in a successful career, and even though this can be true in some occasions it is not necessarily the most secure way, or the least expensive or even the fastest way! It is simply the most obvious one; and this is the problem!
It is very important that you understand that art related courses and job opportunities have very different criteria of acceptance compared to other professions! While other fields require the best possible grades in exams, diplomas etc., Art related courses and jobs require the best possible portfolio in order to get accepted or employed. Having said that, this does not mean you don’t need good grades, it just means that portfolio comes first and then everything else. This is significantly more important when it comes to job applications! The main reason that this first fact is true is that a very big percentage of the Art related industry is comprised of people who are self-taught, yet very skillful and professional at their work!
So how is this possible? Well, simply put, anyone can learn these fields on their own! The catch though, is that it takes a very long time to learn everything you need to know by yourself, the correct way! Do you remember the good old saying “Practice Makes Perfect”? This is the key, however, learning by practicing the wrong way it just means you are wasting your precious time without developing proper skills. At Digireal Studios we believe in and have reinvented this saying into Perfect Practice Makes Perfect! Think of this for a moment! Let’s say that you want to draw a portrait by looking at a photo of a person. In other words, copying what you see. It is what essentially artists call a photo study. Now if you are just embarking on this journey without having a strong background in drawing then you will very quickly find out that your first try will not turn out to be so good. So, you then try drawing the same portrait again and again until your brain “clicks” and after days and days of practicing you may achieve to drawing this portrait better. However! Take this portrait away and try drawing the portrait of a different person and you will immediately set yourself back to step 1; drawing and drawing again until you manage to copy as best as possible this new photo! This is NOT how things work with developing proper skills for drawing or for any other art related skill!
Now let’s see what you should be doing instead in order to best practice this specific skill, drawing a portrait! It is imperative that you learn to walk before you learn how to run, therefore, before drawing a final image you first need to learn and build strong fundamental skills like knowing the anatomy of the face, how perspective and foreshortening works, color theory, lighting, composition, and all other fundamental blocks that will allow you to master the skills required for the craft you are trying to perfect; drawing a final image from start to finish! Get these skills down the correct way and the person on the photo won’t even matter! In other words, practice makes perfect specifically only what you are practicing, whereas perfect practice makes perfect everything related to what you are practicing.
Now, there are a few ways that you can learn the skills required for the field of your choice and becoming a professional! As we mentioned above, the obvious way is to enroll to a University course. Please keep in mind though that not all Universities are created equal! Getting yourself in a great University can be life changing or career changing in terms of how many doors may open for you after graduation. The right choice can also set you miles ahead of other students (your competition in employment) in regards to skills and more importantly the portfolio. On the other hand though, you also need to be aware that at the end of the day it is the students that make a good university and not the other way around! Sounds confusing? Contradicting? Let’s see an example! Imagine that we have 2 students John and Nick who aim to get into the game design industry! John managed to get enrolled into one of the best Universities out there, but instead of maintaining a good balance between spending time for studying and for fun activities, he spends most of his time with friends, going out, partying all the time and generally enjoying everything that a university’s life has to offer. Unfortunately, this is a trap that many students fall into and that is why it is so often that we see courses starting with 40+ students but by the end of the course only a handful remain enrolled and graduate. Now contrary to John, Nick managed to get enrolled into a not very well known or respected University. Nick though, spends most of his time studying and developing skills on his own even if the University is not equipped to support him and he is constantly researching new technologies and workflows that are state of the art in a studio production pipeline. Now which student do you think has the most chances of graduating with a great portfolio and getting employed at a studio? The answer is obvious, right? So even though a great University may be more equipped, has better and more experienced tutors compared to a lower standard University, if a student does not put proper effort into learning the maximum potential offered by the University, then he will only be as good as the time he has spent developing his skills. University rankings are based on the tutors’ experience, the equipment, the facilities and most importantly the success students have in regards to employment after graduating from their course, based on the portfolio they have built during their course! In short, the end result! Hence, the students make a good University and not the other way around!
Now that we explained the above, lets continue talking about getting into a University as a means to learning the necessary skills you need to develop for getting employed in the field of your choosing! There are 4 ways you can get enrolled into a University and all of them require passing IELTS (assuming that you are interested into studying in an English speaking University and/or country).
- Acquiring 3 or 4 GCE A Levels (by usually attending a private school)
- Passing a Foundation Course in Art Media & Design
- Attending a Public School and building a strong portfolio
- Attending an advance training school like Digireal Studios
Option 1 & 2 are the most commonly known and as a result promoted by the student counselors. However, attending GCE A Levels and especially a Foundation Course in Art Media & Design will mainly teach you a broad spectrum of skills at a very basic level that would only allow you to simply apply for a University course in any art related field. This is both great and bad at the same time! Let’s explain this! Many students at the age of 15-18 start thinking of what they want to study as a higher level education and prepare themselves for University applications. In spite of this, some of them are not always sure what they want to study in regards to art related fields, or they are confused between the terminologies and what the actual career would be, or they can’t decide between 2 or more options, or they are worried about future employment potential and career growth prospective. Stating the above, both the GCE A Levels and the Foundation Courses aim to troubleshoot this issue by teaching students a broad spectrum of skills in order to cover as many fields as possible and help the students get an idea of each field and finally decide to which University course they want to apply to. The bad news, is that if you already know what you wish to study, i.e Graphics Design, you will still need to attend life drawing workshops, photography, fashion design, animation, film production, architectural design, sculpting workshops and more. This both minimizes the time you spend on what you are actually interested into practicing and does not allow you to really learn more than the very basics since you will learn the more advanced techniques later on at the University.
Option 3 is the least known and at the same time not many student advisors will tell you about it! The reason? Either due to a lack of knowledge on their behalf because they may only know the most common approach as mentioned above, or they are simply in collaboration with art schools and their commissions come into play! Allow us to be bold and transparent here! Graduating from a public school with good grades is automatically considered a Foundation Course! That’s right! This is not something many people know about including student counselors and is often not promoted because commissions can be lost by knowing this information! There is a catch though! Graduating from a public high school will most likely mean that you have minimal to almost zero portfolio to show to Universities, due to the poor art related syllabus teaching content offered by a public schools in general, thus you need to arrange to properly prepare a portfolio in order to have a chance at getting accepted by a University! So how do you go about preparing such portfolio? The answer is simple! You either choose to enroll to 3-4 GCE A Levels or to a Foundation Course as mentioned previously, or you can join an advanced training school that can get you up to speed in no time! Let’s discuss the latter, Option 4!
Option 4 offers a very different approach! One that is very popular, high in demand and tremendously effective in countries with developed industries in art related fields. This approach was designed by big studios and professionals that have for a very long time been observing how fast their industry is evolving and unfortunately have also borne witnessed time and time again the lack of knowledge, expertise and craftmanship in their applicants’ portfolios compared to the actual skills the industry required. So, they decided to take matters upon themselves and formed schools that trained students instead of teaching them! And YES, there is a BIG Difference! The end result, students in such training schools were now learning state-of-the-art workflows and techniques that would render them able to handle even the most demanding tasks in a studio environment! This is the exact same approach that we at Digireal Studios take to train our students in order to transform them from beginners to advanced professionals in as little as 1 year without having any prior knowledge! Sounds too good to be true? Let’s see how this works and why!
The BIG Difference Between Teaching and Training!
Despite the fact that they are two very different things, both teaching and training complement each other when used properly! Teaching aims to provide you the student with knowledge and information that evidently leads you towards more self-research and self-development on a specific topic or field. It arms you with an abundance of questions and infinite possibilities to motivate you to seek and learn the answers, yet it does not necessarily remove any learning obstacles or mistakes that can be made through this journey of self-acquiring knowledge. All the “hiccups” along the way are part of the learning process and in many cases are considered as healthy learning outcomes! Most schools and Universities teach students in exactly this way. To give you a very simple example, Fine Art students in most schools and Universities are given a subject that they need to research, create an art piece and present it for feedback and critique. They need to demonstrate an understanding of the subject, a way of thinking, and explain why they created that specific art piece. And in most cases, it is completely up to the students to decide, learn, make mistakes and find a way on how to create their art piece. This is exactly why most University courses take 3-4 years to complete a Bachelor Degree and an additional 1-2 years to get a Master’s Degree.
