Can a self-taught 3D artist get internship opportunity?

vertex
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skycity02 vertex
I know the artists that graduated from school have the opportunities to get internship at game companies. How about a self-taught artist like me gets any opportunities doing the same thing?  I don't mind being paid $10 a hour. At lease that money can cover the fuel and even the rent (I live cheaply). If there is no pay I am still willing to do it for getting experience. Is there any trick? Should I put I that I am looking for internship position in my cover letter. 

please help! 3d Masters.

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  • .Wiki
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    .Wiki polycounter lvl 5
    You don´t need a degree from a art school to get a internship. You only need a portfolio!
  • ScoobyDoofus
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    ScoobyDoofus polycounter lvl 13
    Happened to me, but I'd say don't do it for free. Get paid, even if a little. Work hard, learn as much as you can so the next job you get will pay real money or maybe they just hire you on full-time (again, like what happened to me).
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir polycounter
    entirely self taught here. this career line is 100% what you make of it. put in the work, study, git gud, and people will hire you.

    a degree is only worth as much as your portfolio.
  • CptAlbatross
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    CptAlbatross polycounter lvl 3
    A degree is just a piece of paper that might get you in the doors of some places. That in mind:
    -If that place demands you have a degree above a portfolio, chances are that may not be for you and the quality of work may not be the best.
    -The quality of your work is going to speak of your ability, not the school you may or may not have gone to. There are plenty of people I graduated with that couldn't cut it because they simply never improved beyond college.
    -Just because you don't have a degree, doesn't mean you're worth less. You are worth as much as what you put in and if a potential employer tries to ding you because you didn't enslave yourself to thousands of dollars worth of debt for something you know how to train yourself for already, chances are that place is also not a good fit for you.

    Be humble, be friendly, but don't get jerked around.
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher ngon master
    self taught here as well, just work on your portfolio and get an entry level gig like juinior or associate artist. If you know your stuff and are confident you can easily skip being an underpaid, over worked intern. Hold yourself in higher value.
  • tadpole3159
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    tadpole3159 polycounter lvl 9
    another self taught artist here. I've hired a few artist as well and never once even asked about education, I completely focus on the portfolio.
  • Pinkie
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    Pinkie polycounter lvl 3
    Have a degree as a Graphic Designer. I got an internship as a 3D Artist and have been working at the same company for 3 years now.
    One of the guys who hired me didn't even know that I was a Graphic Designer, he just looked at my portfolio.
    So, yeah...your skills and work ethic are more important than your degree.
  • Sk0LLiE
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    Sk0LLiE polycounter lvl 5
    Self taught or not doesnt matter too much. Some of the most amazing artists I have worked with are entirely self taught. I would say I am mostly that too, besides a random graphic design course initially. If you are damn good at what you do and your portfolio is really strong then you will get in somewhere eventually. Dont worry too much, just concentrate on building a kickass portfolio.
  • Veezen
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    Veezen polycounter lvl 4
    ~2 years ago I asked myself when exactly I will get into game dev (I spent a lot of time on this before). I tried soo hard improving my skills, I spent thousend of hours or even more making personal stuff, some of them were deleted. Now I work almost a one year in game dev and I'm so happy. 3D art is always fascinate me and even nowadays I spend a lot of hours on personal stuff, or reading things which can help improve my skills and knowledge.

    So yeah, it is possible.

    Just keep your hard work, and maybe someone someday will notice your skill.
  • seth.
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    seth. polycounter lvl 8
    Internship wise some of the larger companies will expect you to come from an accredited course in a relevant subject, and it would probably rule out oversea's internships ( which are rare enough as it is)  but it wont affect your chances of getting a jr/associate gig in the slightest.
  • skycity02
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    skycity02 vertex
    Hey, Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate all of your inputs. I have checked your portfolio (if available) to compare with my own. I feel the difference in term of skill are huge, which hurts my confidence a little. You guys are all masters!  But..while I will keep working on my stuff, can you guys also share a little of how to looking for internship? I have list of game studios in Los angels (where I live) from google search, is that a good idea to send them my resume and a brief cover letter states I am looking for internship? or just call them?
  • gyuladzsi
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    gyuladzsi polycounter lvl 3
    Usually they should post the internships online, so check usual job sites as well as the forums here. Not a lot of studios do internships, but keep an eye out and you'll see them. I'm also self-taught and started with an internship and am now a regular full-time employee at the same company. Pretty much all of the other art interns through my company from the past couple years have also found work, so I do think it can be a great way to get in the door.

