Home General Discussion

Artstation made us numb to art

Hi! I hope you are all doing very well.

I'll try to not waste your time by writing big speeches or anything, I just want to open a discussion and hope that I can be proven wrong.

There are some thing that I feel are not that great right now in the industry regarding to artstation,

Artstation became the new standard because AS was a great plateforme, user friendly, sober, each week we had portfolio highlights, each day we had random picks, we had lot's of challenges (without any gift, making it even more focused on the art ).

Then it became bigger and bad at the same time, 

How artstation is becoming the evil is not a part of what I want to talk about, but here's my point on the subject : 👇

First we have the algorithme issue, if one has more follower his "like" will give you more boost in the trending section, so there is no way to get visibility if you are not literally asking for one of the big players to like your art ( this is what's happening to me on a daily basis ). Just check out many of the art discord where people are just dumping their artstation link.
We had lots of challenges ( without any gift, making it even more focused on the art, now every 10 months we have a challenge sponsored by adobe, nvidia or something else boring as hell. The only time they did it right was the ILM challenge, and this looks like 10 years away )
At the same time challenge disappeared, adblock became indispensable of you want to have a clean naviguation and we had the start of the " pro " account, starting at 70$/years, which is ok I guess, even for third world countries, ( it's still like half a week of rent but anyway... ! ) giving you access to some cool feature like having a website and some analytics stuff. 
But then it became more expensive, and now the free artstation has more limitations like a 4k limit on the picture, some upload on the video and more and more. 
And the worst part is that you gain visibility by having a pro account. You'll be up in the search before a non-pro account.  This is like a pay 2 win game, this is not about having a cool skin on your weapon it's about having a 10% reload speed. 
If you are a seller you'll gain more and have more features if you are a pro account etc... 
Blog feature is only for pro...
The marketplace is everywhere, I don't even know if anyone takes a look at the banner on the top of the screen.
And they can do whatever they want because they don't have any competition, the only one who tried something was cgplus and they got decimated in a few months and now it has merged with CGS which has every problem AS has but for the last 10 years ^_^.µ
Also I understand that a man need to eat and Leonard probably like many other people like money, but there are ways to do gain money and stay appropriate ( I'm looking at you blizzard! )

And now we have everybody on artstation with the same boring looking portfolio. 
I get it we need to focus on the art and how to present it but I really believe that people back in the days had the chance to give some soul to their portfolio, it's not only about a car's engine, it's also about his design ( not functional design, only good looking taste design ! )
I get that some people had great artwork with terrible websites, but it's not a reason to make a copy of everybody. At least use something like squarespace which gives you the opportunity to give some love to your website and CHOSE something.

https://www.bulgarov.com/ This is cheesy as hell but it has way more life than https://www.artstation.com/vbulgarov this, 
In the first one you are learning about the man who did this, and it's not just another robot who does 3D artwork.
And Yes I understand it's more easy for a recruiter to have a look at an artstation profil than your funky website with cool header, I didn't say don't be on artstation, we should be on artstation but at the same time have a cool website on the site, sell yourself better than another artist who are using the same instagramish artstation website template.


I didn't say reinvented the wheel, and learn CSS and HTML and build the best innovative looking website, use squarespace, wordpress, some premade template but I think people should invest in their "brand" if that makes any sense, rather than being another copy.

Let me know your thought ! 

Cheers!

Replies

  • DavidCruz
    Offline / Send Message
    DavidCruz greentooth
    I'll fix it - no, it works.
    Is it catering to paid users, yes.
    does everyone like that, no.
    It would be nice to make it your own some how, perhaps an ultra customizable portfolio you can set it up anyway you like, while still being easy / basic.(i am fine with it atm.)
  • fdfxd2
    Offline / Send Message
    fdfxd2 greentooth
    > I'll try to not waste your time by writing big speeches or anything, I just want to open a discussion and hope that I can be proven wrong.

    ...I appreciate that this was the stated goal, but I didn't quite understand what the point(s) was lol.

    But I'm going to respond to one of the points I was somewhat able to ascertain,
    correct me if i'm wrong!!11

    All Artstation portfolios look the same and you don't like that.

    Artstation is a professional platform for artists looking to get hired in the industry, it's not tumblr, no one who's hiring you for your prop modelling skills cares about your HTML/CSS skills, especially when they're bad. I've seen so many people with ok-ish art but with god awful barely functional websites that look like they come from the neolithic era design wise.

