Hello and thank you in advance for reading. This will be kind of long thread because it's a combination of me venting, and a cry for help.
I'm not sure if this is the right category for this thread, if not I apologize.
I'm an environment/prop artist under an immense amount of stress, and depression is starting to take it's toll on my mental health. I've been a 3D artist for about 4 years now and I can't for the life of me find any sort of work. Here's a link to my garbage portfolio.
I'll try and structure this as best as possible because I seriously am becoming desperate.Why is your work bad?
---After college up until now (about 3 years) I had a lot of balance issues between applying for work / networking / internships / paying bills.
---Currently for the last year I've been working at a hospital doing data entry on 3rd shift. Only making $21,000 / year. I seriously only have not even 4 hours a day to do actual 3D....if that. If I'm not doing that, I'm just applying. I'm also working remotely, doing an Indy game with a few people and I can't post that on my portfolio due to NDA. It's just one of those stupid profit sharing collaborations that never sees the day of light.
---I have life crippling debt due to school (over 150k). Because of this I needed ANYTHING just to pay the bills and avoid defaulting. So now I'm stuck with a low paying crap job with a very expensive degree....and barely any time to improve my portfolio BECAUSE of that debt.Where have you been applying?
---Everywhere and anywhere. I have no strings attached, and am willing to move anywhere around the world just for a chance to prove myself.
---According to my records I have about 800 applications out there in the last 3 years. (not sure if that's too much to where I'm not getting the hint, or just not enough.)
---Unfortunately I live in Wisconsin and there is NOTHING here (except raven software) I feel like that is a big reason employers wont give my resume a 2nd glance, because I'd have to relocate.
---My portfolio isn't the best, but I don't think it's laughable. Shouldn't I at least get some replies for internships / entry positions I apply for?What guidance do you need?
---Anything I suppose. I guess I just need people to tear my work apart and spit on it.
---What should I do more of? Less of?
---Should I just take a couple months break away from applying and strictly work on my portfolio?
---Should I quit that collaboration indy project and JUST work on my own thing?
---I'm having the hardest time networking with people. Anytime I reach out to people, I can't keep the conversation going just because I'm NOT in the industry. Maybe I'm just not good enough at my career to talk to or something.
---Should I pursue a different discipline to break in the industry? Programming / graphic design / rigging.....Rotoscope? I would seriously UV everyone's models all day everyday if it meant I could just sit with talented artists and ask them questions.
---Scrap the whole portfolio and start over?
Sorry for the long post, I just seriously need some professional advice, and a kick in the ass to get myself motivated to continue this harsh journey. I'm 27 years old and keep feeling like "time is running out", and I better get something QUICK! I really don't care about my debt if I'm actually doing something I love, so I'm not trying to get that 65k/year art director job right off the bat. I just want to BREAK IN! I really appreciate the cruel critiques I'm about to get, and the advice you could possible give to help me improve. Thank you again for your time. I look forward to reading your responses.