Hello guys. I am an aspiring 3D game artist. I have been on several projects, but never had any industry experience. I have read several articles and spoken to several people about "how to get in." I'm confused as to whether or not you need to be a generalist or specialist. For every person that says you need to specialize (focus on characters, environments, vehicles, etc), there are people who say that it's better to be a generalist.
In addition to the focus, many of the people I talked to appear to have diverse opinions on the content of a portfolio. For example, some people says you need to mimic the style, work, and content of the place you want to work for. Others say that you need to make something completely different to stand out from all the portfolios on a desk.
I am an environment artist. If I have to spread my focus, I will. I prefer not to spread myself thin. The way I see it is that I want to make completely awesome environments instead of half awesome environments and half awesome characters. I also want my portfolio to contain a diverse range of content. Does being a specialist with diverse content cut my opportunities for employment, or does it prevent me from spreading myself too thin?
I know that there are a lot of experienced game industry professionals on this forum. What have your experiences been? Have the places you worked at seeked generalist or specialist? Do they want cookie cutter portfolios or diverse content?