    Every minute you spend on centring that div is a minute you could have spent on actually improving on things that people want from you.
  • NikhilR
    Offline / Send Message
    NikhilR interpolator
    Technically Vitaly Bulgarov isn't top tier pro because he uses a personal site.
    How dare he get work over artstation.com users!

    There are many ways to be noticed. The main issue with the game industry is that its more like the marketing/advertising/entertainment industry than an atelier/arthouse collective where the source of income is solely dependent on the quality of the art of people working in it.

    If it was the latter, every artist would be like a film actor and compensated accordingly. You can find many of these artists on patreon and the CG Porn industry. 
    And of course the artists like Vitaly that don't let studios decide how far they need to go.

    Its a bit like what Jerry Macguire had to go up against in the movie that bears his name. The industry basically operates in a manner that exploits its workers for maximum profit. Kind of like fast food restaurants. 

    Again it comes down to what you want from it. Many of the artists that are known to the world didn't get there simply because they worked for certain companies. 
    If they had leverage to get their name out they did it regardless of where they worked.

    And with Vitaly's work, the dedication of the man to his craft is astounding. And thoroughly original.

    Though I'm certain there's a crackpot somewhere that'll probably dismiss him since he doesn't use Artstation. (He actually does, just caters to a different audience)

     Also note that the timing of when you entered the market does matter, a lot of hiring comes down to previous experience even if the actual work in studio may not use any of that experience.
     And who you know makes a huge difference which is how you get interesting situations like Mass Effect Andromeda's incredible fall from grace into utter humiliation despite having the greatest art team in the history of Canada.
     Not that they were all useless, rather game development is a lot more than art, and mismanagement can't really ruin a studio's prospects towards longevity.

    It is the nature of larger companies where too many people have too many responsibilities and no one really has any time to think.
     Didn't stop Vitaly from making Mortal Shell, that's a tiny team that created that lovely work of art.

     There's games with 10 times more people that are utter shit regardless of how top tier the team is. Hopefully some of them get to work with Vitaly.
  • sacboi
    Offline / Send Message
    sacboi ngon master
    https://www.bulgarov.com/ This is cheesy as hell but it has way more life than https://www.artstation.com/vbulgarov this, 
    In the first one you are learning about the man who did this, and it's not just another robot who does 3D artwork.
    And Yes I understand it's more easy for a recruiter to have a look at an artstation profil than your funky website with cool header, I didn't say don't be on artstation, we should be on artstation but at the same time have a cool website on the site, sell yourself better than another artist who are using the same instagramish artstation website template.

    I didn't say reinvented the wheel, and learn CSS and HTML and build the best innovative looking website, use squarespace, wordpress, some premade template but I think people should invest in their "brand" if that makes any sense, rather than being another copy.
    ...well, not that I agree with your premise

    IMO it's an aesthetic privilege for those following their careers, that established artists still manage too find the time uploading stuff -  lord knows how they do it so regardless of whether a hosting preference is template or self-assembled, industry repute acquired over years upon years of dedication...then specifically therein a given platform choice becomes inconsequential.    
  • NikhilR
    Offline / Send Message
    NikhilR interpolator
    bizarre thing is I got my first job because of a custom website and not artstation. 
    So in the end you really ought to do what you want and roll with the punches.
    As an artist you're not limited to what a studio thinks of you, given how some of them treat their employees they likely never respected you to begin with, its just business in the end
  • slosh
    Offline / Send Message
    slosh quad damage
    The thing is, companies aren't looking at your Artstation folio...artists are.  And they absolutely care whether or not ur folio is easy to use like Artstation is.  Custom folios are fine but from my experience, they aren't up to date because it's not easy to update a custom folio like it is to update your artstation, or they flat out just add barriers to seeing your art.  Artstation may have algorithms and some people may not like it but it can still be tailored to the viewer's preferences.  There are no more Picks because people complained far too often about not being selected.  So, that is on whiny artists, not Artstation.  I'm almost positive that if you're art is up to par quality wise, you will find work and you will get attention on Artstation.
  • Joopson
    Offline / Send Message
    Joopson Polycount Sponsor
    If I see another robot tech gun artstation page, I think I'll heave a collective sigh, from both my lungs, and scroll on— but I'm not hiring people.