Training on the other hand, has a very different objective! It intends to develop your skills and abilities from day one and hone them to a professional level! Every session is hands on training through practice with instruction and supervision to learn a new skill. At the same time, it offers you answers to your questions as well as showing you both the correct and the wrong way of working, in order to acknowledge and avoid problems down the road. Learning skills in this manner is very critical especially in a studio production pipeline where many artists work on the same project. Think of it as a math problem. Once you understand the equation, you can solve all similar mathematical problems that can be solved using that equation. Therefore, the end goal is to learn as many “equations” as possible that will allow you to solve as many problems/tasks as possible. Effectiveness and efficiency are key traits you learn by attending training courses, therefore, there is usually no guessing work included. It is essentially a repeated state of “Here is a problem…”, and “That’s how you solve this problem!”. And this is why training courses usually take only 3 months to 1 year to complete. It is this repeated process that gets you closer and closer to becoming experienced enough as fast as possible, and be called a professional.
To sum up, it is one thing to learn about aerodynamics and try to figure out how to fly an airplane, and a completely different thing to sit in the cockpit with an instructor, lift off and learn how to fly an airplane by spending hours and hours behind the steering wheel to become a pilot/captain. Teaching vs Training!
Back To Option 4:
As previously mentioned, at Digireal Studios we train our students based on what the industry currently requires, in order to build a professional portfolio and render them production ready and production savvy by the time they complete our course! This automatically allows them to confidently apply for job positions and break into the industry as fast as possible! The best part, approximately 80% of our students get employed in studios within 6 months of completing our courses! So, let’s go back a few steps and revisit Option 4 when it comes to building a portfolio for University applications, in case this is still the educational route you wish to follow.
Since 2010 we have had 100% success rate at enrolling students to Universities! The “secret” behind our success is that we have always been training all our students in the same manner; as if they were to apply for a job position. Take a minute and think about this! If you were a University that aimed to rank higher as we explained above, wouldn’t you prefer to enroll students that presented portfolios demonstrating professional skills, and who already know all if not more than you would ever teach them? Enrolling such students would drastically increase the skill level of a class and promote healthy competition among the students. This would evidently drive them towards becoming even better at their craft and as a result maximize their chances of employment, which would finally raise the University ranking higher! Makes sense, right?
Now one could ask, “How does this work? How can you teach students as if they were professionals from a very young age?” The answer is very simple! Training…NOT Teaching! Better yet ask “Who are your students? What’s their background?” At Digireal Studios we enroll students at a minimum of 15 years of age! We have no maximum age! In fact, our oldest student ever was 67 years old! Over the past decade we have had the honor to train a vast spectrum of students many of them who came from unrelated backgrounds! Our students can be anything between young high school students to professionals! Our enrollments very often include university students that aim to take their skills higher, school or University drop outs, people who decided to change a career, people who did not have the opportunity, support or the financial luxury to study abroad, and more importantly, people who wish to immediately get employed! There is only one rule when joining our courses (besides the minimum age)! We will invest in you the time, resources, network and support to best train you to thrive in the field of your choice! We will expect your dedication or else you are out! As long as you are serious and passionate about learning, you can be part of the training team! We guarantee to offer you the highest level of training content in the country, at the lowest cost! And did we mention FREE Consultation Forever (even if you are not a student of ours yet)? The only thing we will ever charge is our course fees! All these because we truly care about your success! After all, it’s the student’s success that ranks higher any kind of University or Training school, remember?
2) How many years of studies are necessary to master a craft? The truth about the learning curve!
– Talent vs Practice!
– 3 ways to building a portfolio! Choose your speed!
This is a good one! But before we begin discussing this subject it is very important that you understand one fact! Talent can be born, YET it can be created! If you have ever thought “This artist is very talented” or anything similar to “I wish I was as talented” then next time you have these thoughts, just remind yourself the above! In fact, in the art community it is believed that mastering a skill/craft requires at least 10 000 hours of focused and deliberate practice! In short, this means that anyone can be as “talented”. So, instead of having such thoughts just ask yourself “what do I need to do to become as talented?” Let’s talk some numbers!
First and foremost, we need to know how many days, months or years is equal to 10 000 hours! Well, exactly 416.16 days or 1.14 years! That’s not long at all! However, you can’t just simply practice 24/7, 365 days per year… You at least still need to eat and sleep, right! Assuming that you practice 8 hours per day then you will need exactly 1250 days or 3.42 years to master your craft! The numbers will keep on growing if you reduce the practice hours to 6 or 4 or even 2 per day! Now don’t let this scare you even for a second! There is a catch! Learning a skill and mastering a skill are two very different things! Learning the skills required for a specific task actually only takes a few hours to a few days. Practicing the skills you have learned in order to becoming experienced enough to be called a master in your craft is what needs at least 10 000 hours. That’s why we have positions such as junior artist, senior artist, lead artist etc. in a studio. Nobody becomes a master from day one (even the most talented artist out there), and the difference between an amateur and a master is simply the hours spent practicing. In other words, if you feel that there are better artists than you out there in the world then simply remember that what really separates you and them is not talent but, the hours of practice they have already spent compared to you! Their head start! So, what about talent! Well, “talent without training, is nothing!”.
Now that you grasp the above let’s talk about the actual time required to learn a specific skill, before you are able to master it! Walking before running! As we explained earlier, there are 3 ways you can learn the necessary skills required to building a great portfolio that is the utmost essential for getting employed!
1) Attending a University Course (takes 3-4 years for a Bachelor’s Degree plus 1-2 years for a Master’s Degree). Teaching someone takes a lot of time as we explained earlier!
2) Self-taught (Depends on how fast you learn, if you are practicing properly, the mistakes you do along the way, how good your research is, and more). The time required to learn is completely up to you and your efforts! Not having an instructor to answer your questions leads to spending even more time looking for the answers you need to progress with your learning!
3) Attending a training school like Digireal Studios etc. (takes 3 months to 1 year depending on the course of choice). This is the highway speed for learning! Having an instructor to personally guide you and answer all your questions, results in training you from a zero to a hero at a fraction of the time you would need otherwise! In addition, you can opt in for a custom course! Have you ever wanted to learn a variety of skills on professional level that you can combine in your projects? Well, you can! Since 2014 to be specific, when we launched our first ever live online classes! At DRS we also offer scalable courses that are flexible to work around your schedule, based on how fast you prefer to cover the course content in relation to the pace you learn. We always adapt to our students’ needs! All you have to do, is contact us to explain you how!
Now that we’ve covered how much time it is actually needed to learn a skill, lets talk about the next big question out there! COST!!!
3) Total Cost – This is going to be expensive, right? Wrong! How to avoid breaking the bank!
– Self-Taught Cost
– University Cost
– Training School Cost
We have already covered all the ways you can learn the skills required for any art related field as well as how much time you need to learn and master them! SO, what about the cost?
Calculating the total cost can be a bit tricky as it depends on the field you want to study, the country you wish to study in, the equipment and software you will need and which of the above-mentioned ways you are interested into following in order to learn the skills. Let’s begin with the cost in regards to becoming a self-taught artist!
Becoming a self-taught artist can be very challenging and time consuming as we discussed above, however, it is the least expensive option! Think of it as trading more of your own time and effort in order to save more money. This is the best option for anyone that may unfortunately not have the luxury to pay the amount of money required by a University or Training school, or anyone who believes that he learns better on his own despite the significant more time he will need to spend, or even anyone who may already be employed on a different field and is not pressed by time to learn any of these new fields as fast as possible.
– Computer: You will need your own computer to practice your work. Both a good gaming and a workstation computer can handle the workload. Estimated cost: €1500 – €4000 depending on the computer specs you prefer, the country you are buying from and any additional shipping costs (in case you are ordering from abroad). If you are considering purchasing a computer please be aware that not all computer parts are equal or ideal, especially when building a computer for 3D purposes. You can very easily waste a lot of money on a computer that will not be up to the tasks ahead. Save yourself the trouble and money by speaking to one of our specialists, as they can recommend to you the best computer build for the tasks you need it based your budget, and also save you money by guiding you where to buy from in order to guarantee yourself the best possible quality at the lowest price. This service is provided for free and Digireal Studios DOES NOT PROFIT from your transactions.
