Re: Portfolio reviews

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Posted by Charles on October 29, 1999 at 23:33:17:

In Reply to: Portfolio reviews posted by Kevin on October 29, 1999 at 12:12:28:

For starters, don't be disapointed with the way things may go. Most of the people who screen portfolio submissions don't have any idea what they're looking at. Sad but true. They pass the ones they think are strong to artists for comments that may never reach you.

Many artists submit portfolios only to get a standard rejection letter. If they see a portfolio they like, some studios will make copies of your artwork without your permission and file it for future reference. I know of one major stufio that does this routinely without notifying the artist.

Animation is an industry that is heavily networked. Knowing people on the inside, having access to information as to what is going on where, who is looking for talent, etc., this is how many of the people who break in do it. Nobody places a help wanted notice in the classified adds. It's done mostly by word of mouth. Local art schools that supply some of the studios are a good place to be. Having patience and working and reworking a portfolio is essential.

Get as much feedback and honest, constructive criticism as you can from the studios that return your work. Don't take it personally. Do what you've got to do to get to a professional level or else try doing something else for a living. Things are very tight right now, but people are still getting in.

The mismanagement of the industry is chronic. You have to understand this. You're lucky to get any comments at all once your portfolio is returned. If you happen to make an impression, you may be given a test. This is a good sign. Do it. Do your best with it. Submit it, then relax. It may take them a while to give you the results, if at all. One guy had to dog a recruiting manager for weeks before he got word. Turned out she lost his test but didn't have the courtesy to tell him. If you didn't make the cut, keep working and take the test again after a couple of months.

If you're offered an internship, take it. It may involve filing papers or making copies. That's ok. Many have gotten in this way. You'll meet people. You'll learn. You'll make friends and if you keep drawing, you'll start getting small creative assignments. Do them. Be open minded and objective. Leave your ego at at home and don't fall in love with your artwork. Listen to what experienced artists are telling you.

Above all, keep drawing. Keep practicing. That's what it all comes down to.

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