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If you are an artist or want to be one, especially if you want to get into the VFX industry, you should watch this:
 

It touches on a few things I feel are important to understand as an artist and even as consumers of art:

1.) Art is not an exact science. It can be difficult to put a price tag on it, let alone the often very complicated processes of making it.

2.) Computers are tools that facilitate our work but they DO NOT do the work for us.

3.) Don't get into this industry for the money. If you go into this line of work, you do it because you love it. If someone happens to get lucky or has a really great idea and he/she hits it big, GREAT! Good for him/her. But don't go in expecting that to happen to you. Chances are it won't. If you are lucky, you will find a nice middleclass job you can support yourself and your family on for a while...... until....

4.) Unfortunately, a lot of employers see artists as disposable. When they no longer need you, they will kick you to the curb and forget about you. As far as I know, that's pretty standard practice. Be prepared when the big deadlines come in because that's when you're most likely to get the boot.  

5.) This work is not easy. There will be nights when you are sleeping under your desk or not sleeping at all. Sure, you're not having bullets fired at you or anything but there will be 100hr work weeks and you may not see the outside of your cubicle for a long, long time.

Anyway.... I could go on and on. The video makes all my points for me and more poignantly at that. There were several points at which I teared up, maybe because it hits close to home.
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:iconnoneofurbussiness:
noneofurbussiness Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015
Hmmm the video isn't working for me, says I'm not allowed or something?
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Awwww! They just switched it to private for some reason. Suck! Let me see if I can find it................ This should be it: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdDGV9…
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:iconoddworldianprincess:
OddworldianPrincess Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Very well put. I go to  a school specialising in game art, and the first thing they say is: "artists are disposable. Make sure you're the most valuable artist there because there's a line miles long right outside the door of people waiting to replace you".
I'm really fuckin sick of people in my school trying to make money. I understand they need to feed themselves etc, but as a student that ain't gonna happen for a while and they need to be in it for the pure passion or they will never be happy. They would be making more money at a desk job RIGHT NOW and I wish they would all go and piss off to some office so I'm jot stuck doing teamwork with a bunch of dimwits doing it just for the qualifications >.>
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:iconjredwolf:
jredwolf Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Student Filmographer
It's funny that you post this.  In August I just completed my degree in computer animation and visual effects.

Due to the continuing turmoil in the VFX industry (and some other stuff that's a bit more personal) I find I'm not even using the aforementioned degree.

Some years of practice and maybe I'll end up taking on a project or two as a freelancer, I guess.
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I freelanced 3D for a while.... it's not easy. :\
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:iconjredwolf:
jredwolf Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Student Filmographer
Mmn, no.  I've yet to get hired on anything (lack of a fat portfolio and experience, methinks mainly). 

Truth be told, I went through the degree to try and gain the skills and knowledge to complete a personal project (my "Star Wars" (or Avatar, or whatever) if you will).  What I realized is that I'd end up being another Rhythm and Hughes, though... because to complete it, I would need a team of roughly 50-75 people... and There's No Way In Hell that I'd put together a team like that and not pay 'em.  Not to mention I'm an idea guy... not a producer. ... but I rather doubt my project would make the kind of mind-boggling money that those other two franchises have/will.


By the way... I don't know if its set up as such that I can specifically hunt someone down to hire them, rather than their asinine bidding process, but do you have a profile on ODesk?  Should I ever try to get some my-story-universe artwork done, (there's always a first step in there somewhere, right?)... I'd probably go through them  to commission you on that (Because they would allow me to pay hourly and not just some stupid fixed amount.  ... though I imagine a commission here could have an agreed-upon hourly rate as well should you open them up again.  OR I might just name drop you on occasion *wink and nod* to a few friends I have in the industry (who all tried to warn me, and I didn't listen).

Note: I'm not dropping the hourly thing just because of the topic of this post -- it's actually why I rarely ever buy commissions, because I'll pay a deposit, ask the artist (upon completion) how many hours they put in (or, realistically think they did) and then drop $20-30 an hour on 'em.  Obviously that gets mind-boggling expensive pretty quick on some things.
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I see and no, I don't even know what ODesk is. I'd say never give up on your dreams but sometimes, it can help to make them more realistic by shearing and pruning here and there. ^__^; Believe me, I've had to do plenty of sheering and pruning in my lifetime. :\
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:iconjredwolf:
jredwolf Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Student Filmographer
ODesk (if you didn't already look it up yourself) is a website based around creative careers freelancing.  It has its good points, but it seems like a handful of really well established artists pretty much sandbag everyone else for the high-paying work... and people devolve in to under-bidding wars on most everything else. (isn't that life though?)
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:iconzhon890:
Zhon890 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Student Digital Artist
oDesk is actually a really great platform for Freelancers.  I make the entirety of my living on it with 2D art and writing.  There is a *huge* market for 3D artists on there.  Depending on where you live and what your cost of living is, the money can be fantastic.
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Oooooh really? So is it like Elance where you have to bid for jobs? I found that kind of obnoxious. :\
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:iconzhon890:
Zhon890 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Yeah, it is.  Bidding is kind of annoying but I got used to it.  Most clients are okay with negotiation on the price though.
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:iconleopatra-lionfur:
leopatra-lionfur Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
Thanks for pointing this out. Now I know what I am not going to focus on in the near future :P
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:iconaashleyb:
aAshleyB Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This changed my future.