– Graphics Tablet or Tablet Monitor: There is a variety of brands; some of the most known are XP Pen, Huion and Wacom. A price range for a good graphics tablet is €120 – €650 and for Tablet Monitors between €600 – €1200 with exception to Wacom ones where prices can easily go over €2500+. At Digireal Studios we always recommend to go for a tablet monitor (20+ inches wide) as we consider this to be a long-term investment, assuming that you are serious about studying and pursuing a career in these fields. If you are considering purchasing a Tablet Monitor please consult our specialists as in many cases, we can arrange to place an order on behalf of Digireal Studios and have your tablet monitor arrive at your doorstep in as little as 2 days! And the best part, you will pay exactly the same price you would pay to purchase the same tablet monitor online, that you would have to wait 2 months for it to arrive!
– Software: Depending on the software you use for your specific field of study the cost can range between high 3 figure cost (€€€) and low to midrange 4 figure cost (€€€€). It is worth mentioning that many software come with a variety of licenses like monthly or yearly Subscriptions, Perpetual licenses and of course student licenses which in some occasions are free of charge. However, some software developing companies require a school or University registration in order to grand you a student license. Therefore, going self-taught may result in more software license expenses in order to stay legal. A good average cost to cover a library of software you will need is somewhere in the range of €400 – €600 for 2D fields and €700 – €2500 for 3D fields.
– Home internet connection to make your research
– 3rd party expenses you may have, include: paid tutorials and library tools like brushes, alphas, readymade 3D models, stock footage, assets, scripts and more. These can range between being Free and €30 each, except for readymade 3D models where they can cost anywhere between being Free and €350+ each.
Total self-taught cost: Without speaking for a specific art field, an average total cost would be in the range of €4000 – €5000 assuming that we take into account an average cost for each of the above expenses.
This is plain and simple the most expensive route one can choose in order to study any field, and to be fair there is a logical reason for it! As we mentioned above, teaching someone requires a lot of time and since universities offer big facilities, many labs and tutors to you, you are paying premium in order to enroll to one as they need to cover for their running expenses. This is especially true for very renowned Universities! So how deep do you need to put your hands into your pockets to study at a University? To be fair, this greatly depends on the country the University is based in and how famous the University is. For example, in the UK the average range of fees is £9000 – £13 000 and can go as high as £19 000 for postgraduate level. Tuition fees in USA and Canada can range between $25 000 – $50 000 per year for foreign students! In Singapore the cost is in the range of $35 000 – $45 000 per year and can often go as high as $100 000 for a Master’s Degree. And did we mention an additional €10 000 – €15 000 on average for accommodation and cost of living in any of these countries? Just by looking at these numbers, things get scary very fast! And you can very quickly understand that you are either in a desperate need of a good scholarship or otherwise you will find yourself diving in a big student loan and hoping for the best. This is not a financial advice and should not be received as one!
So, let’s just say that you decided to study in the UK as it seems to be one of the “cheapest” options. Again, we will take into account the average costs for our calculations.
– All the costs a self-taught artist has, minus the software expenses in some occasions as long as the University provides you with the software licenses: Approx. €4000 – €5000 so let’s say €4500 for now.
– Tuition Fees: £11 000 or approx. €13 000
– Cost of Living: €12 500
Total University Studies cost (per year and total): Adding all the above together and without speaking for a specific art field, an average total cost would be approx. €13 000 + €12 500 + €4500 = €30 000 for the first year. Each year after οn the undergraduate level would cost the same amount minus the equipment cost (and potentially the software cost as well). Meaning €30 000 – €4500 = €25 500. Now considering there are 3 years on an undergraduate level and assuming that you won’t fail any of these years, you are looking at an estimated cost of
(3x €25 500) + €4500 = €81 000. If you happen to fail a year and need to repeat it or if you decide to follow with a postgraduate degree afterwards then you can easily be looking at an estimated cost that goes over €100 000 in total. And this is for studying in the UK! USA, Canada, Singapore and other countries can easily cost you 3 times the above amount or more just for the Bachelor Degree! And you definitely can’t call this cheap!
**The above estimated costs are subject to an increase or decrease at any time, and should only be used as reference. Please make sure you double check the current fees of the University you are interested into enrolling to.
Training School Cost:
As we explained above training schools offer some of the best skill-building experiences you can possibly have, and definitely the fastest ones! Due to the fact that many of them offer their services online through live seminars, it immediately results to lower costs than you could possibly imagine! Even schools that offer only onsite training cost less than studying at a not so well-known University. Let’s examine both scenarios!
a) Onsite Training Schools: These schools, like Universities offer you state of the art facilities, technologically up to date labs and world class professional instructors! This means that their tuition fees can also vary depending on the course you wish to enroll to, the country they are based in and again how famous they are worldwide. It sounds similar to studying at a University, right? Wrong! There is one big difference! Time! The time you need to complete the course to be exact! Even though attending such schools might mean that you pay a premium amount, completing your training in just 1 year instead of 3+ (like in a University), saves you both money and time! The success of any training no matter where you received it from, is employment! Better say, employment at the earliest possible! Think of it for a second! If you study at a University for 3+ years and by a lucky chance you immediately get employed, you are still 2+ years behind of another student who attended 1 year of intense training at a training school who may have also had the luck of getting employed immediately after completing his course! The second has a head start of 2+ years! 2+ years that can be used to repay his much smaller loan (if any), get experience and apply for higher position jobs and skyrocket his career in no time! So back to the fees! Onsite training school courses can cost anywhere between $3500 for a few months and up to $45 000 for a complete year depending of the course you wish to enroll to. Even if we take the highest fees amount ($45000 or €38000) (which in most cases you won’t need to) and add to it the cost of living (€12500), and the equipment/software etc. cost (€4500) you would still end up paying much less than what you would have paid in 3 years at a University in the UK.
€38 000 + €12 500 + €4500 = €55 000. In short it is as if you gave yourself a massive scholarship plus a 2 years head start on your career. It doesn’t get any better than this! Or Does It?
b) Online Training Schools: Now on the other hand, schools that only offer live online training courses will never have the expenses a University or a training school that provides onsite courses, have. No expenses for them means very low tuition fees for you. And since many art fields are digital by nature, you don’t really need to physically be present in a classroom in order to get trained properly. This allows you to confidently get trained online and receive the same quality skillsets you would get by attending the same course onsite, but at a fraction of the cost. In fact, training online can even be much better for you! To give you a few reasons why:
a) The sessions can be easily recorded live. Even if you loose a session for any reason you can still watch the recording and catch up.
d) No need for keeping notes! If you are not a person who prefers to take notes then you can focus on the session and better understand the workflows, knowing that if you forget something all you have to do is watch the recording again.
c) The number of participants per group tend to be smaller and as a result you get more attention and personal feedback time.
d) You can directly see the monitor of all the students and the instructor as well as control them, when given access. This helps when the instructor explains a workflow or answers a question to another student; everyone in the group can observe the solution even if they don’t need it for their project. In essence the more students in an online group means the more workflows, approaches and solutions to mistakes you can learn as well. And since the sessions get recorded you can always watch it again in case you face a similar issue down the road on your project. It is not that simple to do this in a class of 30+ students, especially if the instructor needs to go directly to the student’s desk on the other side of the classroom in order to answer a question.
e) Promotes healthy competition within the group as every student knows everyone else’s project and skills.