    To me, it's way easier for an artstation to feel fully penetratingly generic, especially when all the images are greyscale and super modern weapons, etc. It just all blends together into a hodgepodge of metal, and "artstation"... That could be because I couldn't care less about that kind of art, or it could be the chaotic environment of artstation's website.

    There's a lot that can be done for personal branding and presentation that can improve this, even on artstation, but I don't see it done so often.

    I never, never, go to artstation to browse, so I absolutely agree with your general feelings. But like someone above mentioned, it makes it easy for HR/companies to keep track of potential hires, and by default it's better than the default custom website.
  • sprunghunt
    Offline / Send Message
    sprunghunt greentooth
    Joopson said:
    If I see another robot tech gun artstation page, I think I'll heave a collective sigh, from both my lungs, and scroll on— but I'm not hiring people.

    To me, it's way easier for an artstation to feel fully penetratingly generic, especially when all the images are greyscale and super modern weapons, etc. It just all blends together into a hodgepodge of metal, and "artstation"... That could be because I couldn't care less about that kind of art, or it could be the chaotic environment of artstation's website.

    There's a lot that can be done for personal branding and presentation that can improve this, even on artstation, but I don't see it done so often.

    I never, never, go to artstation to browse, so I absolutely agree with your general feelings. But like someone above mentioned, it makes it easy for HR/companies to keep track of potential hires, and by default it's better than the default custom website.
    The solution is not to have generic gun models and other generic themes in your portfolio. It wouldn't matter if your portfolio was on artstation or not if it's so generic it blends into the others. 

    I personally find arstation to be super useful - not just for seeing pretty art. There's lots of good "making of" and "how to" type information to be found. 
  • NikhilR
    Offline / Send Message
    NikhilR interpolator
    In the end I dont really think it matters, just that artstation is an easier tool to drop in your art, but if you used a simple WordPress website that would be good too.

    Also I'm not entirely sure how often it comes down to portfolios in the end.

    Meaning a lot of hiring comes down to timing so maybe the idea is to keep it simple to navigate and such.

    One good indication and I dont have metrics for this is if studio recruiters actively search artstation for candidates or contact artists in other companies hoping to poach them even if their artstation is just filled with screenshots from the games they worked on.

    I think its more the latter simply because companies don't have time and most often do not care, look at how much they outsource do you think they give a damn about the lives of all the monkeys working to death in the third world?

    True you may find an artist that cares and mentors you but its better to directly approach them on LinkedIn and then be mentored and keep them updated.
    In that way you bypass HR and other BS completely.
    Though internally it comes down to leverage.

    I've seen several cases where ultimately what decided the hire was that the candidate was local since it provided a tax credit. All the picks were pretty mediocre though, nothing close to artststion AAA quality (not that it mattered they were only required to put outsource assets into levels)

    From a marketing perspective they were (poorly compensated) top tier samurai Rockstar ninjas for whatever that was worth.

  • sprunghunt
    Offline / Send Message
    sprunghunt greentooth
    NikhilR said:

    One good indication and I dont have metrics for this is if studio recruiters actively search artstation for candidates or contact artists in other companies hoping to poach them even if their artstation is just filled with screenshots from the games they worked on.

    Recruiters absolutely do this. I get contacted regularly through artstation by recruiters looking to hire.

    This is the point of having your work on something like artstation. People in the industry browse it and see your work. A wordpress site won't show up on that radar. 
  • McGreed
    Offline / Send Message
    McGreed Polycount Sponsor
    It feels a bit like people is complaining about watching a tree in a forest, instead of stand alone in a garden, because all the other trees makes it's blend in and not being unique, even though it might be a really great tree. And that might be the case for people who browsing, but I think that people like recruiters like it as it's structured, easy to get an overview and they are only looking at that one profile at that moment so the forest is not part of the problem.
  • PixelMasher
    Offline / Send Message
    PixelMasher high dynamic range
    I would say at the moment the ratio of job offers i get from artstation vs linkedin is about 1:1, waaay up from about 2 years ago. so it will most likely overtake linkedin for industry recruitment in the near future, especially if the platform continues to innovate and grow. 

    the way i look at it is this: most HR/Recruiters are probably still more linkedin based, for now. their workflow of searching on linkedin, digging for the portfolio link that sends them to artstation 99% of the time, hopping back over to linkedin to message the artist that probably checks their linkedin  inbox way less than they visit artstation.....you get the picture.

    its just clunky and outdated. why not just start on artstation now that it's search tools allow you to search by city, job title, etc and do it all on one platform that artists are going to way more often than linkedin? I can easily find a ton of environment artists in montreal and quickly see all of them together with their rows of art thumbnails to quickly find the ones that jump out just in the search results page. 