Thank you for sharing.
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:iconticklemehoho:
TickleMeHoHo Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is why I stopped wanting to be in the tattoo business; I wanted to be a tattoo artist for the culture... Unfortunately in Washington, people in the tattoo industry are shady at best, and will sooner steal from you and rip you off than credit you for your hard work. I don't think I'll ever become one at this rate...
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
:\ That's sad to hear.
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:iconticklemehoho:
TickleMeHoHo Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's sad, but I still have hope. Hope that one day I will be able to successfully become one, it's still something I aspire to be. It's just that I've dealt with some really shady people in the past who've given me some really crappy deals, even as far as not paying me for the ink I gave them... And when I'd rend them about it, they'd just give me excuses.
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
:\ Sorry to hear that.
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:iconticklemehoho:
TickleMeHoHo Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
There's still hope. One day I'll eventually start a successful practice that won't involve me being ripped off or stolen from...
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:iconkara1o1:
Kara1O1 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
The unfairness of it all. :( If I ever hit it big, like with a lottery or something, VFX industries is where a lot of it is going. Or, dreaming aside, just supporting in any way possible. 
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:iconkimsol:
kimsol Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
Thanks so much for sharing!
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:icondrazzielder:
DrazziElder Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Student General Artist
If this still does not dissuade me....I don't know what will tbh.
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:iconloyane:
Loyane Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Student Filmographer
Even if, as a student in animation, already know a lot of this, it's still very shocking... Hearing it by real person  in the industry and see how it affected their life is just terrible and I feel now terrible. I really love special effects as well as animated movies. I always wish to work in this industry since I was young but now that I am a future 2D animation artist graduate and a future 3D student, I am now unsure. It's hard to decide if you want to sacrifice a part of your life for your dream job without even know if you'll make it trought the industry. I am very afraid of the future and afraid to make a bad choice. I don't really care about the money nor working hard since I already do it, but I'm still afraid of everything else. I hope I'll be able to do the best choice for me and not regret it.
Thanks for sharing
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:iconsyinthetic:
syinthetic Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
well said
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:iconflyingram:
FlyingRam Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
#4 was always the hardest to swallow for me.
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:icongryffgirl:
Gryffgirl Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
I have a young daughter who wants to pursue a career in art.  Thanks for posting this!
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:iconarchdragon:
ArchDragon Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Wow, I just posted this same video to my Facebook page yesterday. I first saw it on the DLF. You're not a member of the Digital Labourer's Federation are you?
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
:O I've never heard of them.
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:iconarchdragon:
ArchDragon Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thought it would be a bit of a stretch, what with you being in the US and all. Just coincidental timing then.
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:iconlhuneart:
LhuneArt Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Agreed on most counts, except 3 to an extent. It's hard work, but if you treat art like a business (as you should) you won't have to worry about money too much. You can make a perfectly good, even pretty luxurious living out of art but you have to be willing to take risks, you have to be dedicated to the craft, you need to be VERY flexible and, most of all, you need to charge what you're worth. Too many artists settle for too little, I'm guilty of this myself and it's always tempting to accept a low-paying job just so you have a job at all. Just know that if you always give in to the people that don't want to pay you much, you're helping that trend continue to exist. Value your time and your effort, know your worth.

I don't think you should do ANY job purely for the money, but I would definitely not go so far as to say that if you like the idea of making a lot of money you should avoid doing art. Money is certainly a pretty important factor for me and while I love what I do, sometimes it's an absolute drag and in such times it helps to know that you're getting well compensated at least.
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I think you may have misread my point with number three. I don't disagree with anything you've said necessarily but that wasn't the point I was making. The point I was making is that if you're just looking for money, art probably isn't the field for you.
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:iconlhuneart:
LhuneArt Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Isn't that every job though? ^^ But yeah I see what you mean.
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
There are plenty of jobs that are A LOT less stressful, pay better, and have more stability.
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:iconlhuneart:
LhuneArt Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
That's true, though as said in my first comment I don't think art as a job pays that bad necessarily. But it sure is unstable and stressful. The instability is probably the most annoying to deal with, at least if you can handle stress well.
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:iconkattotang:
KattoTang Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
Point #3 makes me think of when I've gone out to eat when I was younger, how I would doodle on the back of the paper placemats and the number of times I had waitresses ask me if they can keep it and if I'd sign it because "then when you're rich and famous I'll have this!" or whatever.  Like non-artist people often actually believe any kid with some semblance of skill to be able to draw more than a stick figure is going to end up being the next Dali (well actually the layman would probably just think/say Picasso because most people don't know more than Picasso and Da Vinci, heh).
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:iconbjpentecost:
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
You got that a lot too? XD Heh.
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:iconkattotang:
KattoTang Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
ALL THE TIME. XD;; And because of certain aspects of my childhood, this sort of thing happened every single weekend (I usually spent weekends with my grandparents when I was a kid, and my pap had to have dialysis done regularly, so a few hours of my Saturdays were spent doodling in a hospital waiting room).
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:iconjbaulmont:
JBaulmont Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014   General Artist
Thanks for sharing, it was very instructive.
After seeing the video I think: However it is the vfx which make the success of movies most often now... No, I disagree! 
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:iconbraindeaddork:
BrainDeadDork Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
That was a wonderful and eye opening video. Thank you for sharing that.
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:iconagentwhitehawk:
AgentWhiteHawk Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for posting this. A lot of people have no idea how difficult a career in artwork can be. That's one reason I'm not specifically perusing one. But everyone needs to be aware of the struggles of art in today's world. That way they can choose a career carefully, and be prepared for everything being a professional artist will bring.  
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:iconbatichi:
Batichi Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
As someone in the industry, I'd like to just point out that if you're willing to look beyond television/movies/games, there are still other opportunities in the medical/government/research fields that don't quite come with the same make or break work routine. They are hard to find however, so it's good to keep your eyes open in all fields of work. Though nothing you do will likely have quite the impact that the television/movies/games industries do.
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:iconorinoor:
orinoor Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
Wow, I had no idea. I watch movies for the story and amazing effects, it makes no sense to pay huge salaries to individuals, yet low-ball the VFX studios. Thanks for the post.
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