Taking into account the above, attending an online training school is simply put the best option to get the most out of the money you spend. So what kind of cost are we talking about? Well, online training schools’ fees mostly depend on the course you wish to enroll to, the service they offer (if they are live sessions or prerecorded, how often you have support, live feedback sessions etc.), the country they are based in and how famous the school is worldwide. Considering all the above you can expect an estimated cost of $1350 for a few months and up to $12 000 for a complete year depending of the course you wish to enroll to. However, most online training schools will cost you up to $7500 for a complete year! To give you an example, attending an online course at Digireal Studios will cost you a maximum of €6500 for our most expensive course, and since we offer great discounts throughout the year you can easily get enrolled to such course at as little as €5400 which is actually less than attending a foundation course in most Universities. To make things even spicier, at Digireal Studios you get to choose to pay your fees in monthly or quarterly installments or even opt to pay the whole amount upfront and get an additional 10% discount. This can easily bring down your fees to a total of €4860 for the whole academic year which is a no brainer decision over other much more expensive approaches we’ve discussed above! This is why we can confidently state that we guarantee the best training quality at the lowest cost in the country! Sounds to good to be true? Simply send us a quick email or do yourself a favor, pick up the phone, dial 70006266 and discuss the details with us or book a free of charge meeting in person or online! Our representatives will be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions regarding our courses and services.
All in all, studying any field is an investment in your future, and like in any good investment, you must calculate the amount of money and time you will spend, the quality of the outcome you will receive, and the estimated time you will need to make back the money you have spent before actually profiting. Meaning, how fast can you get employed after completing your studies which is directly related to your portfolio, and how many years you need to work in order to cover your studies’ cost, based on your annual income on that job position. The sooner, the better!
**The above-estimated costs are subject to an increase or decrease at any time, and should only be used as reference. Please make sure you double-check the current fees of the training school you are interested in enrolling to.
4) Portfolio Quality – 5 Ways to significantly improve your portfolio!
– Portfolio for University applications!
– Portfolio for Training School applications!
– Portfolio for Job Position applications!
– 5 portfolio tips to maximize your chances no matter where you are applying to!
Now that we covered the cost of your training, it is time to consider the content of the portfolio you need to have in order to get accepted by a University or a Training School and later by a Production Studio at a job position – Portfolio Quality!
There is a huge difference between preparing a portfolio for applying to a University, a Training School or a Job Position! “Selling yourself” properly is key and considered a craft, and like all crafts it requires knowledge in order to master the skill especially when it comes to applying for jobs! Below we will share 5 tips you need to keep in mind in order to maximize your chances! It is vital though that you first understand how a recruiter or a tutor would think when reviewing your work before even considering which pieces of artwork you should send them”! So, let’s take it from the beginning!
Applying to a University:
As we previously explained there are 4 ways you can build a portfolio with a purpose of enrolling into a University. No matter your choice, a University will ask you to present your best artwork as proof of your skills! There are a few guidelines you need to follow but depending on the University you will apply to, there might be some slight variations as to what it is requested from you. For example, most Universities will request of you 20 pieces of artwork that are related to the course you are applying to! If you are applying to a 2D Animation course, then many of them will request a lot of sketches including but not limited to character designs, environment designs, light studies, life drawing work, simple animated sequences like walk cycles, run cycles and even photography or fashion design work in some cases. What is especially common though is that they will most likely ask you NOT to present ANY common fantasy artwork like dragons, orks, unicorns and generally themes that are drawn by many production studios’ artists all the time! The most controversial of all being anime and manga! Adding pieces of such work into your portfolio when applying to a University can cost you the position, unless you clearly show that you are trying to redesign these themes and bring fresh ideas to the table! This was especially true a few years ago but even to this day Universities can be strict about it depending on the course and which country you are applying to. This makes no sense, right? Well to be fair, there is a point to it… Remember the teaching vs training section we mentioned above? Well, since Universities will teach you and not train you, you are mostly requested to come with an open mind, and be flexible and adaptable when it comes to producing work on your University projects. Their goal is to shape you into an artist who is developed spherically and not towards a specific target market or theme, regardless of the fact that the same skills can be applied to all case scenarios.
Added to this, Universities tend to “promote the culture of the country and continent they are based in so there is a big difference between enrolling to a European University Vs United States University and vs a Japanese or Asiatic culture University. European Universities tend to focus more on the artistic side and the quality traits of the work in a specific field, and less on the business side, whereas US Universities promote both the artistic side and the business side of these fields. Japanese art and generally Asiatic cultures have their own unique drawing style yet their Universities still focus both on the business and the artistic side of these fields, however, their target market tends to delve mostly in Asiatic culture. And to make things clear, by business side we mean what sells right now in the market even though the idea may not be new. Reinventing the wheel is not priority number one when you see things from a business point of view! If something works then the safest route is to replicate it, improve it but definitely not change it drastically! This is the mentality of both the US and Asiatic cultures in regards to artistic fields. In contrast, European culture seeks new ideas constantly and it is the reason why the European Universities prefer that you have a broad mind when you apply for their courses. At the same time, it does not mean that you will not get accepted to any European University if you show work from other cultures or vice versa. It simply means that based on how strict the University is, it may choose another applicant over you, that fits within their mentality, unless you have a massive difference in skills compared to them, which falls within the context we explained earlier “The students make a good University and not the other way around”! So, the short version of all the above regarding University applications is that you either need to present a portfolio of broad-spectrum skills that clearly shows you are capable of developing your skills further through your studies, or demonstrate a portfolio of professional skills like we explained earlier that states that you are both a serious and determined candidate, in order to make it irresistible for them to accept you!
Applying to Training Schools:
Training schools (both online and onsite) are a much different story! Remember, training schools train you to think and work in the same manner you would do in a studio! This means that before getting into one, you need to know exactly what your aims are, your target market, the themes you like most working on, the industry you wish to get employed in and more. The more specific you are the better! So, what kind of portfolio do you need in order to get accepted into one? Well, that depends on 2 things, whether the school enrolls students with or without prior knowledge!
Training schools many times request that you are already familiar with the field you are applying to! This allows them to get into deep waters when training you in regards to workflows from day one and as a result by the end of the course their students’ portfolio is of much higher quality than when they enrolled to the course in the first place! In essence, training schools that accept only students who already have intermediate to advanced skills, they spend all the duration of the course refining their students’ skills so they can all leave the course with professional skills! This goes without saying that in order to get accepted by such schools you must already have a great and well-developed portfolio because some of the most talented and skilled students will be applying to these courses! Sometimes even students who have just graduated from Universities and even more so professionals apply to such schools in order to hone their skills further! The competition is very high!
Contrary to the above, there are also training schools that accept students without prior knowledge! Their aim is to increase the amount of properly trained students out there, as this only helps the industry grow bigger and stronger! These schools 99% of the times will accept you without prior knowledge! In fact, they prefer it if you do not have any prior skills related to the field of your interest, whatsoever! This allows them to train you from scratch and shape you to the advanced professional you aim to be, the correct way and as fast as possible! So, getting accepted into one can be as simple as sending them an email, downloading and filling an enrollment form or even picking up the phone and calling them to register on a course.
At Digireal Studios we accept both students with and without prior knowledge depending on the level of difficulty of the course of interest! We simply aim to offer the best of both worlds! Plain and simple! This is why we separate our courses to Level 1 and 2, Zero To Hero and Mastery Level and each one has its own criteria to enroll to. Whether you wish to enroll into a University or be in a position where you can confidently apply for jobs, we can help you build an excellent portfolio that will allow you to realize your dreams! Since 2010 we have had 100% success rate at enrolling students to Universities and 80% of our students have been continuously employed within approximately 6 months of completing their course with us! In fact, we are so confident in our students’ skills that whenever we need extra workforce on our projects we always call them in to collaborate with. We know they can pull their weight simply because we know firsthand how well trained, they are! You can find more details about our courses as well as reviews of our students here!
Applying to job positions:
Applying to job positions is for the most part the same as if you were to apply to a Training School that only enrolls students by reviewing their portfolios! If you have ever read a job description then you know that most of the times, they are so specific on the quality traits, skills and software knowledge they request of their candidates that sometimes it makes it very hard to find a perfect match. This is especially true for big studios around the world. The reason behind this is that big studios can have over 1000+ employees, therefore, they separate their production pipeline into teams and each team is responsible to completing specific tasks. In order to get accepted into such studios you need to demonstrate a portfolio that clearly covers all the job requirements and at the same time separates you from the crowd in the best possible way! This is exactly why training schools who accept only students with prior knowledge ask that you know exactly what your aims are in regards to your career, as we mentioned above! It allows them to properly train you to build the best possible portfolio for achieving your goals.
