Is my artwork marketable? [ 2D portfolio critique please ]

polycounter lvl 3
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BeanyCoffee polycounter lvl 3

Hi Polycount,

I’ve been having trouble finding client work over the past few years, and now that I’m out of a full time job, I’ve been dedicating more time to looking for freelance for income but having little to no luck still. I’ve gotten the occasional art test or email about being interested but almost all of it falls flat.

My current portfolio can be viewed here:

I’ll admit that I’m definitely not great at marketing myself, but I have the usual social media accounts and try to be active as much as I can, but I’ve been wondering a lot if my art is even marketable? I don’t know if my style is generally unappealing or just boring. When I do get any interest, most people like the stylized icons on my portfolio. Considering those are about 5 years old now, it makes me question if my skill is the issue or if my art style simply doesn’t appeal to anyone. Would really appreciate some outside perspective on this.

Thanks guys!


  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    I think those icons are getting attention because that's what a potential employer would hire you for.  UI assets and the occasional splash page.  But mostly UI assets.  I think your stronger pieces are the line art/illustrative style like this:  

    Something about your painting process is leaving them looking "chalky" and unfinished.  But work like the icons and the example above look like confident finished pieces.

    If we're talking about marketability - do more icons and things people will need you for on the job.
  • GregMack
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    GregMack polycounter lvl 2
    I would agree with TeriyakiStyle that your paintings do not depict materials too clearly. If you take a gander at artists who regularly hit front page on Artstation who work for game companies regardless of style (Blizzard, Netherrelms, Ubisoft) they all have a knack for materials.
     The second comment I would have is that concept artists are supposed to be idea machines who CAN paint, you should continue to explore your concepts. One rendered Drachor is nice, but why not 12 all with color variations? Maybe some can be mounted and have special saddles, or others are bred for hunting and some domesticated for families. The sketches that come out of this kind of thinking show Art Directors you are thinking beyond 'hostile mob' and 'friendly NPC'.

    I also want to say there is nothing wrong with your art style or the content!! Focus on the execution and expanding the amount of content in each new project and you will start getting positive feedback. As someone who works in marketing I'd say put the 'is my stuff marketable?' on the back burner. Stay true to what inspires you and strive to convey your ideas as clearly as possible.

  • BeanyCoffee
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    BeanyCoffee polycounter lvl 3
    @TeriyakiStyle Thank you for the feedback! I'm currently reorganizing my portfolio to be per project so I will be able to put up more of the UI projects I've worked on, and hopefully that will show off more of that ability.

    @GregMack Thank you for all the advice and feedback! I have been focusing on just putting up finished images, that I didn't really think about things like color/armor variation which would be very important as concept pieces, that's definitely something I need to try out.
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