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Indecisiveness in choosing a Career / Fear of missing out / Paradox of choice

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       This is probably going to be a scatterbrained mess of a post, but I'm going to try to make it somewhat coherent. (FYI this is my first post on any of the polycount forums.) Also, this might not be the place to make this post, but I'm gonna give it a try anyhow. Just let me know if I should post this elsewhere. 
      So, for a while now I've been feeling hugely indecisive in choosing a career, and I've been succumbing quite a bit to the paradox of choice. A little bit of background on me: I'm a 22 year old highschool dropout with nothing really going for me except a passion for all methods of self expression and pursuing technical mastery at whatever I might be doing. I grew up playing the guitar and music was my sole passion/hobby/skill for a very long time. Nothing made me feel the way good music made me feel and I was incredibly driven in mastering my instrument. I gained a fair amount of technical skill and at one point I was really considering becoming a professional musician. Eventually, I gained a little more knowledge on the viability of doing this as a career, and out of a bout of disenchantment, the goal of becoming a musician fell by the wayside. I've also always drawn, but, until the last few years it was never with an understanding of the fundamental theoretical and practical aspects of drawing.  Around the time I was 17, I started to become more familiar with the film and and games industries and started to explore the different parts of these pipelines. (It should be mentioned that I've always loved film and video games as a creative medium, and I would definitely call it a passion, though I don't really play video games anymore.) I started learning 3d modelling, rendering and programming. I also quickly discovered that my fundamental artistic skills really weren't up to snuff, so I doubled down on learning the fundamentals of drawing, and ultimately this has come to be what takes up most of my time in terms of skill building.
        I've made a lot of progress in drawing and with my 3d skills, but it feels like the more I learn the deeper into the rabbit hole I go. All of the aspects of the pipeline(specifically in games) really interest me, both in 2d, 3d and in programming. For example, I've been fudging around with photogrammetry and I'm super stoked about it, and I can definitely see myself pursuing it in part of a career in 3d. I could say the same about painting, concept design, character design, modeling, environment design, texturing, procedural generation and tech art, programming, sculpting, animation, and the list goes on. I've dabbled in it all an I LOVE IT ALL. The more I learn about ANYTHING, the deeper into the hole I go(and less I can focus on one thing). For example, after reading a really great novel or seeing a really well written film, I get enamoured with the idea of writing, and I immediately want to do it and learn everything about it. It's the same with photography, cinematography, film making, painting, crafts, electronics, music, gardening and the list goes on and on and on....... I have no fucking clue what to focus on. I love it all.
       Lately I've been spending the most of my spare time outside of doing school work(working on getting my high school diploma) on drawing. I've been making big leaps in skill and the more I do it the more I enjoy it. I'm becoming more open to the idea of drawing and painting becoming a career, and I know I could get a job in whatever field I want as long as I put in the work. Though, by choosing one thing or another, 3d or 2d or whatever else, I feel like I'm seriously pigeon-holing myself. I am very aware of how competitive the industry can be and how much work it's gonna take to stand out in any one of these fields, but I wanna do it all and it's preventing me from focusing......
       I know this is a bit of a scatterbrained mindfuck, and I'm ultimately going to have to figure this out on my own, but if anyone had any advice on overcoming this dumb paradox of choice and doubling down on one specific thing, that would be hella great.

Thanks, everybody.

Also, sorry if I seem retarded and the formatting of this post(the highlighting) is annoying. 
       

Replies

  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    Show us your art so we can judge where you're at.

    Also, use paragraphs, not colored highlights.
  • dondon
    Show us your art so we can judge where you're at.

    Also, use paragraphs, not colored highlights.
    Thanks for the tip.... Honestly, at this point I wouldnt really feel comfortable posting any of my work... Dont know if that says anyt ing about the redundancy of my question...
  • oglu
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    oglu quad damage
    No fear show us what you have. Everyone has to start.

  • Popol
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    Popol interpolator
    Have a look at the Polycount wiki in the art discipline section : http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Polycount

    This will give you an idea of the different careers possible in the video game industry. A good idea would be to try a little bit of everything to have an idea of what you enjoy the most, there are tons of tutorials on Youtube for that. Then when you find something you like, focus hardcore on it 8 hours a day and in 3 years you'll have a good enough portfolio to enter the industry!

  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    You should look into my first posts on Polycount.  it is shite art.  It's only a little less shite now because of a lot of people on Polycount helping out.
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    If you post art and it's not incredible and perfect I am going to find your address, hunt you down, and personally laugh in your face.

