When applying initially to a creative job, only submit a small ‘sample’ portfolio. Not only does this allow you to save a little bit of your work for your formal interview but also saves the company time downloading. An easy way to work it out: if your sample work doesn’t attach to one email; it is too big!
Follow these golden rules when submitting a portfolio:
- Start with your best and most recent work
- Only include material that you’re confident will impress us Focus on the discipline you’re applying for. If you’re an asset artist you need to show us game ready assets.
- Only include other work if it’s relevant Make sure it’s presented in a format which is easy to access and read.
- Work examples in games and game engines are more valuable to us.
- Our interviews are direct and challenging. Make sure you prepare and research beforehand. Working in the games industry is not always a creative wonderland and can sometimes be frustrating, tedious or difficult. Research and ensure that your expectations are realistic.
Info about any other experience you consider relevant, e.g. hobby projects, previous work experience. Only include your best work in your portfolio. For at least one piece include information about the brief, time spent, polycount, wireframes and textures as well as the finished article, and if possible screenshots from both in-software and in-engine views. For environment artists we are particularly interested in seeing whole staged environments, for example a room or view rather than all individual props – consider atmosphere, lighting, scale and story. Evidence of traditional art skills such as figure drawing, sculpture and painting are also welcome.
You’re only as good as your last reference so make sure you leave a great impression!
Do not limit learning to that done on a course. Try to obtain as much experience as possible outside of what is learnt on courses. The candidates that excel, are the ones that live and breathe this type of work and have experience outside of education.
Get work experience such as a summer placement which is invaluable to have on your CV.
Experience is everything. Paid, unpaid, miles from home, next door – your experience is invaluable. Not only does is show interest but shows a great deal of initiative. It does not need to be a big industry name just show a potential employer you are willing to work hard. Also try and get to trade fairs and design weeks – they are fantastic for networking and starting to build knowledge of materials and suppliers. It will become your design ‘little black book’.
Key to any art application is a strong portfolio of artwork. Although degrees are valued indicators of ambition, standards and commitment, they are not an essential requirement for artists.
Gain as much experience as possible in various fields/departments related to IT and VR, if not to work directly in that field, certainly to understand how the whole final project is put together by a team of different skilled people and appreciate what is involved within each area when working on a project with a team.
Write applications individual to the vacancy you are applying for, and research the company to whom you are applying.
Have good all-round skills in anything related, and enthusiasm for the subject area on a personal level.
Make sure you do your research on the company and that your cover letter and CV reflect that. It’s very obvious when someone sends a standard cover letter in bulk to lots of companies. They will get an automatic rejection. It’s important to have a passion for the company and that you come to an interview with a questioning and eager to learn manner.
For us, the key thing is for students to demonstrate the work they are able to do and the skills they have.
Be comfortable and proud of yourself and your work. If you are nervous or you are disinterested the creative interviewing you will know straight away.
A clear CV with experience and previous employment details along with voluntary positions is more important than grades.
Make sure your CV matches the job role. I’ve had several applicants who have relevant experience, but don’t actually mention it in their CV.