Hello there! I have been in this forum for some time but I have never published anything. I hope you can help me.
I am trying to prepare a good portfolio for a 3D props/environment artist position. If you don't mind, I'll say a bit about my career till now. I studied an engineering in product design to later get into an online master's degree in 3D Characters. It was mostly focused on working for the film industry but they taught me the basics. After that I got a job in a real state because I needed the money but had very little time to make 3D stuff and I almost forgot everything. I ended up leaving after a year because I didn't want this knowledge to go to waste after so much time (and money) invested. After that I did an online course in which I learned to do props for videogames in part to remember everything and in part to expand my knowledge.I enjoyed it very much. After that I have had some interviews but they either never got in contact again, said that I was welcome to try again in the future or said that they saw potential in me (seems that I am a jedi) during the interview and never got in contact again. So here I am now. Thank you for bearing with this piece of lore.
This is my portfolio: https://www.artstation.com/javierhr
And here are my questions:
1. What do you think about my portfolio? Also, I am learning as I am preparing it but I see myself lacking in the environment part and I don't know if what I have now is hurting my portfolio rather than improving it.
2. What do you think I need to improve and/or learn to be hireable? I am currently following a tutorial about modular modeling and evironment creation in UE4 and learning to use substance designer.
3. Some studios have got in contact with me saying that "I got the profile that they were looking for and would like to know how much I would charge for a project". All of them were very sparse about what their projects were about and after inquiring for some more info they never replied again. One of them sent me a disclosure agreement and asked me if I would rather work under a contract or as a freelance artist. After signing the DA and replying that I would rather be under a contract, but that I was open to work as a freelance if it was necessary but that before giving them a rate I would need to know what the project was about as I needed to know which programs I would need to use, they never reached out again. So, what do you think I did wrong in theses cases? I really have no clue. I read some of the threads about freelancing, maybe I should have just given them a flat rate and change it afterwards if needed?
4. Would it be advisable to participate in projects without remuneration to get experience?
5. Anything that helped you or someone you know to land that first job? Any studios that hire entry level artists that you could recommend?
6. There is this studio that sent me a contract, in which there was a final clause that stated that if they considered that I had caused any damage to the company that resulted in them losing money (they were very abstract in this point, which seemed kind of shady) I would have to remunerate what they considered the loses were, up to an absurd quantity. First of all, are all freelance contracts like this one? And secondly, are freelance artists so unprotected? I mean, this is the only contract that I have read for freelance artists, but it seemed like I would have sold my soul if I had signed it.
7. If after reading all of this you think that there is something that I am missing or have any final advice in reference to anything that you think might be useful, by all means, share it with me, it will be very welcomed.
That's all. If there is anything that is better explained in any threads out there, please tell me about them. I have read some of them but some of this things seemed too specific to find an answer in the posts I saw.
I know it is an awful lot of text and that there might be many mistakes (my english is a bit rusty), so thank you for reading!