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Importance of mentorship for starting out in game art?

Hey all,

I'm a 3D artist who'll be graduating from uni soon, and the search for my first job has me extremely stressed. I'm in the boat where I feel like I'm doing everything on my own, from deciding what to learn, what to work on, where to apply, how to setup my portfolio, how to market myself etc etc. I really want to improve my art and get that first job, but I have no idea how to properly go about doing it.

I hear online about people who have gone through mentorship programs, and to me that seems like a really helpful way to get an outside perspective from someone who knows the industry, and be able to refocus and really nail down this first year of my career.

It's hard to find info about mentorships overall online, so I'm wondering for those of you who have landed that first job already, did you do a mentorship program? Was it helpful? Would you consider it necessary/strongly advisable? What are the best ways to find one?

Sorry this is kind of broad, I'm just now getting into the job app process, getting rejections and it's pretty overwhelming. I'm trying to decide on doing something new to help me break into the industry, whether that's a mentorship, a course like CGMA, or something else. Currently out of all the people I talk to even semi-regularly, I'm the one who knows the most about this field, which is pretty frightening lmao. Any and all advice would be much appreciated!


  • Larry
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    Larry interpolator

    I'd say look for internship programs sponsored by the government (or other organized programs) to work for a company for a few months. When you find one, start presenting that oportunity to studios. Everyone wants free employees. If you're not an ***hole and you take this seriously, they might keep you after the traineeship. After all, they'll be investing in training you to work for them and if your supervisor actually cares and spends time to teach you stuff, the experience you'd be getting there in 2-3 months time would not compare to anything; even paid mentorships. Those in my opinion are super expensive and will not simulate, help or prepare you working for a studio.

    Overall your portfolio needs to show that you can put together something nice, but for people with no experience, that's like 5% of what the studio wants.

  • Meloncov
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    Meloncov greentooth

    Yes, absolutely, mentorship of some time is incredibly valuable. Doesn't even have to be a lot--just an hour or two a month to check in and make sure you're on the right track can be a huge boon.

  • poopipe
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    poopipe veteran polycounter

    I almost 100% agree with Larry.

    The only point I'd argue with is that theres no such thing as a free employee. In fact interns are some of the most expensive employees you can have because they involve a lot of time investment to mentor and usually produce far less useful work during the internship than you'd expect from a graduate/junior.

    I like internships a lot though, an intern with a half decent supervisor has a huge advantage over their competition when applying for work because they've been inside the machine and can be useful from day 1

  • Neox
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    Neox polycount lvl 666


    "everyone wants free employees"

    i totally disagree with that sentiment. if a company is driven by using a lot of interns, you usually want to avoid that company.

    as an intern you wanna be at a place that integrates you into the team, trains you and lets you do meaningful work. and if thats the case, an intern is always an investment. not just free labor.

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