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Recent Artwork and Portfolio Critique

Hello! While not new to polycount I am new to posting on the forums and wanted to share my work with all of you! I've been a 3D artist for some years but have always been reluctant to share my work. I know this is really not good for growing and learning so I am trying to branch out as I really want to get better. I really appreciate any advice or critique you can offer! Link to my portfolio if you'd like to check out more. https://ngolden92.wixsite.com/nikkigolden


  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero greentooth
    Hi Nikki!

    I really like the little bee & flower piece, and the little mask guy! Overall, your portfolio right now leaves quite a few questions for me.

    What is your goal, professionally speaking? As it stands, I'm left a little bit confused about who you are and what you do, and what you WANT to do. Your work touches a lot of different areas, though you state you're an animator I think-- Ah, I reread, you want to focus on 3D. If you want to be a 3D artist now, you should probably lead with that and not the animator part. The fact you graduated from an animation program is secondary to the fact that you are now a 3D artist. :)

    With the first part in mind, here comes some harder to digest stuff. I apologise for any bluntness and for the length. If you need me to elaborate on any part I'm more than willing to follow up on it!

    • You probably need to remove your 2D animation projects (especially student work), sketches, and paintings.
      If you would like to keep those on a blog or more social art site that would be fine, of course, but for your portfolio it should be your best, most relevant, and most recent work. A lot of things like your dragon illustrations, venetian mask, fairy circle, any of your pencil & ink work and photomanipulation, do not really fit with your desire to be a 3D artist. A few of them are also quite old or some kind of student work. Rather than suggest you adjust or redo these, or critiquing this work in detail, I think it's probably simply time for you to cycle them out.

    • Wix is a little problematic for showing off your art.
      You could pay for a subscription if you really want to, but honestly I'd suggest making a free Artstation profile. You could keep the Wix site also if you wanted as a backup but it would be better if you had a more professional and memorable username, simpler navigation, and the ability to link your socials and such without Wix trying to get me to click their ads at every turn instead of yours. You could also go with squarespace or something if you have the time to maintain your own site-- but Artstation is already industry relevant and works like a blog or social media, so it's convenient. If you stick with Wix, remember that we can see your filenames; make sure they describe the image clearly and professionally. faitycircleMERGED2.png on your fairy circle, for instance, is a bit of a double whammy. :sweat_smile:

    • Your rendering and lighting on some projects is really hard to see. Their intent and final purpose is a little unclear on top of this.
      Specifically: GraveboneFinale!!.jpg, Dragoncrown.png, Altar, finalredo1440pEdited.png, batpriestesshueshifttrimmedbrightenes.png
      The bee project is cute, appealing, and clear. The quality of all your renders needs to match that bar, at least, even with different subject matter.

    • RE: What is your goal?
      So. I think this is the bit of most concern, personally. Without knowing it, a good critique that considers what you actually want out of this is impossible, I think.

      Do you want a career in In VFX? In games? 3D printing/Statue sculpting/Toys? A solid side-hustle taking commissions? Enough commission-level work to get by without a day job? Freelancing? Any of these? None of these?
      Right now, I'd say your folio is workable for the kind of commissions where all you hand over is the final illustration. But for the other stuff, it's not focused enough to tell me what I need to know. Can you bake? UV? Rig? Can you texture properly? Make a good low poly with attention to topology? What about subdivision modeling? Do you know what you need to do to make your work sharable and useful in the pipeline when you need to hand files to others? Can you consider scale and air-tightness for print? Do you know how to do anything procedural? Modular? Trimsheets? You might know most of these or none of these, but I don't know and this is largely what I mean when I say unclear. Your portfolio needs to demonstrate to me what you know in detail. Plenty of this stuff is teachable on the job, but showing that you're thinking about it already makes hiring you far less of a gamble. Less "I know how to use 3D Coat, Photoshop, a pencil and ink", and more showing me how you can use those tools to make something I as a client need.

      I get the impression you might be good at Environment Art or Props as more of a generalist, if I were to guess, but yeah I'm not sure if that's what you want to be doing.

    • An easier one-- You gotta change your watermark
      Googling Golden Art Project brings up a few different things that aren't you, and a Facebook page you've since deleted or Privated. If I did save one of these images or need to find you, I don't think I could from your current Watermark. So just a reminder to to keep your watermark searchable (your website URL or artstation/wix/insta username or something-- in your defense "GoldenArtProject was initially of use as your facebook page, but with it inactive it doesn't bring up anything else relevant to you)!

    It's really good of you to branch out and be more vulnerable as an artist. When it comes to polycount in particular, it's a good site for documenting your process; you'll see a lot of threads around here that are more dedicated to a single project from beginning to end; this gives people a chance to give suggestions, impressions and feedback while it's still actionable. But for this thread, if you do respond with your ideal career plans or goals, what you'd like your future to look like or even what kind of art you'd like to make, that kind of information will allow folks to help you a little better.  =)

  • Nynky
    Thanks for the response! I am foremost a 3D artist and would like to eventually work in games. I'm open to taking commissions or doing freelance but the main goal is to make games. 

    Ahh yes.. I just recently changed my "brand" name from Golden Art Project to my actual name and didn't get to the watermarks, and the names of the files I'm going to go ahead and get on those. As well as the 2D work, I thought maybe they would show skills in composition and such, but I think I will take those off and save those for Social Media as you suggested. I knew about Artstation but I wasn't aware you could make a professional portfolio/profile, I'll most likely switch over then!

    I tend to lean more towards Environment and Props and usually avoid characters. I can model skulls and creatures but enjoy doing props and environments more. I can Bake, UV and texture. I pay attention to my low poly's and try to get a clean, even topology but haven't ventured into doing the actual retopo myself. As for lighting, I wanted them to have a darker feel but don't want them to be unreadable, Ill keep that in mind when lighting and editing. I've done a wee bit of procedural and I have been planning to get into modular. I'm constantly going between Maya, Zbrush and Substance so I believe know about files and making them usable and have ironed out that pipeline. Plus I just got a 3D printer and have been working with making objects to print. 

    I do think what I need is to showcase more of the meat of the project and my skills, the topo and maps etc., instead of a only a final illustrative image. I think that is the right direction and will make my portfolio that much stronger and attractive to clients and/or employers. Thank you so much, just this feedback is really helpful! I will try make use of the single project forums too, and become more active in the community! :)
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