     Art leads and Art Directors spend a lot more time on artstation and those are usually the people who reach out to me directly through DM on there, sometimes a HR person will, but most of the time you are interacting with the people actually in charge of giving the yes or no on a hire directly and sidestepping the gatekeeping HR process right off the bat.

     If an art lead likes your work and forwards your contact info to someone in HR and says to get in contact/set up an interview, it will happen a lot quicker than if HR hands a list of names/portfolios they have gathered to an art lead and waits for them to sift through it in hopes of finding a relevant candidate. 

    Ideally you should have a good presence on linkedin and artstation, but if I had to go all in and only use one it would be artstation for sure. 
  • marks
    Offline / Send Message
    marks greentooth
    PixelMasher said:
    anytime I see a custom domain attached to an application, 8/10x it's a warning sign its gonna be bad.

     What if it's a custom domain that redirects to an artstation? That's how mine is set up these days, I totally gave up on maintaining my own site (because why would you when artstation exists. Also never making art anymore I guess).
  • PixelMasher
    Offline / Send Message
    PixelMasher high dynamic range
    marks said:
    PixelMasher said:
    anytime I see a custom domain attached to an application, 8/10x it's a warning sign its gonna be bad.
    What if it's a custom domain that redirects to an artstation? That's how mine is set up these days, I totally gave up on maintaining my own site (because why would you when artstation exists. Also never making art anymore I guess).
    in this case, it's "ok" because it leads to one of artstations portfolio sites which are easy to navigate, easy on the eyes, are simple to setup etc. 

    but to be honest, i still prefer this version of your portfolio (love your work on alien btw, such a dope game :) )
    https://www.artstation.com/marksneddon

    because I have the option to:
    1.follow you and see your work every time you post new stuff
    2. like/add your work to my private "potential candidates/outreach" collection to easily come back to later and find you again if i forget your name, simply by scanning the thumbnails in that collection and having my eyes snap to any alien isolation work 
    3. actually get in contact via DM you instantly through the message function, that is sadly not included in their portfolio layout functionality. At the moment if i go to your portfolio version of the site, the only option to contact you is by clicking over to linkedin, sending a message and hope you login to linkedin more than once a month. (actually the link is broken in this case, heads up!) 

    At the end of the day would it be a dealbreaker if I was in love with a candidates work and wanted to hire them? no not really, but it does add way more hoops to jump through to get in contact, find their work again if you close your browser etc. you just want to remove as much potential friction from the process as possible. 


  • marks
    Offline / Send Message
    marks greentooth
    That's totally worthwhile pointing out, removing friction from that process for the portfolio reviewer is really the name of the game when getting your work in front of them. 

    I'm gonna be real with you though, it took me more than 4 minutes of fumbling around in the artstation settings menus to not find an obvious way to do domain management that points at your user page instead of their website-builder functionality .... so it's probably staying like that for a while
  • haiddasalami
    Offline / Send Message
    haiddasalami polycounter lvl 10
    Bit offtopic...but does artstation have tracking showing you where the clicks came from? 

    On the topic of using artstation as your portfolio or it looking generic, I doubt anyone would mind. You want your content to be easily accessible with the least amount of frustration. The same concept applies to a resume. 
  • fdfxd2
  • RaptorCWS
    Online / Send Message
    RaptorCWS polycounter lvl 8
    fdfxd2 said:
    I don't think that tracks where the clicks came from, just who, and that is if they have an account (and that's if they don't have that feature turned off in their privacy settings)
  • haiddasalami
    Offline / Send Message
    haiddasalami polycounter lvl 10
    RaptorCWS said:
    fdfxd2 said:
    I don't think that tracks where the clicks came from, just who, and that is if they have an account (and that's if they don't have that feature turned off in their privacy settings)
    Seems like it is a pro feature: https://help.artstation.com/en/articles/18-how-can-i-add-google-analytics-tracking-to-my-site 
Sign In or Register to comment.