Building an online art portfolio is a critical part of applying for video game artist jobs. But it isn’t just about showing your awesome work to the art director before an interview. It’s also important to highlight your individual passion and personality as an artist.
We’ve assembled a collection of 7 game artist portfolio examples from working, industry professionals. Each artist offers clear and actionable advice on how to make your online art portfolio really shine.
Notice how different each portfolio site is from every other, yet they all showcase the art while allowing a personal flair. You might also note that some of the artists’ advice conflicts with one another! Sometimes there aren’t any right or wrong answers, it just depends on your own personality and what works for you as an artist. So don’t be afraid to let your unique personality show through.
Let’s take a look at the online portfolios and careers of these 7 professional game industry artists. Click each portfolio link to open in a new browser window, and then learn how to build your own artist portfolio site.
Mathias Takacs – Animation Lead Portfolio
Art Portfolio Site: http://www.standalone3d.com
- I’ve set up my site with tabs to demonstrate multiple skill sets because being diverse in the gaming industry is very valuable. As I review animators’ portfolios, I often look for animators that can wear multiple hats.
- Always keep your demo reels and portfolio site up to date.
- Most important: Always push yourself, and get critique and feedback from the most critical person you know.
- Read more about Mat’s portfolio example in depth
Caleb Parrish – Environment Artist Portfolio
Art Portfolio Site: http://www.artofcalebparrish.com
- Don’t distract from the work. Make your presentation about the images, not the interface.
- The fewer clicks it takes before your gallery is presented, the better.
- Make sure your images are relevant to the job you are applying for and don’t be afraid to shuffle them to fit.
- Only show professional-level work if you expect to be paid to do a professional job. One bad-looking image will detract from the whole and sometimes that’s all it takes to remove you from contention.
- If you apply for a job and get rejected, ask for feedback and take it seriously.
- Make it easy to find you. Your contact info should be easily accessible from any point on your webpage.
- Read more about Caleb’s portfolio example in depth
Dominic Sodano – Concept Artist Portfolio
Art Portfolio Site: http://sodano.daportfolio.com
- Try to show as many styles and ideas as you can. And constantly update it!
Brent Watanabe – Creative Developer & New Media Artist Portfolio
- Brent has separated his portfolio into two sections, one for his commercial projects and one for his indie art projects.
Lisa Liao – Environment Artist Portfolio
Art Portfolio Site: http://lisaliao.com
- Keep it simple! 🙂
Katie Orcutt – Illustrator & Animator Portfolio
Art Portfolio Site: http://www.katieorcutt.com
- Navigation should be clear and easy.
- Looking professional doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time and effort creating a website when you could be making content instead. Find a way of uploading your work that meets your needs and fits into your schedule (for me, it’s Blogspot).
- Never stop creating. Revamp your site design every so often. Try to post something new as often as you can.
- Whatever you have to do to feel most creative and inspired – GO DO IT! Do what you love, and do it often!
Mark Ferrari, Writer – 2D Artist & Illustrator Portfolio
Art Portfolio Site: http://www.markferrari.com
- Don’t include anything but your VERY BEST work. Better 10 images that rock than a ‘wide variety’ of samples that make your work quality look ‘variable.’
- Never ‘explain’ or apologize for the work in your portfolio. Let the images speak for themselves. If something more needs saying, let your interviewer tell you that, and respond as needed. If they express appreciation for an image, just smile and say “Thank you,” and add NOTHING MORE.
Advice from Other Artists
To learn more from professional artists, consider taking classes or even getting a degree. It’s never too soon to start collecting info. Type your zip code below to explore top art schools near you.
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Top image: Mark Ferrari / www.markferrari.com