5 crucial portfolio work tips to maximize your chances of success no matter where or why you are applying to!
1) The person who will review your work is trained to instantly recognize who they prefer to accept and in most cases your fate is decided in the first 30 seconds! Presentation matters so make sure you keep things organized and well laid out to make your portfolio easy to read! If your work is presented through a website then make sure the website is easily navigated. An additional option is to upload your work on platforms like Artstation, Deviant Art, Behance etc. where artists are used to navigating them! If your work is presented as a showreel make sure that it is not longer than 1-1.5 minutes.
2) It is best to show less work that is of great quality compared to presenting more pieces of average quality work! Quality over Quantity!
3) Always, Always show your best and most relevant work first! Always!!! If you feel that you need to show more work in your portfolio then add in the middle your average work and save a few great pieces at the end! You are always remembered by your first and last pieces of work so use this tip to your advantage!
4) Choose the work you present based on where you are applying to. Keep it relevant to the field, course, culture and tasks you will be responsible for, especially if you are applying for a job. For example, if you are applying for a Character Concept Artist position at a studio then it is completely irrelevant to include in your portfolio any Environment art or vehicles concepts that you did, unless your characters are directly portraited in them or the job description specifically states that it would be considered a plus if you include them.
5) For job applications make sure you present work that is also relevant to the studio you are applying to and to what generally sells right now in the industry. This is of utmost importance! A few years back when Transformers came out, many artists included similar work into their portfolio simply because it was a trend for the next 5 or so years. When the game Horizon Zero Dawn came out the same thing happened again! There is no point to sending sci fi work though to a game studio that is developing medieval theme games! So, always research the studios you are applying to and send them similar work to what they are requesting, developing or selling at that specific time.
Pro Tip: At Digireal Studios we provide FREE support and Feedback to all our students INDEFINITELY when preparing for any application after completing our courses. We also provide FREE consulting to students and professionals who wish to sign up to our courses in order to build portfolios for either enrolling to Universities, breaking into the industry or honing their skills further and getting their dream job! Simply contact us at email@example.com or call us at 70006266. We are more than happy to help you!
5) “You Need a Degree!” Or Do you now? Think Again!
– Certification Importance
– Visual Fields – The industry is filled with self-taught artists
– The extras you may never need! – Criteria of Employment in the RIGHT Order!
The short Answer: NO! You Do NOT Need a Degree in order to work in most art related fields! There is a common misconception that unless you have a degree you are not qualified to work in any field! Well…, Not True! As we explained above countless people in the art related industry are self-taught and they have absolutely no trouble working in their field. Just this, is plenty of proof that this statement is true! However, this does not mean you do not need a degree if you are designing commercial airplanes, spacecrafts or rocket systems for NASA, SpaceX etc.! That includes aerodynamics, physics and more, and yes you do need a degree for that! BUT! There is a HUGE BUT! If you are designing spacecrafts for a game developing company or a film studio then NO you DO NOT NEED A DEGREE for that! Let us explain!
In order to be able to work in any field you need proof that you have the necessary skills required to handle the work with professional manner. This proof, depending on the field you wish to work in can be anything from just hands-on experience, a simple certification, a diploma, or a Bachelor Degree etc. Art related fields are visual for the most part, therefore, the proof that you can produce the work requested by that field is your portfolio. This falls under the hands-on experience where if you can render yourself capable of producing professional work to the eyes of your potential employer, then your chances are as good as someone who has a Bachelor Degree or any other certification in the same field. This does not mean that you should never consider enrolling to a University for Bachelor Degree course. It just means that if you are a self-taught artist who through shear struggle and patience has managed to learn the skills and build a professional portfolio, then having a degree on the side would not make any difference!
Put this to the test! The next time you happen to search for vacancies in art related fields such as Concept Artists, 3D Modelers, Animators etc. look at the job description and requirements. You will most likely find yourself looking at requirements such as: Portfolio for the relevant field, Years of experience, Software knowledge related to that field, Additional related skills, Language skills and lastly a degree to be considered as extra! In other words, any certification is considered an extra that you may never need, simply because it is not visual proof of hands-on work related to the art field of choice! Behold the Criteria of Employment in the RIGHT Order!
As we previously mentioned, this is the main reason why at Digireal Studios we employ and collaborate mostly with students who completed our courses! We know exactly what they are capable of, so no other requirements are needed!
Part 2 :
6) Employability – 4 Crucial Things you need to Know to maximize your employment chances
– Location & Relocation
– Lifestyle (Not the way you think about it)
As we previously mentioned, the success of any training no matter where you received it from, is employment! It is simply, the return on your investment in regards to the time and money you will spent in order to learn the skills required for the field of choice. Before even considering studying on any field though, it is best that you have a plan! It might not be the best plan, the perfect plan, the ideal plan, a plan that best suits you or others, however, you still need a plan! If you do not have any plans then you might as well be planning to fail! This is harsh to say but unfortunately, it is true! So, no matter the field you choose to make a career out of, do yourself a favor and think first, then plan ahead and finally set yourself in motion towards your goals, whichever they might be!
There are many things you need to consider before studying any field! One of them being: Employability! This is a big one! As example, let’s say that you’ve decided to study a Games Design course! This field has great potential, it is forever growing and evolving and can also be very rewarding in one’s career! However, in order to have the best chances of employment you need to take into account a few factors such as below:
You need as many opportunities as possible available to you! This means that you need to consider which countries have the most games studios (regardless of the studios’ size if you are just breaking into the industry)! This will allow you to apply to more job positions and as a result increase your chances of getting employed. Some of the countries with the most studios include USA, UK, Canada, Japan, China and Germany.
Art related fields are very popular and the number of artists out there grows every day! As a result, getting employed can turn to be a very competitive game! In order to increase your chances of employment always try your best to stay up to date with current workflows, software updates and hardware equipment, to help yourself constantly creating better work that will grab the attention of recruiters! Pro Tip: Make sure you read above our 5 crucial portfolio work tips to maximize your chances of success no matter where or why you are applying to! And remember, perfect practice makes perfect!
Location & Relocation:
As we stated above, your chances of employment drastically increase if you consider applying for jobs in countries that have more opportunities in your field! It makes perfect sense that if you are not already living in one of those countries, and can’t find a “work from distance” opportunity, that relocating could be your next big decision and step for starting your career. Relocating can be both exciting and scary at the same time, and depending where you are coming from and how you were raised, this can be an even bigger step for you! Relocating though will automatically mean that you throw yourself into as many opportunities for success as possible, so it is something you must be willing to do if necessary when deciding which field, you will follow as a career! Remember, if you do not plan ahead then you might as well be planning to fail!
By lifestyle we certainly do not mean the “go out at night”, luxury vacations, expensive cars etc. type of thing. Lifestyle goes hand in hand with relocation! For example, if you are a person who took that big step of relocating in order to get a job, yet you prefer to stay in that one place for a very long time without having to relocate again, then you may need to consider the fact that your career development may be limited in your case. If this is something you are ok with then that is absolutely great! Settling down in one place has both pros and cons! For example, it can be easier for you if you decide to have a family and you prefer to stay in one place. However, unless you are in a place where you have multiple nearby companies that could potentially employ you then you may find yourself in that same job for life. And career development can go so far in just one company. On the other hand, if you are a person who likes relocating often, prefers to meet new people all the time and likes a wanderer’s lifestyle then your chances of employment can increase even more! Studios nowadays, even though they maintain a number of permanent staff, they also hire additional artists for their running projects. This allows them to have artist on call for whenever extra workforce is needed to complete a project! This however also means that the artists working on those projects will no longer be needed when these projects come to an end. This is the time when many artists relocate to get hired by another studio. Think of it as per project contract-based work. As soon as the contract ends, you are free to find work elsewhere. This is great for artists who like working on many different projects under a variety of studios. As a result, this can skyrocket your experience and can potentially get you a more permanent job as a leading role in a studio by the time you decide to settle down in one place.
