Recent graduate Eleanor Biggin tells us about her experience finishing university and finding her first industry job.
After graduating with a first-class degree in BA Game Art at Futureworks a few months ago, I've recently started a Junior 3D Artist role at d3t as more of a generalist. At university I chose to specialise in Environment Art where I found my strengths lay in the creation of props from sculpting to texturing, so I'm now more than happy to say that I can carry this over into the industry and learn new practices/pipelines.
When I first started university I wanted to pursue Concept Art and was quite sceptical about 3D, but as the years progressed I realised that I had a new passion for producing 3D work. So I would say make sure to try everything at the beginning and don't close off avenues that may surprise you to where your strengths lie. When it comes to lectures, don't be afraid to ask for feedback and soak up all the information from Tutors as you can - many of them have worked in the industry and have invaluable experiences.
When I was younger I didn't know that Game Art/Design existed as opportunities, so for a while I was following a career route that I wasn't happy with until I discovered the course by chance. I then enrolled onto the course soon after and have loved every day of it. My biggest piece of advice would be if you have an interest in Art and even Games, don't be afraid to explore the options available to you because you will not regret it.
After graduating I had a few studios in mind that I really wanted to apply for, one being d3t as I was really attracted by the range of different projects that they take on, and so I decided to send out a speculative application (make sure the company accepts them- they usually specify on their website). It was just my luck that d3t was starting to expand their art team and liked my portfolio, so I heard back within a week and started working a few weeks following my interview. My first few days have been really insightful and welcoming, so I'm very excited for my future here at d3t!
I would say don't give in if there's just nothing suitable out there, roles will always come along but in the meantime there's always room to improve your portfolio, even if it's just adding a few small detailed props to help push it along. Also, don't be afraid to reach out to people and ask for feedback on your portfolio or pieces of work, as we're often our worst self-critics and it's hard to gauge what different companies look for sometimes.