    I'm dead ass serious. Hunned percent.
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher high dynamic range
    you're young, there is no rush. this is the ideal time in your life to dabble and try everything. I always say taste it all and then you will probably find yourself doing the thing you like the most more and more and your path will become clear. there is no set point in your life where you need to know what you want to do.

    the most important part is to just DO not just think about doing. many people love the idea of being a game industry artist, but dont actually enjoy making art, but really enjoy playing video games, in that case some self awareness might lead them to trying to become a twitch streamer instead. if you are going to invest 5-10 years building a skillset in something, it should be something you atleast enjoy.

    again, many people love the romanticized idea of being a writer but dont actually sit down and write anything. so try it all and chances are you will find something you love. 

    right now I think you are probably thinking "what can i do that will get me rich/money coming in as fast as possible" which is a horrible mindset to apply to how you spend your time. happiness over currency, especially after 50k/yr, which almost any professional career path will be able to make. 

    go do, and just try to enjoy. go travel and expand your mind, live cheap and focus on finding out what you enjoy by actually trying different things. then when you have 1 or 2 things you really love doing, go deep and focus on building that skillset to a high level and the money will come as a result of pursuing mastery. 
  • dondon
    Alrighty..... let the cringe fest begin! 

    I know that none of this really qualifies as "game art"(maybe the guitar could be an asset) and that none of it is even really a finished work..... but it was the least cringey I could find...

    I know that I should probably bite off a little more and try to do a bigger piece like a character, or make some more objects or start piecing together an environment. I just feel like I'd fail super hard, and that I have failed super hard at attempts at those things in the past... but whatevs... keep on truckin. Thanks to all you fools for encouraging me to post! haha 
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    i ain't clicking that link. post it directly in the thread.
  • dondon
    you're young, there is no rush. this is the ideal time in your life to dabble and try everything. I always say taste it all and then you will probably find yourself doing the thing you like the most more and more and your path will become clear. there is no set point in your life where you need to know what you want to do.

    the most important part is to just DO not just think about doing. many people love the idea of being a game industry artist, but dont actually enjoy making art, but really enjoy playing video games, in that case some self awareness might lead them to trying to become a twitch streamer instead. if you are going to invest 5-10 years building a skillset in something, it should be something you atleast enjoy.

    again, many people love the romanticized idea of being a writer but dont actually sit down and write anything. so try it all and chances are you will find something you love. 

    right now I think you are probably thinking "what can i do that will get me rich/money coming in as fast as possible" which is a horrible mindset to apply to how you spend your time. happiness over currency, especially after 50k/yr, which almost any professional career path will be able to make. 

    go do, and just try to enjoy. go travel and expand your mind, live cheap and focus on finding out what you enjoy by actually trying different things. then when you have 1 or 2 things you really love doing, go deep and focus on building that skillset to a high level and the money will come as a result of pursuing mastery. 
    Thanks very much for the response Tim, super astute. I think you hit the nail on the head with the "just go do it" sentiment.... 
    By the way, I am a super fan of your environment work and youtube channel... I am very humbled to have heard your opinion, man. Thank you very much.
  • Ashervisalis
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    Ashervisalis high dynamic range
    Your artwork is super trippy, I like it! A lot of your work is unfinished or unpolished and needs to be brought to that next stage for the wow factor. If you choose 3D, you will for sure need to dedicate most of your time towards it. If you're worried about the rabbit hole never ending, then trust me when I say this: it doesn't. The more you learn the more there is to learn. Kinda sucks but on the other hand it means endless progression system instead of just topping out at level 99 and needing to start a new Diablo II character because you already got the best weapons and armour.

    Keep going my creative friend! And good luck on choosing your career!
  • dondon
    Your artwork is super trippy, I like it! A lot of your work is unfinished or unpolished and needs to be brought to that next stage for the wow factor. If you choose 3D, you will for sure need to dedicate most of your time towards it. If you're worried about the rabbit hole never ending, then trust me when I say this: it doesn't. The more you learn the more there is to learn. Kinda sucks but on the other hand it means endless progression system instead of just topping out at level 99 and needing to start a new Diablo II character because you already got the best weapons and armour.

    Keep going my creative friend! And good luck on choosing your career!
    Thanks for the kind words and feedback dude!
  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown ngon master
    Start small with a fully finished game prop thats gone through the whole pipeline. Every project gives you experience you can roll into the next. There's no good time to jump in or point where youre going to think youre finally ready. Force yourself!  And keep yourself vulnerable. Sharing your work here was a great start. Keep it up by starting WIP threads here or throwing shit up on Dinusty's discord channel.

    Watched this earlier today and I feel there's something that can be taken away from it - 
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    I can tell what everything is supposed to be. Even the dragon fruit.

    +1 good job

    I think your abstract stuff is intersting to. Will be very interested to see where you go with that once you achieve god mode.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Kudos man, this stuff is great. Much better than my first forays! Keep going!
  • dondon
    I can tell what everything is supposed to be. Even the dragon fruit.

    +1 good job

    I think your abstract stuff is intersting to. Will be very interested to see where you go with that once you achieve god mode.
    Kudos man, this stuff is great. Much better than my first forays! Keep going!
    Start small with a fully finished game prop thats gone through the whole pipeline. Every project gives you experience you can roll into the next. There's no good time to jump in or point where youre going to think youre finally ready. Force yourself!  And keep yourself vulnerable. Sharing your work here was a great start. Keep it up by starting WIP threads here or throwing shit up on Dinusty's discord channel.

    Watched this earlier today and I feel there's something that can be taken away from it - 
    Thank you guys very much for the feedback, kind words and refraining from roasting the shit out of me. Much love...
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