7) Job Applications – 4 Must-Do Tactics that guarantee to capture the attention of your potential employer!
– Targeting the right prospective employer
– Building a CV based on your prospective employer
– “Selling yourself”: Part 1: Promoting your skillsets
Congratulations! By now you must have either completed your training, learned the skills and built a portfolio reflecting your capabilities! It is time to apply for a job! So, how does one go about doing this? How does it work and more importantly, how can you increase your chances of positively capturing the attention of your potential employer?
Targeting the right prospective employer:
Getting a job can be a game of chances! You need to find vacancies, send your CV as soon as possible, outcompete others in skills and portfolio, make the right impression and so on! All the above though are meaningless if you are not targeting the right prospective employer! It is the one thing that can make a huge difference to your success and it should be your first thing to make sure you did correct! Let’s continue assuming that you are a game designer and you want to get employed by a game development studio. Your first idea could be to contact as many studios as possible and send them your portfolio in an effort to increase your chances of success. It is a numbers game after all, right? Well…Yes and No at the same time! While sending many emails can increase your chances of success, at the same time it increases your chances of hearing back a “No” or even worse not hear anything back at all, as studios tend to be very busy environments. Hearing back a “No” can put you in a state of feeling that you are not good enough! Hearing back many “Noes” can drastically impact your psychology and you need to keep a clear head in order to “play the game” properly! Instead, take your time and make an in-depth research, find studios that relate to your work (themes, 2D, 3D, mobile games, consoles etc.) and aesthetic style (stylized, realistic etc.), find whether they have open vacancies, find out who the person in that studio you need to come in contact with is (human resource, head of recruitments etc.) and then before even sending a single email, go through all the information you have gathered and filter it one more time! Remove anything that you feel is a waste of your time, too ambitious, or a desperate move! This does not mean you must only contact the studios you like the most or contrary to that, not be excited to applying for a position at a well-known studio. No! This means that you must contact the studios that you feel you have the highest chances of getting employed, because you are being realistic in regards to the level of your skills and capabilities, and deep down you feel that those studios you are applying to could be a great match for you regardless of whether they are the most renowned studios in the world, or not! Remember, if you are just breaking into the industry then the most important thing is to get your foot in first, to get professional experience! This is the key milestone to developing your career further as it will allow you to apply to higher job positions in time! Walking before running! On the other hand, if you are already an experienced professional then you should not need to apply to smaller studios or lower job positions than you have already worked on as you could come across as overqualified or desperate which can significantly impact your salary! No more walking if you are already running!
Building a CV based on your prospective employer:
We have just explained above the importance of targeting the right prospective employer! Now that you know who you should contact, it is time that you prepare a CV that reflects you and your skills in the best possible way. Below are a few Pro Tips to significantly improve your CV:
– Make sure your CV is easy to read!
– Keep your CV short and to the point. One page is plenty, two at most!
– CV Design Matters! For example, if you are a graphic designer then your CV is the first design work your employer will see! Make sure this opportunity counts by designing the best CV out there!
– Do not have a “one CV fits all” attitude! Customize your CV based on where you are applying to.
– Do not add irrelevant information in your CV! Only add details based on the job description and requirements! 3D printing skills are irrelevant if you are applying to a studio designing 2D mobile games, unless the job description clearly states that it could be considered an extra or if you are applying to a merchandise prototyping job position in that studio.
– Always include the art related software skills you have. Microsoft office skills are not relevant in most cases unless they are requested!
– Adding your certifications is important (if you are not self-taught) but it is considered an extra in most cases! Avoid including middle school or high school certifications. Stick to higher level education (diplomas, degrees etc.) or professional training certifications.
– Speaking foreign languages can be a big extra especially if you are applying for a job at an international or multicultural studio.
– If there is extra room in your CV always add extra activities that you do that can capture the attention of your recruiter in a positive way! If these activities are related to art fields then even better! For example, if you are applying for an animation job then taking acting classes can be a plus for you! If your activities are not related to the job position you are applying to then make sure they are unusual ones! The more unusual these activities are, the better! Building up your recruiter’s curiosity about you is key! Flying an airplane is unusual! Reading books on your free time, is not! Think of these activities as opportunities you present to your recruiter to allow him to break the ice on your first interview by simply asking you about them! Makes sense?
– Always include a small paragraph describing your mindset and your best personality traits! Everyone writes hard worker and dependable! Instead, better get creative with this one but always state truths you can live up to!
“Selling yourself”: Part 1: Promoting your skillsets:
Promoting your skillsets is an artform itself, and just stating your skillsets on your CV when applying for jobs is simply not enough! In order to gain the most out of your skill-promoting efforts you need to get your work in front of the right pair of eyes at the right time! Nowadays this can be simple as posting your work online and being active in the community. This does not mean that you should make accounts on all the social media out there and start posting everything you have ever created or you are currently working on! You need to be strategic about it! Think of it as a business! Your skills are your services and you need to portrait those services as best as possible! No matter where you decide to post your work, you need to present it in a way that clearly states who you are as an artist! Posting your quick sketches and brainstorming ideas is nice but posting your final pieces of work that scream you have spent hours perfecting the work is much, much better! Also consider separating your portfolio in to easy to find and read sections like characters, environments, life drawing, sci-fi creatures etc. If you are a multidisciplinary artist then it makes things much easier for the prospective employer to find your work that is more related to his requirements.
Some great social media to promote your work on are:
– Deviant Art
Pro Tip: Always observe how other successful artists present their work and get ideas! Social media is a free and very powerful way to promote your work, however, you should also consider building a personal website at some point and drive traffic to it as this can sometimes make you look more professional and committed as an artist!
At some point in your career your work would simply be more than enough to get you hired by the most renowned studios, as long as you constantly improve your skills and take part in big projects! Until that day comes though, employers may ask for reference letters from tutors, instructors, artists, studios, former employers and clients you may have had, depending where you are at that moment in regards to your career! It is imperative to mention, that you should make sure you have a few references ready in case you need them! It is not necessary to send them along with your job application, however, mentioning on your CV “References Available Upon request” can be an additional point for you especially when an employer comes to a point where he needs to choose between two or more equally skilled artists! Your references can be requested either before or during an interview so make sure you are ready to present them immediately!
Pro Tip: You should never leave an employer waiting for your references as this can make you appeal as unprepared, and their busy life will force them to move on to the next candidate who has already send them his references!
The above 4 must-do tactics can significantly make or break your chances of success when it comes to employment so make sure you understand how to best present yourself! If you feel that you need guidance, or need help with building your online presence then don’t hesitate to ask for professional help! At Digireal Studios we provide step by step guidance to all our students for FREE! We meticulously cover every step our students need in order to successfully find potential employers that can be a great match for their skills, go in depth on how they can build a powerful CV targeting those specific employers, help selecting the work they will put in their portfolio as well as the right order of presenting it! Lastly, all our graduate students receive a letter of recommendation from Digireal Studios either as students who have successfully completed our courses or as students who have been employed by Digireal Studios at the end of their course!
8) Interviews – What you should never do or say to your potential employer!
– You are halfway there! – What to expect!
– “Selling yourself”: Part 2: Dos and Don’ts – Character can take you a long way!
– State the truth and Nothing BUT the Truth!
– What to do if you don’t get the job!
Job applications? Check! Now that you successfully captured the attention of potential employers, you are most likely to be invited to meet them in person! Let’s talk about the next big step! Interviews! Interviews can be a scary and a nerve-wracking thing for many people, especially beginners who are inexperienced! What you need to keep in mind though, is that it is normal to feel this way! Everybody feels a bit nervous on their first interview and you need to get through this stage as well! Knowing what happens in an interview can help you relax a bit, and in time interviews won’t be a thing to worry about!
You are halfway there! – What to expect!
