One year of art

Article / 27 October 2019

Hello Artstation, today we’re going to talk about early careers, resiliency, burnout, and climbing walls. Let’s start out !

Out of about 30 students of my graduate promotion, only 3 or 4 are working in the industry 2 years later…

I had the chance to go study an extra year in Oregon, and that’s there that I discovered my vocation for concept art. When I made it back to France, I took the risky bet to become a self-taught concept artist -- And I gave myself the means for it, I started a Meetup group for networking, along the lines of those I had seen in the US, I got myself to produce art every single day, I asked professional concepts artists for some valuable knowledge (They're so nice !).

It's been about a year now that I seriously started studying concept art (I had never touched a brush before that), I've been taking Learnsquared and Gnomon Workshop classes, seeing others pros as mentor, all while taking all the odd jobs that I was presented with. I also made friends with similar and complementary career projects through the pro Meetup I created in France.

During this year I got to know myself better, where I was good and where I needed more training, and I also discovered the gigantic complexity of what I still had to learn, it sometimes gives me dizziness, but then I remember all I have already been through and I can get the fire burning again.

When I started I thought I'd be ruling the world in just 1 year (lol), but now, 1 year later, I believe it was a bit presomptuous of me. This is a much tougher piece than what I originally thought ; it's a career you gotta dedicate your life to.

Which gets us to the climbing wall ! I feel sometimes career is like a climbing wall, you gotta stop, take a step back, and watch for good holds. With the experience I got from this first year as a concept artist, I feel way more mature and confident for all the coming years !

How to find collaborators that actually stick (as indies)

Article / 28 May 2019

Lately I’ve been organising meetups for local indie gamedevs in Lyon, France. I called these “Set goals and get the Sh*t done!”. It consists mostly of small groups workshops with indie devs that have a project in Mind. I figured it would be of common utility if I take notes during the workshops and make a small digest out of everything we learn each time in the form of a blog article.

This time the subject was “how to find collaborators as an indie and how to get them to stick with the project”.

Keep in mind this is the result of informal conversation and everything written here is based on experience, not facts. It is biased information based on our own experiences and the books we read.

We figured together that even though it’s not that hard to find people that are willing to help indie devs, be it other devs, artists, or com’ guys, the motivation slowly vanishes over the course of a few weeks and they tend to disappear (rude!)

Work with anyone, or find the right person ?

There seem to be a need to find the “right person”, usually someone who has a complementary set of skill. Thought the one skill that is the most appreciated nowadays is good teamwork. There are two boats here ; those who want to make a really good duo with always the same person, and the ones that think the most important thing is to be able to work ok with anyone.

The middle way and what ended up looking like the better solution would be to have a core team of a fiew people that share a vision for the game, and then outsource what’s left. This liquid system with a solid core would allow for more agile work while keeping a rigorous brand and mission of the studio.

Money, Vision and Regularity

One thing that tends to hold together even the most dysfunctional teams seems to be money. Making Money (Or the promess of money, usually taking the form of parts) is usually a huge step for validation of a project (most indie games fail before they can be profitable).

But then how do you get people to imply themselves in your project for free ? The answer could be : Have a vision. What I mean by that is that regularity in your work and personnal projects lets you develop your own voice, your own vision. And that very personal voice is a very important asset only you have. When your associates are not around for the money, they’re probably sticking because they believe your studio will change the world in a good way, or at least a way they like.The storytelling of the project is key here, knowing who you are, and what you want to achieve is too. Having a strong background and a solid portfolio also seems to help.

Hope I could help someone with that =) I you feel you can add something feel free to DM me.

Some unanswered questions : Do you approach an associate with a project in mind or build it together ?