    Keep in mind that studios aren't going to expect someone who's already at a junior level and up for their internships. If they can get that, its great for them, but what they're typically looking for is potential, so don't count yourself out before you've even tried at it. 
  • Sk0LLiE
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    Sk0LLiE polycounter lvl 5
    Just too echo in, the accredited course or Diploma will help you travel and get a foot in the door in some places. That kind of paperwork helps with Visa applications and so on. As for quality of work in portfolio..it doesnt really matter how you get there.
  • Pabs
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    Pabs polycounter lvl 5
    self taught as well.  i've tried applying for internships at different places with little luck (maybe im not as good as i thought i was).
    i did manage to land a phone interview in my latest application, which i thought went well until they asked me to email them my resume.
    i was denied because i didnt have any team experience relating to game development.
    they did recommend that i start off in QA in a game studio, get involve in local game jams (no idea what that is),  or be involved in my local IDGA (international game development association)
    So far ive had no luck, and im just trying to build a more solid portfolio now.
  • skycity02
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    skycity02 vertex
    self taught as well.  i've tried applying for internships at different places with little luck (maybe im not as good as i thought i was).
    i did manage to land a phone interview in my latest application, which i thought went well until they asked me to email them my resume.
    i was denied because i didnt have any team experience relating to game development.
    they did recommend that i start off in QA in a game studio, get involve in local game jams (no idea what that is),  or be involved in my local IDGA (international game development association)
    So far ive had no luck, and im just trying to build a more solid portfolio now.
    I don't see why you can't find an internship. Your portfolio pieces look amazing to me. You have good level of anatomic and texture skill. Maybe character artists is toughest route to get in?
  • gyuladzsi
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    gyuladzsi polycounter lvl 3
    self taught as well.  i've tried applying for internships at different places with little luck (maybe im not as good as i thought i was).
    i did manage to land a phone interview in my latest application, which i thought went well until they asked me to email them my resume.
    i was denied because i didnt have any team experience relating to game development.
    they did recommend that i start off in QA in a game studio, get involve in local game jams (no idea what that is),  or be involved in my local IDGA (international game development association)
    So far ive had no luck, and im just trying to build a more solid portfolio now.
    Not to take this off topic, but that seems ridiculous given the level of skill you show in your portfolio. I can't imagine a reasonable art lead looking at your work and thinking you aren't ready for at least an internship. Are you just applying in the Chicago area or are you looking elsewhere like CA and the Seattle area? In the meantime, I'd be looking for promising indie teams to join up with so you can show that as some form of dev experience.
  • defragger
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    defragger greentooth
    I´m guessing 100% cartoony ZBrush characters is very specific for a portfolio.
    You should do at least one realistic environment with some assets and props. Some hard-surface stuff outside of ZBrush at the same level of quality and you have a job. No doubt! Companies are always looking for very specialized and experienced artists but then they realize that actually its better to have versatile artists because you never know what the next project might be like. Generally most game studios are very spoiled when it comes to recruiting.

    btw: self taught and working as 3d artist since eight years now.
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher ngon master
    just wrote a huge post about this in another thread that is directly applicable. Here it is.
  • Pabs
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    Pabs polycounter lvl 5
    @skycity02 yea, i think character art is a harder path
    @gyuladzsi , i've tried applying all over the country.  looks like an indie team might be my only choice at the moment
    @defragger  yea, my stuff is a bit too cartoony.  thats why i decided to give my portfolio a rehaul

  • Tidal Blast
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    Tidal Blast polycounter lvl 3
    just wrote a huge post about this in another thread that is directly applicable. Here it is.
    It's a solid post, it's a must read. 
  • Add3r
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    Add3r polycounter lvl 6
    I have a high school diploma, and I have been working in the AAA games industry for going on 4 years, 100% self taught.  Definitely possible.  
  • skycity02
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    skycity02 vertex
    Add3r said:
    I have a high school diploma, and I have been working in the AAA games industry for going on 4 years, 100% self taught.  Definitely possible.  
    wow you are the man!!!

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