On the day of your interview, you need to keep in mind that you will constantly be judged and tested in a variety of ways! Be ready to answer many questions, and expect to receive criticism, good feedback as well as negative feedback. Expect your interviewer to not agree with you on a few things! This is ok! Don’t let this tricker your ego! Sometimes it has nothing to do with your work either! It is simply part of the process and most of the times interviewers may give you negative feedback to see how well you can handle it. You may even find yourself being asked questions that you feel are not relevant to the job description, or are a bit more personal. Even though these questions may feel awkward some interviewers ask them simply to see how you will respond. It is up to you to decide how to answer those questions but no matter what you do, make sure you give an honest and friendly response. For example, if someone asks you if you are in a relationship or married then you can simply answer a “Yes” or “No” and not give any other details if you don’t want to. If a question is too personal you can also say something along the lines of “I prefer not to mix my personal life with work. When I go to work, I am only thinking about work related issues. This allows me to be more efficient”. Use such “opportunities” to your advantage! Be smart and diplomatic about it. Never raise a defensive wall between you and the person interviewing you as this can come across as a suspicious act on your behalf, or as if you are hiding something.
“Selling yourself”: Part 2: Dos and Don’ts – Character can take you a long way!
You always need to make a great impression on your interviews so make sure you start off on the right foot! Think of interviews as having meetings with clients who are willing to pay you to make a project of theirs. You are essentially “selling yourself” (character and skills) to them in an effort to convince them you are the right professional for the job they request! The below Pro Tips will allow you to start your interviews on the right track!
– Never be late on an interview! This is a major one and it can happen to anyone! Being late on your first interview may be interpreted as lack of punctuality! This definitely sends the wrong messages about you, and your very busy interviewer will not appreciate this! Make it a rule to always arrive on your interviews earlier (at least 15 minutes earlier)! If you believe that you will be late for whatever reason then it is best to call your interviewer early enough and inform him that something happed and that you will be a bit late. Be honest and DO NOT give cheap excuses! At the very least, this shows that you respect your interviewer’s time!
– Dress code! This matters a lot but it hugely depends on the job position, the work environment and the art field you have applied to. Over dressing and underdressing are both a no-no! If you are not sure how to dress then go for a smart casual outfit!
– Take Notes! The first thing you need to do as soon as you sit down on your interview is to take a notebook and a pen out! You will be surprised how many people don’t do this! This directly sends a message that you are focused and ready to listen to what they have to say to you, whether this is a comment, feedback, something you need to take into account like salary information, days off etc. It also allows you to note down things you want to ask them that you have only thought about during the interview.
– Always give straight answers to questions! This makes you look more intelligent and that you know what you are talking about! It also communicates that you are not thinking too much before answering which can sometimes raise a flag for them that you might be lying, even if you are not!
– Accept criticism and negative feedback with professionalism. Do not get offended or become defensive! It is simply either a test or a different opinion than yours! It is ok to disagree but learn to accept both! This tells a lot about your character and whether you can work well with others in a team, where most probably opinions are bound to be different sometimes.
– Do Not Make the Salary the main topic of the conversation. Everyone wants to know how much they will be paid but it is best if you let your interviewers open the subject! If you are asked “Do you have any questions you would like to ask?” then avoid making your first question about the salary! It makes you look as if this is your main concern or even worse your only concern, when it should actually be one of your concerns instead. Better ask something else first like “Do you have any policies I should be aware of”, or “what is the vision of the company”, or even, “what makes your best employee stand out to you?”. These are abstract questions that can gain you more information about topics you haven’t discussed and it also presents you as someone who takes the job and the employer’s company seriously, before asking for information in regards to the salary.
– Do not sell yourself short in any way! This does not mean you must request an outrageous amount for a salary. This only means that you should not appear as needy! Always speak with professionalism and as if you have other options available, but not in an arrogant way! Appearing as if you are arrogant will cost you the position and appearing as a person who really needs the job will cost you a better salary! Always know what you are worth and make sure that it comes across the correct way!
– Let them tell you how much they are willing to pay you for the job position first! If you are asked “what is the estimated amount you would want as a salary?” it is better for you to avoid answering an amount right away! Better throw them the ball back by asking them “What is the estimate amount you were considering for this position?”. If they respond with an amount then this amount might be higher than what you were considering in the first place! This is the reason you ask them back! If the amount is lower than what you were expecting then simply ask if the amount is negotiable or if there is a prospect of a raise after a few months. If they insist for you to say an amount then it is better for you to give a range. Just saying one amount, allows your potential employer to offer back or negotiate a lower amount. Knowing this, always make sure you are happy with the lowest amount on your range. If you feel that the interview is going great, then you can also aim for a higher range by mentioning as the amount you actually want as salary to be the lower amount on your range. No matter the case though, always be realistic in regards to your salary expectations!
State the truth and Nothing BUT the Truth!
This is a no-brainer! Never include false information on your CV, or lie on your interviews! EVER! There is a strong chance that you will face these lies down the road and be called to answer for them. This can easily cost you your job!
What to do if you don’t get the job:
Before hearing back, a “Yes” you will most probably receive many “Noes” for an answer! This can be tough so do yourself a favor and do not make things even worse for you by taking things personally! Always keep to yourself a mindset of “I would really like to get this job” but if you don’t get the job then say to yourself “It just happened”. This will help you not to dwell in your mind with worries and thoughts that are unnecessary! Such thoughts will only drag you down so keep your spirit up and move one to your next application and interview. Not getting a job does not necessarily mean that your work is bad or you are not skillful. There are many factors that come into play when considering employing someone and the work being bad is only one of them! It might be something you said on your interview, something you communicated wrong, maybe you asked for a salary the employer could not afford to pay or even the competition was simply too high and the chances of getting the job were too slim, and so on! The best course of action when you do not hear back a “Yes” is to respond back thanking your interviewer for their time and consideration! The outcome won’t change on that specific occasion but if you end your current communication on good terms, then chances are that they will remember you on your next interview when you happen to reapply for another position in the future! So, always save their contact details and aim at building up your portfolio and skills, and then contact them again after a few months with new work and CV. Always present yourself as someone who constantly develops and progresses, and never close doors that can stay open for future applications!
9) Trial Test – Blood, Sweat and Tears! 5 Pro Tips to pass with flying colors!
– You Are Almost There!
– This is your chance to SHINE!
– What to expect as a test! 5 Pro Tips to pass with flying colors!
Congrats! Your interviewer likes you and your work and is willing to put your skills to the test! This means that you passed your interview and they are already considering you among other artists! At this point you may have already one foot inside the studio and in order to secure your position you must pass with flying colors the next step!
You Are Almost There!
Many studios prefer to know that you can really apply your skills on their projects and in an effort to verify your skills they will ask you to do a small-scale test! This test would give them an understanding on how you work and the quality you can produce in a limited amount of time! You should always welcome these trial tests and never give the impression that you are not happy with them asking you to do a test. It is simply a part of the hiring process, so embrace it!
This is your chance to SHINE!
You should always consider a trial test as an opportunity to shine, by showing off your skills! This is the moment where you should really focus all of your energy on, and give it your best shot! Passing this test will grand you the job so make sure you capture this opportunity and do not let it slip through your fingers! Give your Blood, Sweat and Tears!
What to expect as a test! 5 Pro Tips to pass with flying colors!
Depending on the job description, the art field and the studio you are applying to, this small-scale test can vary a lot! It can be anything really and most of the times your deadline will be within 1-2 weeks! For example, let’s assume that you are applying for a 3D Character Modeling position. In this case you are most likely to be asked to produce a character. Below we give you 5 Pro Tips that can help you pass with flying colors!
1) Always do work related to the job description and based on your brief. If you have applied for a 3D Character Modeling job at a mobile game studio and as a test you are asked to create a character for mobile games, then the character you will create should most probably be optimized to play on a mobile phone. Always make sure that you are following your brief to the “T” and do not go outside of the “rules”. If you are asked to produce a stylized character do not produce a realistic one just to show that you can do such work! You were not asked to do that and this will only show a lack of ability to follow the brief requirements!
2) This is not the time to experiment! While doing the test you should only use your current skills and workflows. Do not try new techniques simply to show off or out of curiosity! If you stumble upon a problem with your new technique it can take you a lot of time to figure things out and the clock is already ticking against you!
3) Always ask all of your questions before starting your test! If something is not clear for you do not assume things! It is much better to ask and confirm all the deliverables upfront! This is crucial as it shows that you are organized, can follow directions, and plan to execute the test properly!
4) Make sure you meet your deadlines! There is nothing worse than missing your target deadline when doing a test! It will only communicate that you are unable to compete with the rest of the artists in that studio and another person who might finish his test on time will most probably get the job.
5) Do not over deliver! One may think that “if I deliver 2 characters instead of 1 within the given timeframe then I am showing that I am more productive! Well, this might be true to some extend but it can very easily backfire! Aiming to produce more work than you are asked to can bring you in a position of unconsciously creating less quality work in order to manage to deliver on time. Sacrificing quality over quantity is a big NO NO! A better approach would be to use the extra time you may have left to refine your work and increase your quality! This will increase your chances of impressing the person reviewing the work you did! This is key to your success!
10) 5 methods on how to break into the industry as fast as possible! Number 5 will blow your mind!
– Finding job opportunities
– Staying active in the Art Community – Networking
– Contacting Agencies and Studios
– Becoming a content creator
– The Digireal Studios strategy on how to break into the industry the fast way!
Now that we have explained in detail everything you need to know about studying an art field, preparing your portfolio, and getting ready for potential interviews, it is time that we cover the BIG question that everyone has when they are ready to start their career! “How do I break into the industry?” It is very often that we see people not knowing how to find that very first job that will launch their career! It pains us when we say this but it is unfortunately true; the education system has failed a lot of students in this area. While many schools and universities focus on building your skills, they rarely educate their students on how to properly go about getting that first job! Yes, they may offer a few workshops teaching you that you need to prepare a CV and portfolio, but they will most probably not really help you with either building the portfolio and CV properly or how to find and get a job. To be fair, some Universities may offer their students databases of job vacancies, however, they pretty much not help you with the necessary preparation and application. It is basically up to you to find a vacancy that fits you, and apply. To make things even worst, many of these databases are filled with irrelevant vacancies because they are mostly oriented towards students who wish to get a temporary job to help themselves financially during their studies. So, what about getting a job that is actually relevant and necessary as a milestone to launching a student’s career after he completes his studies?
Finding job opportunities:
Nowadays, finding a job is becoming easier and easier. There are many ways to find jobs and there are also many ways you can create opportunities for yourself so that a job can even come and find you! What do we mean by that? Before we go into analyzing the latter, let’s comment on the former! Simply going to google and searching for jobs in a specific field can give you an abundance of vacancies you can apply to. And this is pretty much what most people do! However, if you want to find vacancies that are more relevant to your art field and that are easily accessible under a single “roof” then instead of searching on google, it is best to actually search in places where people of your art field “hang out”, communicate, or even promote their work! In other words, you need to search in places where the action happens! Some of these places include but are not limited to:
The above approach can be applied to finding internships, freelance work, distance/remote work, onsite and online work either as part time or full time! This is where you have the biggest chances in terms of finding work by yourself!
Staying active in the Art Community – Networking
Now that you know where to look for a job, it is vital that you actually not just search for a job and then forget about these places, but to really hang out, communicate and promote your work there as well! Simply put, you need to become part of this community! As we previously mentioned, staying active in the community by sharing your own work, commenting on other artists work with feedback and in general socializing, can often put you in the spotlight of someone else or even a studio who may have a job offer for you, simply because they are on the lookout for talented artists. Networking is key! This is how jobs can actually come and find you especially if you have great work to show and in time you become more experienced and well known in the industry!
Contacting Agencies and Studios
Contacting Agencies and Studios is considered a more direct approach! Many people prefer this method though as it can put their work right in front of the eyes of studios they prefer to work with. Even though the logic behind this tactic is correct, studios don’t always have open vacancies all the time and as a result you may hear back many noes or even not hear back at all. Think of it as fishing in the sea. You through your bait and hope that you catch a fish. If you choose to directly contact a studio then better make a research first and see if they have open vacancies before contacting them! This way you will be aware of what skills the studio is looking for and you can decide based on your portfolio, if you are a good match for the job description, before sending them your work. This can save you a lot of time and energy that would otherwise be wasted.
Becoming a content creator
This tactic falls under the umbrella of staying active in the community! The purpose is for you to create content like 3d models, graphics, tutorials, scripts, plugins, templates etc. that other artists can buy and use in their professional work. Even though this may sound a long shot, many artists do this as full-time job! It is not the easiest approach to make a living but should your content go viral then many artists will get to know your work and this can open doors for you both in regards to work and collaborations. You can find examples of many content creator artists in websites like: Artstation, Gumroad, Flippednormals, Cubebrush, Turbosquid etc.
The Digireal Studios strategy on how to break into the industry the fast way!
At Digireal Studios we truly understand that our students’ success is our own success! Stating the above, we always seek ways for our students to break into the industry as fast as possible! Since 2010 we have been developing our own method on how we can empower our students’ employment seeking efforts when they are graduating from our courses. Our approach is simple yet very effective and it goes like this! As Digireal Studios we have established ourselves in our country as one of the leading training companies in art related fields! We constantly expand our courses, update our content and continuously train students on state-of-the-art techniques and workflows! At the same time, we have been providing services as studio for hire on projects ranging from advertising, film making, visual effects productions, game design, animation and more! Through all these years we have managed to capture the attention of many studios and agencies either through our courses or through our services as studio for hire and made many partnerships and collaborations! In short, we created our own network! As a result, time and time again our partners and collaborators have requested from us to bring them in contact with our graduate students whenever they required extra workforce! This alone, gives our students a huge head start as we most of the times get to know about these new job positions before they are even published anywhere else! Added to this, throughout our courses all our students are informed of our approach and how we can help them find the job they have always wanted. When the time comes to graduate and they actually get employed using this system, they appreciate it so much that even they rush to contact us whenever they hear that a new position is opening in the studio they are employed! Through them we have managed to create our own community of former students who care about and help our newer students. They are our eyes and ears and they simply give back in the same way they were given! This is what we are most proud of them!
And there you have it, this is the method we developed that has allowed our students to get employed in studios like Wargaming, Framestore, Sumo Digital, Qiiwi Games and a variety of other advertising and marketing companies.
Thank you for taking the time to read this report, we hope it has helped you see things from a new perspective and should you have any questions or inquiries, we are more than happy answer them!
WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY!
- I have been following the 3D Modeling and Games Design Concept Art courses the past year in preparation for my portfolio and I am more than satisfied with Digireal Studios! The courses go in-depth to what you need to know about the domain you're working with and the instructor's constant feedback on your work, in class, and via e-mail, helps you take your skills to the next level!
- Amazing tuition! I lived a great experience while obtaining a huge number of skills!
- As a former concept art student at Digireal Studios I guarantee that it is the right place to go if you want to expand your skills as an artist! Kudos to the instructors who help each and every student learning different techniques and building up a portfolio whether for university or job opportunities.
- I am very thankful to Digireal Studios as it has provided me with valuable support and knowledge which eventually landed me that dream job I always wanted.
- With the knowledge and guidance gained from Digireal Studios, I managed to enter the video games industry and compete with experienced professionals, in a very short amount of time. The variety of these specially targeted and organized courses, provided me with tips and tricks as well as solid information that is essential in the field. These courses in combination with hard work, are the key to success!
- I have been training with Digireal Studios for two years now. This will be my third year. The instructors are really comprehensive and helpful. They are available to help throughout the week even if it is outside of normal class hours. With their help, I was able to go from a person without any knowledge to a competent artist in less than two years. With Digireal Studios you can get quality training in all the latest techniques and get in-depth knowledge in every industry-standard software there is. And the best part is that you learn how to use each piece of software as efficiently as possible and in combination with each other in order to get digital art of the highest quality and at the least amount of time.
- This course exceeded all of my expectations! The instructor was excellent. He went through the lessons in depth and answered any questions students may have had. Every student received advice and help with their work and that made the lesson very enjoyable and fun to learn. I believe I have learned so much from this course and have built my portfolio. I enjoyed the course so much that I have signed up for 3D modeling as well! I definitely recommend this course to anybody; students, graduates or passionate individuals who love digital art.